You have been looking for a new timber look floor for your home and have come across many different options to choose from. These may include engineered timber, laminate, glue down vinyl planks, loose lay vinyl and you keep hearing about hybrid flooring. You think to yourself, what is hybrid flooring? Which products is it a hybrid of? Would this be a suitable flooring option for my home? Keep reading and will help you gain a better understanding of hybrid flooring and the answers to these questions.
What is Hybrid Flooring:
Both vinyl and laminate planks have been around for many years and have been installed in countless homes. While many people have been happy with their choice, they are not always the best fit for everyone. Laminate planks can be installed without gluing them to your subfloor but swell along the joints when they get wet from mopping, overwatering potplants or a spilt drink. On the other hand, vinyl planks can withstand getting wet but require you to glue them down to your floor, which can make them harder to replace. Hybrid flooring gives you the best of both products without the drawbacks of each. It is a product designed to withstand getting wet and is installed as a floating floor like a laminate plank.
The key difference of hybrid planks compared to laminate planks is in its construction. A laminate plank’s core is made up of a compressed fibre such as MDF or HDF, which both swell when they get wet. Most hybrid planks are constructed from a stone polymer or other inert polymer core. The full construction includes many layers, starting from the acoustic backing, specialised core, stability layers, high definition image layer, wear layer and finally various protective surface coats. Just like a laminate floor, the hybrid planks have various interconnecting locking systems to allow easy installation.
Hybrid flooring Installation:
Hybrid flooring is designed to be quick and easy to install over most hard floors. The first step is to remove any unsuitable existing floor coverings and to make sure that the subfloor is smooth and level. To allow for expansion, skirtings may need to be removed unless matching edge trims are to be used. The planks are laid row by row clicking together and sometimes with a light tap with a rubber mallet, making sure to leave expansion gaps to the perimeter as required. Once the flooring is laid, any trims at doorways or across larger rooms can be installed. Lastly, you can reinstall your skirting or edge trims along the perimeter. (This is only a quick overview of the installation; each product will have a full in-depth installation guide)
Simply put, hybrid flooring is a hybrid of laminate and vinyl planks to give you the benefits of both in a single plank, without the pitfalls. Now you have a better understanding of what hybrid flooring is, you may be thinking if this is the right choice for your home. If you are after a floor that looks like a real timber floor without the concerns of easily damaging the surface or swelling if it gets wet, then this product might be perfect for you. If you are looking at DIY installing this product yourself, but are concerned it might be a little tricky for you, we can go through more detail of what is required to install or recommend another product that may be easier for you to install. This is a great video of a hybrid flooring installation-