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Conflicting Information About Karndean--What to Believe?



"Conflicting Information About Karndean--What to Believe?," in the Vinyl Flooring Q&A forum, begins: "I recently looked up flooring retailers/installers on Angie's List and there was one with 8 ratings (the most of any ..."

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Old June 26, 2010, 12:40 PM   #1
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Conflicting Information About Karndean--What to Believe?


I recently looked up flooring retailers/installers on Angie's List and there was one with 8 ratings (the most of any listed) and an overall "A" rating in every area. I decided to call him and ask for an estimate re installing Mannington Adura. When I talked with him on the phone he said Karndean was MUCH better. However, I had been reading a lot of posts that were very negative about the Karndean on www.thathomesite.com Flooring forum. I decided to post the references here to one of the posts and to the person's photos of his Karndean floor in an attempt to get some additional opinions about this.

I am really confused.

Here is a link to the person's photos of their floor:
Jason Andreo's Photos - floor | Facebook

Here is a link to one of their threads: Do your Karndean floors look like this? - Flooring Forum - GardenWeb

Apparently this guy had the Knight Tile (residential) installed and I am wondering if the Da Vinci (commercial) is significantly different regarding the problems specified in this post. In other words, perhaps Karndean is not all the same and the residential version (Knight Tile) is NOT satisfactory but the commercial version (Da Vinci) IS satisfactory? [I got the info regarding the different applications from the Karndean website Technical Information download.] I am hoping that you professionals will know about this and be able to comment.

Thanks.

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Old June 26, 2010, 06:48 PM   #2
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Those I believe are Van Gogh planks
and are good product for the price
They use that product in wal marts and I did a 1800 sq ft natural food store with it.
I also know ALOT of dentists that use it in their lab rooms around here. Alot of vinyl can scratch like that, depends on what he's doing. Those scratches can most likely buffed out. The difference between that and Adura is probably gonna be price and the fact that Aduran has a aluminum oxide finish and a no wax finish.
Kardean on the other hand is a urethane finish I believe, and can be stripped and waxed and made made more glossy (see walmarts floors )

I must admit you probably couldn't go wrong with both products, they're both nice, just kind of two different animals.
Someone feel free to offer advice too

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Old June 27, 2010, 08:46 AM   #3
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Karndean uses a Urethane finish that is very durable and can be "refreshed", but does not require stripping and waxing. Some of the large retailers want to have a real shinny look and need to add polishes to get achieve this. I took a look at comments and the pics posted on the other forum. I have been out on a couple residential complaints related to this issue.

In every case, the friction caused by the two materials rubbing together creating a scuff where left behind by the opposing material. Houshold toys, slippers etc. are not nearly as hard (cured) as the Karndean finish which causes them to fail and "melt" to the finish of the floor. Most of these can be removed by using Karndean's maintenance kit. First use the stripper (has a high ph level to remove residue from the finish), Second, the cleaner (a mild everyday cleaner with a neutral ph level to balance the high ph from the stripper), Third, apply the Dim Glo (optional) to refresh the finish and fill in any minor scratches or marks that may have occurred.

The Cleaning Kits should be available from the Retailer you purchase your Karndean Floor from.

The finish on Knight Tile and Da Vinci are the same, Da Vinci just has more of it (thicker layer).

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Old June 27, 2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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I went to Wal-Mart yesterday and looked at the Karndean floors in the apparel sections and yes, they are EXTREMELY shiny. It is an OK look for a retail sales floor, I guess, but it is definitely not the look I would want for a home. I like the matte look of the Adura much better. I do not know how the prices compare but the Karndean just doesn't look good to me (at least, as it appears in Wal-Mart).

Why would this local retailer/installer be pushing the Karndean so hard, I wonder.

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Old June 27, 2010, 01:47 PM   #5
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It's interesting for me to learn about this stuff from so many different perspectives that I otherwise would be ignorant of. As an installer they would never call me to ask me to look at something that was obviously either abuse by the end user or a defect in the quality of the finish.

