Loose Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring – Pros & Cons

So we recently saw that Karndean have added some new designs to “an innovative format of luxury vinyl flooring” that requires no adhesive. What’s so innovative about that? I wondered out loud, after all most of the luxury vinyl plank or tile products currently in the market use the ClickLock system than doesn’t have to be glued down… But then I took a closer look and realised that what Karndean (and a few other manufacturers) are offering is an entirely different kind of vinyl tile: one that is so incredibly simple to install that it’s hard to believe it’s true!

So what exactly is Loose Lay Vinyl Tile?



The new Looselay – or sometimes written Loose Lay – tiles do not use glue or staples or any kind of ClickLock system. Instead the backing of each tile is made with materials that use friction to effectively grip the subfloor beneath; furthermore Loose lay vinyl tiles are completely dimensionally stable which means that they will not expand or shrink depending on moisture levels, so when you install them there is no expansion gap between the tiles and the wall, and therefore once you’ve got your floor in place, it just has nowhere to go, and finally, Loose lay vinyl is also super thick and heavy which adds to its ability to stay put.


Other Benefits of Loose Lay Flooring


Clearly – even with an adhesive grid – the other major advantage of Looselay vinyl is that it is just as easy to get it off the floor as it is to lay it down: if you move home and would rather like to take your floor with you, you actually can! As most flooring options represent a fairly large investment, what this really means is that you can easily replace any tiles in the unlikely event of serious damage (make sure to keep a few surplus tiles, just in case).

The removability aspect of Looselay is also useful in office or high-tech home environments where you might have power sockets embedded into the subfloor that you don’t necessarily want to always have visible: tiles placed over such power sockets can easily be removed when you need access.

Other benefits include the fact that modern vinyl techniques mean that most Looselay tiles are pretty durable with manufacturers offering guarantees of up to 15 years, and they are also extremely low maintenance;  New technology also means that the aesthetic design of Looselay tiles is usually just as detailed, textured and authentic-looking as other vinyl such as LVT. Vinyl is both more waterproof and tends to be better at absorbing sound than real flooring products, so it is a great option for pretty much any room in your home. Plus it is warmer underfoot than real stone and softer than real hardwood, and certain manufacturers are offering Looselay tiles that can be used with underfloor heating.

Any Loose Lay Flooring Drawbacks?

The main disadvantage of Looselay at this point is that it hasn’t been taken up by all vinyl tile manufacturers yet, so the ranges available are still relatively limited (in comparison to LVT, for example).

The main options are wood and stone looks, and mostly in aesthetics that will broadly appeal to most classic design styles, such as traditional oaks and slates. A few brands do also offer abstract, colour block or textile look tiles. Below we have reviewed a few of the manufacturers offering good Looselay collections, and it can only be hoped that as this product gains popularity that more interesting designs will come to the market.


Beware Linguistic Confusion

If you’re interested in researching Looselay further, then be ready for a bit of linguistic detective work because there is a general confusion surrounding the wording of these products. Quite apart from the fact that some write it as Looselay and others as Loose Lay, different manufacturers are using the terms “loose” and “lay” in various ways to describe totally different products.

For example Gerflor has two product lines that cause serious confusion! What they refer to as their LVT Looselay (Senso Clic, Senso Lock and Senso Lock Plus) is actually a Click-Lock floating floor; whilst what they call LVT Removable (Senso Adjust) is what we would actually call Looselay, as there is no Click-Lock or glue or staples involved. Gerflor also has a line they refer to as Vinyl Rolls Looselay (Home Comfort, HQR, Texline, Solidtex and Primetex), and whilst these floors indeed do not require glue, they are in fact vinyl sheet not tiles or planks!

And that’s another lingo thing to point out – Looselay vinyl can be in tile or plank format depending on whether you’re going for a stone look or a wood look, even though it is mostly referred to as tile!

Karndean – This UK based company has been making vinyl flooring products for over 40 years and were one of the first to introduce the Looselay concept to their product lines. There are currently 39 Karndean Looselay products divided into three series featuring a diverse range of wood and stone aesthetics. The wood look Looselay offerings are particularly interesting with a really good range of colours 19 to be precise from the smoky grey toned Hudson planks (below left), through a number of attractive warm brown tones to the coolly whitewashed Ashland.  Karndean Looselay wood planks are available in a decently large size (41.3” x 9.85”-1050mm x 250mm) that adds authenticity to the already highly realistic designs.


Karndean – Longboard comes come in 12 different shades from the bleached Tasmanian Oak (below left) again in a range of warm brown tones to the dark smokey tone of the Raven Oak. the size of these boards are (59.1″ x 9.85″- 1500mm x 250mm)


Karndean – Stone comes in 8 tones from the rich Texas to the beautiful Indiana featured below



We are a Gold Retailer with Karndean – therefore if we fit the product you will receive a life time guarantee from Karndean





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