Why Karndean Flooring is a great alternative to Engineered Oak Wood floors

As someone who has renovated a couple of houses now, always one of the biggest decisions to make is with regards to the flooring, particularly in what I would call ‘high traffic’ areas such as the kitchen, living room, hallway and bathroom. In both our last house’s kitchen and hallway, and in our current kitchen, we have chosen to use a type of flooring called Karndean. So what are considerations when it comes to Karndean vs engineered wood flooring?

Karndean is practical, versatile, luxury vinyl flooring that looks a lot like real wood (if you choose a wood option of course). Adam and I have always liked the fact that it looks great, yet is hard-wearing for a young family (we’ve discovered in the past 8 years that small children are prone to dropping things a LOT on the floor!). 

Here are some reasons why Karndean is a great alternative to Engineered Oak Wood flooring

You don’t have to worry about water

Okay, whilst you still wouldn’t want your Karndean in a flood, it’s much more practical when it comes to getting wet in any way. Engineered oak wood flooring can stain more easily if you don’t clear up an spillages quickly, and if you have a busy family lifestyle of kids, pets, in and out with wet shoes/sports gear etc, then Karndean can hack the pace and is much more forgiving and low maintenance. 

Lower noise levels

Whilst engineered wood can be noisy when you walk on it, Karndean is much, much quieter- perfect for tip toeing around the house when doing stealth stocking filling at Christmas, or creeping up on an opponent during a Nerf gun fight! In all seriousness though, having quieter flooring is a godsend in that our toddler can nap in peace without worry that his two older siblings are going to wake him up by clattering through the house. 

Easier installation & customisation

We discovered after talking to builders on both our builds that a flooring like Karndean is much easier (and therefore possibly more cost effective during a renovation) to fit compared to engineered oak flooring. You don’t have to remove skirting boards to get a decent finish with Karndean, and can also choose to add decorative strips, borders and effects, such as a natural looking grouting, so your floor is completely unique for you. 

It’s low maintenance 

There is pretty much zero maintenance required with Karndean, unlike wood flooring, so you won’t need to spend time sanding, staining and lacquering it- something we definitely appreciate as parents of 3 kids and with a busy life! 

Here is our Karndean flooring in our current home…

…and also our old home!

What flooring do you have in your home? When it comes to Karndean vs engineered wood flooring, what do you like and dislike about them? 

I’d love to hear, as if we end up moving, Karndean would probably be our first choice still, but I love a good interiors debate!


*In collaboration


1 Comment

  1. David Greenwood
    August 10, 2021 / 8:30 am

    Three months ago I laid oak engineered flooring with an invisible oil.
    A wonderful product, and looked fantastic.
    Then, we had a leak from the washing machine supply valve, the water seeped through the cracks of the engineered wood and underneath it meaning that we had to lift the entire floor because of the nature of its click together technology for laying it.
    After some research, we decided to replace with Karndean, being a vinyl floor, the water would stay on top and be easier to manage as opposed to the water seeping underneath and ruining the plywood reverse of engineered wood….and Karndean doesn’t squeak!

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