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The term design floor is used for plastic floors that are made up of several heterogeneous layers. They are offered in numerous decors. Wood and stone decors are very popular. Visually they are hardly distinguishable from wooden planks or stone tiles. This impression can be enhanced by joints between the individual elements. Since this floor has a hard surface, the walking sensation is comparable to that on wood or stone. This flooring is cheaper than the "originals", lighter and easier to install. Originally developed for the commercial sector, this flooring is now conquering private households. This is no wonder - after all, it offers numerous advantages. For example, it can be installed in damp rooms or over underfloor heating systems.
This is how the floor is constructed
The term design floor stands for individual floor elements consisting of a carrier plate, made of plastic or natural materials depending on the model. On the upper side follows a decorative layer, which is covered by a transparent wear layer. As a rule, it consists of the extremely hard plastic polyurethane (PU). This wear layer is between 0.1 mm and 1 mm thick. Their thickness determines the possible stress on the floor, with a greater thickness allowing for greater stress. Design floors are sold as individual tiles, slabs or planks and are either glued over the entire surface or (more often) installed in a floating manner using a click system.
The advantages of a design floor
- contains no plasticizers
- does not contain PVC
- free from heavy metals and phthalates
- offers a pleasant kick feeling
- waterproof models can also be installed in damp rooms
- easy to install due to click system
- certified sustainable quality of the soil
- UV-resistant, i.e. the floor does not fade due to sunlight
- has a soft, elastic surface
- pressure-resistant, i.e. no dents or scratches are caused by furniture
- compensates for small unevenness in the underground
- warm to the feet
- temperature resistant
- little footfall and walking noise
- no embrittlement of the soil over time
- is available in numerous optics
- Remains of the floor covering can be disposed of with the household waste
- less expensive than laminate, parquet or stone floor
- suitable for allergy sufferers
The different design possibilities with a design floor
Design floor coverings are not only offered with different designs, but also in different sizes and with different thicknesses of wear layers. They can be combined with each other in almost any combination so that certain areas of the floor can be visually highlighted. On the other hand, it is possible to connect floor areas with each other by using borders or decorative strips
The physical properties of the design floors also allow you to set surprising accents, such as wood (design) in the bathroom. The colour and design of the floor strongly determines the overall impression of the room. Especially the colour has a significant influence on the mood of the user or inhabitant. A dark floor, for example an almost black stone tile look, in combination with light walls and furniture is very elegant. However, the room should be large and bright enough so that no anxiety arises.
A dark brown wood design on the other hand looks very natural, down-to-earth and cosy. Light-coloured walls and furniture as well as walls in strong trendy colours match this. Here too, the room should not be too small and should have sufficient window space.
Very friendly and almost cheerful looks light brown wood design. This floor covering is also suitable for smaller rooms because it makes the room optically larger.
A grey floor covering looks very calm and matches all wall colours and furnishing styles. This light floor is also suitable for small rooms.
A white wood or stone design looks even quieter and particularly clean. In the living area, furniture in warm wood tones provides for cosiness.
Where are design floors used?
Design floors were originally developed for use in industrial and commercial enterprises. Due to its robustness and the easy maintenance of the floor, it is ideal for business premises, surgeries, etc. But these advantages are also appreciated by private individuals. Therefore, the design floor covering was developed further accordingly and is now also very popular in private households. Since it is free of harmful substances and does not contain PVC, it is often used for children's rooms. Due to its physical properties, this flooring does not offend children when they ride their scooters or children's bikes, spill lemonade or spill ice cream. Design floors, especially the waterproof versions, can also be laid in damp rooms without any problems. Most designs are also suitable for installation over underfloor heating systems. Design floors are particularly popular in entrance areas because they are robust and easy to clean.
Laying the design floor correctly
Before you start laying the floor covering, please make sure that the subfloor is even, firm and clean.
a) with click system
The floor covering, which is equipped with a click system, is very quick and easy to lay. The only tools you need are spacers, a hammer, hammer, pencil, angle, folding rule and saw. If you want to lay the floor covering on a screed or over underfloor heating, you must first install a moisture barrier, also known as a vapour barrier. It consists of a 0.1 to 0.2 mm thick PE film, which is sold on rolls. Roll out the sheets so that they overlap by about 30 cm in the joint area
On the walls, pull the foil up about 3 cm. This overhang later disappears under the skirting board. Fix the film with adhesive tape if necessary. Now you can start laying the floor covering. Start in a corner of the room. Lay out the panels of the first row with the tongue side facing the wall. Towards the walls you must maintain an expansion joint of 10 to 15 mm. For this purpose they use the spacers. The individual elements of the first row are clicked into the previous element at the head end from above. Most likely you will have to shorten the last element of the first row. Use the remaining piece as the first element of the next row. You should keep a joint offset of approx. 50 cm during installation. The elements of the next rows are clicked into the already lying elements on the long sides from above.
b) Bonding over the entire surface
The full-surface bonding is suitable for:
- Dry screed
- Wooden board substrate
- Cement screed
- Cementitious flowing screed
- Calcium sulphate screed
- Calcium sulphate flowing screed
- Poured asphalt screed
For installation, the subfloor must be free of cracks, absorbent, level, firm, dry, compression and tensile strength and clean. Calcium sulphate screeds must be sanded or brushed and then vacuumed. The floor temperature should be at least 15 °C. The relative humidity must be below 75 %. Only use the special glue that you can get from Parkett Kaiser.
Apply the adhesive with the spatula for the first row of floor elements. Align the first row with the spring side facing the wall. Ensure that the expansion joint is maintained. Press the floor elements well into the adhesive bed. Maintain a joint offset of approx. 50 cm. The adhesive is to be applied open for approx. 40 minutes.
The floor can be walked on and loaded 48 hours after the end of the installation.
What should be observed when laying over underfloor heating?
You can easily install most design floors over underfloor heating systems. The only thing you have to pay attention to is the thermal resistance. It must be less than 0.15 m²K/W in order for the heat from the underfloor heating system to really enter the room. In the case of water-bearing underfloor heating systems, it is always recommended to install a moisture barrier. This is a thin PE film that is laid between the substrate and the floor covering. It prevents the floor covering from being decomposed by moisture from below.
How do you maintain a design floor?
In most cases, the floor only needs to be swept or vacuumed with a soft broom. If the floor is very dirty, you can also wipe it with a damp cloth. Use the special cleaner for design floors, which you can get from Parkett Kaiser. These care products not only remove the dirt, but also keep the floor beautiful for a long time. There are products for continuous cleaning, for occasional basic cleaning and for occasional refreshing of the floor.