Before now, you might not have come across Karndean flooring. And, I expect you wonder why it merits an article of its own. You see, Karndean seems to be very popular at present and produces arguably one of the best vinyl flooring products on the market.
Although many people use them for kitchen and bathroom floors because of their moisture-proof properties, you can use Karndean flooring anywhere in your home.
Let’s assume we have a standard sized living room of about 20m2. Karndean flooring costs vary from the Opus Range at about £25/m2 up to the Korlok at about £35/m2. So, the cost of flooring materials for our room will range from £500 to £700. Unfortunately, Karndean use approved independent fitters, so their labour rates will depend on many factors. However, the average rate will be about £150/day. Furthermore, don’t even think about cutting installation costs by doing it yourself. Although a trained professional won’t find any problem fitting them, the products aren’t suitable for a DIY project, you must be specially trained and qualified. So, depending on the condition of the existing floor, the fitting time will be between 1 to 5 days and could cost anywhere between £150 and £750.
Karndean Flooring Installation Costs
Look online at the various suppliers of Karndean flooring. Often, you’ll find that just about every supplier sells the entire range, some at discounted prices.
The table below shows karndean flooring prices. Using the figures we can calculate the cost to floor our 20m2 living room. Remember, these prices were correct at time of writing.
|Karndean range||Approximate minimum cost/m2||Time taken||Labour day rate||Minimum cost for entire floor||Minimum total fitting cost|
|Knight Tile||£20||1 to 5||£150||£400||£550 to £1150|
|Opus||£25||1 to 5||£150||£500||£650 to £1250|
|Van Gogh||£28||1 to 5||£150||£560||£710 to £1310|
|Da Vinci||£32||1 to 5||£150||£620||£770 to £1370|
|Michaelangelo||£33||1 to 5||£150||£660||£810 to £1410|
|Palio Clic||£33||1 to 5||£150||£660||£810 to £1410|
|LooseLay||£35||1 to 5||£150||£700||£850 to £1450|
|Palio Core||£40||1 to 5||£150||£800||£950 to £1550|
|Art Select||£40||1 to 5||£150||£800||£950 to £1550|
|Palio LooseLay||£40||1 to 5||£150||£800||£950 to £1550|
|Korlok||£40||1 to 5||£150||£800||£950 to £1550|
Prices from Liftstyle Flooring
Room Cost Calculations
Karndean floor tiles and planks are suitable for just about any room in the house. However, although they are waterproof, they aren’t suitable for outside use, or in a wet room.
Usually, a floor is reasonably flat, smooth and in good condition. So, let’s assume your existing floor is like this too. Therefore, you won’t have to prepare the floor very much as a base for the tiles. This will cut down on the overall costs. However, if the existing flooring needs fixing, you might have to repair the existing floorboards, prevent boards from creaking and springing, and lay plywood on top and screw them to the existing floor. Now, the plywood thickness depends on many factors that the fitter takes into account. However, each sheet will be at least 6mm thick, but usually more. Once you’ve laid the plywood, cover it with a coat of Karndean skimcoat to seal it and get rid of any joints or indentations.
Let’s look at some rooms and their typical sizes. Then, we might be able to calculate how much a typical floor installation will cost.
- Living room – Usually, the average size of this room will be about 20m2. So, the cost of flooring will be £400 for the cheapest and £800 for the most expensive. Also, you’ll be charged for labour at about £150/day.
- Hallway – A hallway has a typical size of about 5m2, although some are very much larger. Therefore the minimum cost will be £100 to £200. And, labour charges will be the same as the others.
- Kitchen – Typically, a kitchen floor has an area of about 15m2. So, the cost for fitting vinyl flooring will be about £300 to £600. Once again, labour charges will be extra and will depend on how the Karndean fitter installs the vinyl.
- Bedroom – Typically, a bedroom covers approximately 14m2 in area. So, the cost will be somewhere between £280 and £560 depending on the style of vinyl you choose. Also, labour costs will vary too depending on the fitter’s day rate and the condition of your existing floor.
