Flooring: Review & Recommendations

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Welcome to our big floor covering test 2020, where we present all the floor coverings we have tested in detail. We have put together detailed background information and also added a summary of customer reviews on the net.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best floor covering for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a floor covering.

The most important facts in brief

  • True to the motto “Spoilt for choice” floor coverings can give a room that certain flair and create a beautiful atmosphere. But the range of floor coverings is endless.
  • Meanwhile there are floor coverings made of bamboo in addition to conventional floor coverings like parquet, PVC or carpet. When choosing a floor covering, aspects such as the installation location and the use of the covering should be taken into account, as well as energy aspects.
  • Wood, tile and vinyl floors continue to be at the forefront of popularity due to their long life and compatibility with underfloor heating systems.

Flooring Test: The Ranking

1st place: Hori oak parquet floor

The solid wood parquet from Hori convinces with its long life and timeless design. The parquet flooring combines a robust and resistant surface, which is also compatible with hot water underfloor heating.

The parquet floor can be laid thanks to the “HORI un

2nd place: PVC floor covering wood look

For when a real solid floor is too expensive, PVC flooring is the right alternative. The floor covering in wood look convinces with its deceptively realistic wood patterns.

In addition, the soft floor is relaxing for the legs and allows a comfortable walking experience.

Furthermore the model wins with a good price-performance ratio and is easy to install even for a layman. This model is also compatible with hot water underfloor heating.

3rd place: Egger laminate flooring with click system

The laminate flooring from Egger manufactured in Germany is very easy to install and has a very beautiful wood look.

The laminate flooring made of natural wood fibres has a long life and is very easy to maintain.

Laminate flooring from Egger is made from sustainable materials and is environmentally friendly and suitable for allergy sufferers

Guide: Questions to consider before buying flooring

What should I pay attention to when buying a floor covering?

When buying a floor covering, it is important to make sure that the requirements of the respective room are matched to the floor covering.
As with other furnishings, the choice is usually determined by personal preferences and taste. The intensity of care or the effort involved in laying the floor covering is often neglected.

Before buying your new flooring, you should consider pragmatic reasons. Since the beautiful Persian carpet in the bathroom will probably not survive too long.

Put simply, the floor covering must meet the requirements of the room.

The floor covering in the bathroom and kitchen should be water-repellent according to the requirements. If you want to have warm feet in winter, underfloor heating is usually necessary.

However, this is not compatible with every floor covering. Apart from the pragmatic and visual requirements that are taken into account when choosing a floor covering. It is also important to calculate the correct amount of waste to save unnecessary costs.

The individual floor coverings differed greatly, so you have to pay attention to something different for each floor covering. This will be explained in more detail in the following guide.

What types of floor coverings are there?

The floor gives us the support we need in every situation of our lives, whether we are standing on the cold tile early in the morning or resting on the fluffy carpet, the floor is there.
Floor coverings have changed a lot over time, many new species have been added and the variety of possibilities has increased but also the demands on the floor coverings are growing continuously.
Floor coverings must be beautiful, easy to maintain, safe, harmless to health and energy efficient.
Laminate
Laminate flooring is almost indistinguishable from parquet flooring. In contrast to parquet flooring, the cost-effective laminate flooring consists of several layers.
Only the uppermost layer is made of real wood, the layers underneath are usually made of a medium density wood fibre board. Despite its relatively low price, laminate is very robust.
Therefore laminate is particularly suitable for the kitchen, children’s room, hall or hobby workshop.
Another advantage of laminate flooring is the easy installation, which is usually connected to the floor with a simple click system.

Classic Carpet

The classic carpet conveys a feeling of warmth and security in living rooms, the soft surface of the carpet gives the user a pleasant feeling when walking.

Especially children and animals love to play on the soft ground. Furthermore, carpets are much more slip-resistant than smooth floor coverings.

For the material of carpets there is a choice between natural fibres such as wool, coconut fibres or sisal and synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon.

