Hybrid Flooring Ultimate Overview with Pros and Cons.
Welcome to the world of Hybrid Flooring
For homeowners and consumers looking for new floor styles, hybrid flooring is one of the popular options they may come across. This type of flooring applies modern technologies to create a 100% waterproof floor and is made possible thanks to the perfect combo of vinyl planks and laminate flooring materials. Make sure to read a detailed comparison guide on laminate vs vinyl flooring
In busier family homes where comfort matters, hybrid flooring may be the perfect solution to the problems of liquid spills and their risks. Want a waterproof floor that is superior in quality, easy to tidy up, and lasts for generations? Then Go Hybrid.
This post brings you some helpful information about hybrid flooring, including the pros and cons, to help you make the best decision.
Let us begin by telling you what this mysterious material is.
What is Hybrid Flooring?
As fancy as it sounds, the term "hybrid flooring" can trick your mind when you hear it for the first time. Hybrid flooring is a revolutionary flooring innovation that is currently trending in the real estate market. It combines the best qualities of vinyl and laminate flooring materials to produce a superior floating floor for home or office. For your information, hybrid flooring also means that the technology uses multiple layers of diverse materials combined to form hard floor finishes for commercial spaces and residential homes. Hybrid flooring emerged as a new trend around the globe, but now, this innovation is becoming a high-demand floorcoverings option for the Australian domestic and commercial market.
How do they make Hybrid flooring?
Hybrid flooring manufactures from layers of different materials that join together, creating one unique hard-wearing floorboard.
Generally, these layers are made of the following components:
- Top Layer – This is a hard-wearing, impact scratch, and UV-resistant coating.
- Printing layer – This is a design that you see and feel what looing on the floorboard. It could be a mimic of any woos species, such as OAK or Spotted gum, for example.
- Board core – the composite material that creates an actual body or the hybrid flooring
- Underlayment – This is a cushion to create a comfortable feeling for your feet as also creating an acoustic barrier when walking on the hybrid flooring
About Hybrid flooring core
There are two most known core types of hybrid flooring available on the market. Both are made of mixed materials, creating a hybrid floor.
- Stone Plastic Composite (SPS) – This core type is mixed using limestone, polyvinyl chloride - PVC, and stabilisers.
- Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) – This type of core is made of recycled wood and polyvinyl chloride - PVC.
In comparing this type, the SPS boards usually thinner, more flexible, and softer. On the other hand, the WPC usually be a thicker board, heavier and more durable, and impact resistant.
We must mention what a PVC is, as this is one of the most asked questions about buying a hybrid flooring.
PVC is a polyvinyl chloride, which is also known as vinyl. It is one of the most used plastic polymers in the world. It is used to produce many things and items in different industries, such as pipes, footwear, window frames, stationery, etc.
Well known Hybrid flooring Brands
How do you choose an excellent reliable flooring brand along with a satiated variety of available flooring manufacturers in Australia?
The is no simple answer to this. After all, it comes to your personal choice and likes, plus the professional advice of your local flooring store.
We will describe just a few examples from two well-known hybrid flooring brands that you will find in most retail flooring stores in Australia. In addition, it will show you a difference in hybrid flooring design and manufacturing types.
We want to compare different models because a hybrid floorboard comes with a different locking system and design. This can be a key point when you be choosing new floor coverings for your next project.
There are two most common joining systems for hybrid floorings.
- Unclic – This is a joining system allowing worry-free flooring installation. Uniclic locking system works by one end of the board with a lip inserted into the other end with a groove creating a solid joint and durable floor covering.
- Fold-Down or Drop Down – Sometimes know as Unipush locksThis locking system allows fast installation. It is a simple method where one board folds down on the other. One end of the board has a bottom slot, and the other end has a top slot when you drop one board onto other those slots joining together creating a lock.
Hybrid Flooring Brands and models
The Belgium flooring manufacturer, with a wold wide presents. Quick-Step flooring widely available in Australia through many local flooring shops. Ask them by name.
Quick-Step produces the following hybrid flooring models:
The board has Uniclic joining system, with an extra matt surface finishing with micro-bevel edging on four sides. The board's sizes are 1500mm x 108mm and 6mm thickness.
Titan Hybrid XXL.
The board has Uniclic joining system, with an extra matt surface finishing with micro-bevel edging on four sides. The board's sizes are 1800mm x 225mm and 6mm thickness.