I install those types of floors frequently but not being involved in sales or distribution I don't pay so much attention to the brands, styles, color, composition of the finish and how many customers have complained or had problems. I'm really surprised at the story and pictures from the homeowner you linked to. It stands in direct contrast to all my (commercial) experience. Again, I barely pay attention to things like the aluminum oxide or urethane finish unless it's something I have to heat weld. Where I see these tiles going in the general contractors treat them like VCT which means they don't stress out over pallet jacks, scissor lifts and fairly routine construction traffic. I see the floors get filthy and scratched up on at least half the jobs and then a few weeks or months later I'm back on site in the open store or office to do some extra work, pick up loose ends or punch list work and I see the whole area spit shined and looking like it just came out of the box.

We have quite a few regular accounts where I can see work that I've done 10, 15 even 20 years ago to see how it was holding up. Yesterday I was laying some carpet in a hospital and the designer grabbed be to go look at some flashcoved Marmoleum I put in an MRI room 4-5 years ago. I was a little leery because you just never now what could happen to sheet goods on grade from moisture and alkali. Anyway it was a 3/4" gouge where someone dropped something heavy that needed to be patched. They had put TONS of floor polish on the lino because of the constant wheel traffic of the patients on gurneys. The floor looked beautiful and I was proud. Then the designer remarked how the shine and so many coats of finish was hiding the natural marbleization of the linoleum. It almost looked like a solid white floor. What's worse, he had designed custom designs in the heat welding to create a 4'x4' tile effect with a border and there was so much wax or polish down it completely obscured his design. Still looked great to me!


Last edited by Incognito; June 27, 2010 at 01:58 PM.
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Old June 27, 2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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zivatar said View Post
Why would this local retailer/installer be pushing the Karndean so hard, I wonder.
Over here in Australia, every store will usually have one brand they specialise in carrying. This means turnover volume is higher, which means markup is higher due to reduced cost price. (hope you can follow that). Bottom line is, that's the product they push, because that's the product they make the most out of.
As to Karndean, I find the product, especially the Knight tile shown in those photo's, to be a low quality product. It's thin, usually has bend problems along the length and widthing issues to boot. The extra shiny surface causes issues with floor prep and it shows scratches very easily. Bear in mind that some of those problems may be unique to our country because of climatic conditions.
As usual, the story is that you get what you pay for. I would always steer people toward an aluminium oxide coated product, as the maintenance is easier.

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Old June 28, 2010, 09:35 AM   #7
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Just to reiterate...Karndean's finish DOES NOT HAVE TO BE WAXED OR POLISHED. Some retailers like a shinier look than they make, so they wax and polish their floors. The biggest difference between Aluminum Oxide and Urethane is, the Urethane can be "refreshed" with a topical dressing and/or waxed and polished, AO cannot.

Knight Tile is a residential product that can be used in "light commercial" applications. The scuffs shown in the pics are residue left behind by inferior plastics that have failed due to friction (heat) caused by dragging them along the floor. Those can be easily removed with Karndean's cleaning Kit.

In the USA, Karndean is primarily sold factory direct to retailers. By doing so, they offer superior products (entry level 12mil wear layer, most competitors entry level is 6) at lower prices than their competition than sell through distribution. If you love an Adura, Konecto, Metro Flor, Amtico, or Centiva Floor...buy it. All the companies offer good products and they all should perform, relatively, the same way.

Aluminum Oxide offers pro’s and con’s, but is not necessarily better than Urethane. Any manufacturer could offer either, many of the domestic companies offer AO because the US Flooring Industry is more familiar with AO as a finish (thanks to Wilsonart) than they’re with LVT as a product catagory. LVT is just taking off here, but has been sold for decades in European Countries. As far as I know the European Manufacturers use Urethane exclusively.

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Old June 28, 2010, 06:51 PM   #8
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Carpetkid said View Post
Just to reiterate...Karndean's finish DOES NOT HAVE TO BE WAXED OR POLISHED. Some retailers like a shinier look than they make, so they wax and polish their floors. The biggest difference between Aluminum Oxide and Urethane is, the Urethane can be "refreshed" with a topical dressing and/or waxed and polished, AO cannot.

