Updated On

March 30, 2023

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    Karndean flooring has long been a prominent vinyl plank brand in the UK. It rose as a luxury brand producing premium quality and designs oriented to a more affluent market. Karndean chose to remain focused in the UK in the past. But now, they are trying to break into the US market.

    Learn everything about this luxury vinyl brand and see whether it lives up to its premium reputation.

    Product Overview and Features

    Karndean makes its vinyl planks primarily from calcium carbonate, polyvinyl chloride, and design-specific pigments. It is a composite material made of the following layers:

    PVC Wear Layer

    Kardean makes its wear layer from one clear polyvinyl chloride (PV) sheet. This is the piece that protects the product from surface damage and abrasion. This clear sheet has a specific coating and design, depending on what Karndean product you buy.

    Protective Polyurethane Coating

    This is a protective layer that Karndean applies on top of the PVC wear layer. Karndean uses this to further protect its product from moisture, dust, bacteria, and stains. This coating also prevents scuffs from occurring on the vinyl planks. Karndean claims that its protective polyurethane coating is 100% waterproof.

    Design Layer

    The design surface on Karndean vinyl flooring can have an embossed design or a raised pattern. The special surface finish allows Karndean to easily clean water and dirt off the product–making it easy to care for. 

    Karndean also ensures durability by adding UV and abrasion protection in their design coatings: such as non-yellowing and fade resistance. It can do this because the surface is treated with special pigments and coating systems that Karndean has created.

    PVC Backing Layer

    Kardean employs two PVC backing layers for durability and adhesion. Karndean adds a second layer to ensure IRS vinyl flooring planks stay secure and flat.

    As a further testament to the luxury it offers, Kardean also provides a line of customizable styles. Currently, there are around eight customizable styles, along with about 200 individual designs. Below are some of the popular customizable styles offered by Karndean:

    Art Select

    The Art Select style mimics natural materials in prints. The selection ranges from realistic wood to stone textures.

    Da Vinci

    The Da Vinci style, Karndean’s signature custom style, is a square tile with an intricate pattern. Karndean guarantees true random width and length in their tiles–you’ll never receive two that are identical in size or shape. This style has four color choices: Beige Oak, Amber Maple, Kona Pine, and Blonde Elm. Karndean also offers a wide selection of glaze colors for the Da Vinci collection if you want to get creative.

    Van Gogh

    Karndean’s Van Gogh collection features vinyl planks that have a large and small plank design. The Van Gogh range emphasizes recreating the appeal of natural timber in large plank configurations.


    Karndean’s Michelangelo collection is a clean and simple style. Karndean says the design emphasizes a contemporary style accented with a ‘warm wood tone’ and black lines. Karndean offers the Michelangelo line in four colors: walnut, espresso, natural, and silver maple.


    The Opus collection comes in six colors: beige oak, espresso, natural, walnut, silver maple, and black. This style is inclined to a more clean, modern look.

    Knight Tile

    The Karndean Knight Tile collection is Karndean’s version of large-format tiles. Karndean says this style has a ‘rich woodgrain finish.’ The tile comes in six colors: beige oak, espresso, natural, walnut, silver maple, and black.

    Loose Lay

    Karndean guarantees easy installation and beautiful results with the Karndean Loose Lay collection. With this collection, Karndean provides Karndean-matched transition strips that help make installations seamless and smooth. As the name implies, Loose Lay doesn’t require any adhesive but instead uses the K-wave friction concept in securing the planks. 

    The Pros and Cons of Karndean Flooring

    Just like any material, Kardean also has its fair share of ins and outs. For a prospective buyer, it is important to look into these considerations and see if Karndean fits your requirements.

    Karndean Pros & Cons


    • Lifetime residential warranty on all designs
    • Easy installation and maintenance
    • Highly durable and long-lasting
    • Flexible, customizable designs to fit many home styles


    • More expensive than competitors
    • Some complaints about discoloration, staining, and abrasion marks
    • Requires expert subsurface preparation and installation for best results

    How Much Does “Luxury” Cost?

    Fast Facts

    Typical Karndean Cost


    $2 and $4 per square foot

    Karndean Flooring Prices are more expensive than other brands. Their flooring costs around $2-$4 per square foot. This number may not be as frightening when you consider that Karndean promises durability and quality for its products. Of course, this comes along with a lifetime warranty.

    How To Install Karndean Flooring

    Karndean flooring offers a simple installation process. They suggest a click-lock system for their planks and tiles. Also, they suggest using an adhesive with Karndean’s backing layer if you want the best results.

    Before the installation process, ensure all subsurface treatment and preparation are accomplished. Afterward, you can select the installation procedures from these three options:

    Loose Lay Installation

    When installing Karndean LooseLay, the floor must be pressed tightly against all surfaces and edges. Make sure to leave a 10cm (4″) strip of adhesive around room corners or thresholds. If any part of your surface is longer than 4m, treat it as if you were using the grid stick method instead.

    Grid Stick

    If an area is longer than 4m (13′), the perimeter of the ground requires strips of tackifier adhesive applied thereto. You should do this every 13′ parallel to each wall and in between walls that are above 4m long similarly.

    In this way, there will be an even grid across your entire floor space. Which, you can then lay Karndean LooseLay tiles on top tightly enough. Doing so keeps them in place during installation or when traversing them with heavy loads later on down the road.

    Heavy Traffic Locations

    We recommend using tiles/planks with a full coverage tackifier in crowded areas like the entrance or treads. This will allow for easy replacement of broken tiles in this area without removing the adhesive from the first.

    Keeping Your Karndean Maintained

    To keep your vinyl floor looking clean and new, sweep it every day to remove dirt or grit. Clean up spills right away using a pH-neutral cleaner that won’t damage the floor’s surface (like Karndean Clean).

    Verdict: Does Karndean Flooring Live Up To Its Reputation?

    Karndean flooring is one of the best available brands today regarding price, durability, design flexibility, ease of installation, and quality. Although it has its downsides (price), they also have lots of upsides as well.

    Ultimately it comes down to what styles you want on your floor and how many square feet to cover. Karndean flooring is a great investment if you want to go with a resounding brand and high-quality vinyl flooring.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Karndean Flooring Worth The Money?

    Karndean is undeniably a luxury vinyl flooring brand. Karndean flooring is worth its price, considering all the benefits Karndean provides. More so, they offer lifetime warranties for residential customers and guarantees that their floors will last for many years to come.

    Is Karndean Better Than Laminate?

    Karndean is not as cheap as laminates, but it comes with higher functionality than laminate floors. However, these floors last longer than laminates as it is made of recyclable composite material that’s highly scratch-resistant and durable. They also have superior dampness resistance to laminate flooring.

    Does Karndean Scratch Easily?

    Karndean has a surface hardness of 7H (out of 10), and it’s more scratch-resistant than other vinyl flooring brands. Additionally, it is also dent-resistant and is nearly impervious to dents. No matter how many heavy items are dropped on top of it, you can expect it to resist marks. Karndean also comes with a lifetime warranty, which proves Karndean flooring is built to last.

    Editorial Contributors
    Alora Bopray

    Alora Bopray

    Staff Writer

    Alora Bopray is a digital content producer for the home warranty, HVAC, and plumbing categories at Today's Homeowner. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of St. Scholastica and her master's degree from the University of Denver. Before becoming a writer for Today's Homeowner, Alora wrote as a freelance writer for dozens of home improvement clients and informed homeowners about the solar industry as a writer for EcoWatch. When she's not writing, Alora can be found planning her next DIY home improvement project or plotting her next novel.

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    Roxanne Downer


    Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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