Whereas most people think that loose lay vinyl plank flooring is just the same as the regular floating plank floor, they are actually different.
The realization about loose lay plank floor has just hit the market recently after Karndean has released their innovation products within luxury vinyl flooring option.
They claim that the floor doesn’t need any adhesive or whatsoever.
You are probably wondering what’s so special with that. The floating floor we know today has already its own click and lock system. The floor doesn’t require any adhesive either.
So, what makes Karndean floor so special?
Let’s dig deeper into the fact.
More about Loose Lay Plank
Karndean isn’t the only manufacturer that releases the loose lay plank floor some brands have done it.
And they completely use different type of vinyl tile, which is even easier to install than the regular floating floor.
There are several reasons why the loose lay plank is different from the regular floating floor and considered better too.
- First of all, you don’t need any staples, glue, or even the regular click and lock system. The floor comes with its own backing (located on each tile) made from special materials using friction to grip the subfloor effectively
- Because of the special materials and construction, the loose lay plank floors are stable dimensionally. It means that the planks won’t shrink or expand (depending on the moisture level). When you install the floor, no need to worry about expansion gap that usually happens between the wall and the tiles. Once you have installed the floor, it won’t move anywhere.
- Moreover, this type of floor is heavier and thicker (extremely thick) than the regular vinyl tiles. The extra weight and thickness is quite helpful to maintain the floor’s stability to stick and stay put after the installation.
It is important to pay attention to the proper installation guide and instruction. Every manufacturer has its own correct method to install their floor make sure you follow them to the letter.
Let’s say you have installed a floor product from brand A, and now you want to install a floor product from brand B. Don’t assume that the ways are the same.
It’s possible that they have different methods and ways in installing the floor, so ALWAYS read the instruction.
Make sure that you follow the direction about everything from the subfloor preparation (so it would be level and it has the right friction) to the proper installation. In most cases, smaller rooms would be easier to install.
Does it mean that you can’t do it for bigger rooms?
You can naturally install the loose lay planks in bigger rooms, but you may need extra adhesive tape grid. It is needed so the planks will stay and won’t budge.
Loose Lay Floor Benefits
There are several obvious benefits that loose lay vinyl plank flooring offers:
- The floor isn’t only easy to install, but it is also easy to get off. In the event that you want to move out and you really want to take the floor with you, you are able to do it.
- And just like the regular floating floor, you are able to replace any tile (whether it is damaged or broken or worn) with a new one without having to replace the entire floor. But in order to do so, you will have to keep some surplus tiles on your own.
- The loose lay removable feature is super handy for some requirements. Let’s say that you have some power sockets which you don’t want to be visible. Feel free to use the tile to cover the tile. Whenever you want to use the access (to the power socket), you can remove the tile easily.
- Despite the easy installation and removal, the loose lay tiles are quite tough and durable. Most manufacturing are confident enough offering 15 years of guarantees.
- Such flooring doesn’t take a lot of maintenance or complicated care.
- The floor comes with beautiful and artistic finish. The appearance is authentic, textured, and detailed not so different from Luxury Vinyl Tiles.
- Since vinyl is good at absorbing sound, you can install the floor in any room and areas. Moreover, vinyl is waterproof, so it is ideal for all areas inside the house. It also has warmth sensation underfoot but soft feel, which makes it super comfortable and convenient.
In terms of price, the loose lay vinyl plank flooring is quite affordable. It is sold from $3 to $8 a square foot it depends on the brand.
Don’t forget that you should factor in the installation cost and also the low maintenance cost
The Possible Drawback
The main drawback of this loose lay vinyl plank flooring is the limited ranges.
When compared to Luxury Vinyl Tiles, there are definitely some limitations of choices. It’s because not many manufacturers are producing this kind of floor.
The most popular and available options are stone and wood look. Some classic designs (like slates or oaks) are the most common styles.
You may be able to find color block, textile look, or abstract appearance in several brands.
Another downside is the fact that some manufacturers producing loose lay products have their base outside of America, which means that you need to find your own local dealer if you are interested in the products.
Be Careful of Linguistic Confusion
Be aware of different manufacturers using different terms to describe this loose lay vinyl plank flooring.
If you aren’t careful, you may get a totally different product which isn’t a part of loose lay product at all.
For instance, Gerfloor has two major lines. Their Luxury Vinyl Tile Loose Lay (which includes Senso Lock Plus, Senso Lock, and Senso Clic) is basically the floating floor with click and lock mechanism.
In the mean time, their Luxury Vinyl Tile Removable (Senso Adjust) is the real loose lay floor because it doesn’t need any staple, glue, or even click and lock mechanism.
Moreover, Gerfloor has their so-called Vinyl Rolls loose lay (including Primetex, Solidtex, Texline, HQR, and Home Comfort). They don’t need any glue, but they are actually vinyl sheet not planks or tiles.
And in case you are still confused, loose lay can come in as plank or tile but not sheet. It depends on your option whether you want wood look or stone look.
But in most cases, the floor is called the tile although it may actually come as a plank. So, you may want to check more on terms and lingo.
There are several products that are known to produce high quality loose lay vinyl plank flooring. What are their options?
This is the company based in the UK. They have produced vinyl floor for 4 decades and they were the one introducing loose lay idea in the line.
They have made 26 products in loose lay line, coming in various colors from warm brown hue to smoky grey shade.
Their planks are pretty decent in big size of 9.85 inches x 41.3 inches, creating a true realistic look.
This is the company that is specializing in loose lay floor only. Their base is in Hong Kong but they have made a nice expansion to Australia.
They have 7 various collections consisting of edgy (and contemporary) stones and traditional (and rustic) woods.
You may want to check their EIR and Intaglio collections with 3D quality printing graphics. It leads to premium textured surfaces that can imitate the real deal just perfectly.
This is another flooring company with UK base. For their loose lay collections, they have 2 major options:
- SimpLay Wood
- SimpLay Stone and Textile
Both have 8 designs. When compared to other brands, the loose lay vinyl plank flooringfrom Polyflor has impressive design with artistic quality.
You are free to create attractive pattern and design depending on your creative side. They also use 20% of recycled materials for manufacturing the floor.
The loose lay type from this brand include Looselay Square Acoustic and Square Compact collection.
But they are probably more ideal for commercial environment instead of residential use. They have 36 designs, but they are different in specs or sizes.
But the brand stands out among the others because of their Tarkolay product, the special underlayment product that makes it super easy to install loose lay floors without a sweat.
The company makes their own loose lay floor, known as Allura Flex, which is popular as the main competitor of Tarkett.
However, Forbo has more aesthetic and artistic appeal making it perfect for residential use. Allura Flex has 3 lines of Flex Abstract, Flex Stone, and Flex Wood.
There are 14 elegant wood planks, including distressed Blue (Reclaimed) Wood and gorgeous Deep Country Oak.
If you are looking for edgier design, they have 12 options, including Rusty Oxidized Steel and Grigio Concrete.
They also have 4 Abstract designs in bold hues, including Red, Orange, Aqua, and Lime. You won’t find such colors elsewhere!
The company may have confusing arrangement in the names, but their products are impressive in quality.
Their Senso Adjust (in LVT Removable collection) is small but have impressive design.
They have 3 stone tiles and 5 wood planks with impressive colors. They also have their own lines for commercial use. If you are interested, just go to their official website.
These are some of the facts about the loose lay floor and their benefits and possible flaw.
With different options and brands of loose lay vinyl plank flooring, you shouldn’t have any problem finding the right one.