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spookercat 06-24-2008 09:39 PM

Material to use for replacing linoleum (glued down).
Our house was built in 1993 (in Canada), and the lino was installed then. It was the best grade I could find locally at the time, as I KNOW we are really hard on floors (hate to clean them, and drop stuff constantly - cans, knives etc). Within weeks of installation a nail head popped up in the subfloor and cracked the lino.

Anyhow, the lino is worn out and we are trying to decide what to replace it with. Criteria are:
1) must be very very durable
2) must allow for repair for the inevitable incidents
3) must stay in 'acceptable' condition (ie, not obviously worn or degraded) for at least 15 years (allowing for necessary repairs) -- but hoping for 25 years (is that totally unreasonable for any flooring material?)!
4) must be available in a light (white to light grey color scheme).
5) I'm willing to spend what it takes to get these characteristics (within reason, I don't think I could manage a flooring that cost $50/sf installed!)
6) must be compatible with my Scooba and Roomba

I'm not keen on laminate (what I have seen so far anyway) or hardwood, as I prefer a white/lt grey color. Porcelain or ceramic tile I like. Have just today been introduced to DuraCeramic.

My concerns (that I am aware of right now!):

1. Subfloor -- I believe there are issues with the existing subfloor, as a nailhead popped through at the original installation

2. I've heard good and bad about installing new flooring on top of the old lino. For me the big question, other than the technical issues of cracking for cer/porc tile, is the height issue. If I install a c/p tile on top of the existing floor, what do I do about the height increase (exterior doors open inwards, lino area meets rug).

3. Ok, then there are the technical issues of installing a rigid material on top of the existing floor: is this the best practice? There will not be any asbestos issues, so would it be best practice to remove the original lino and subfloor if necessary?

4. How do I figure out if my floor is suitable for installation of a c/p tile, if that is my best option for durability etc? I've seen some mention of floor movement in this forum -- This is an upstairs floor with wood joists (and there are also two half sets of stairs) -- I believe that they are 18" centers but don't know any more at this point. I can find out more when I know what I need to know -- if you follow me!

Here are a few things I'm aware of or have been told so far:

c/p tile:

it's a big job to replace a cracked or broken tile, and the new grout will never bond to the old grout (T or F?) leaving a fissure to admit water, dirt etc.

very durable (excepting unavoidable cracks and breaks from us dropping the big cans of tomatoes), and individual tiles can be replaced (subject to the grout issue mentioned above).

Porcelain is very hard, and may be the best choice re:durability and cracking/breaking resistance from human abuse (as opposed to deficiencies in installation).


can chip or flake (manufacturers variation?)

can be cut by knives/sharp objects), but is easily 'camoflaged' by puttying with the grout (T or F?)

irretrievably damaged tiles can be easily replaced and the new grout bonds to the old.

I'm sorry this is such a long post; I would greatly appreciate your assistance and the benefit of all the experience out there (anybody with a duraceramic floor who is really hard on it and happy with it?).

Please, if I've missed something let me know, and thanks to all in advance.

HomeDepot23 06-24-2008 09:53 PM

Kevlar :laughing:

Really, the one thing not mentioned by you, but you would have to sacrifice the white/lt grey thing is cork floating floor. A bit pricey, but very durable, it's longevity is very good, in fact the more worn it gets, the better it looks.

I'll probably get some abuse for even suggesting it though :mad:

Nestor_Kelebay 06-25-2008 11:51 PM

Well, you start off by asking for a very very durable flooring, and by the time I got to the end of the post I figured you'd already decided that the most durable flooring was ceramic or porcelain tile.

Ceramic and porcelain tile make for a durable floor, but you're selling yourself short by not considering synthetic rubber flooring. I have synthetic rubber stair treads in my front and back stair wells, and about the only thing that will damage this material is a razor and a firm intent to damage the floor.

Synthetic rubber comes in both 12 inch square tiles and 24 inch square tiles, and Johnsonite makes it in about 75 colours and eleven different raised patterns, and each colour and raised pattern can come either marbelized or speckled with any of the other 74 colours, so you can play interior designer and really make a mess. By ordering some extra tiles, you can repair your floor by replacing damaged tiles. But, as I say, about the only way you can damage one is by intentionally cutting it with a razor. Or, perhaps by scratching it up by sitting on a chair that's missing the feet from it's steel tube legs, but that would scratch up tile as well.

Strong solvents like acetone (nail polish remover) or lacquer thinner (toluene) will, if left on for long enough, start to soften it, but you have to do that intentionally because those solvents would typically evaporate before they did any damage. When I was installing my stair treads, I would use xylene to clean the mold release agent off the treads so that the polyurethane caulk I used on them would stick. I started off using acetone and lacquer thinner, but was told by the factory that xylene works just as well, and doesn't evaporate nearly as fast, so you use less of it and inhale less solvent as well.

I don't know of anything that stains synthetic rubber, and I don't think you can stain a porcelain tile either.

You rarely see rubber tile flooring in residential settings because, quite frankly, it's expensive and much more durable than one would ever need in a house. Typically, you find it in commercial settings, and often in gymnasiums because rubber flooring will stand up to a 40 pound steel weight being dropped on it from shoulder height or an exercise machine pounding on it 8 hours per day, 363 days per year. So, it certainly meets the requirements specified in your post. About the only flooring more durable than rubber flooring that I can think of are the thick rubber mats between the rink and change rooms in hockey rinks that players walk on with their newly sharpened skates.

So, ceramic tile can be damaged by dropping something hard on it and causing the tile to chip or crack, and that's about the only risk. Rubber flooring can be damaged by cutting it with a very sharp knife like a razor, and that's about the only risk. Ceramic tile is cold to walk on in bare feet, too. Both will stand up to a lit cigarette being put out on them.

I know Roppe and Bengard also make rubber and vinyl moldings for floors, but I don't know if they also make rubber floor tiles or not. Certainly, Johnsonite is the biggest name in synthetic rubber flooring.

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