* Prices may differ from that shown
I think we must be in the minority but we have been extremely disappointed with our amtico which we had laid in the hall about a year ago. The tiles have scratched quite badly at the cupboard door where we keep our dyson hoover. We were told how hard wearing amtico was when we were buying it from Gillies in Perth. When we approached them about the scratching they would not even come to look at it, scratches are not covered under the 20 year guarantee! I contacted amtico directly and they did send a representative out who took photos of the scratches and told us that we must have had a piece of grit on the wheel of our hoover! We never heard anything from them again - so beware the limestone look tiles do scratch very easily and this is not covered under the 20 year guarantee not really sure what would be covered!
The subtle and mysterious world of floor coverings have now enmeshed me in their sleazy grip and I find myself strangely attracted to their icy visage? A couple of days ago, I was reviewing some of my reviews written for Ciao and I checked out which exactly had received the most viewings. When I found that a pretty drab opinion on Ikea laminate flooring had pulled in over 1000 readings, although the enormous majority weren?t by members, I thought that I would have to investigate further, and then did another review which has yet to touch anywhere near that figure, but decided that, Hey Hey we?re the Floor Coverers, people say we?re floor covering around, but we?re too busy singing? So here we are, back again in the whacky world of floor covering, with today?s subject matter being Amtico? Please note that the start of this review includes quite a lot of cutting and pasting from the Amtico website, but please persevere, I will get on to my own views eventually, and the vast majority of this review is all my own work (Davey Babe Age 6 and three quarters)? First things first and I just love to give you that little bit of insight to the manufacturers, so here?s the lowdown on the Amtico website at http://www.amtico.com/home/other_sites.asp which also has the following links to relevant company sites: STRATICA - www.stratica.com The unique construction of Stratica Eco-polymeric flooring combines the performance benefits of modern synthetic materials with unrivalled environmental benefits. www.macroview.net Macroview promotes the latest international interior projects that demonstrate design innovation in practice. www.amtico-synthesis.com An innovative commercial wall covering from the Amtico Company, combines excellent aesthetics with practical
performance benefits. Amtico at home Amtico for your home - presenting hundreds of design ideas, our favourite installations, tips and advice on how to choose your floor, and an interactive product selector. http://www.amtico.com/marine Not only does the Amtico Marine meet the stringent requirements of IMO and MED, it is lightweight, and offers all the benefits of Amtico The company is around 40 years old and its UK operations are focused at Coventry in the West Midlands, where it was formed by a joint operation between Courtaulds and American Biltrite. It now has spin offs in Sweden, France and the US, and has annual turnover of £90m, so it is by no means a small organisation, although it?s small enough to care and want to look after its customers. And, as to the question, Why Amtico? The site provides the following: ?The World's Most Exciting Flooring Company - Exciting new products are at the heart of Amtico?s culture and success. New products are the life blood of Amtico and keep the company exciting, dynamic and fresh. The design team monitor new trends in home furnishings continuously. As soon as something new starts to break, the team interpret ?the look? into a floor tile which is totally new. Just browse the couture and special effects sections of the product guide to see what has been achieved. Glass became a fashionable element of interiors a couple of years ago. Amtico pioneered the glass-look floor tile which has become a huge success with designers, architects and consumers alike. Metallic finishes is another exciting area that the team explored to produce the fantastic Molten, Micro and Techno ranges. All these developments not only rely on a real ability to spot and interpret the trends but they also cal
l for totally new, innovative manufacturing techniques. No other Company has this capability to create interesting new options or the drive to invest in the future. Amtico have always led the field in product development which is one of the reasons it has become the preferred choice of interior designers around the world.? Well, we?ve all heard that before, but it?s quite a neat and well designed site, with some reasonably tight navigation and you can have a look at their products, and they claim ?An Amtico floor is an individual floor. It is not a sheet material,but made up from individual pieces cut specially for your design. From simple to spectacular, you will be amazed by the possibilities.? Okay, enough enough already, it?s over now with the rampant cut and past facility and down to what dave27 thinks of the Amtico product. Well. It certainly is impressive and there?s a cool sophistication about the stuff which smacks of something a little bit more substantial than yer typical Ikea or B&Q range. These guys are specialists who have made a career out of this stuff and it certainly shows. They offer a range which runs from just under 34 quid per square metre, right up to £53. With an average sized kitchen, around 16 square metres, that would run to anywhere between £544 and £848, and if you?re serious about making the kitchen your pride and joy, then that is quite a reasonable price. From my point of view, Mrs D insists that we stick to real kitchen tiles of a robust order, so Amtico isn?t really for us, but the possibilities and quality offered by Amtico certainly makes it a realistic and impressive option for the discerning buyer, especially given the promise of amazing durability. Hmmm? With the quality, however, comes an awful lot of hard work and both fitting and maintaining your Amtico floor is a l
ot more trouble than a lazy devil like me (or most men for that matter) would contemplate. Amtico isn?t that popular a brand and isn?t very well known, although it enjoys a decent reputation in the trade and is well recommended by those that know. It?s not for me, but is well worth checking out.