Knight Tile is a residential product that can be used in "light commercial" applications. The scuffs shown in the pics are residue left behind by inferior plastics that have failed due to friction (heat) caused by dragging them along the floor. Those can be easily removed with Karndean's cleaning Kit.

In the USA, Karndean is primarily sold factory direct to retailers. By doing so, they offer superior products (entry level 12mil wear layer, most competitors entry level is 6) at lower prices than their competition than sell through distribution. If you love an Adura, Konecto, Metro Flor, Amtico, or Centiva Floor...buy it. All the companies offer good products and they all should perform, relatively, the same way.

Aluminum Oxide offers pro’s and con’s, but is not necessarily better than Urethane. Any manufacturer could offer either, many of the domestic companies offer AO because the US Flooring Industry is more familiar with AO as a finish (thanks to Wilsonart) than they’re with LVT as a product catagory. LVT is just taking off here, but has been sold for decades in European Countries. As far as I know the European Manufacturers use Urethane exclusively.
I find alot of what you said rings true
Pros and Cons to both
I do as a salesmen, feel more comfortable about scratches not being an issue with a aluminum oxide finished product. I have some Knight Tile with and without feature strips in my store (use to sell it, the avg customer couldn't understand their sampling system and I felt like a broken record explaining) We sold our fair share and it's help up great, although it's in the corner.
However I have Dura Ceramic in my Kitchen with chairs with no felt pads , a dog, and a 2 year old.I drag everything on it, hardly wash it , I do sweep a lot and we're neat .We also have it in our entrance and desk area at work where a lot of customers stand.
It does have its cons, it's a low gloss and you can't alter that, but heck the stuff hold up!

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Old June 29, 2010, 08:36 AM   #9
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All the manufacturers have their place and make products that are unique to them. Karndean just happens to be the largest producer of LVT and offers the largest spectrum of products. Any suggestions on how Karndean could make their products/samples more user friendly?

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Old June 29, 2010, 08:44 AM   #10
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Hey Carpetkid, Say hi to Wes Hoover for me.

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Old June 29, 2010, 08:57 AM   #11
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Do you want his number?

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Old June 29, 2010, 09:04 AM   #12
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Carpetkid said View Post
Do you want his number?
I have it, Thanks anyway, Really good guy.

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Old June 29, 2010, 09:46 AM   #13
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Agreed, he's a great addition to our team.

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Old June 29, 2010, 10:53 AM   #14
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ortiz34 said View Post
I find alot of what you said rings true
Pros and Cons to both
I do as a salesmen, feel more comfortable about scratches not being an issue with a aluminum oxide finished product. I have some Knight Tile with and without feature strips in my store (use to sell it, the avg customer couldn't understand their sampling system and I felt like a broken record explaining) We sold our fair share and it's help up great, although it's in the corner.
However I have Dura Ceramic in my Kitchen with chairs with no felt pads , a dog, and a 2 year old.I drag everything on it, hardly wash it , I do sweep a lot and we're neat .We also have it in our entrance and desk area at work where a lot of customers stand.
It does have its cons, it's a low gloss and you can't alter that, but heck the stuff hold up!
Are the Duraplanks the same composition as the Dura Ceramic tiles?

Consumer Reports rated the Dura Ceramic very highly in a report on flooring and I have heard good things about the Dura Ceramic on other forums as well.

The Duraplanks have a "lifetime guarantee" whereas the Adura, for example, has "only" a 20-year residential warranty. Is the difference between 20 years and "lifetime" significant?

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Old June 29, 2010, 11:02 AM   #15
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Have you "read" the warranty? I mean really READ it in its entirety?

I am not speaking to any specific warranty, but they usually have a LOT of wiggle room!!

If I limit a warranty I can really extend the length, because I am not going to have to make any payout!!

Next question is, do you want to keep the same floor for life? I sure don't!!

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