I installed Konecto tiles in two bathrooms and am quite pleased with the outcome. I learned some "lessons" that made the second bath go better than the first.
Konecto is tough stuff, so it's not the easiest material to work with, but this may help those thinking of giving it a try.
First of all, we chose Konecto because our subfloor is not rigid enough for conventional tile. I like the "floating" aspect of Konecto, the toughness and the fact that its backing isn't affected by water.
First Things First
Read and follow the directions. "Season" the tiles for a few days and, if advised, shuffle them to avoid unwanted patterns.
Be sure to keep things clean. I kept a small hand broom handy to clean each space before I laid down a tile.
We used two different approaches over our T&G subfloor:
-- In one bathroom, we put down 1/4-inch plywood and then 3/8-inch "backer board" material similar to Hardee Board. After the Konecto was installed, it was about 1/16-inch higher than the adjacent hardwood, requiring a threshhold strip.
-- In the other bathroom, we put down 9/16-inch plywood. When the Konecto was installed, this resulted in a perfect height match to the adjacent hardwood floor.
In both cases we filled and sanded holes and cracks before laying down the Konecto.
We did not "float" the floors to achieve perfect leveling. An imperfectly level floor will result in some minor gaps between some of the tiles, but these can be filled using matching calk.
First, Decide which pattern you will use in laying out your tile.
I used the "four corners" layout (each tile shares a full side with the tiles around it) in the first bath, and the staggered layout (succeeding rows are offset by half a tile) in the second.
I liked the look of the staggered layout a little better, and it seemed a bit more forgiving when it came to unintended gaps.
Second, make a scale drawing of the floor you are covering. This will help you to see how the tiles will fit and avoid bad layout schemes.
I find it easy to use a scale of 1/16-inch to 1-inch since the tiles are 16"x16".
Pencil in the layout of the tiles on your floor plan, erasing and redrawing as needed to get the best fit.
Don't assume that your floor is perfectly square. In other words, cut the edge of your first tile to leave some room in case the wall creeps out of square.
The entire point of this exercise is to determine how your first tile will be cut. Everything else will follow from that.
Third, get ready to lay out your first row, which will start at the leftmost back or front corner.
If the wall or tub against which the first row is laid is not square to the rest of the room, you will need to draw a line that is square on the floor near the forward edge of the first row of tiles. This will enable you to lay the first row square, using the line as a guide rather than the crooked wall.
Pencil (with a fine tip)
Tape measure (or 20-inch ruler)
Straight edge (I used a two-foot level)
Small framing square
Utility knife with a fixed blade (Get one that allows a firm, comfortable grip)
Extra knife blades
Cutting board (I used a 24"x10" piece of 1/4-inch plywood)
A small hand broom or vacuum
Comments: For the second bathroom, I bought a new utility knife with a bigger, better handle, and it made a huge difference. I also changed the blades more frequently, which helped, too.
I tried a vinyl/Linoleum knife and didn't like it as well as the utility knife.
Cutting the Tiles
Place the tile face up.
Mark the tile for cutting.
Place the tile across the cutting board.
Place the straight edge on the line of the cut.
On the first pass with the knife, apply gentle pressure. Apply more pressure with a subsequent pass.
Stand the tile on edge and, using the knife, mark each end of the cut with small incisions.
Lay the tile face down.
Align the straight edge using the small incisions you just made.
Pass the knife along the cut once or twice.
Pick up the tile and bend it along the cut to break it.
Comments: If the piece being cut off is narrow, it can be hard to get a good grip and bend it over. In this case, it is often easier to tear off the small piece, starting at one end of the cut and peeling it down like a banana skin.
When cutting notched pieces, the cut does not run from end to end. To determine the end of the cut on the back side mid-tile, push the utility knife through the tile to mark the corner on the back side. Mind what's under the tile when you do this.
When cutting rounded shapes, draw the cut-line on the face of the tile and then carefully trace the line with the knife blade a couple of times, applying light pressure the first time and more pressure the second time. Then, pick up the tile and bend it slightly along the cuts. The break point will telegraph through and be visible on the back side, enabling you to make a fairly accurate cut with the knife on the back.
Laying the Tiles
This is the fun part.