- Bathroom – Like a kitchen, a bathroom floor often becomes wet. so a vinyl floor is just right for this room. A typical bathroom measures about 6.5m2 so the Karndean vinyl flooring will cost between £130 and £260. And, don’t forget that laying Karndean flooring on plywood will cost extra in materials and labour.
- Plywood subfloor – You might need to buy plywood to make a subfloor. If so, a suitable sheet of general–purpose plywood measuring 2440mm x 1220mm will cost about £17.70 including VAT from a building merchant company.
How is Karndean flooring installed?
As we stated previously, Karndean flooring isn’t suitable for a DIY project. You should only try fitting it yourself if you are a professional flooring fitter trained in the installation of Karndean vinyl flooring. Otherwise, your Karndean guarantee will be void.
All vinyl flooring and Karndean is no exception, must be acclimatised to the temperature and humidity of the room before it’s laid. Remove the flooring from its packaging and allow the pieces to adjust to the ambient conditions. During this time, keep the room temperature at between 18°C and 26°C for 24 hours before, during, and 24 hours after installation.
If the existing floor is made from wooden floorboards, check that none need replacing and that they are all securely fixed to the underlying joists. If any need to be replaced, now is the time. Also, check to see if there are any annoying creaks or squeaks when you walk across the floor. If there are, this is the last chance to remove them. Find out if your flooring fitter will do this or whether you have to employ a carpenter.
If the existing floor is concrete then all you have to do is make sure it’s level and smooth and brushed clean of any dust. Give the concrete a coat of diluted PVA to seal the surface and prevent any concrete dust from coming loose. Allow the PVA to dry. Then, use a smoothing compound to remove all unevenness. The typical thickness will be about 3mm.
So, let’s assume that the concrete is clean and sealed, all the boards have been replaced or repaired and all the squeaks and creaks have gone. Now what?
Fit plywood subfloor
Your fitter will know whether you need a plywood subfloor and what thickness plywood to use. This will depend on the existing floor’s condition, so be guided. Now, let’s assume you need the ply.
The fitter lays the plywood to cover all the original floor, carefully cutting around any fittings or corners. Ensure the fitter has countersunk all the screws and smoothed the joints. Then, use Karndean skim coat across the entire surface, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Your existing floor might be quarry tiles, cork tiles, metal flooring etc. There are many ways to prepare the surface depending on what material makes up the existing floor. This is where the specialist Karndean training comes in handy. Once again be guided by the specialist.
Don’t forget that the extra plywood and flooring will raise the floor level in the rooms. This means the doors might require easing afterwards. Find a carpenter to do this job once the flooring fitter has finished each room.
Laying the Karndean flooring
First of all, there are only four types of adhesive recommended to fix Karndean floor tiles.
- Epoxy resin.
- High–temperature adhesive.
- Pressure–sensitive adhesive.
Once again, the trained flooring installer will know which is the best adhesive for your floor.
Okay, the fitter now lays the recommended adhesive onto the subfloor according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Next, place each tile or plank into the adhesive in a pleasing arrangement according to the style and pattern on the surface. Remember, the flooring must be laid within the time specified by the adhesive manufacturer, and take care when cutting the flooring around corners and into doorways.
Roll all products using a 68kg roller in a large area or use a hand roller if it’s in a small area.
Finally, make sure there isn’t any general traffic for 24 hours after installation. Or, place a board over the flooring to spread the load if the area must be used.
As you probably noticed earlier, Karndean products come in multiple ranges from which you can pick your favourite. Let’s consider some of the most popular.
Opus Karndean Flooring
This is one of the cheaper flooring types and you can buy it for around £25/m2. It’s comparatively new to the list of ranges, but extremely popular. The designs come as both wood and stone with variations in colour, grain and texture to suit almost any interior design. These tiles are perfect for just about any room in the house and are waterproof and washable.
Palio Clic Karndean Flooring
This range consists of wood and stone effects and looks almost authentic. Priced at around £33/m2, this could be classed as a mid–price range. The wood styles have intricate wood grains while the stone tiles borrow from the wide range of authentic textures of natural stone. The installation method of this range doesn’t use adhesive. Instead, each tile or plank clicks and locks into place. It’s, therefore, an easy and quick installation method that only needs the subfloor to be smooth, clean, dry and strong. The range has high wear resistance from daily traffic as well as spills, scratches and falling objects.
