Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Being an experienced Karndean fitter I am never shocked by the approach taken from my customers when they simply say
"if you can just lay the Karndean flooring directly onto the concrete that would be great"!
Karndean, being the 'Rolls-Royce' of Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) and has probably cost a pretty penny to purchase in the first place has to be fitted correctly and within the warranty constraints that Karndean employ to us fitters at their training academy in Evesham. Fitting this flooring outside of any specification will invalidate the warranty and will also provide you with a range of potential issues further down the line. IT MUST BE FITTED PROPERLY.
Most of the well trusted floor fitters will agree that the sub-floor condition i.e. Moisture and humidity are an important factor to measure and record before any flooring has been laid. Not only that, but the level plays an equally important factor and 9 times out of 10 a self levelling process would almost definitely be required.
In my experience, if we are laying gluedown LVT then I would always opt to use Mapei LatexPlan self-levelling compound which is a 2 part mix giving an absolutely level surface to fit your LVT. Break down the air bubbles in the mix with a spikey roller and leaving to dry overnight. You will have a bowling green smooth and level surface to commence the floor laying the next day. This is perfect for a pre-primed concrete floor (Important).
If we are laying Karndean onto floor boards for example, then we would recommend Hanson SP101 5.5mm plyboard, counter-sunk screwed onto your floor boards, joint compound all joints and fill the screw holes. Then once dry, this will provide a perfect
base for your flooring to be fitted. The plyboard will take out any undulations across the floor boards.
My tips for ensuring you get the perfect finish for your flooring are:-
Employ an experienced Karndean fitter who has been trained by them. The fitter will follow the guidelines set by Karndean for fitting their flooring. Many non-trained fitters out there who will miss important parts of the fitting process will more than likely invalidate the warranty. Don't be distracted by their cheap approach.
Make sure the fitter takes moisture and humidity readings prior to any install and documents them. They should always provide you with a copy of all readings. I always provide my customers with a breakdown of all the conditions of the process so the customer knows exactly what they have paid for.
If fitting to a concrete floor - Concrete must be primed using a solution like Mapei Eco Prim T. Then use Mapei Latexplan Self-Levelling Compound to provide the perfect finish.
If fitting to floor boards, then Hanson SP101 (typically 5.5mm thick) should be used and ensure that the SP101 BS stamp is facing up for preview purposes should there ever be an issue in the future. Jointing compound used for the gaps and screw holes.
So hopefully with this in mind your flooring project should go without any issues. Flooring is an investment to your home and you will spend 90% of your time standing or sitting on it, so it's important it is installed correctly and it will never let you down.
MAHL interiors are an experienced renovations company specialising in flooring solutions. You can contact us at email@example.com.