Put the sticky corner in first and then just lay it down, aligning one edge. If you miss and it sticks someplace misaligned, just tear it up and lay it down where you want it.
When tearing up a tile, be sure to hold firmly in place the tiles that are already down.
Good luck installing Konecto tiles in your house. The bad news is it's tough stuff and can be hard to cut. The good news is it's tough stuff and should be hard to wear out once it's installed.
I am looking for the name of some sticky stuff that you put on the back of tile, and then grout, as usual. I saw it on a demo on TV while at the Club and didn't catch the name. Home Depot was doing the demo; it seemed like an answer to my dreams. It was not recommended for wet places (bathrooms or showers) but for countertops and back splashes-has anyone heard of this product?
You forgot to mention on the Konecto instructions. Pray you don't have problems, because the warranty is a joke.
I am making myself sick over the things that I am reading about this flooring, we are getting ready to have this put in a house we just purchased and I am trying to understand the complaints that I am reading. We are purchasing the Konecto tiles. Are these what everyone keeps saying are curling and popping up? This is suppose to be a floating floor that we are having put down and it was recommended for the slab foundation that we have. Are we being informed incorrectly?
Metrofloor makes Allure and Konecto. Yes, it what you have been reading about. I have had Konecto in my bathroom for over a year with no problems. I could be wrong, but I think most of the problems stem from people not keeping the tacky overlapping edges clean and also from not applying pressure after connecting the planks together.
If the tacky edges aren't kept dust and dirt free, the glue will not adhere as well.
I believe the manufacturer recommends rolling the floor with a 100 pound roller so that the glued edges are adhered properly.
I am thrilled with Konecto. I have read many complaints about the product, but the folks at the supply store where I purchase this material (to be installed by professionals) tell me they don't have complaints about the product.
This IS a product that can be installed by an amateur, but care has to be taken to keep the product clean while installing and it does need to be rolled.
Just remember, for those who do have problems, Metroflor has a very poor record for resolving them. I am on several flooring boards and there are many dissatified customers.
Armstrong has just come out with their own version of this flooring now. I haven't installed any yet, but from what I've seen the design seems to be a little better. They've purposefully looked at Konecto and tried to avoid the issues it has.
Haven't seen this addressed anywhere, but considering Konecto flooring -wood-look planks or tiles - and if there are enough different planks/tiles in a box to avoid a repetitive pattern. In other words, is it possible for the flooring to look "natural" and avoid the obvious "artificial wood/tile" look?
If anyone has pictures, would be greatly appreciated.
Yes it is possible to lay this flooring without repeating segments too close each other. You have to really pay attention to the details of the planks that are being installed. I, being an anal perfectionist, would look at a piece before laying it down to check if it had markings ie, grains and/or knots that would be too close to the same characteristic on already laid pieces. If the markings were too close to my liking, I would pull out another piece and inspect again. Some planks had very little details in them and were fine to butt them side to side at some points. To make things easier, I would pull out a new piece from a different box every now and then, having up to 4 boxes open at a time. Konecto has pamphlets inside their boxes that include tips and such. I will try to post some pictures of my kitchen floor as soon as I can.
Hope this helps!
And here is a shot showing that Konecto flooring (wood) will mate up to TrafficMaster flooring (tile). They are similar in design.
Wow, Lazy Jake, your floor looks awesome. Thanks for the pics. I could see myself doing the same thing in laying out the wood planks. You've really helped ease my anxiety about this. Interesting, I was considering the exact same tile pattern from Traffic Master for my bathroom...it seemed to have less flexibility in getting a random look from the the one box I bought for a sample, but it's only a bathroom.
Yeah, it's not a big deal with the tile look anyway. They all just blend together and you would really have to stare at the floor to possibly notice that one tile square looks like another. But with the wood planks, it's a different story because of the details on the planks.
Have you done your project yet? If so, you post pics please? :thumbsup:
Show us the pictures when it curls.
Have not started project yet because I am interested in the style and color of the commercial planks which apparently don't have samples. Am thinking of ordering one box of each of the colors I am considering, but seems like a pricey way to find out what the styles look like. I will definitely post pictures when I finish the project.
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