Submitted By: Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID, CMG
I’ve always loved the term “floating floors”. It conjures up magical images of products that have hidden powers. Well, there are no magic carpets except in the cartoons, but there is some magic in a new flooring system from Avaire Floors that offers consumers an interlocking, floating, porcelain floor. For those of us in the flooring industry, that raises a few eyebrows for sure.
It means that now there is a way for you to have real porcelain tile floors with an installation system that floats (not fixed to the subfloor). It can be installed over radiant heating systems, or directly over vinyl, linoleum or hardwood with no underlayment! Here’s how it works: Place, click, grout. It’s that easy. The tiles have a non-skid base which is self-leveling, sound deadening, and interlocking for precise spacing. You already know that porcelain is harder and denser than most other types of ceramic tile, so that makes it ideal for high traffic areas as well.
Avaire has three collections they are offering, Standard, Choice and Select. Very much like natural stone, there are inherent color shade variations in the different styles. V1 ratings indicate a uniform appearance, V2 shows slight variations, V3 moderate, and V4 styles have substantial variations, which adds to the realism of the look. The collections include authentic slate looks, travertine, and beautiful natural stone looks. The colors are nature-based, earthy and yet very sophisticated. (Feel free to visit Avair floors for visuals and more information.) Avaire also provides the appropriate flexible grout products specifically designed for these floors in both flexible grout/Urethane, and flexible grout/Acrylic options.
Obviously, the fast and convenient installation is a huge benefit, but let’s analyze some of the other benefits you could expect:
– Realistic stone looks, without the cost of real stone
– Built-in acoustical properties to create sound absorption
– Real porcelain tile manufactured with the latest screening technologies to produce natural shading
– Fast and convenient installation
– Excellent resistance to stains, water, bacteria, and scratches
– AND (this one is pretty important) replacement of any damaged tiles in the future can be done much easier than traditional porcelain tile floors, even if it’s in the middle of the room
It is very gratifying to see something this innovative introduced for residential use. And to bring it to your attention–since it is one of the very first flooring systems like this on the market. I strongly believe that manufacturers today need to think outside the box and bring “smart” products to market. Products that solve a problem for the consumer (installs over existing floors!), and serves a multi-function purpose (a beautiful floor that has built-in sound reduction properties!) Who can ask for more than that?