Now, Let's first explore Traditional Floor Coverings
Nowadays there are thousands of different floor coverings out there, making it extra confusing for everyday consumers to choose the right one for them. To simplify everyones decision-making process, our team has spent hours researching the market to create a quick 5 min flooring coverings summary – all you need to know about the different floor coverings.
Let’s begin by first going through the main different types of floor coverings available on the market:
Solid Timber Flooring
Solid timber flooring, also known as “hardwood” flooring has been used in Australian homes for generations. Alike engineered timber flooring, solid timber floor is made from the real ‘timber’ of trees. They embody a beautiful natural grain and exude the natural warm of timber. Given their natural composition, they are usually the most expensive flooring type, require refinishing every few years and require a complicated installation process.
As the name implies, Laminate flooring combines a fine-printed photograph with layers of wood composite materials through a lamination process. It is able to mimic the look of real timber flooring, oak timber, bamboo flooring and essentially any colour or style. The possibilities are endless with laminate. Whilst laminate may lack the natural essence of real ‘wood’, it is becoming increasing popular primarily to its affordability, superior durability and water resistance.
Hybrid flooring as the name implies, incorporates the attributes and characteristics of two different materials (vinyl and laminate floors) to create an improved floating floor. Hybrid floors are made of multiple layers of materials pressed together and are avaliable in a wide range of designs and styles. The top layer is a UV coated wear & tear layer, the second layer is a decorative print with the desired design, and the centre is a composite core board that is waterproof and stable. Most hybrid floors come pre-attached with an acoustic backing to increase foot comfort and improve acoustic performance. However, this significantly reduces installation flexibility and increases the chance of mould formation and unpleasant odour production from moisture and soaking.
On the marketplace, there are two main types of hybrid floors which can be differentiated by the composition of their core layer:
- Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) – the core of the floorboards are made of stone (natural limestone), polyvinyl chloride and stabilisers. Compared to WPC floors, SPC floors tend to be thinner, denser and slightly more affordable.
- Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) – the core of the floorboards are made of recycled wood and plastic. Compared to SPC floors, WPC hybrid floors tend to be thicker, slightly more comfortable underfoot, and slightly pricier.
Engineered flooring is a type of layered “timber floor” with an upper layer of hardwood timber with several pieces of plywood. Its upper layer of hardwood timber is pre-finished and bonded to the subsequent plywood layers. Engineered floors combine the benefits of real timber floors with the versatility of a floating floorboard design – making it suitable to be installed in apartments. Given its plywood core, compared to solid flooring, engineered flooring has greater expansion and contraction stability/capacity, making them less susceptible to moisture and heat issues.
|Laminate Flooring||Hybrid Flooring||StoneFloor||Marble / Tiles|
|Thickness||6-14 mm||6.5 - 8.5 mm (Including Underlay)||Solid 8 mm (Excuding Underlay)||8-12 mm|
|Locking System Strength||Medium||Medium||High (Patented 4-Side Locking System)||N/A|
|Installation Method||Floating||Floating||Floating or Glue Down||Glue Down|
|100% Waterproof||No||Waterproof Surface only||Yes||Some|
|Scratch & Stain Resistence||High||High||High - AC4 Commercial Grade||High- However can crack|
|Thermal Expansion & Contaction||High||Medium||Minimal (Near Zero)||N/A|
|Maintenance & Cleaning||Damp Mop||Damp or Wet Mop||Damp or Wet Mop||Damp or Wet Mop|
|Slip Resistance||Yes||Yes||Yes||May be Slippery|
|Formaldehyde Emission||Low- Medium||Low- Medium||No Disclosed Formaldehyde (E0)||N/A|
|Sound Absorption||High (With Underlay)||High (With Underlay)||High - 5 Star AAAC Rating||Medium|
|Underfoot Feel||Cool in Summer, Warm in Winter||Cool in Summer, Warm in Winter||Cool in Summer, Warm in Winter||Cool in Summer, Freezing in Winter|
Class Leading Hybrid Technology.