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CMACK 11-23-2008 10:09 AM

I am about to refurbish my kitchen/family room. The room is about 425 square feet of which half is above the basement and the other half is above a crawl space. We live in New England so it gets pretty cold in the winter and hot in the summer so the floor must be able to acclimate to both extremes. We have two children and three dogs so it has to be able to take a pounding. We really like the idea of vinyl because we have porcelain now and we really don't like the feel. The problem is the flooring company keeps steering us towards Konecto and away from sheet vinyl. The seem for the sheet vinyl will have to be in a high traffic area and would probably start to show according to the contractor. I like the look of Konecto but have heard a lot of bad things about it. The worst of course is the company not reponding to the consumer. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for me ? Please don't tell me to get rid of the dogs (or the kids) !

Nestor_Kelebay 11-23-2008 12:30 PM

One of the problems with sheet vinyl in a kitchen is that if you pull a fridge or stove out, you run the risk of tearing the sheet vinyl.

Have you considered installing vinyl composition tiles on your kitchen floor? They're very durable and easy to maintain. They're not common in homes because people tend to think of it as an "older" style of flooring, or they are reminded of problems associated with resilient tile floors like corners lifting, tiles coming loose, asbestos content and the like. Also, they tend to be found in commercial settings like stores and office buildings rather than residences, but that's only because stores and office buildings will hire or maintain a janitorial service that maintains the floor finish on the VC tile floors. Those floors can still be clean and shiney when the tiles are 100 years old because you continually replace the floor finish on the tiles (which gets scuffed and marked up).

In a residential setting, where you don't want to start moving kitchen table and chairs out of the kitchen to strip the floor, you just finish the VC tiles with multiple coats of sealer, which dries to a much harder film. When that sealer gets worn off and dirt starts to get embedded in the tiles themselves, you just clean that area with a Magic Eraser to remove the dirt, and put on more sealer. In fact, it's standard just to clean the traffic areas and apply more sealer to only those traffic areas, so there's no need to move furniture.

I own a small apartment block and I have vinyl composition tiles in all of my apartments. I like them because I can remove virtually any kind of stain from them by stripping off the finish, or if push comes to shove, I can even strip of the sealer under the finish. If shove comes to worse, I can even replace the tile to repair the damage.

You can't do that nearly as well with vinyl flooring.

Armstrong makes their Excelon line of vinyl composition tile in a very wide variety of colours.

PS: One thing to keep in mind is that it's NORMAL for VC tiles to shrink slightly as they age. The shrinkage is typically only about 1/4 of 1 percent, but that's enough that lines start to show between the tiles. After about 2 or 3 years, once those lines have formed, it's a good idea to clean the whole floor with a Scotchbrite pad to remove any dirt on the surface and apply another few coats of sealer to the floor to seal up those lines as well. That ensures that anything spilled on the floor won't get wicked under the tiles by capillary pressure.

mnsteven 11-23-2008 10:45 PM

there is no reason to shy away from sheet vinyl if that is what you want. it sounds like the store you are dealing with doesnt have a qualified installer or they make a larger margin on the conecto. vinyl seams when done corectly last the life of the material and dont change in their appearance whatsoever. one thing you may want to consider is a low gloss vinyl this will greatly reduce the show of wear with the kids and dogs. if you ever have to move an appliance you should just put down a piece of 1/4 in. plywood and roll the fridge 0r lift the stove on top so not to take the chance of tearing the vinyl or if you like the vct thats another good option. the most important thing is that the material is installed corectly with an emphasis on the preping of the floor it may be a big job removing the ceramic you have now. good luck on your project.

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