Authentic designs, installed in no time.
By Paul Barratt Managing director Karndean Designflooring.
LOOSE lay vinyl is a unique format of luxury vinyl tile (LVT), boasting the realistic designs of real wood and stone but with an easy-fit approach and enhanced acoustic properties, making it the preferred choice for specifiers looking for a quick installation or temporary flooring option.
Karndean LooseLay features a unique K-Wave friction grip backing and increased dimensional stability that holds the product in place, with no click or lock required. Fitted tight to the walls and to each other, with an edging of tackifier where required at thresholds and and openings, LooseLay planks create a strong secure installation using a combination of weight and friction.
The availability of loose lay flooring opens up new opportunities for specifiers looking for more flexibility when specifying for projects with challenging deadlines; where noise reduction is an important aspect, where a combination of LVT and carpet is a design requirement or when flooring may need to be lifted and reused in the future.
Why specify loose lay?
As well as offering a wide-ranging palette of wood designs such as traditional oaks and pines, exotic species and contemporary blends, there are also popular stone effects including travertine, concrete and slate. Loose lay is the perfect option for specifiers looking for a quicker fit than traditional LVT floors for reduced installation times and costs. Additionally, extensive sub-floor preparation is rarely required, and loose lay can be installed over most hard and flat floors as long as they’re dry, smooth, sound and dust-free.
Loose lay flooring can be laid in several patterns, including 45 degrees or herringbone, adding interest and a sense of flow to open spaces as well as highlighting the realistic wood or stone effect.
Loose lay flooring is compatible with underfloor heating and ideal for raised floors where access to underfloor services is required. Planks and tiles can also be easily lifted for replacement or to be re-used in a separate area.
Like glue-down LVT, loose lay is just as versatile and can be used in many commercial applications including education, healthcare, office, retail, hospitality and leisure environments. Karndean LooseLay is 4.5mm thick with a 0.55mm wear layer and ideal for heavy-duty commercial installations.
Owing to demand from the industry for an extra-large plank size, Karndean Designflooring extended its successful LooseLay collection with a range of Longboard planks. Being 40% larger than the original Karndean LooseLay, LooseLay Longboard features a new 1.5m plank size for extra impact in larger spaces, such as open-plan offices, retail and hospitality areas.
In busy and bustling environments, increased ambient noise levels can be disruptive and increase stress levels. With wellbeing and increased productivity being linked to happiness in the workplace, acoustic qualities remain high on the agenda for most specifiers. In these environments where sound reduction is important, products with incorporated acoustic layers can significantly reduce noise transfer.
In multi-level spaces where noise transfer can be an issue and is therefore an essential aspect to specification decisions, Karndean LooseLay can be specified to reduce noise transfer to rooms below by 13dB. Loose lay is quieter and softer underfoot than natural wood and stone, creating a calmer and more peaceful environment where staff are constantly on their feet.
Like most sectors, office refurbishments can be challenging for specifiers who often work to demanding timescales to avoid minimal disruption to business working hours. Loose lay is a great time saver when it comes to the installation and it allows specifiers to deliver a project within budget and to deadline.
In a fast-paced environment such as retail, loose lay can be a popular choice for spaces which need regularly updating to fit in with latest styles and engage shoppers. It’s also ideal for stores experiencing growth who are looking to invest in more stores and need a quick turnaround.
Homeware store Gillies in Aberdeen has recently undergone a refurbishment using designs from Karndean’s LooseLay Longboard range. With an extra-long plank size and loose lay format, this range is quick and easy to fit and has effortlessly provided a sense of flow to the retail store, while the ease of installation meant the new flooring was fitted across the store with little disruption.
Gillie’s project team was reassured that while Karndean designs are durable and stand up well to high footfall, should an area of the flooring become damaged, individual planks can be easily lifted and replaced. The result is an attractive floor that is easy to maintain and enhances the large retail space.
The rise of pop up shops or flash retailing has also seen demand for loose lay products increase significantly. A flexible option for retailers offering the opportunity to test the market and experiment on the high street, loose lay can be quickly installed and lifted as required, simply re-using the product in multiple locations.
Health and safety
With healthcare establishments looking for flooring with a sufficient slip resistance rating for peace of mind when protecting the safety of users, specifiers should expect loose lay floors to offer an R10 slip rating. It’s important to note, Karndean LooseLay is a waterproof product that shrugs off splashes without warping, and so is suitable for all commercial dry areas, but shouldn’t be used in wet-rooms or where significant spillage may be expected.
Hygiene is also just as important and most loose lay floors will offer a PU technology to provide a hygienic, easy-to-clean and durable finish. Karndean’s K-Guard technology ensures there’s no need to apply an additional surface treatment following installation.
Like all Karndean’s products, Karndean LooseLay is 100% recyclable, meaning all production and post-production waste is granulated and recycled back into the product. Products are all manufactured to be phthalate-free and are also certified to Indoor ‘Air Comfort Gold’ standard which means they fully comply with the national emission requirements of all European countries.
There’s also an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for Karndean LooseLay and many of Karndean’s products. An independently verified and registered accreditation, EPD shows comparable information about the lifecycle environmental impact of products.
Rigid core LVT
Following the development of loose lay in LVT, Karndean’s rigid core product, Korlok, is an increasingly popular product in the UK marketplace. Available in a wide range of wood designs, Korlok is an innovative rigid core collection which has rapidly become a bestseller for specifiers looking for quick, easy installation.
Owing to its innovative K-Core technology, Korlok can be installed over many existing hard surfaces or uneven floors, including laminate, ceramic tiles, parquet and floorboards, without need for extensive subfloor preparation. Importantly for specifiers, Korlok offers a flooring solution for most types of subfloor with a wide array of premium wood designs from which to choose.
It also features a superior 5G vertical click locking mechanism and pre-attached acoustic foam backing, making Korlok quick and simple to fit so specifiers can achieve an authentic and luxurious floor in any room with minimal upheaval and disruption to everyday life.
Korlok offers exceptional acoustic benefits and can reduce noise transfer to rooms below by up to 19dB, without the need for separate underlay, making it ideal for an array of commercial environments including multi-level spaces such as offices, apartments and student accommodation. Unlike many other rigid core products and click laminate flooring, Korlok can be scored and snapped for ease of installation in the same way as established glue-down and loose lay ranges.