Nora from homifyMedienblogger
Surfaces that are partially dirty can be cleaned with simple baking powder from the kitchen. The powder should be sprinkled on the stain or a whole surface, soaked in warm water and then rubbed in a little with a brush. After several hours, the powder can easily be vacuumed off. You can also clean the stain with commercially available cleaning powders and special brushing machines. In this case, you can clean the carpet in a similar way as described on the package or in the instructions for use. You can remove many stains with the great household remedy baking powder and a simple brush.
(Source: homify.de)

Parkett

Parquet is only parquet if the floor has a real wood wear layer of at least 2.5 millimetres. Whether it is maple, pear tree, ash or oak does not matter.

The parquet is relatively expensive, unlike the laminate flooring. However, the parquet has a very long life span. A good parquet floor can last for several generations if it is regularly sanded and sealed.

The solid wood flooring also has the ability to absorb and release moisture. Which is why it is now often laid in the bathroom.

In addition to moisture, parquet flooring can also store heat, thus reducing energy costs.

Did you know that the thicker the wood layer of the parquet floor, the more often it can be sanded and sealed?
A good layer of wood has a thickness of at least 3.5 mm, which can be sanded a maximum of 1X. An excellent wood layer, however, has a thickness of at least 6 mm, which can be sanded down up to 2 times. This means that the parquet could theoretically be used for at least 30 years. Because the sanding is due approximately every 15 years.

PVC/ vinyl floor

Vinyl flooring can be found in almost every hospital, but similar to laminate flooring, the design of vinyl flooring can be freely created. Vinyl flooring is convincing with its robust surface, which is more resistant than wood flooring.

The new vinyl floors also contain no more harmful plasticizers and are therefore also suitable for allergy sufferers.

Kork

Similar to PVC, cork is able to take on every conceivable appearance, whether it is wood, stone or concrete. The advantage of cork is that it has good insulation, which makes it waterproof.

In addition to these properties, cork also has good footfall sound insulation, which is particularly important in a household with many children.

Apart from these floor coverings, there are other types of floor coverings, about which you can inform yourself in the further literature.

Which floor covering is suitable for underfloor heating?

Those who like it nice and warm under their feet either always walk around with granny’s self-knitted socks or equip their floor with underfloor heating. But which floor is best suited for this?

Underfloor heating tends to be suitable for any floor covering. However, there are floor coverings which have a better thermal conductivity than others due to their structure. The thermal conductivity determines how well the material absorbs heat, transfers it and releases it back to the floor.

The greater the thermal conductivity, the more suitable the material is for underfloor heating. In addition: the thicker the floor covering, the longer it takes for the heat to reach the top.

This means that the temperature of the circulation water must be higher for thick coatings, which results in correspondingly higher heating costs.

Thermal conductivity and the thickness of the floor covering together make up the thermal resistance. The lower this value is, the better the heat dissipation. The maximum permissible value must not exceed 0.15 m2K/W.

Here are some examples of thermal resistance of floor coverings:

Another influencing factor is the way the floor was laid. With floating floors, air is created between the floor covering and the screed, which increases the thermal resistance.

Where can I buy floor coverings?

A floor covering is available both in DIY stores and online – both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
DIY store / specialist trade

Direct conversation with a specialist possible, especially important for newcomers!
The condition of the floor covering can be tested.

Online

  • Are usually cheaper
  • Prices and equipment can be better compared

How much does a floor covering cost?

As we have already learned, there is a wide variety of floor coverings with different materials and installation systems. Accordingly, the price per square metre for one and the same type of flooring can vary considerably.
The following overview illustrates this again.

Decision: What types of floor coverings are there and which one is right for you?

A basic distinction can be made between the following types of floor covering:

  • Floor covering with footfall sound insulation
  • Floor covering for gluing
  • Floor covering with click system

The different types are described in more detail below.

What distinguishes a floor covering with impact sound insulation and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Impact sound insulation is particularly recommended for households with lively children who like to move around.

The purpose of an impact sound insulation is to reduce the volume of the impact sound but also of other noises such as the moving of furniture.

Advantages

Better living comfort
Positive effects on sleep
Positive side effect: thermal insulation

Disadvantages

Complex mounting
Additional costs

By reducing noise pollution, the living comfort in one’s own household and that of those living under a neighbour is to be improved.

