If you have been in the market for flooring, you may have noticed a new addition to the market: hybrid flooring.
As the name implies, hybrid flooring is vinyl merged with another material such as laminate. This combination results in a flooring option that brings together some of the best aspects of vinyl and laminate, while eliminating some of the downsides.
Benefits of Hybrid Flooring
- Waterproof – Unlike laminate, hybrid flooring is designed to be 100% waterproof, making it an excellent option for busy households or businesses.
- Versatility – Hybrid flooring can be installed above or below grade.
- Durable – Thanks to a rigid core and laminate top coat, hybrid planks are resistant to dents, stains, UV damage, and scratches. If you have kids, heavy foot traffic, or pets, it is certainly a strong option to consider.
- Appearance – Created using eye-catching imaging technology, hybrid planks feature edges, textures, and colours that mimic the feel and look of timber without the drawbacks.
- Comfort – Rigid core construction makes hybrid flooring thicker and denser than traditional vinyl. Choosing an attached underlayment or using one beneath your flooring will add an additional layer of sound absorption and comfort
- Sound – Hardwood and laminate floors can create a hollow sound when walked on. Rigid core technology helps ensure a solid step that produces less sound (even more so with an underlayment, as mentioned above) with hybrid flooring.
- Easy Maintenance and Cleaning – Just like laminate and vinyl, hybrid flooring is easy to maintain and clean just with regular spot cleaning, sweeping, and a weekly deep clean.
While these benefits are certainly noteworthy, hybrid flooring offers another advantage: it is user-friendly. It is common for individuals to install hybrid flooring themselves, allowing them to save on the cost of professional installation.
Let’s take a look at some of the general guidelines for DIY hybrid flooring installation to help you determine if it is a good option for you.
DIY Hybrid Flooring Installation – The Basic Preparation
Featuring the same tongue and groove system as many vinyls and laminates, many hybrid floors can be easily installed with minimal equipment. Some even have the option to be installed as a glued down floating floor.
Read on to learn some of the basics of hybrid flooring installation along with some helpful tips to consider.
1. Inspect Your Materials
Prior to installation, it is important to look over your flooring and make sure it is free of any imperfections or defects.
2. Prep Subfloors
Ensure your subfloor is dry, free of imperfections, and level. An uneven subfloor will lead to premature damage and an unstable feel in your hybrid flooring. It is also important to make sure your subfloor has had time to completely cure if it is concrete (this generally takes about 60 days from the time the concrete is poured).
Be sure to confirm that your subfloor and site conditions are compliant with all installation requirements.
3. Gather the Proper Tools
Some helpful tools for DIY hybrid flooring installation include:
- Chalk line
- Pull bar or pry bar
- Tape measure
- Tapping block (a piece of trimmed flooring)
- Crosscut power saw
- 3M Scotch-Blue 2080 Tape
Tip: If you’re unsure which tools you need, we recommend visiting your local Bunnings or other hardware store for further advice.
4. Measure Your Space and Consider the Finished Look
Before the actual installation, it is important to measure the room and visualise the finished result you desire.
For best visual appeal, planks in the final row should be at least 1/3 of the width of the plank. Because of this, planks in the first row may need to be cut to a smaller size.
Play around with different layouts by moving the boards around until you find a pleasant mix of shades and an appealing look.
Tips for Maintaining Your Hybrid Flooring After Installation
Following the installation of your hybrid flooring, it is important to keep a few tips in mind:
- Dust, mop, or vacuum your floor regularly to rid it of any dirt or debris
- Use hardboard runways or an appliance hand truck to transport any furniture onto the floor
- Avoid lengthy exposure to direct sunlight by using drapes or blinds to block the sun during peak hours
- Use non-staining mats (rubber may cause the floor to become discoloured)
- Equip furniture and large appliances with felt pads or large surface, non-staining floor protectors
- Use mats at entrances to help provent debris from being tracked onto your hybrid flooring
- Turn the beater bar off when using your vacuum and avoid electric brooms
- Clean up spills right away
- Avoid harsh cleaners or chemicals – feel free to contact us for specific cleaning product recommendations for hybrid flooring
While this is not a comprehensive guide to DIY hybrid flooring installation, we hope this gives you a good idea of what to expect.
As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback and answering any questions you might have.