The boards have Uniclic joining system, with matt surface finishing with genuine bevel edging. The board's sizes are 1495mm x 209mm and 6mm thickness. Quick-Step Pulse Hybrid flooring has been put to the test and can be definitely stated as 100% waterproof flooring. See this video for more info about Quick-Step Pulse floors.
It is one of the largest carpet and flooring manufacturers and exporters for residential and commercial floors.
Godfrey Hirst offers the following models of hybrid flooring.
These floorboards have Fold-Down joining system, with matte surface finishing, with micro bevel edging. The board sizes are 1220mm x 180mm and 5.8mm thickness.
These floorboards have Fold-Down joining system, with matte surface finishing, with micro bevel edging. The board sizes are 1500mm x 180mm and 6.5mm thickness.
These floorboards have Uniclic joining system, with matte surface finishing, with micro bevel edging. The board sizes are 1500mm x 228mm and. 6.5mm thickness.
You may want to check the other flooring brands for more info.
and many others...
Ensure to check the flooring Brands and its product reviews page to see what consumers have to say about hybrid floorings. Read reviews NOW
Hybrid flooring prices.
The important question everyone asks is how much hybrid flooring cost? Unfortunately, the is no straightforward answer, and the price varies by type, quality, supplier price policy, and state you are in.
But generally, you will find hybrid flooring would cost somewhere between $35.00 per m2 to $98.00 per m2.
You can contact local flooring stores from your area to find out an accurate price for the brand and flooring model you want. Otherwise, send a request to multiple suppliers and distributors and ask for quotes for a particular model.
Hybrid Flooring - The Pros
What are the pros of Hybrid Flooring?
The short answer is: this is a realistic design, waterproof core, durable, fade, UV, and stain-resistant floorboards. That gives you a quiet and soft feeling underfoot. It is also easy to fix, repair, and clean. In addition, it comes with cost-effective installation and an extended warranty!
Now let us open each of these points and explain them in detail.
The hybrid floor is floating flooring, which is mean you lay it over any existing floor. Because it comes with the underlayment attached to each board, you do not need to spend an additional budget on the underlay. Generally looking at floating flooring, this is one of the cheapest installation methods when hiring a professional flooring installation company.
Like laminate and vinyl planks, a hybrid flooring style layer gives you a wide design choice. Almost every flooring shop can offer you unlimited style, visual appearance, and texture. In addition, you can find any timber species printed to create a hybrid flooring you would like, oak, spotted gum, blackbutt, you name it!
Hybrid flooring boards are 100% Waterproof. The hard topcoat and PVC core make it 100% water-resistant, allowing installing this type of flooring in wet areas, such as laundry, toilets, and sometimes in bathrooms. It comes in handy to protect flooring from any spillage. It does not suck water into the board, as some laminates will do in a minute after with water contact. In addition, being a waterproof hybrid can give an advantage for pet owners, as pets sometimes can create a mess on the floor.
Fade, UV, and Stain-resistant
The key features of hybrid flooring include UV coating. It also holds up against fade and stains. They are manufactured with advanced technologies and designed to stand out in the most extreme conditions. Top coating is protecting hybrid planks from direct sunlight and therefore allowing them to keep their original colors. Even durable stains can be removed from hybrid floorboards with the help of detergents and sometimes solvents if properly applied.
The hybrid flooring is also durable as it is made to resist scratches and dents, even in high-traffic areas as offices. Moreover, they can last for decades if maintained and looked after regularly.
Easy to fix and repair
Nothing lasts forever, and in a busy lifestyle, the boards can be damaged, chipped, or heavily scratched. Hybrid floorboards can be easily unclicked and replaced with a new board because it is a floating flooring. It is a good practice to buy a few extra boxes when doing your flooring project. It comes in handy when you need to replace or fix a few boards. The good point for keeping a spare board from the same batch order as it perfectly matches replacement board color and patterns.
Easy clean with wet or steam mops
The hybrid flooring made as waterproof and scratch-resistant boards creates an ideal floorcovering surface that can be vacuumed, broomed, cleaned with a wet or steam mop, or even maintained with professional cleaning machines. For example, the Rug Doctor, with the correct attachment.
Quiet and soft feeling underfoot.