Because who wants to be constantly disturbed by sounds from other rooms or apartments?

Similar to the floor covering, the footfall sound insulation has a wide selection of materials.

  • Mineral wool
  • Polystyrene rigid foam
  • Fibreboard
  • Kork

What makes a floor covering for gluing and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The gluing of flooring is mostly used for vinyl, laminate or cork surfaces. This installation method is quite simple and quick.

The gluing of the floor creates a firm connection to the substrate. With the consequence that no cavities are created which could increase the impact sound.

Advantages

Acoustically ideal
Can be easily glued
Long service life

Disadvantages

More expensive
Health concerns
Can only be walked on when the adhesive has dried

This is why glued floors are usually quieter. However, the adhesive used can release substances that are harmful to health, which can have a negative effect on health.

What distinguishes a floor covering with click system and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Floor coverings with click system enable tiles, laminate, cork or parquet to be laid quickly.

The click system gets its name because of the noise that is made when it engages with the fastening. Floors with click system have a high fitting accuracy, but must be additionally fixed with adhesive in heavily used rooms.

Advantages

Easy installation
High tolerance to unevenness
Walkable without waiting time

Disadvantages

Additional footfall sound insulation necessary
Not very resilient

In contrast to gluing, the click system creates a hollow space, which is why it is recommended to use a click system with impact sound insulation at all times. So that walking noises do not cause annoying noise later.

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate floor coverings

In order to find the right floor covering, you should consider the following criteria before buying:

  • Material
  • Komfort
  • Housing Health & Hygiene
  • Moisture absorption

The following sections take a closer look at the individual purchase criteria and show what is important when buying.

Material

This is the most important criterion when it comes to deciding on the floor. The selection of materials is very extensive, at the beginning of the guide we have already described the most common flooring materials in detail.

Although we have given you pragmatic reasons to decide, there are other personal factors that play a big role in the decision.

Komfort

Everyone describes comfort individually, for some it is a quiet noise-free house and for others it is a fluffy carpet on which to lie down late at night.

The texture of the floor coverings varies greatly, but so does the feeling of comfort. Therefore, we cannot tell you which floor covering will give you the most comfort.

Housing Health & Hygiene

This point is mainly aimed at people with a house dust or mite allergy, as they are primarily affected.

However, healthy living also means impact sound, which can have a negative influence on sleep, so a floor should be chosen that allows for impact sound insulation.

There are also floors that are fixed with harmful adhesives, which you should be aware of, especially if you have children in the house.

Moisture absorption

The moisture absorption of floor coverings varies from material to material. Therefore, the choice of floor covering should also be adapted to the spatial location of use.

There is no point in having a nice Persian carpet in the bathroom if it cannot handle the moisture properly.

For the bathroom we recommend floors with a good moisture absorption

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about floor coverings

What do I have to consider when cleaning/maintaining a floor covering?

Everything about the cleaning and care of all floor coverings, you can read or look at in our section “Further reading”.

As an example we have linked a video to you here, but this is only about the care and cleaning of a solid wood parquet floor.

How do I install a parquet floor covering correctly?

With the parquet flooring you can choose between different laying methods: Nailing/screwing, floating installation and full-surface gluing.

Floating installation

This method is quite simple, the tongue and groove parquet flooring is simply laid on the floor without any further connection.

The stable hold is guaranteed by the interlocking of the wooden boards with each other. However, additional impact sound insulation should be laid as an underlay mat, as the impact sound is very loud due to the hollow space.

Nails and screws

The method with nails and screws is an old practice, which is nowadays almost only used in listed buildings.

During this handling the screws or nails are shot into the groove with a pneumatic nailer and thus closed. However, this requires a certain expertise.

The gluing of parquet is very widespread and very popular. In the following video you will find instructions for full-surface gluing.

Which floor covering is suitable for allergy sufferers?

If you are unlucky enough to have an allergic reaction to house dust and mites, it is not easy to have it within your own four walls. However, a proper floor covering can make this a little more pleasant.

Allergy sufferers should take care to buy a floor with a smooth surface when buying their floor.

Marble, tiled or stone floors are recommended here, for example, as they attract little dust and are very easy to clean.

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