What is Hybrid Flooring?
Sometimes called the future of flooring, Hybrid flooring combines the best features of Laminate and Vinyl floorings, creating a highly durable flooring that is as stylish as it is functional. Being an innovative flooring solution, Hybrid flooring provides the style and beauty of authentic Timber flooring while removing the drawbacks of timber. Produced from multiple layers pressed together, Hybrid is an incredibly long-lasting, hardwearing, and visually stunning flooring which could be installed throughout the entire place, both in residential and commercial buildings.
Hybrid flooring which is incredibly durable, is crafted from a high-density inner core featuring materials such as limestone, virgin vinyl, bamboo flour, and recycled wood. It is a rigid floating floor that is hard-wearing yet still provides the comfort and warmth of natural wood.
How is Hybrid Flooring made?
Hybrid flooring is manufactured by pressing several layers together in order to provide durability and beauty at the same time. Hybrid floors are generally made up of the following layers:
- Top layer – A commercial-grade protective coating that gives hybrid floors a high level of impact, stain, scratch, and UV resistance.
- Design layer – Utilizes advanced printing technology to bring the desired design. The technology enables Hybrid floors to provide the style and feeling of various materials such as wood, tile, concrete, and marble.
- Core board – A cutting-edge composite that allows Hybrid floors to withstand rapid temperature changes. The rigid inner core usually comes in two main types: Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) which consists of limestone, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and stabilizers; Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) which is composed of recycled wood and PVC. Generally, WPC hybrid floors are thicker and more comfortable, while they come at a higher price.
- Acoustic underlay – Most Hybrid floors include this bottom layer pre-attached, which increases underfoot comfort, dampens noises, and eliminates the need for any additional underlayment.
Hybrid Flooring Pros
Because of their tough top layer coating, Hybrid floors are able to resist UV light, dents, scratches, and stains, even in high foot traffic areas. Especially if you have pets or kids that love playing on the floor, you’ll be surprised by how hybrid floors can withstand two decades of wear and tear. When combined with the waterproof nature of these floors, you’ll be able to use them nearly everywhere, which makes them an ideal option for busy households or businesses.
One of the top advantages of Hybrid flooring is its waterproofness. Provided by the hard protective top layer along with the PVC-infused inner core, Hybrid floors are 100% waterproof. In fact, you could immerse a plank of hybrid flooring in water for a week or more without the risk of it swelling.
Therefore, Hybrid floors are particularly suitable for rooms subjected to high levels of moisture or high chances of water spillages such as laundries, bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and entryways. It is also excellent for commercial applications or areas of your home that experience high traffic.
Style and Beauty
Same as laminate floors, hybrid flooring features a printed layer that enables you to select your desired style with wide flexibility. The printed layer, called the design layer, can come in a smooth or embossed finish and provides the textures and edges of other types of flooring without the maintenance costs. As such, Hybrid floors are a great solution if you’re envisioning a stunning style for your home.
The thick rigid inner core construction provides a dense, comfortable walking surface in Hybrid floors. Besides, the use of underlayment on hybrid floors helps reduce the noises, provides excellent thermal insulation, and also offers further cushioning to support your feet as you walk or stand on it.
Hybrid flooring’s rigid core technology helps produce a solid step with less sound, while some floors generate a hollow sound when walked on. Besides, featuring a pre-attached acoustic underlayment makes steps even lighter.
Low Installation Cost
Hybrid flooring is installed as a floating floor, which means that it can be installed over your current floor. Floating floors reduce the cost of subfloor preparation, flooring installation, and eliminate the need to use any expensive adhesives.
Easy to Clean and Maintain
Since Hybrid floors use click-locked floorboards, there are no gaps for grime and dirt to hide. This means that you will generally only need to clean with a vacuum or broom, without the need for any special cleaning products, waxes, polishes, or equipment. Because of their waterproof nature, hybrid floors can also be wet mopped; something that you need to be very careful about with timber, laminate, and bamboo floors.
Maintains Colour and Quality over Time
Combining the use of fade-resistant dyes with the UV-resistant topcoat protects Hybrid floors against UV damage from the sun. As a result, the stylish design of your floors will keep looking brand new for years to come.
Provided by its click-lock installation process, if a hybrid floorboard is damaged, you are able to easily unclick the floorboard and replace it with a new one.
Hybrid Flooring Cons
Although hybrid floors are much more affordable than several options such as stone, hardwood, and oak floorings, they utilize new technologies which make them more expensive than laminate or vinyl flooring. You might want to consider those options instead if you’re on a very tight budget.
Less Authentic Feeling
Because of the unique texture due to the mix of plastic, limestone, and wood, Hybrid floors may feel slightly less authentic and less solid underfoot compared to Timber and Bamboo floorings.
Unlike Timber, Hybrid floors could not be re-sanded or re-coated when it begins to wear. However, Hybrid flooring is generally durable enough that it doesn’t require this, but in the event of damage to a hybrid floorboard, you’ll have to replace the board with a new one.
It Can Discolour
Although the top coating provides UV resistance, Hybrid flooring like any other flooring is prone to discolor if it’s continually exposed to direct sunshine. So, using curtains or blinds would be a good idea to keep your Hybrid floors looking fresh.
Hybrid floors are also prone to change color on contact with rubber products such as rug backings and slippers. Therefore, you should be aware of this while you choose your furniture.