“ Karndean International Design Floor Coverings „
I first discovered Karndean flooring 5 years ago, when we refurbished our bathroom. I didn't want laminate, nor carpet and I looked at Amtico (a similar product) but this was out of our price range. A builder suggested we looked at Karndean which I had never heard of at the time. Karndean was established in 1973 and is now a worldwide company.
It's a vinyl material that comes in a wood plank strip or tile format. It comes in many variations to suit all styles or décor. It replicates natural materials such as stone, slate, marble, glass and wood but without all the drawbacks. It's exceptionally durable (with long guarantees - 12/15 years) but comes without the drawbacks of natural products. What I love about the floor is that is so much warmer underfoot than say a natural stone but it can give the same effect.
It's also much quieter, for example if you drop cutlery onto laminate floor it make a horrid clattery noise, with Karndean there's none of that. The slate and stone effects are very realistic and you would never know until you touch the tiles that they are not the real thing.
It will not chip, splinter or crack and can be cleaned by simply vacuuming then wiping with a damp cloth. It's dead easy to keep clean which is another reason I chose it! It wont' harbour dirt and bacteria so it a great option for families.
Another feature is that you can 'personalise' your own floor. There are so many options its mind boggling. For example you can have borders inserted, or maybe a contrasting wood trim inlaid plus the fact with the tiles you can have many different colour ways for the 'grout' which comes in thicknesses of 3,5 and 7mms. There are over 100 options to choose from with different 'ranges' from the Knight tile to the 'Renoir collection' and more recently the Art Select collection which is the top of the range.
The only drawback is that Karndean is a specialist fit and if you have a wooden floor it will need to be ply wooded prior to the floor being laid to give a perfect finish, or if a concrete floor it will need to be screeded level. The fitter uses a special adhesive and heat seals the floor, it stays perfectly flat and so far I have 2 floors now and I have never had a problem with either of them. In fact I am looking to now do the hallway (high traffic area) and dining room, if I can afford it!
My bathroom was the first room we had done and coming in at around £200 all in, it was expensive but a wow factor as when the lights are on the metallic reflects beautifully, likewise our kitchen floor was £800 (but it's a very large room) and the light reflection looks different at certain times of the day, almost like an oil spill effect and people always comment on our floors.
The website has a great tool you can download, a simple program which will enable you to try different flooring options and better still you can send for samples of flooring free of charge to try in your home. They will also let you know who your nearest stockists are too. My local stockist arranged the fitting and provision of tiles, and I am lucky enough to have a local showroom where I can see the floors in greater detail, they also provided me with a cleaning pack which had a regular cleaning fluid and a floor protecting polish, which I hasten to add to my shame I haven't used yet!
It's hard to give prices out as each stockist will have their own mark up but all in all it's quality flooring that will stand the test of time and always look good.