Hybrid floors are noise-free and comfortable and reduce the impact of sounds due to the installed underlayment on each floorboard. In addition, it provides an excellent thermal insulation cushion and extra comfortable feeling and support to your feet. Having these features makes this floorboard a superb choice for highrises apartments and spaces with busy uses.
Because this is a highly durable and robust material, and life expectancy, the hybrid flooring is made to perform and last. Most of the brands will offer an extended warranty for this product. You will find that the warranty period will be something in between 20 -30 years, of course, vary from brand to brand and type and model of the planks.
Hybrid Flooring - The Cons
What are the cons of Hybrid Flooring?
The short answer is: This is a floorcovering with a less realistic feeling than natural timber floors that must be professionally installed on a flat slab to avoid joints damage and warranty loss. The planks require regular cleaning and maintenance to avoid fading and discoloration. It can not be re-sanded if scratched, and water can penetrate through the joints.
Let us discuss each of these points and explain them in detail.
Water can penetrate
Even though hybrid planks are 100% waterproof, water can still penetrate through joints and ended up under the flooring. This will not damage the flooring but can develop harmful bacterias, bad smell, and mold, which can be a hazard to your health
Need flat subfloor
Hybrid flooring is a robust material, but you must install it on a perfectly flat subfloor to perform and last. So before you lay floorboards, make sure to check your slab for any unevenness, and make sure to level it by grinding or adding a self-leveling compound to bring it to Australian standards. Avoiding professional floor preparation will lead to floor bouncing, squicking, and cracking every time you step on it.
Joints can brake
During the installation, the inexperienced installer can easily damage the end sides of the boards, the locks. This is very important when it comes to the Fold-Down lock system due to its locks are fragile. If you knock too hard or force it to lock, the top join can bend, crack, and cause board separation in the future.
It cannot be re-sanded
Unlike natural timber floors or engineered boards, the hybrid flooring can not be re-sanded. So if you managed to scratch the floor, the only option is to replace damaged planks. The good thing is there are unique products available on the market to hide micro scratches, and it is very easy to use.
Less realistic feeling
Even though hybrid flooring has a realistic design and look, unfortunately, it does not feel like natural timber when you touch or walk on it barefoot. The reason behind it as part of its composite mix is plastic (PVC). These days some manufacturers are trying to bring an improved model of planks that has a better feeling by adding different composite and recycled wood to a core mix
Requires much thorough regular cleaning
Hybrid flooring is a very realistic design board, as we already described in this article. it comes with a detailed board relievo mimicking natural timber grooves and knots. Unlike natural timber flooring, which has smooth lacquer finishing, hybrid plank's relievo allows dirt to build up in its grooves. Therefore you would need to perform a deep cleaning of this floor more often to keep its original look
Fading and Discolor
Hybrid flooring has outstanding UV protection, but nothing is permanent. Although it is UV resistant, the endless direct sunlight and lack of floor maintenance can cause discoloration and plank fading. To avoid this happens, make sure to maintain your hybrid flooring with regular cleaning and reapplying UV protection sealer from time to time.
Must professionally installed.
Hybrid flooring manufacturers offer a great warranty on planks. However, make sure you hire a professional flooring installer or follow all manufacturer installation guidelines and Australian installation standards to keep the warranty in place.
A general guideline you need to follow when installing hybrid flooring?
For the best result and warranty, make sure to read installation instructions or hire a professional flooring installer.
Measure your floor dimensions and calculate the correct quantity of hybrid planks that you need to buy. Allow 5%-10% for offcuts and extra boarts to keep as spares.
Clean and check the slab or subfloor. Prepare it for the installation by ensuring that the subfloor is levelled, clean, and solid.
Assemble your materials, tools, and equipment, as stated in the installation guideline from the manufacturer. Examples may include a mallet, tape measure, and power saw.
Ensure to leave enough expansion gaps for seasonal movement and temperature fluctuations, usually between 6-10 mm, depending on the brand.
After the installation, finish up your hybrid flooring by removing all wedges and spacers and fix your skirting boards or install scotia.
Finally, use the right cleaner to clean your floor and enjoy.
For more advanced installations, you may need to talk to experts who are experienced with hybrid flooring.
F.A.Q. about Hybrid Flooring
How much does it cost to lay down Hybrid Flooring?
Is Hybrid flooring Pets Friendly?
How to install Hybrid Flooring?
Is hybrid flooring quiet?
Is hybrid flooring toxic?