Da Vinci Karndean Flooring
This range comes in vibrant wood and stone patterns. These are part of the mid-price range, selling at around £32/m2. The product can withstand high wear and tear in both domestic and commercial settings. They are water and moisture resistant, so are great for kitchens and bathrooms. The surfaces are resistant to germs and bacteria which results in a very hygienic floor.
Korlok Karndean Flooring
This is one of the expensive ranges, retailing at about £40/m2, but is arguably worth every penny. They come in a range of wood and stone colours and textures to complement your interior décor. Products from this range are 100% waterproof and have acoustic foam backing to reduce noise transfer. The foam insulation also provides a warm and quiet surface as a treat for your feet and ears, in what might be an otherwise noisy environment. This range is easy to install too. It doesn’t need adhesive but uses a click and lock method for fast installation.
Alternative Flooring Options
Professionals and consumers alike consider Karndean floors to be the last word in Luxury Vinyl Tile floors. They often cannot be distinguished from real wood and stone and are durable and easy to look after. However, they are expensive to buy. But, there are alternatives to Karndean that you might want to consider if you’re on a budget or if you prefer buying from the UK.
Although this company has a few expensive styles within its product range, the majority are very affordable. One of the best things, however, is that Quick-Step Livyn doesn’t compromise too much on quality. Although they’re cheaper, they still take care of the appearance and quality of their product. Similar to Karndean, they have products that use adhesive or click-and-lock technology.
The quality of Parador flooring compares very well with Karndean. They supply products that seem to do just about everything that Karndean products do. Parador is a German company, established in 1977. In 2008, HIL acquired them but continue to produce the same quality products at a lower or comparable price to Karndean.
Amtico is a very popular flooring company in the UK. It supplies high–quality products at affordable prices. The company’s designs and textures include many realistic wood, abstract and stone flooring products. Generally, the products seem to be more expensive than Karndean. But, if you prefer your flooring to have a matte finish choose Amtico. Otherwise, choose a glossy Karndean floor.
Karndean Flooring Q&A
Is there a cheaper alternative to Karndean?
Yes. Quick-Step Livyn uses the click-and-lock method of fixing rather than adhesive. Lifestyle Floors also use designers to produce unique patterns and textures. Alternatively, Parador or Bentley Flooring have some good quality, low priced products. All these companies offer the best value for money depending on your budget.
Is Karndean better than laminate?
Although laminate flooring usually tries to mimic the colours and grain of wood and stone, its manufacturing method often makes that goal very difficult to achieve. However, Karndean manages to accomplish this same goal, with the finished product often almost distinguishable from the real thing.
How hard wearing is Karndean flooring?
Karndean floors have a guarantee for at least 12 years for a commercial and office environment or 35 years for a domestic setting. Not only is Karndean more hard–wearing, but it also doesn’t suffer from the expansion and contraction that plagues laminate flooring in general. Also, normal wear and tear scratches on Karndean flooring don’t seem to make any lasting marks, unlike vinyl flooring.
Does Karndean need underlay?
The answer to this question depends on the Karndean range and where the flooring will be installed. For example, Korlok has an acoustic backing already attached so won’t need underlay. Other ranges might need additional underlay depending on the condition of the subfloor, and whether you need heat or sound insulation. Ask a registered Karndean installer for accurate and relevant advice.
How long does Karndean flooring last?
Karndean flooring will withstand wear and tear that other flooring brands can’t match. If you care for the floor properly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. And, if it’s installed by a registered Karndean fitter, the Karndean guarantee covers their flooring for 12 years in a commercial setting and 35 years under domestic conditions. This compares very well with a standard vinyl flooring that will last for about 15 years.
Get Quotes From Karndean Floor Fitters
If you want a new high–quality floor, you can’t go far wrong if you choose Karndean. Although the cost of Karndean flooring might be more than some others, you’ll know that it’s been made to last. Also, it’s installed by their fully trained independent flooring fitters. Complete the form on this page, and you’ll receive 2 to 3 quotes from fully trained and registered Karndean installation companies.