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Specifying Multifamily Flooring

Posted on the 7/17/2019 by Karndean Designflooring

Whether you’re specifying a new mixed-use building or are retrofitting government housing, multifamily construction is on the rise. As an interiors professional, it’s important to specify flooring that complements the aesthetics of the overall design, adds value to the development and satisfies residents - all while staying on-budget.

We’ll explore these and other flooring-related priorities during specification to ensure a positive experience for building owners, managers and residents.

Budget vs. Life Cycle: In addition to comparing cost per square foot, conduct a cost-value assessment of flooring materials. Consult technical data sheets for warranty information in addition to performance test results. 


Choose a floor covering that can be easily maintained by both facility staff and residents alike. You may find that a product may be less expensive upfront, but is more expensive over its entire life cycle due to higher maintenance costs. Look for products that can be maintained quietly and without the use of harsh chemicals to keep resident disruption to a minimum. If pets are allowed on the premises, consider flooring that is waterproof and pet-friendly.

Ultimately, replacing the floor should be by choice, not a requirement due to poor performance.


Acoustics vs. Cleanliness: Keep tenants happy and units occupied with flooring materials that are quiet underfoot. While carpet tends to be the most acoustically-friendly option, it’s important to weigh this benefit against other drawbacks like staining and harboring allergens.

Some hard surface options, like engineered hardwood, are easier for residents to maintain, but also create a hollow clicking sound underfoot which can easily transfer to the unit below.

Added acoustic membranes will meet and exceed the most stringent of Impact Insulation Class (IIC) demands, but also add time and cost to your project.


Ease and Speed of Install vs. Design Flexibility: Proper subfloor preparation and installation is key to a product’s performance so it’s important that the installation team is familiar with the format of flooring to be installed. In addition, products that are quick to install are advantageous to the overall budget and timeline.

Given these circumstances, it’s easy to see why interlocking products have exploded in popularity. However, these products will need to be laid straight due to the nature of the locking mechanism, which limits your design creativity. In areas that require an eye-catching design to draw prospective residents in and add value to the property, consider options that offer more design flexibility.

Repair vs. Replace: Even with durable products, damage can occur. Should this happen, can the flooring be easily repaired or does it need to be replaced? If it can be repaired, what is the impact on residents at the property? Be sure to inquire about this with flooring sales representatives.


Why Specify Karndean Designflooring in Multifamily?

With so many flooring priorities to juggle, finding the perfect solution may feel impossible. With Karndean Designflooring luxury vinyl, you don’t have to compromise your design vision for budget or practicality. We have an array of options to check all the boxes.

Durability: In addition to original visuals, our floors offer commercial grade durability with wear layers ranging from 12mil – 30mil and commercial product warranties that range from 10-20 years. You can rely on our floors to withstand the high foot traffic levels in common areas and the rigors of frequent move-ins and outs. See our technical data sheets for more information.

Acoustics: Our loose lay (non-interlocking floating) and rigid core (interlocking floating) luxury vinyl floors feature impressive acoustic ratings, reducing noise transfer to the level below by 16-22dB. Combine any of our flooring formats with our QuietChoice Premium Acoustic Underlayment to meet and exceed uniform building codes greater than 50 IIC.


Glacier Oak parquet, Salvaged Barnwood herringbone planks

Design Flexibility: Our multi-directional gluedown and loose lay planks and tiles can be laid in a variety of patterns, adding value and visual interest to the property. We even some Korlok Select rigid core colors in a special herringbone plank format for environments that require a rigid core floor.

Quick and Easy to Install: When compared with other hard surface flooring, our gluedown LVT is quick and easy to install. For tight turnaround times, look no further than our loose lay and rigid core products. In addition to a quick installation, these ranges require minimal to no adhesive.*

Ease of Maintenance: Our LVT is easy to maintain by both residents and on-site staff. Unlike other hard surface floors, our LVT does not require the use of noisy equipment or odorous chemicals, allowing staff to adopt a non-invasive and non-disruptive cleaning routine. Residents can easily wipe up messes and mop with a pH neutral cleaner.


Easily replaceable Karndean LooseLay planks

Individually Replaceable: Should a plank or tile need to be replaced, our gluedown and loose lay formats are individually replaceable. With Karndean LooseLay and LooseLay Longboard, it takes only a few minutes to lift the damaged piece and insert a new one, as full-spread adhesive is not required!*

Don’t just take our word for it! View the Coda Luxury Apartments and Pike Motorworks case studies to see multifamily applications of our products.

Interested in specifying Karndean Designflooring for an upcoming multifamily project? Contact our customer service team at 888-266-4343 to be put in touch with a Commercial Business Manager in your area!


*consult install instructions for more details