Understandably, not many people want to remove the old tile floor, as it’s usually a long and costly process – so can you lay hybrid flooring over tiles?
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to become disengaged with the way their home looks and the materials used, particularly in older properties. Your current flooring may have dated aesthetically, or has started to show a bit too much “wear and tear” – which is usually when home owners start to consider the alternatives.
How Hybrid Flooring Works
Multilayer hybrid flooring is soaring in demand, as it combines the very best from a wide range of flooring materials: the waterproofness of vinyl, the scratch resistance of laminate, and a hardwood lookalike finish – all without the price tag. Available in a wide range of designs, textures and colours, hybrid flooring solutions are generally all composed of the same four layers pressed together. These include:
Top Layer – A commercial-grade protective coating that gives hybrid floors impact, stain, scratch, and UV resistance. It’s hard wearing surface is also 100% waterproof, with a high impact resistance and matte finish.
Print Layer – This layer uses advanced printing technology to bring you your desired design. Hybrid floors can easily imitate the look and feel of natural timber and wood surfaces without the price tag.
Core Board – A composite material that allows the floor to feel solid, while withstanding rapid temperature changes. This layer is usually available in two primary types, such as Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) made of limestone, polyvinyl chlorides (PVC) and stabilisers. In comparison, Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) is made of recycled wood and PVC. WPC styles are usually thicker, 100% water resistant and generally more comfortable, but fetch a higher cost.
Acoustic Underlay – The vast majority of hybrid floors also have this bottom layer pre-attached, which increases foot comfort, dampens sound, and eliminates the need for any additional underlayment.
As it’s a rigid floating floor that can be installed throughout the entire home, it’s often a popular choice for DIY renovators thanks to it’s attractive price tag, durability and status as being 100% waterproof. However, if you already have tiles as the previous flooring material used in your home, the question remains – can you lay hybrid flooring over tiles?
Laying Hybrid Flooring Over Tiles
Providing that your existing tiles are in relatively decent shape with no loose pieces or cracks, then the short answer is yes – with certain stipulations.
Hybrid flooring can be laid out in six different patterns: herringbone, double herringbone, stack bond, random lay, brick lay and square basket. Once you’re ready to get started, basic installation tools include a tape measure, jigsaw or fine tooth power saw, utility knife, straight edge, tapping block, rubber ballet, eight to ten mm spacers, builders square, safety glasses, a broom or vacuum, and if necessary, any other tools required for a subfloor repair. The only real issue to be aware of is that your floor level will gain some height, which can cause potential issues with doors and appliances if they aren’t properly taken into account.
When you’re ready to start the installation process and are confident in your ability to pull it off, the below tips and tricks will help to ensure that you get it right the first time.
- Check the level of the substrate, as you may need to self-level certain areas of the project. Most manufacturers require the floor to be no more than 3mm over 3m.
- Install the hybrid flooring product from left to right, and leave an 8-10mm expansion gap around the perimeter.
- Position the first plank, so that the grooved edge is facing you.
- Put the short end of the second plank in the short end groove of the first plank with the fold-down method, and tap gently along the joint with a rubber mallet to engage the click. Continue with the first row installation.
- Position the long side of the first plank in the second row in the long groove of the first row with angle – angle method.
- Position the short end of the second row in the short groove of the first plank with the fold-down method and engage the click with the rubber mallet. Continue with the second row installation.
- Whenever possible, avoid having plank joints over top of seams or joints in the existing substrate.
- For natural appearance, end joints of all planks should be installed with staggered random length. A minimum of 200mm or more is recommended in order to avoid repeating patterns.
- Make sure the planks are mixed sufficiently during installation, so that no identical panels are installed directly next to one another.
- After the first three rows are completed, use a string line to check for straightness. If they are not straight, the starting row of planks may have to be re-trimmed to account for any unevenness from the wall. This can be done without having to dissemble these existing rows.
- Finishing the installation by installing scotia or skirting around perimeters, and be sure to follow the manufacturing instructions for individual variances.
Sourcing Hybrid Flooring Materials
In 2021, your options for hybrid flooring solutions are almost limitless, and selecting the right type of product for your home certainly isn’t an easy feat. With each space, comes a different preference or priority: are you chasing style, functionality, or simply want to stay within the budget?
In operation for over 24 years, at Tile Wizards we pride ourselves on getting you more – for less. We pioneered the warehouse format, and our stores are purposefully designed to make your selection easier, and ultimately offer our customers quality, price and the right advice.
Even if you are just after some honest and friendly advice – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Tile Wizards today for a free quote. We’re able work with you in order to bring your dream flooring solution to life.