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Karndean Flooring? Pros & Cons please

(61 Posts)
Stillamum3 Tue 27-Jun-17 22:58:54

Karndean flooring is a new "thing" to me. I'm considering it for my kitchen, rather than ceramic tiles. Could anyone with experience of it tell me whether it's good, bad or indifferent please?

HomeExtender Tue 27-Jun-17 23:06:00

I was in John Lewis yesterday looking at Karndean. The shop assistant came over & recommended Amtico Spacia to me as it is cheaper & has a 25 year guarantee. He said the choice is more limited but if you find one you like it is good flooring & a good saving!

BubblesBuddy Tue 27-Jun-17 23:16:30

I don't get the obsession with Karndean. It is fairly average flooring for fairly average houses.

Whether it's for you depends on the value of the house in my view. I think if you have a house with high quality fittings, you don't want Karndean. It is basically similar to Amtico but not as good (in my view). You rarely see Karndean in houses featured in magazines but some people clearly love it. I much prefer large format Porcelanosa tiles and these give a more luxurious finish. If you want a softer finish then Kardean is fine but I wouldn't expect it in an expensive kitchen. There are other brands but no-one ever mentions them on MN.

Stillamum3 Tue 27-Jun-17 23:52:02

Thank you, *Extender & Buddy. I saw it used in a new house, (not particularly pricey for this area, N. Wales) and didn't really know what it was made of or anything about it,. The idea that it was vinyl put me off a bit, but thought I'd ask!

user1487671808 Wed 28-Jun-17 07:03:18

We have karndean throughout the ground floor, it replaced ceramic tiles and good quality laminate. It's been down 7 years and it's brilliant. Don't go for the real budget stuff, ours was a mid to high range I think but it still looks great (been mistaken for wood many times) but unlike ceramic it's warm underfoot and unlike laminate, waterproof.

I always wanted solid wood floors really and this was a compromise but it's been worth it and I'd do it again. When I can afford it I'll have the cold hard tiles taken from all the upstairs bathrooms and put vinyl down too.

I scratched a little bit like pretty much any floor but that makes it look more real. It requires no special care, gets steam cleaned weekly, mopped and vacuumed. We never bothered with the top coat of sealant as we knew we weren't going to strip it and redo every year and it's not been a problem.

Just make sure it's fitted by an experienced fitter who knows karndean.

glenthebattleostrich Wed 28-Jun-17 07:08:22

We have karndean through the hall, kitchen and living room, it's great. When we can afford it we are putting it in the bathroom. So easy to look after (especially compared to the carpets that were down).

darceybussell Wed 28-Jun-17 07:14:27

Our house came with Karndean when we bought it - had never heard of it before then but I like it. People have mistaken it for stone and it's very practical. Plus when kids come round and fall on their faces I'm less worried about them knocking out their teeth than if it was real stone!

Rio2016GB Wed 28-Jun-17 07:21:00

I love it. Have it down throughout my downstairs. Hard wearing and looks great. I'd recommend it.

Everyone comments on how lovely it looks. It's been down for 5 years now.

RayofSun Wed 28-Jun-17 07:58:50

We have it laid down in a commercial high use building. Again, went for the mid range wood effect and it looks brilliant after 6 years despite high footfall and little regard for care by its users.

Would definitely recommend it. My understanding is that it is a more 'economical' version of Amtico so while Amtico has a better brand value, Karndean has far more selection and is much more affordable.

It does need to be laid down properly though otherwise it looks just wrong!

m0therofdragons Wed 28-Jun-17 09:35:09

The house we're buying has kardean and I've read you can't steam clean it as it damages the glue. I love my steamer on my current porcelain tiles so I'm slightly disappointed.

wowfudge Wed 28-Jun-17 10:17:03

It is untrue to state that no one ever mentions other brands of LVT on MN. I know because I have done several times! All LVTs are basically the same - a sandwich of vinyl with a decorative layer under a wear layer. The thickness of the wear layer should correlate to how well it will last. Amtico was the first on the market in the UK and is the best known. It is also the most expensive - Spacia is their 'entry level' product. Amtico is made in the UK which is one of the reasons it is more expensive than other products which tend to be made in China. Karndean is made by Polyflor and Polyflor also market several different LVT products under the Polyflor name and others, such as Fusion. Other non-Polyflor brands include Vusta.

Polyflor branded products are often seen in commercial settings - very commonly in retail units. You'll have seen and walked over metres of the stuff in the average shopping centre. It is often cheaper than the stuff targeted at the residential market.

There's quite a bit of snootiness from some on MN about LVT, but if you want something hard wearing, which feels warm underfoot, softer than many other hard flooring types if you drop something or fall, which won't be cold and echoey in a larger area and which is easy to maintain then LVT is great. If you spill something on it you can easily wipe it up. It doesn't scuff and scratch in the same way wood does. In fact scratches can covered and filled by sealing and polishing.

