DuraCeramic Review for Flooring

The Pros and Cons of DuraCeramic Flooring and is it Appropriate as a Bathroom and Kitchen Flooring Product

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: Mark, I thoroughly enjoy reading your newsletter. Always good and helpful stuff. I am in the process of evaluating flooring products for my kitchen and bathroom and I wanted to get your opinion on DuraCeramic which I’m considering using in my kitchen and bathroom. Any thoughts on this product would be much appreciated.

Answer: N.N. Glad to hear you enjoy the newsletter. I’ve personally never used DuraCeramic flooring so I lack first-hand experience with it. 

From what I understand DuraCeramic is a cross between vinyl and ceramic tile, comes in 16 inch square pieces, and can be used on floors and walls.

The 16 square inch pieces can also be scored on embossed lines to create smaller 8 square inch pieces. On standard 16 square inch pieces you can choose to grout or not grout the product, depending upon how you space the pieces. When cut into 8 square inch pieces you must grout them. It can be installed on a variety of subfloor types including wood and concrete, and doesn’t require a wet saw to install, making for a much easier installation effort.

See how to prepare a subfloor for tile installation.

I have read some reviews, however, on DuraCeramic and there are a number of complaints on its durability, especially in high use areas such as a kitchen. For example, there have been published complaints regarding chipping when things are dropped on it. Reports have also indicated the formation of hairline cracks, dents, and nicks in it after just a couple of years of use.

Also, heavy furniture placed on it often causes permanent denting of the floor directly under the furniture legs. Consequently footpads should to be installed underneath heavier furniture feet to prevent permanent denting of the DuraCeramic floor.

Congoleum acknowledges that DuraCeramic is a soft product, and in fact it is one of the key benefits of it, as it is specifically designed to be a flexible and resilient product for ensuring a comfortable flooring product to walk on.

There have also been some complaints about cracking grout lines. However, in many cases where there are consumer complaints about a building product, and particularly flooring products and grout cracking, it’s often associated with improper installation.

When it comes to flooring installations, a solid subfloor, free of deflection is tantamount. Also, with any type of tile flooring product it is important to use the flooring manufacturer’s recommended adhesives, grout, and grout sealer.

With DuraCeramic flooring, Congoleum, the manufacturer of the product, has very specific instructions on how to install it and what type of adhesives, grout and grout sealers to use. So if you do plan to use DuraCeramic on your kitchen and bathroom floors make sure to read and follow their instructions carefully.

Also note that DuraCeramic is not recommended for wet areas such as in shower areas or basements. Consequently you may want to think twice about using it in bathrooms, particularly if you have small children that could leave the floors very wet after jumping out of the bath or shower.

Assuming you do move forward with DuraCeramic flooring, of particular note, make sure that you have the appropriate subfloor installed first, e.g. at least 1 inch of material with a wood floor, such as ¾ inch tongue and groove subfloor with another ¼ inch plywood on top. I usually use exterior CDX grade plywood for the top ¼ inch subfloor material when doing a floor tiling project. I also notice that Congoleum recommends having at least 18 inches of well ventilated air space below the floor. This requirement seems extreme unless you are installing it on a floor with a basement below it.

Also make sure you leave a ¼ inch of spacing at the edges of the room for expansion and don’t line up tile joints with underlayment seams.

Before you finally decide on DuraCeramic flooring for your kitchen and bathroom make sure to ask about some of the complaints with it to see what the response is. Maybe you’ll hear, as I’ve suggested, much of the issues are associated with improper installation, or that they have improved the product so that the chipping and denting concerns have been eliminated, or at least reduced. Whatever you decide, best of luck on your flooring project.

For help on finding a wood flooring installation contractor, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet. It will help ensure that you find and hire the right flooring installation contractor for your wood flooring project. In addition, it will help to ensure that your wood floor installation is completed on time and on budget.

Related Information

Additional Flooring Resources from Amazon.com

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