Karndean Flooring Problems

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Karndean Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)/Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring is beloved by homeowners across the globe due to its waterproof construction and diverse range that caters to different budgets. However, customers of this brand have also voiced complaints regarding their flooring products. In this blog, we’ll take you through some of the issues you should consider before purchasing Karndean vinyl flooring.

Is Karndean flooring worth the money?

We’re not out to tarnish the Karndean brand name- this is simply an objective review of their flooring products. If anything- going by online reviews- the satisfied buyers significantly outnumber the disgruntled ones. As such, it would only be fair that- before discussing the problems- we start out by highlighting some of the advantages of Karndean floors that make them worth the money:

Realistic Faux Wood Flooring

As a type of faux wood flooring, one aesthetic disadvantage that traditional vinyl sheet flooring has always had in comparison to laminate flooring is that it has a ‘fake’ look and doesn’t feel like real wood flooring. However, as a leading LVT brand, Karndean has flipped the script. By leveraging advancements in technology, they’re able to make realistic stone-effect tiles and wood-effect planks that resemble natural hardwood/softwood flooring just as well as laminate.

Durable Flooring

Karndean floorboards boast dual PVC backing layers that boost their durability and ability to withstand foot traffic and weight pressure from above. By comparison, most other brands only have a single plastic layer. What’s more, most Karndean planks/tiles have thick wear layers ranging between 20-30 mils, providing great protection against surface damage. Due to both of these factors- Karndean vinyl flooring is more durable and lasts longer than both laminate flooring and standard sheet vinyl.

Waterproof Flooring

The dual plastic core layers make Karndean flooring 100% moisture-proof. In fact, it’s due to this reason that many professional flooring contractors recommend the installation of this brand of vinyl in wet spaces such as bathrooms.

Low-maintenance Flooring

It doesn’t take a lot to keep Karndean vinyl clean and hygienic enough for you and your family. The brand’s K-Guard+ surface protection treatment on the wear layer keeps it bacteria-free, meaning that you don’t have to subject the floor to harsh disinfectants. To maintain the beauty of your Karndean floor, you simply need to occasionally clean it using a Ph-neutral commercial cleaner and a spray mop.

Eco-Friendly Flooring

Vinyl flooring has for long has a tainted reputation amongst health and environmental communities due to its relatively high VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) content. These compounds can significantly diminish indoor air quality when emitted in large quantities. However- Karndean is keen to redeem the reputation of LVT/LVP flooring in this regard as well, by making floorboards that have extremely low volumes of these toxic gases. Currently, the brand’s products are certified as eco-friendly by various environmental watchdog organizations.

Karndean flooring problems

Despite the several upsides to Karndean flooring discussed in the previous section, past buyers have sometimes expressed dissatisfaction with their products. In this section, we take a look at some of the issues associated with Karndean vinyl flooring:

Discoloration of Karndean Flooring

If you’ve installed Karndean tiles or floorboards in a room that’s exposed to direct sunlight, they may start to show signs of fading. This discoloration is usually caused by the sun’s UV rays. It’s for this reason that you may want to avoid installing Karndean vinyl on your outdoor deck. And if you have it installed in a room that receives daily direct sunlight. Install drapes on the windows to filter the light.

Karndean Flooring is not Scratch-Proof

Karndean floors have relatively thick wear layers that offer excellent protection against superficial scratches and surface blemishes. However, when you drag heavy furniture across the surface or drop a sharp, heavy object on it- the floor will definitely show unsightly scuff marks and scratches.

If you’re worried about your kids or pets potentially scratching your Karndean floor, you can work your way around this issue by going for planks/tiles with a weathered design. Scratches and minor dents are usually less visible on Karndean flooring with such designs.

Karndean Flooring is relatively hard to install

Despite having a wide range of flooring products, only a few of the collections fall under the Loose-Lay and click-locking floating floor formats. The vast majority of their options are under the Glue-Down format, which requires the tiles/planks to have adhered to the subfloor. This usually takes longer and can be a problem for inexperienced DIYers.

Karndean Vinyl Floor Bouncing/Separating

Just like most other types of LVT/LVP Flooring, Karndean floors may start to bounce around as you walk on them. This can be frustrating. The main cause of this problem is the installation of Karndean floorboards on a subfloor that’s not level. A severely uneven subfloor may also cause the floorboards to separate.

To prevent this problem, ensure your subfloor is even before installing Karndean vinyl. For wooden subfloors, you can level the surface using a sanding machine and sandpaper. Meanwhile, a concrete grinder will help level out concrete subfloors.

Karndean Floorboards peeling at the Edges

Owning to its dual PVC core and thick wear layer, Karndean flooring lasts longer and degrades slower than standard sheet vinyl. However, you may start to witness signs of wear around the 15-year mark- such as peeling along the edges. For Glue-Down Karndean vinyl, which forms the majority of the brand’s products, this is usually a sign that the adhesive is worn out.

While this may not be an issue structurally, the dust and dirt that builds up under the peeled sections can fuel bacterial growth. To solve this problem, you can simply remove the peeling/curling planks and reapply the glue- then pressing down the peeled edges.

Karndean Flooring Warranty Conditions

The Karndean Brand provides limited lifetime warranty coverage for all its product ranges. However, many past customers have been left frustrated after trying to claim their product replacement/return warranties for violating the terms and conditions of the warranty. For instance, you cannot claim your warranty for significant floor damage before the 15th year (or 20th year depending on the product) year if it wasn’t installed in a commercial establishment that undergoes heavy use.

Does Karndean Palio CLIC need underlay?

Palio Clic is a type of Karndean flooring that uses a click-locking installation format and- therefore- doesn’t have to be glued down to the subfloor. This type of floor also doesn’t require any underlayment, unless you’re seeking additional soundproofing. Take note that if you must install underlayment beneath Palio Clic Karndean, the underlayment material should be no more than 2mm in thickness.

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

6 thoughts on “Karndean Flooring Problems”

  1. We have not been able to make this floor adhear to the subfloor. This is the second time we have tried. Level, cleaned, primed and glue will not hold.

  2. I am so upset with my karndean flooring as I just canont stop it marking with every foot step , what am I doing wrong? it continuously looks grubby

  3. Had karndean in kitchen for about 8 years. Cost was £900 and under table and in doorway at patio door under doormat floor has discoloured and looks pink I would not buy karndean again its not worth the money. Very disappointing.


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