THE availability of loose lay and rigid core flooring is opening up new opportunities for specifiers who are looking for more flexibility when managing projects where noise reduction is an important consideration, where project deadlines are tight or when flooring may need to be lifted in the future for access to services or for reuse in another location.
Offering authentic wood and stone designs that are installed quickly and easily without the need for adhesive, loose lay and rigid core floors are rapidly becoming the preferred choice for specifiers looking for a natural look or a temporary flooring option.
Second only to poor air quality in terms of risk to health and wellbeing, managing noise pollution is key to ensuring a healthy outlook. In busy and bustling environments, increased ambient sound levels can be disruptive and have a significant impact on health and productivity with long term stress linked to anxiety, depression and cardiovascular disease.
Products with incorporated acoustic layers can significantly reduce noise transfer and so protect health and wellbeing. With a pre-attached acoustic layer, Karndean’s loose lay and rigid core products are recommended for multi-level developments or where a calmer and more peaceful environment is important, such as workplace, education or healthcare settings.
Karndean’s rigid core designs will reduce noise transfer to rooms below by up to 21dB and loose lay floors by 13dB.
Why specify loose lay
Karndean LooseLay features a unique K-Wave friction grip backing and increased dimensional stability that holds the product in place without adhesive. Fitted tight to the walls and to each other, with an edging of tackifier where required at thresholds and openings, LooseLay planks create a strong secure bond to the subfloor using a combination of weight and friction.
Available in a wide-ranging palette of wood designs such as traditional oaks, pines and contemporary blends, the Karndean LooseLay collection also includes popular stone effects including slate, travertine and concrete.
Suitable for installation over dry, smooth, sound and dust-free subfloors, Karndean LooseLay can be laid in a number of patterns, including 45 degrees or herringbone, for a sense of interest and visual flow. With a highly durable with a 0.55mm wear layer, this is an ideal option for busy residential spaces and heavy duty commercial installations. For extra impact in open plan spaces, LooseLay Longboard features a larger 1500 x 250mm plank size.
Karndean LooseLay is compatible with both wet and dry underfloor heating systems and is ideal for raised floors with underfloor services. As the flooring is laid without adhesive, individual planks or tiles can be easily lifted for access, replacement or to be re-used in a different area.
Case study: Material Source Studio
Material Source Studio in Manchester is a design hub which provides an inspiring environment for designers to immerse themselves in ‘beautifully useful’ products and materials. When designing the interior, it was key that the flooring provided a neutral background which would allow focus to remain on the product displays but would also itself be timelessly stylish.
Looking for an interesting blend of minimalist surfaces to complement the industrial nature of the building and differentiate the display zones, the studio designers opted for the cool concrete style of Quebec from the Karndean LooseLay range, with its subtle textures and detailing as well as quick installation and acoustic benefits.
Darren Clanford, co-founder of Material Source Studio, said: “When serving a design driven audience, it goes without saying that the interior of Material Source Studio needed to be aspirational. Working with products and materials from the best built environment brands in the business allowed us to create a versatile palette of dynamic, on-trend schemes. We very much took inspiration and creative direction from these products, keeping beauty and usability in mind throughout.”
Why specify rigid core
Thanks to an innovative K-Core technology and convenient click-locking mechanism, rigid core flooring can be quickly and easily installed over uneven floors, new floors that are still drying out and most existing hard surfaces, including laminate, ceramic tiles, parquet and floorboards, without the need for extensive subfloor preparation.
With a hygienic and waterproof surface, a wear layer up to 0.55mm and slip resistance rating of R10, Karndean’s rigid core designs are suitable for both residential and commercial interiors, from busy family kitchens and bathrooms to hospitality and retail settings.
Bringing the ultimate flexibility to take the same design room to room over different subfloor conditions, Karndean’s latest multiformat ranges include a contemporary collection of wood and stone designs available in a convenient choice of gluedown and rigid core format with popular size options, including herringbone and a new innovative chevron design.
Case study: Anthology Stratford Mill
Anthology Stratford Mill in East London provides a functional and aesthetically pleasing development that reflects the locality’s industrial past and its ambitions for the future. The luxury canalside apartments offer desirable accommodation that support health and wellbeing.
The contemporary exterior is complemented by a comfortable interior that presents a clean minimalist canvas on which residents can express their individuality. A natural airy colour scheme featuring Texas White Ash from Karndean’s Korlok range, with its light tones and straight grain detailing, softens the building’s industrial elements. The result is a relaxing atmosphere that provides a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Bill Haworth, development manager at Lifestory Group, said: “The flooring effectively balances the darker features around the home, giving our customers a stylish look and durable hygienic surface. Being a multi-level residential development, the rigid core format conveniently provides good acoustic benefits without the need for further subfloor layers. The click-locking mechanism also meant that installation was quick and simple which helped us meet project deadlines.
“When choosing suppliers, we aim to use those with a proven low environmental impact. The Korlok range has an Environmental Product Declaration which is one of the frequent qualifications we look for to achieve our targets.”
A sustainable future
Karndean’s people centric approach to sustainable design understands the human need for nature and presents an integrated solution that balances resource consumption and environmental preservation.
Designed with cutting edge technology and produced to ISO 14001 Environmental standard and ISO 9001 Quality Standard, Karndean flooring not only offers the stunning aesthetics of natural materials and the practical benefits of luxury vinyl but also a healthy product that improves indoor environmental quality and contributes to a greener built environment.
Offering transparent and trustworthy product information, Type III Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) feature ‘cradle to grave’ data including raw material extraction and manufacturing processes as well as packaging, transportation and expected service life. Used in conjunction with technical specification documents, these allow designers to specify effectively when working with LEED and BREEAM projects.