Why I chose Karndean vinyl plank flooring (review and installation)
This post is in collaboration with Karndean Design Flooring but all opinions are as always 100% my own.
In today’s post, I’ll talk about why we replaced our entire downstairs flooring and decided to switch from laminate to vinyl wood plank flooring, specifically Karndean vinyl plank.
Our laminate floor was about 20 years old and despite what you regularly saw on my blog, it had become really worn down. You couldn’t see it from the photos which weren’t showing the details of the condition of the floor but in reality, it was pretty bad and had to be replaced.
Why I chose Karndean vinyl plank flooring
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Condition and before photos of our old laminate floor
So I want to show you some of those details. The majority were water damage from leaks, cat accidents, and chips and deep gauges all over the place.
Just look at the floor at the entrance to our home below:
In some areas the entire panels lifted up from water damage:
We tried to patch some of the major gauges but that didn’t look all that well either.
The worst areas were the kitchen from a previous leak and the transition strips. I hated them so much. I only have this bad cellphone photo. It’s quite embarrassing.
It also proves how much is actually not visible in blog photos because from a distance it all always looked just fine, right? None of you noticed what state the floor was actually in.
The previous laminate planks were glued together, and very shiny, which made them extremely slippery when wet. Also, streaks showed when I didn’t clean it a certain way.
Searching for the right floor
I knew that I wanted to go with a vinyl floor this time around. Tile, hardwood floors or laminate were definitely not an option anymore. I searched everywhere for the look that I envisioned. We definitely wanted to have a light-colored wood floor again because it doesn’t show dust and dirt as much but I also wanted a light-colored floor with a less yellow tint, less sheen, some texture, and wider planks that didn’t scratch as easily.
I was beyond thrilled when I found Karndean Design Flooring’s Korlok Select collection. The Texas White Ash stopped me dead in my tracks and I knew my search was over. I had found everything I was looking for in Karndean vinyl flooring.
Just look at the difference between the two types of flooring. You can also see the difference in directions when laying the floor. I also like that less sheen makes it look a bit more rustic.
There are other reasons besides the Karndean Korlok Select’s obvious good looks that I chose this particular vinyl wood plank flooring for the main level of our home.
So here it goes…
Benefits of the Karndean Design Flooring Korlok Select
- The realistic and beautiful wood look is what originally attracted me to this particular vinyl wood plank flooring
- It is waterproof which is my favorite feature and most important feature after dealing with a floor that bubbles and swelled any time water penetrated it. Spills don’t worry me anymore with this floor!
- Kid and Pet-friendly
- Lifetime residential warranty
- Comfortable and quiet underfoot ( I used to hear everything on our old floor, even the cats’ claws would click when they walked)
- Low maintenance
- Phthalate free
- Easy floating installation with their securely locking planks (no adhesives required)
- No required underlayment because it is already attached to the planks
- Extra-long and wide planks at 56″ x 9″
- Installs over a variety of existing hard floors
- More affordable than most luxury vinyl flooring!!!
Different light-colored Kardean vinyl plank samples
I wrote an entirely separate blog post about this. You can read more about comparing light-colored wood vinyl plank flooring samples but below is a photo to show you which colors I looked at.
Video about our new Karndean vinyl wood plank floor
Prep and Installation tips for the new Karndean vinyl plank flooring
Let the Karndean floors acclimate
Even though this is not a natural material like wood and bamboo which expand and contract the most, you still need to let this vinyl plank flooring acclimate to your home for 48 hours.
Don’t stack the boxes higher than 5 and spread out the weight on different spots
This is mainly a safety issue if you are replacing a large surface because the weight of all the boxes should be distributed evenly on your subfloor.
Removing the old floor
Rip up and remove the old floor with a crowbar, safety gloves and goggles, underlayment, glue and nails, and staples too.
I got my son to help too and he was thrilled to destroy something as you can see.
Below you can see how big the leak in the kitchen actually was and all that area was chipping, bubbled, and swollen within the laminate.
Here you can see that the leak made it all the way to the side of the island:
Willy sleeping on the chair as if nothing was happening 😉
Walter crawled into the below air vent. I was panicking like a madwoman and he managed to backtrack when I called him and stick a paw and tail out, so I could pull him out. He needs to be watched 24/7.
Remove and reusing existing quarter-round base molding
If you are planning on reusing the quarter-round molding, be careful to not break it when you pry it off the wall slowly with a crowbar. Remove any nails from the back of the molding with pliers. I actually taped all molding to the appropriate wall so I had an easier time putting it back in the right space after installation which really helped.
Below you can see how I taped the trim up on the wall, so I could paint it and reuse it later when finished with the floor. It didn’t work in all spots because some of it broke while pulling off. This sure made the molding installation easier at the end. It also saved a lot of money and not just time.
