What Is Hybrid Flooring and Why Is It So Popular?
People throughout Australia—indeed, much of the world—have been sold on hybrid flooring. Have you heard of this relatively new and convenient flooring type? If not, we have some information to share with you.
Hybrid flooring is a continually evolving amalgam of various popular flooring materials from throughout history. People seem to value its capacity to combine the best qualities of an array of floor types.
Here, we'll look at how hybrid flooring came into existence, its qualities, and the features that make it a unique construction material.
What Is Hybrid Flooring?
At one time, most floors were made from wood, stone, or masonry. Then came the lure of the new, with vinyl tile and sheet flooring becoming popular in the mid-twentieth century. In some cases, asbestos was added to make it heat and fire-resistant.
Mixing asbestos into vinyl flooring was an early and well-received innovation. Not only did it stave off flames, but its fibrous consistency strengthened the vinyl. Of course, today, most vinyl flooring containing asbestos has been either encapsulated or removed.
Fortunately, though, there are many newer methods of making vinyl flooring more long-lasting and durable—as well as much more attractive. Much of what you see in designer homes today consists of different types of hybrid flooring.
And, yes, these floors are made without a shred of asbestos!
What Is Hybrid Flooring Made of Today?
Most modern-day hybrid flooring consists of several compressed layers of materials. Each has unique properties benefiting the whole product. What follows is a typical layering scheme for the rigid core type of hybrid flooring.
Bottom Layer: Adhesive Cork Backing
Cork's natural springiness and noise-absorbing properties make it an excellent backing for flooring layers. Synthetic cork backing or underlayment adds water-resistance to cork's other advantages.
Middle Layer: Rigid Inner Core
This dense layer is probably the main secret to hybrid flooring. Depending on the brand and manufacturer, this layer contains a mix of different materials. The two main types of core layers are:
Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) combines limestone, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and stabilizers
Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) is a mixture of recycled wood and PVC
SPC and WPC show how hybrids blend traditional floors with newer, more resilient materials.
At the top is a layer intended to replicate the natural textures of authentic stone, timber, or other materials from the natural environment.
A UV-resistant surface coating tops everything off. It provides extra protection from wear and tear and the sun's damaging rays.
Where Can You Install Hybrid Flooring?
Some manufacturers do not recommend installing hybrid flooring for bathrooms, saunas, damp basements, or other spaces with high moisture levels. Otherwise, it is quite suitable for most rooms in the home.
Many people whose homes have open-plan layouts on the ground floor have covered that entire area with hybrid flooring. Doing so makes the space easier to clean. It also allows the eye to move away from the floor and toward the furnishings and decor.
Because it is easy to clean, hybrid flooring is excellent for rec rooms, playrooms, mudrooms, and children's bedrooms. It also works well under area rugs either downstairs or upstairs.
Hybrid Flooring Prices
According to our research the average vinyl flooring supply price vary from $27 to $68 per m2 and installation cost range from $18 to $38 per sqm. Of course, this figure might be lower or higher, depending on the product's quality and features and your location.
The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Flooring
If there is 100%-perfect flooring out there somewhere, we haven't discovered it yet. The best flooring often is that which can take a beating and still look good.
Still, no matter how durable and resilient flooring is, it has a balance of pros and cons.
Hybrid Flooring Pros
Why does hybrid flooring make a good floor covering option? Here are some benefits we've read about and discovered on our own:
- Hybrid flooring is relatively easy to install as a DIY project.
- Its composition is environmentally friendly, using recycled and renewable materials like timber and bamboo fibres.
- It's entirely water and spill-resistant, making it an excellent choice for homes with small children or pets.
- Hybrid flooring is generally more affordable than natural materials.
- Hybrid floors resist shrinking and expanding due to climate and weather.
- They have noise-dampening materials and properties.
In summary, they're durable and long-lasting, easy to maintain, and tend to resist dents and scratches.
Hybrid Flooring Cons
Here are a few potential drawbacks of hybrid flooring.
With hybrid flooring, the colour can fade if exposed to direct sunlight.
Like any manufactured wood product, hybrid flooring pales compared to hardwood and other natural materials when it comes time to sell your home.
It's difficult, if not impossible, to sand scratches out of manufactured wood.
No wood or wood composite will ever be completely waterproof.
While the patterns on hybrid flooring can add to a room's look, few people would mistake them for the natural material on which they are based.
Hybrid flooring reviews from Australian sources are mostly positive, capturing the unique features we've described here.
A Floor Is Not Just the Place Under Your Feet
In the end, every homeowner and household in Australia or anywhere has their reasons for choosing specific home-building or remodelling materials such as flooring. For some, hybrid flooring is about keeping up with young kids and pets.
With others, it's about taste. Those who prefer natural hardwood or stone floors above any other options must be ready and willing to put in the time, attention, maintenance, and cost needed to maintain their lovely floors.
Do you need flooring materials or a contractor referral with reviews? Perhaps you are looking for information on flooring maintenance, installation, or materials? Let us know how we can help you.