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Old 01-13-2015, 01:49 AM   #1
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Vinyl tile questions


I am planning on re-doing the floor in my main entryway. It's currently 6 inch ceramic tile that's about 60 years old. The tiles are in good shape with no cracks, but the grout is trashed. I am nearly certain the floor simply isn't stiff enough for tile. You can jump and feel the floor bounce a little. Making it stiffer would require modifications to my basement that I don't want to make. There is also a noticeable dip in one part of the floor.
Currently the tile is on 1/4 inch plywood over 2x6 t&g planks. I plan to remove the tile and plywood, use self leveling compound on the low spot in the floor, and install new, thicker plywood with a new floor on top.

My wife and I are looking at luxury vinyl tiles with a stone appearance. A lot of them look really good and they are certainly flexible enough to handle a little floor movement. The one she likes best is made by Karndean.
My big concern is durability. We have a small child and a dog. The area in question is the main entry to the house and the only path between the bedrooms/bathrooms and the rest of the house. We also get a lot of visitors. I'm willing to spend good money on a highly durable product.

Are these products really as durable as they claim? Could this be a DIY install? Is there a grout-like product I can use that would give the appearance of grout but be flexible enough not to crack with some movement? Is Karndean a good brand or are there better options?
The area in question is about 90 square feet and rectangular.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:06 AM   #2
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Yes,it is a do it yourself job for someone with commonsense and a few tools--

I am not familiar with that brand or its ability to accept grout----

Your floor prep is key---one of your ideas was flawed---the self leveling compound under the underlayment---don't do that---it will pop loose when you nail through it--

A better method,if the dip is shallow,would be to lay down layers of tar paper or rosin paper to fill the dip----

If it is major--then the joists might be sistered or shimmed-
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:51 AM   #3
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Karndean is one of the best brands.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:49 AM   #4
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I recently did a bath powder room floor repair as a water leak had caused the particle board underlayment to swell. The floor had original ceramic tile using different sized tiles and grouted in. I told the customer straight up, first thing, that I did not do finished flooring. The man of the house told me not to worry about that, he would do the powder room floor just as he did the foyer of the house which I had seen. I told him that would be fine if he wanted to lay ceramic/hard tile on my finished sub-floor. He told me that the foyer was not ceramic/hard tile and that it was the "peel & stick" tile but had been grouted in. I had to go get a close look at this. It was indeed the 12" square peel & stick tile pieces and he had spaced them correctly then grouted them in. Being as he works part-time for Lowe's I'm sure the tile came from them and he did state that he used "non-sanded" grout for this. I asked him to call me when he finished the powder room floor which he did and it looked really good and very much like hard tile.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:57 PM   #5
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I used some Karndean tiles in one of may baths about 4 years ago.They were made with a rounded edge to accept grout.I always like to try stuff in my house if needed before using for customers and they still look like new.Very pleased with them.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dftc View Post
I am planning on re-doing the floor in my main entryway. It's currently 6 inch ceramic tile that's about 60 years old. The tiles are in good shape with no cracks, but the grout is trashed. I am nearly certain the floor simply isn't stiff enough for tile. You can jump and feel the floor bounce a little. Making it stiffer would require modifications to my basement that I don't want to make. There is also a noticeable dip in one part of the floor.
Currently the tile is on 1/4 inch plywood over 2x6 t&g planks. I plan to remove the tile and plywood, use self leveling compound on the low spot in the floor, and install new, thicker plywood with a new floor on top.

My wife and I are looking at luxury vinyl tiles with a stone appearance. A lot of them look really good and they are certainly flexible enough to handle a little floor movement. The one she likes best is made by Karndean.
My big concern is durability. We have a small child and a dog. The area in question is the main entry to the house and the only path between the bedrooms/bathrooms and the rest of the house. We also get a lot of visitors. I'm willing to spend good money on a highly durable product.

Are these products really as durable as they claim? Could this be a DIY install? Is there a grout-like product I can use that would give the appearance of grout but be flexible enough not to crack with some movement? Is Karndean a good brand or are there better options?
The area in question is about 90 square feet and rectangular.
Install the plywood first to bind the subfloor, THEN use the Self Leveling Compound, that's all you need to do. Prime the SLC a couple of times and allow it to dry thoroughly before installing the vinyl tile. Karndean is a quality product. There are flexible urethane type grouts that can be used and will offer the necessary flexibility.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. Especially the advice on leveling the floor.
The product we are looking is from their Opus line. It has a 10 year commercial and 15 year residential warranty. That sounds pretty good to me. They also have a couple of product lines with 20 year residential warranties, but the wife doesn't like the looks of those offerings.
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Old 01-18-2015, 03:36 PM   #8
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Another question... I thought the 15 year warranties from Karndean were good, until I went to Home Depot today and looked at the TrafficMaster Allure vinyl tile. That stuff costs less than half what the Karndean costs and it has either a 25 year or lifetime warranty. Granted, the stone patterns don't look as good, but the ceramic tile patterns look pretty nice.
They both have a 20 mil wear layer.

Is the Allure stuff actually that durable, or is this just a matter of them hoping that most people won't bother trying to get warranty repairs on an inexpensive product.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dftc View Post
Thanks for the replies. Especially the advice on leveling the floor.
The product we are looking is from their Opus line. It has a 10 year commercial and 15 year residential warranty. That sounds pretty good to me. They also have a couple of product lines with 20 year residential warranties, but the wife doesn't like the looks of those offerings.
Read the fine print in the warranty and see if there really is a warranty.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dftc View Post
Another question... I thought the 15 year warranties from Karndean were good, until I went to Home Depot today and looked at the TrafficMaster Allure vinyl tile. That stuff costs less than half what the Karndean costs and it has either a 25 year or lifetime warranty. Granted, the stone patterns don't look as good, but the ceramic tile patterns look pretty nice.
They both have a 20 mil wear layer.

Is the Allure stuff actually that durable, or is this just a matter of them hoping that most people won't bother trying to get warranty repairs on an inexpensive product.
Go read the Allure threads on here and see how they honor the warranty.
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:00 PM   #11
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Have installed a lot of the Allure for customers.Mostly in rental properties and was not to impressed with it.
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:54 PM   #12
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Have installed a lot of the Allure for customers.Mostly in rental properties and was not to impressed with it.
My biggest problem is HD not honoring the warranty. They always blame it on installation.
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