Here he is all dusty right after I pulled him out of the air vent!
Prepping the surface
Examine and remove any squeaks with screws and a drill. Drill the screws into the floor joists.
Also, clean up any debris to ensure that the vinyl wood plank flooring can be installed flat and the locking mechanism of the individual planks work properly.
Figure out what direction to run the floor planks
Generally, floor planks are not laid in the same direction as the floor joists but our old flooring had been installed that way, unfortunately. This also meant that the planks had been cut the short way down the entire length of our house and in the hallways which didn’t look nice. You should generally always have the planks run the long way down the longest run of the room or hallway. Our new floor is finally laid perpendicular to the floor joists and parallel to the longest run of the room which was for us from the front door to the back patio door and which in our case actually makes our space look a lot bigger. It’s an overall much more aesthetically pleasing look.
Measure and calculate for where to start running the plank
This is definitely the trickiest and most crucial part of any installation. This would be an entire post on its own and I didn’t plan on writing that, especially since I found a fabulous tutorial online already that explains it better than I ever could. I rarely link to others because I like explaining things myself but in this case please check out this blog post HERE to show you exactly how to figure out where to start and how to measure your planks right so you don’t end up with thin cuts at the end.
Use the correct size of spacers around the perimeter as mentioned in the included installation guidelines sheet by Karndean Design Flooring.
Hire help for difficult layouts and cuts
I knew immediately that this wasn’t a job I could do on my own as I did with the other flooring projects in our house and the reason for that is the fact that I wanted to eliminate the transition strips between the living room and the rest of the downstairs. Also, the fact that we have a tiny closet, pantry, appliances, and tiny powder room which require a lot of cuts and planning to make it all meet up properly.
I’m lucky that the husband of one of my best friends works in home construction and his coworker happens to be a certified installer and really knows how to solve floor puzzles. I loved observing and learning from him and he did an amazing job.
Karndean vinyl plank installation
They decided to start at the right side of my living room which you can recognize by the mirror.
So easy to cut the planks with this tool:
And the living room was the easiest room to install.
Jose took great care of what plank to pick next to make sure the color varied and stacked aesthetically pleasing.
The problem area in our house was working around the closets in the center of the house. There is a hallway on one side and the kitchen on the other side. This is where we had the transition strips previously and where it looked off that the planks had been installed the opposite way or short way. Can you already see how much better it looks than before? You’d never think that it makes a difference but to me it is huge.
While Jose was trying to figure out how to make everything meet on the other side of those middle closets, I worked on painting trim and uninstalling my dishwasher. I’m glad I learned that a couple of weeks ago when our old one broke. It came in handy for sure.
Measure, measure, and measure!
All you really have to do with the planks is to insert the planks into the lip and lock them down.
And then occasionally tap them in place with a mallet.
Painting the trim before putting it on was such a time saver. I only had to do touch-ups on the holes that I filled with drywall mud.
I was able to start putting the trim back rather quickly in areas that were finished.
The bathroom and toilet was the last area to get installed. This time around I got a premium wax ring to replace the old one at the base of the toilet.
Here is my dream team and apparently my cellphone thought so too because I have no idea why I couldn’t get it to stop applying the blur to the photo haha. Dave and Jose really knocked this one out of the park.
How I keep my Karndean vinyl plank floor clean
We have a robot vac that does a pretty good job and all I have left to do is mop it with my Swiffer wet pads. That’s it!
Photos of our newly installed Karndean vinyl plank flooring
I feel like dancing every time I look at our new floor. The entire home feels like a new house. Isn’t it the perfect floor?
This hallway alone makes me so happy which is such an odd thing to say!
Our area rugs have to get cleaned professionally and after seeing the beautiful floor without area rugs, I decided to keep the floor rug free for the summer. It feels so big, open, and beachy without the rugs and we love it. The photos speak for themselves I think.
Ugh, I had to add a scratching post by the sofa because Walter was ruining the furniture and it really helped. I got this one HERE.
Same view with the rug back in the room:
Also, check out how I transformed this plain white Ikea unit into a unique blue grasscloth console.
You can see my powder room makeover.
I mentioned that our place looks bigger and it really does.
Below you can see an updated view with the dishwasher makeover using vinyl car wrap and also the colored high-end stove makeover.
I also added a DIY kitchen rail system with hooks to the back of the stove and love how it turned out.
Depending on how the sun hits the floor, it sometimes looks lighter and then later darker again.
And one more time the closeup of our entrance before:
And the closeup of our entrance now after with the beautiful new Karndean vinyl plank flooring. So much better!