It's generally more robust than sheet vinyl flooring. You can get numerous different wood or stone or other finishes that look like the real thing even down to have a textured surface. There's quite a bit of prep needed to give a level surface on which to lay LVT which means it is quite pricey to fit.

Stillamum3 Wed 28-Jun-17 11:24:41

Thanks to everyone - it certainly sounds like a possibility - I'll investigate further. I have quarry tiles in my current kitchen and the room does echo! Also, cold and hard but a great improvement on the vinyl tiles that were on before. If Karndean is as easy to look after as those, without the disadvantages, I think I'd like it!

wowfudge Wed 28-Jun-17 12:13:02

We are having our kitchen floor done next week in a Polyflor wood plank. Part of the area (we have had a wall removed to make a bigger kitchen) was quarry tiled originally and had been screeded and Amtico fitted over the top. The whole floor area will be levelled for the new LVT. If you don't know what the subfloor under the quarry tiles is, it might need damp proofing because quarry tiles are porous - there are epoxy DPMs which can be painted on these days - but just something to bear in mind as it might add to the amount of prep needed and the cost.

NotTooWorried Wed 28-Jun-17 15:11:44

I love our karndean floor, it's warm, cleans easily and if one piece happens to get damaged you can just replace it. I hate tiles, they are cold, hard and everything breaks.

Stillamum3 Wed 28-Jun-17 15:22:31

Thank you Wow & * Worried*. Can you lay it yourself? We've laid an engineered oak floor, and although not easy, my DP made a really good job of it.

NotTooWorried Wed 28-Jun-17 15:30:06

No, you should have it done by a karndean fitter. We had to have our floor covered first by some sort of screed then it was laid over the top. It only took a day to fit though.

wowfudge Wed 28-Jun-17 15:36:58

From what I understand it is quite a specialist job to lay LVT. The key is good prep before the tiles go down. A lot of manufacturer guarantees only apply if an approved fitter has laid the floor. We contacted an independent LVT flooring fitter and he has agreed to supply at the same price we could find the flooring for online so he isn't bothered about making a mark up on the actual flooring. A lot of places make money on putting their margin on top of the actual cost so it pays to shop around.

Stillamum3 Wed 28-Jun-17 15:38:21

I'm really thinking of a new kitchen, when we move - hopefully in the not too distant future. I imagine the floors will be concrete and will need skimming. Can it either be glued down or clicked together over an underlay, like the wood flooring?

Kaz2200 Wed 28-Jun-17 15:50:18

We had expensive terrazzo tiles in hall kitchen and conservatory, and I hated them, they cracked, stained and were a pig to clean. We had underfloor heating so didn't want to take up the tiles, so we had Karndean fitted. I love it, some people may be snobby about it, but it is quiet, warm and very easy to clean. We had it screeded over the tiles first.

Stillamum3 Wed 28-Jun-17 15:53:35

Wowfudge Thank you for that advice.

Stillamum3 Wed 28-Jun-17 16:03:44

Kaz2200 That's beautiful!
There seem to be big price differences between the makes - I looked at Quickstep Impressive waterproof and it seems to be a lot cheaper than Karndean itself. Also watch a video of Karndean being loose laid (clicked together), and to be honest it looked a lot less difficult than the wood flooring was. We're inveterate DIY-ers and getting a man in doesn't come naturally. Thanks for everyone's input, it's definitely something to consider. I knew nothing at all about it till I asked on MN.

wowfudge Wed 28-Jun-17 16:05:58

Kaz that looks great - we are going for something similar with a bevelled edge.

Tatlerer Wed 28-Jun-17 16:09:44

I'm considering Karndean or Amtico for my kitchen/diner when it's built and (close your ears bubbles or you might get offended) this is for a large, period house with high end fixtures and fittings and (potentially) a high cost kitchen (still deciding if we can justify it). I don't think there should be any snobbery about it. It looks good, works well with underfloor heating and is resilient to family life. I also wouldn't say it's a 'cheap' option by any stretch of the imagination.

iamreginaphalange Wed 28-Jun-17 16:16:45

I wouldn't recommend laying an LVT yourself... it's a specialist job which includes prepping the subfloor which may take a day or two depending on what state it is in / ie damp proofing, levelling...

If you bought your Lvt online then I'd suggest you look at checkatrade and find a decent floor layer.

Also what @wowfudge says...

I work for flooring wholesaler and see this pretty much every day.. please do find yourself a good fitter.

Kaz2200 Wed 28-Jun-17 16:18:32

When we had our fitted it took four day one day to lay the screed, and 2.5 days for the karndean which comes in pieces ours was lengths about 4" x 4' which were glued down individually. Quite labour intensive even for experienced fitters, cost about £3k.

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