The Complete Guide To Karndean Flooring

From aesthetics to installation, we walk you through everything you need to know about Karndean flooring.
Written By: Richard Morgan | Updated:
What Is Karndean Flooring
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

Karndean flooring is what we chose to put down in several of our properties, and as you can see in the photos, we went for the herringbone and straight planks.

However, there is a wide variety of styles that you can choose from, which makes Karndean flooring a great choice for any home or business. As we have researched and installed Karndean flooring in our own home, we give our real-world experience in this guide.

What Is Karndean Flooring?

Karndean flooring is a luxury vinyl that’s structured in five layers and is well-known for its durability, slip-resistance, and long-lasting qualities. As you can see in the above photo, it comes in packs of planks that are bendable and relatively thin.

The five layers of the Karndean include:

  • 2 PVC backing layers
  • 1 HD photographic layer
  • 1 clear PVC embossed wear layer
  • 1 polyurethane protective top coating layer

Due to the fact it has a photographic layer, Karndean flooring is available in a huge selection of colour and style options. Unlike laminate flooring, Karndean provides the look and feel of wood, and it also doesn’t shrink or curl.

Advantages of Karndean Flooring

  • It comes with a lifetime residential warranty
  • Luxury natural appearance
  • Huge selection of design options
  • Easy to clean
  • Waterproof design
  • Pet and child-friendly
  • Tough and robust build quality
  • Excellent slip resistance
  • Simple to repair and replace
Advantages of Karndean Flooring

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

Disadvantages of Karndean Flooring

  • More expensive than other vinyl flooring products
  • The floor needs to be correctly prepared beforehand
  • Ideally, it needs to be installed by an experienced Karndean installer
  • Retains dirt more than other flooring products

How To Fit Karndean Flooring

As with many other types of flooring, the quality of the subfloor is crucial to the flooring’s overall finish. It must be completely smooth before screeding or using a smoothing compound with no lumps or bumps present. It also must only be installed upon subfloors with moisture levels below 75% for the best possible finish.

When it came to fitting our Karndean flooring on the ground floor, we used screed upon the concrete to level it out, ready for the installation. However, you can fit Karndean flooring over the top of other subfloors, such as timber floors with plywood, tiled or ceramic floors, and so much more.

Once the subfloor has been correctly prepared, you will want to ensure you are using the correct adhesive. To ensure you protect the floor’s guarantee, you must use Karndean’s own brand adhesive, which is available in multiple sizes.

After the adhesive has been mixed, you can then begin to fit the Karndean flooring, as shown in the image below. After the flooring has been laid, it’s recommended that you roll the flooring and avoid using it for up to 24 hours.

How To Fit Karndean Flooring

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

How Much Does It Cost?

As you can imagine, so many factors are involved when it comes to the cost of supplying and fitting Karndean flooring. Such factors can include the style of flooring, subfloor preparation, adhesive, size of the room and even the area in which you live. Below are some approximate costs that you may incur when fitting Karndean flooring in your home.

  • Herringbone/Parquest – £35 to £50 per m2
  • Straight/Standard Plank –  £25 to £35 per m2

We would strongly recommend using an installer that specialises in fitting Karndean flooring. Although this may be more expensive than other tradesmen, it will provide you with complete peace of mind that it’s installed correctly.

How To Clean Karndean Flooring

One of the main benefits of Karndean flooring is the fact that it’s so easy to clean and maintain. With regular cleaning, you can keep the floor looking just as great as the day it was fitted.

In terms of how to clean Karndean flooring, we would recommend using a pH-neutral cleaner. You will want to avoid using bleach as this can lead to damage in the long run.

Apart from regularly sweeping up and vacuuming, you may want to go a step further for a deeper clean. If this is the case, we’d recommend using the brand’s own cleaning formula, water and a mop. Although using a steam cleaner may be great on other types of flooring, it shouldn’t be used upon Karndean whatsoever. The hot steam may make it look clean, but it can actually cause damage to the coating and materials underneath the flooring.

How To Clean Karndean Flooring

Richard Morgan/DIY Works


As you can probably tell from reading this article, we highly rate Karndean flooring and wouldn’t hesitate to install it again. It’s very robust, looks great and always gets compliments from people who visit our house. The range of styles available also means that it’s suitable for almost any home. However, we strongly recommend that you choose an installer that specialises in Karndean to fit it because any imperfections will show up.

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