When I planned my kitchen I knew exactly what I wanted. I'd known for five years which units were to be fitted. The appliances posed few difficulties and the tiles waved at me as I walked into the showroom. The only problem was the floor. I like a kitchen to be soothing. When I stagger in first thing in the morning, bleary-eyed and resentful, I like the kitchen to offer me coffee and reassurance, so my kitchen was to be cream with brown granite working surfaces and a stainless steel sink unit. The logical choice for the floor would have been wood, but we have a polished-wood floor elsewhere and two large and frequently wet dogs have done it no favours. "What you want" my friend said "is a laminate floor. Come and see mine." I went. Fortunately, I took Rosie, the elder of our two Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, with me. The floor looked beautiful. Rosie went to greet my friend's cat (actually, he was approaching from behind and she was trying to get away, but I promised I wouldn't tell you that) and she skidded and met the French windows rather sooner than she expected. She ended up spread-eagled on the floor and had difficulty getting to her feet again. The cat looked contemptuous. Laminate flooring was crossed off the list of possibilities. Ceramic tiles would be just as slippy. A stone surface would be cold underfoot and difficult to clean. Vinyl flooring of the type that comes in a roll doesn't last with big dogs. Rosie ate most of the last one. I was beginning to despair. "Well" said the gentleman doing my kitchen "there's Amtico." Amtico have been producing flooring for nearly forty years, but they're very coy about telling you exactly what it is. "It's sumptuous" they say, or "atmospheric", but they're reluctant to tell you what it's made of. It's nowhere on the website at www.amtico.com or in the brochure. Fina
lly I emailed them. They ignored me. If I had to guess I'd say that it's a very heavy-duty vinyl. There are three dedicated Amtico showrooms in the UK, in London, Epsom and Sheffield, where you can be amazed at the possibilities of the Amtico range. I visited a smaller local showroom, mainly because I wanted to carry out "the Rosie test". Rosie and I walked over floors which looked for all the world like sedimentary sandstone, or marble, or bleached wood. We trotted over Roman mosaics and antique woods. Rosie ran over the playroom floor and stopped dead on the studded zinc bathroom floor. Did she like it? It was better than that. She didn't even notice it. An Amtico floor is individual to you. You can choose to have a plain floor or to add borders or mosaics. You can mix different 'materials', say different stones or woods, which would be difficult to achieve if you were using the real thing. The only limit, with some 250 designs in the range, is your imagination. My choice was an American oak floor with a border of woodland leaves. I toyed with the idea of having a central motif, but decided that it might look just a little over-the-top. Amtico can be laid on floorboards, but as mine were a mixture of old and new I was advised to put a skim of 12mm marine plywood onto the floorboards to give a perfectly level surface. Fitting took rather less than a full day, even in my kitchen which is 3m by 4m but with more angles and corners than the average maze. I was expecting that at least some of the floor would arrive in the form of a large sheet, but what arrived were packs of 7.5cm wide strips which, on the surface, looked exactly like a plank of wood. This strip is slightly flexible, but must be stored flat as any bending cannot be completely removed and will show in the finished floor. Adhesive was applied to the floor and the strips laid on top of this. The fitting is a particu
larly skilled job as any mistakes in the cutting of the strips will be obvious. My floor has an exterior edge laid parallel to the walls with mitred corners and then the woodland border next to this. The central part of the floor is then formed from strips which cross the kitchen diagonally. I can't fault a single joint and there are hundreds of them. Once fitted you are advised to strip and treat the floor. This removes the factory-applied surface and you then apply a liquid finish over the whole area. This took me about an hour and a half including drying time and included about fifteen minutes of actual work. It's not particularly difficult or skilful - you simply need to be particularly careful to keep everything clean if you are to achieve a good finish. This needs to be done every six months and is one of the conditions for the 20 year guarantee for a floor in a residential property. When the floor was laid it looked excellent. Once it had been treated it looked stunning. A pack of cleaner, stripper and finisher came as part of the initial purchase of the floor and should last for two treatments. Also included in the initial purchase price is a set of self-adhesive felt pads, which reduce the impact of furniture on the floor. I've attached them to the bottom of the stool and the ironing board. Regular maintenance is minimal - it gets a mopping when it looks dirty. Stains wipe off and none has yet left a mark. After six months of hammer from two humans and two large dogs who have the delicacy of a herd of elephants there isn't a single scratch or mark on the floor. It's still a delight to the eye and comfortable and quiet underfoot. I'm told that it's non-allergenic too, although I've no means of checking that. Do I have any quibbles? Well, yes, there's one small one. My kitchen was very expensive. It was so expensive, in fact, that I daren't even tell myself how much
it cost, but when people first walk into the kitchen they always say "Wow, what a brilliant floor!" I offer to show them the state-of-the-art hob and they enquire how the marquetry border was done. I demonstrate the fancy taps and they're jotting "Amtico" in their diary. It does have quite an impact, to the extent that little else is noticed. At about £1000 you might think it's very expensive, but a wooden floor which looks like this one would have cost considerably more and would have been harder to maintain. Our last vinyl-on-a-roll floor (in a smaller kitchen) cost £200 and really should have been replaced after two years, so it cost me roughly £2 a week. This floor is guaranteed for twenty years which works out at less than £1 a week. I reckon I've got a very good deal.