Options to Replace Ceramic Floor

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    LESLIE: Rebecca in Kansas is on the line with a question about how to replace ceramic floor. How can we help you?

    REBECCA: I have several questions. They’re all related. I have a large mud room, a laundry room and kitchen and eating area that are all the exact same ceramic tile and grout.

    TOM: OK.

    REBECCA: And of course, the ceramic is very unforgiving and splits. Hard on little kids with socked feet. They fall. And I’d like to change it out. My first question is, given it’s a kitchen, laundry room and that type of area, would we – what kind of material – could I use some kind of a hardwood or engineered hardwood or vinyl? And second off, I just can’t imagine picking up all that ceramic. Could I possibly do a floating floor over the top of the current ceramic tile?

    TOM: Yeah, those are all great questions about how to replace ceramic floor. So, let’s take them one at a time now. There are lots of options. All those options that you mentioned are viable: engineered hardwood, laminate and others, like engineered vinyl plank – EVP flooring – is another good idea.

    Whether or not you can put a second later on, typically you can. But in the kitchen, if you put another layer on, you have to be concerned that you don’t sort of block in your dishwasher. If you’ve got a built-in dishwasher and you put more flooring up against that front edge of it, you may not be able to get it out when it comes time to replace it.

    So you need to maybe pull the dishwasher and make sure that if you were to put another layer of flooring in front of it, that you account for that. Because you want the floor that the dishwasher sits on to be the same level as the finished floor. So you may need to sort of pad it up and make sure you still have enough room. So that is definitely a concern, because you definitely do not want to block that in.

    But in terms of the products, yes, all of those are viable options to replace ceramic floor. So I would just shop for what you like and take it from there. But do take a look at that EVP product. You’ll find that at Lumber Liquidators and other great retailers. Because I’ve noticed that it looks an awful lot like wood but it’s 100-percent waterproof. Now, if you were to use engineered hardwood, that is designed for damp locations but it’s wood. And so it’s going to wear like wood and perhaps not be as durable as some of the new, high-tech vinyl products.

    REBECCA: OK. And could those engineered vinyl products be floating?

    TOM: Yeah, they’re all designed to be floating floors. Yep.

    REBECCA: OK, OK. If a person goes ahead and puts that in, is it better to do the lengthways with the longest running – crossways or lengthways of your room? Are you better to go the length of the room with the …?

    TOM: Yeah, we understand what you mean.

    Typically, Leslie, you would go with the lengths parallel to the longest walls, correct?

    LESLIE: Correct.


    LESLIE: Depending on if there’s a hallway joining them. You always want it to run that longest length so that the planks don’t seem short and weird. And then that will determine where you need a threshold and different things for the adjoining rooms.

    REBECCA: Right, right. OK. Very good. Oh, thank you so much.

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