Thanks for making it all the way to the end! We are so happy with how the floor turned out and that we didn’t go with real wood flooring or laminate. And after living with our upstairs bamboo flooring for a couple of years, I wish we had this floor upstairs too. The bamboo expands and contracts way too much which drives me crazy.
Wow the new floors are really beautiful! I love the wide planks 😍 These new floors sound so much better than the old ones.
Thanks Corinna! It’s such a difference!
looking really good! You had me at “affordable”!
Thanks, Ariel! We are super thrilled with it and the cats love it too
Your new floors look amazing! I love the color and realistic wood look. It must have been so satisfying ripping out your old floors!
Oh my gosh YES Meredith. It was a blast ripping out the old floor. So satisfying! And thank you!
Beautiful Julia! So happy for you! 🙂
Hi Michele! How are you? And thanks so much we are thrilled
Love,love,love – thanks for sharing!
Thanks for looking Valarie
Hi Julia –
The floor looks amazing. The wider planks – swoon. 🙂 I bet you are loving the open flow of having the same flooring throughout now, too. It looks so open and airy. Nice break for you that you didn’t have to DIY the entire project yourself.
Thanks Diane! Yes it was awesome to have had the help! I installed the upstairs bamboo but it was large areas and with transition strips. I knew I needed someone to help me figure this one out! Especially since I needed to put our main floor back together again faster then I did with the upstairs
Looks good. We had something similar to this but I wasn’t brave enough to install myself. Looks great.
Thanks Rosemary! I didn’t do it all myself this time and I’m glad I had the help
Can you install these over tile floors after a skim coat over the tile for varying heights?
Hi Lynn, I’m not sure and don’t want to tell you the wrong thing. That is a great question for the manufacturer though.
OMG! Looks great! Spacious!
I had laminate once and hate the SOUND.
in our current home we ran into Vinyl while shopping wood floors. Totally great bang for buck..almost can’t tell the difference.
I was so happy you said you didn’t do the installation yourself…..so you CAN’T do EVERYTHING!!
three thumbs up!
Haha, nope I can’t do everything. And I agree the sound of laminate is super annoying
I love it! We’re looking at vinyl plank flooring for our basement – I’m so over carpet and need something that’s easy to maintain with kids and pets! It looks fantastic!
We have vinyl in our basement too and it works great but it’s not as pretty as this one.
Julia your new floors are beautiful! Love the color, wide plank and especially the durability!
Thank you so much Lisa. Hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend.
I like the new floor. Because it isn’t high shine, it actually looks almost velvety. I also like your choice of colors. With black and white as your “theme’, any other colors look nice as the accents. I would have never thought of this color scheme, but you have made it look so crisp and clean. Your family area looks comfy and inviting. I guess I had the idea that black and white would just make a cold look. Not so for you!
I think that black and white can definitely look cold when the setting is too modern and minimalistic. I like throwing some natural elements in and they warm everything up.
Big Heart Eyes. It looks so good. I love the color too!
I remodeled my 1955 kitchen, but we left the floor I installed about 6 years ago. It’s a laminate cork. It has scratches and has not held up well. This flooring would look perfect in my kitchen. Maybe in a couple years I can replace it.
Thank you and yes I’m sure it would look and work awesome in your kitchen.
Wowzers! Looks so great. And thank you for the detailed tutorial
The new floor is so so much better!
Thank you Melissa!
These look amazing Julia! I’ve never heard of Karndean flooring before. I love that it’s kid and pet friendly. I’ll have to look into these, as I’d like to replace the carpeting with wood floors in our bedrooms. Great tutorial!
Thanks Rebecca, I had never heard of them either until I found them online and fell in love. I wish I had this floor in our bedrooms too but we have the bamboo which is driving me a tad bit crazy.
The floors are beautiful! I love that they look like real wood without the maintenance and they are super pet friendly!
Thanks Kelly! I’m in love
it looks so beautiful and i think it was the perfect choice! i love the soft flow it seems to create in your home.
Thanks Cassie, I didn’t expect it to have such a big impact on how our house looks and I love it.
Wow, your new floors are gorgeous! I love that they transition so well from room to room!
Thank you so much Eileen!
Your new floor looks amazing , you did a great job installing the floor.
Thanks Sonya, I should say my friends did the great job installing it.
The colour of these floors is gorgeous. We did our basement in a tile and I don’t like how it turned out. These floors look great and I love that they are waterproof.
Thanks Leanna, I have vinyl in our basement too but it isn’t as pretty as this one and the planks were glued together and are separating now which is driving me crazy
Hi! I installed these floors after seeing them on your blog. What color are your cabinets painted? Looking for a color to go on my bathroom cabinets!
Hi Alison, I have a lot more details on the color Lush Sage in this blog post because I matched my dishwasher to it with vinyl https://cuckoo4design.com/diy-colored-appliances-using-vinyl-car-wrap/ and I hope you love your floor as much as we do. Have a great week.
