Amtico and Karndean - What's Involved.


 Tel. 07957 731995                                             E.mail: sales@specialistfloorsnortheast.co.uk                                                         Tel. 0191 4178192

Amtico and Karndean are probably the two most competitive and best known UK Companies manufacturing and supplying the Luxury Vinyl Tile and Plank market.Their products mimic natural products such as stone and wood but
are obviously  made from vinyl.They come in either a square tile or an oblong plank format and are generally regarded as very upmarket luxury products.In addition with the options and additions available,a customer can make a floor to his or her own personal design,i.e a bespoke floor.
       Both Companies provide flooring choices which vary from around £17/m2 up to £70/m2 .Amtico has a Spacia range as well as the original Amtico range.Karndean have different product choices,eg,Knight Tile,Van Gogh,Art Select etc,etc.It's all a matter of personal taste.Once a tile has been selected then begins the choice of layout.Do you have a border? How wide?Do you have a feature strip?What type? What colour?Do you lay the tiles at 45 degrees or do you lay them straight?Do you pick a bespoke layout eg herringbone,basket weave etc,etc?All these decisions are personal and can affect the costing but most importantly it effects the look of the finished floor.
       Once these decisions have been made it's then our job to lay the floor.Initially the flooring materials are brought to site and left to acclimatise for at least  24 hours in the room where they are to  be laid.They're unpacked and shuffled to give maximum overall standard appearance.It's important that the vinyl temperature is the same as the room it's to be laid in otherwise expansion or contraction can occur which can ruin the appearance of the floor.

                                     
                                         
Generally there's only two types of subfloor.Either your subfloors are concrete or they're wood.How your subfloor is constructed has a direct result on how your floor is laid.If you have wood or weyroc, then it is imperative that it doesn't move when you walk over it.To prevent any movement at all it is overlaid with 6mm external quality plywood boards 8 foot x 4 foot  and secured with ringshank nails.Once fixed in position, a feather finish screed is applied across the boards.This just eradicates any lips or dents from the surface of the plywood giving a good level floor to adhere the vinyl tiles or planks to.
       Likewise if you have a concrete floor then a 3mm Latex screed is applied across the whole floor.This must be left to set, usually overnight,which can sometimes be slightly inconvenient.Once the screed is dry it is then " buffed off " as shown below.


A mechanical buffer takes any imperfections off the screed surface,again giving a good level floor to which to adhere the vinyl tiles or planks.Eventually both types of subfloor,whether it be wood or concrete should end up with a finish,flat enough and secure enough to receive the Amtico or Karndean tiles.
       As mentioned before layouts can vary.But assuming a standard straight wood plank layout is wanted,which is a very popular option,then a centre line is drawn down the centre of the room usually to align the vinyl planks along the longest axis ,which generally gives a better overall effect.


Once a centre line has been drawn,another line is drawn parrallel to it just wide enough to fit in about 5 or 6 planks of vinyl.This then gives the floor layer a guide as to where to spread the first width of adhesive.Then the adhesive is applied.Depending on where the floor is situated can have a marked effect on which type of adhesive to use.In conservatories where there could be excessive heat then a VHT or very high temperature adhesive is used.In porches or entrance halls where there can be moisture,heat and often damp and cold in the Winter, it is sometimes advisable to use a two part epoxy adhesive.Whichever adhesive is used effects the method of spreading the adhesive.Cross lay floors with VHT adhesive or epoxy adhesive needs to be laid in smaller sections because the floor layer only has a small amount of time to position the tiles,thus a more time consuming job.Normal acrylic adhesive is laid in slightly larger areas and hence the floor can be laid more quickly and thus cheaper than when other types of adhesive are required.
          The adhesive is then spread,using a precise notched trowel along the pre designated lines as mentioned before and as shown.

        

Too much adhesive can cause major problems when the floor is rolled as it can be forced out between the vinyl planks and give an ugly appearance and cause a lot of work to have it removed.The adhesive is then left for 10 or so minutes.Once it starts to" go off " the tiles are applied.To give a staggered plank effect the starter planks are cut into random lengths and then they are followed down the room.

                                                                                                              

Once the first full drop has been laid it is then rolled with a purpose made roller in both directions.This spreads the adhesive evenly under the vinyl as it was originally spread with a notched trowel.i.e it was ridged.

 
This process is then repeated,drop after drop,width after width until eventually the whole floor is covered.

        
  
When a customer requires a border, a slightly different process is required.Sometimes the border perimiter is positioned and laid first and then the internal flooring.Sometimes it's the other way round i.e the centre laid first.In the example below a single plank border was chosen with a feature
strip.Then the planks were laid at a 45 degree angle to the border.This example is on a plywood floor and you can see the feather finish screed.

                               
 
As you can see there's a lot more effort and precision required to lay a floor in this way.At the border every plank needs to be mitred and trimmed.Also in this particular example the planks themselves are bevelled.i.e they are higher in the centre.This gives a rolling wood plank/ships deck sort of feel.
Moving on from vinyl wood plank the square tile options are also quite considerable and again all offer  varying  levels of difficulty for a floor layer. 

For more examples please have a look at www.specialistfloorsnortheast.com  or watch this video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn2kQ3P-qM8
or this Installation Video  http://youtu.be/Y616t9GSR1Q

Tel. 07957 731995                                      E.mail:  sales@specialistfloorsnortheast.co.uk                               Tel. 0191 4178192
We lay Vinyl Tiles,Vinyl Sheet,Vinyl Planks,Amtico,Amtico Spacia and Karndean in Newcastle,Gateshead,Durham and Sunderland.