What a brilliant transformation! It’s definitely raised your lower floor to a new level. What intrigues me though is why you need to trim the bottom of the base boards? This is something I haven’t seen before. Our base boards (known here as skirting boards) sit directly on the floorboards, but perhaps it all comes down to the type of flooring used? I’m all for having wider planks, and they definitely suit your space. Great job, Julia! x heather
Hi there Heather, yes you can rip up the larger baseboards and reattach them to sit right on top. These quarter round strips are used here in the US so you don’t have to do that. It’s the standard way to do it here.
Thanks Julia! It’s always refreshing to compare notes.
I see from a comment below that the vinyl planks can be fitted directly over the top of existing tiles. Wow, that’s good to know! We’ve just purchased a house interstate (still to relocate), and before we throw ourselves into a full renovation of the existing extension in the house, this would be a perfect solution to cover the dreadful tiles in the kitchen! Thanks for the inspiration. x heather
Yes! That floor can be installed over all kinds of existing hard surface floors. It would be perfect for your kitchen. Congrats on the purchase and good luck with the move.
Oh my goodness, they’re gorgeous!!! Love the transformation.
Thanks so much Meredith!
Wow! Your new flooring looks amazing! I love the color, texture, and wide planks. You have me thinking about where I could add this flooring to my home. Pinned!
Thanks so much Lynne!
Congrats, Julia! Your new flooring is so beautiful! I would love new flooring in our home – we have laminate tile and carpeting.
Hi there Lauren! How are you? Thanks so much, I’m so glad that I got to trade in our laminate!
The floor looks fabulous! I can see why you went with this! Looks wonderful, and what a great product! I will keep it in mind as we get around to changing out the floor in our condominium!
I love it so much. I think this is the type of vinyl we used on our kitchen over our tiles. That was a huge time saver. Great job .
Hi Lucy! Hope you are well and had a wonderful Easter weekend. Yes this floor can be installed right over tile, so that’s probably what it is. I love it so much. Have a great week!
Hi, your home looks beautiful with this floor. We can’t decide between this finish and Canadian oak, the only thing putting us off the Texas white ash is the variation in the colour of the planks; some look very dark and others very pale. What are your thoughts? Over a large area does this not look fussy? Thanks!
At first, when I saw the variations, I got scared but when it was all finished, I loved it. I think it comes across pretty well in the photos. I love the added texture but I’m not sure what look you are going for.
Thank you! It’s good to hear you had the same concerns but love the finished look. The photos look fab! We’re going for a bit of a scandi vibe as we have mid century furniture but live in a 1930s period home so think the white will be a neutral background. Thanks for your thoughts!
Oh yes, this floor is perfect for a scandi look.
Oh and I’m usually not a big fan of oak wood which is another reason I picked the white ash.
your flooring looks SUPERB!!! It’s amazing and the stain effect is so beautiful in your home.
Thanks Stephanie, we love it so much!
HI there:) Absolutely agree the floors are beautiful! I have been looking to do our floors throughout the entire house with Karndean.. just having a hard time locking down which one.. I hope it comes out as nice as yours!
Good luck Diane, all their colors are beautiful so I don’t think you can go wrong.
Oh my goodness, that flooring is gorgeous!! What a lovely choice, it perfectly complements your style too! I hard vinyl wood plank flooring from another brand installed in my home a few years ago and they have held up great. We get a professional wood floor cleaning once a year and that really helps keep them looking great.
Hi please can you tell me the shade of floor you chose
It’s the Texas White Ash, there is a direct link to it in my blog post.
Hi!! We have decided to do our floors in a similar color! Can I ask what you used for the paint color on your island ? Thanks!
It’s Lush Sage by Valspar. I wrote some blog posts about it too. Also how I matched my appliances to that color. https://cuckoo4design.com/diy-colored-appliances-using-vinyl-car-wrap/
Hi there! I am thinking about getting Texas white ash for my new home. Can you provide the pricing per sqft?
Hi Joy, I’m sorry but I can’t. This was several years ago and the pricing isn’t the same anymore. Also, the pricing varies depending on where you live. The manufacturer should be able to give you the correct answer to your question.
We put down Texas White Ash because of your post and love it! We are also taking down our high wall in the kitchen. Can you tell me the size of the overhang of the bench from the now low wall? We have a very similar setup with the wall and don’t want to make the bench too narrow that it is uncomfortable to sit at. Thanks, Terena
Hi Terena, I’m so glad you love the floor too! It really is great. Our overhang is only 9 inches because we don’t have a lot of room, so we didn’t need support brackets. We feel it is comfortable though. I hope that helps and good luck.