Vinyl wood-effect floor-covering?

Hi. I need some floor-covering that looks like a hardwood or parquet floor, but is easy to lay, doesn't cost a fortune, and is fairly thin. So I think some kind of vinyl is probably the way to go, rather than laminate.
Couple of questions:
Where can I buy some good-looking wood-effect vinyl at a good price?
Is there much difference in quality of the offerings available?
How does one recognise the good-quality stuff?
How does one deal with joins? Double-sided carpet tape?
Is there much skill to laying the stuff (especially around door frames, etc)?
The floorboards are very old (100yrs) and not 100% even. Is there anything I can lay under the vinyl to create a more even-looking and convincing finished job?
Thank you,
Jim D
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Jim Drake wrote:

Commercial flooring suppliers - it's used for shops etc. However "good" will equal "higher price".

Yes
(a) Thicker (b) Printed layer sealed below protective clear layer.

Avoid joins if at all possible, otherwise yes.

Some; supply and fit may be worthwhile. It can be expensive if you get it wrong on a big bit.

Hardboard.
Owain
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Jim Drake wrote:

You can buy good looking or cheap - not both.

Huge. Some cheap vinyls are 80% inert filler (chalk).

Price usually - or brand name. Amtico for example.

I don't think DIY joining sheet vinyl is a good idea. Commercially its done using heat welding.

A fair bit. Patience, a paper template & a sharp knife.

If its uneven boards the floor will soon show through the vinyl IME.
--
Dave
The Medway Handyman
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On 30 May, 12:01, "The Medway Handyman"

IME of vinyl, theres just one thing it does need, and thats a smooth floor with no gaps at all. So totally unsuitable for old floorboards.
Why dont you just clean up the boards? Replace any bust ones with well used boards to match. Result would look far better.
Or if you insist on something flat, smooth & new looking, lay thin ply down.
The other thing re vinyl is the ones I've seen really dont look good imitating wood. More of the cheap fake type of appearance.
NT
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On 30 May 2007 04:43:23 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions. The old floorboards are 100 yrs old and sem to be some kind of reddish pine - (when polyurethane varnish is applied, they come up almost orangey in colour) very difficult to match.

Thanks; that's an interesting idea. You mean something like 5mm ply? As it happens I have bought 8ftx 4ft sheets of some rather nice-looking 5mm ply locally with an almost maple-like top skin for £not-too-much. I used it to panel out my loft.
What sized pieces would you lay, to end up with a good effect? 8ft x 4ft sheets wouldn't look too hot, IMO, but if cut down to 9"-wide strips it might look good with a decent finish. What would you use to fix them down? (Something that's near-invisible, yet durable, but allowed for easy future removal would be ideal.) Any sugestions on finish? Stain and then polyurethane floor-varnish, perhaps?
Cheers,
Jim
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The problems here are that it is very difficult to stain pine in a way that doesn't look totally crap, and adding polyurethane varnish simply compounds the felony and makes the whole thing look like cheap and nasty plastic.
Adding more cheap and nasty plastic on top is not going to make that look any better.

Noooooo!!!!!!! Mega yuk. You will not achieve anything looking in any way decent with these techniques.
A far better solution would be to go with what is in character for the type of floor. That would be to give it a thoroughly good cleaning and sanding, treat it with some good quality wax and not try to make it something that it isn't. There should be no need to cover it with plasticy coverings whether by roll, sheet or out of a tin. If the floor is mechanically and visually that bad, then the solution is to rip it up and replace with new floor boards.

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Andy Hall wrote:

Actually, ply can look quite interesting if it's laid in sheets but has the top layer routed out in very thin lines to make panels.
Owain
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It can, but does need to be a good quality grade. I would certainly be dubious about doing this with 6mm material anyway.
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Elementary to match, any salvage yard will have the same thing in stock.

5mm would be very thin ply. Cutting it into strips would be out of the question. Quarter inch would work better, but dont chop it up.
But I'm still not that clear why you need to refloor. Replacing a few bad boards and a good srcub up is all they usually take. Some people sand, but it sometimes ruins the floor by exposing worm holes, and just isnt needed.
As for putting yinyl straight onto sanded boards, forget it. Nowehere near good enough base.
NT
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On 30 May 2007 04:43:23 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

Thanks to all for the input. In light of what's been said, I am now leaning towards having a fitted carpet throughout. It'll deaden footsteps, give some thermal insulation and smarten the place up for selling, and, it'll create easier access to the underfloor space when needed.
I've never really mastered the art of carpet-fitting, so I may just employ a pro to (hopefully) ensure a top-quality-looking job.
Jim
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On Wed, 30 May 2007 12:01:01 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"

Yes, I feared so. Perhap a once-over with an industrial sander would be worthwhile. I will need to cover the floorboards with *something* though, as it'll be too noisy otherwise. Vinyl does have that slightly impact-absorbing cushioning effect which would be helpful in this application. It's in a flat and the inter-flat sound insulation isn't that great.
Thanks also to Owain for the input.
Jim
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So put a rug in the middle of the floor. You can change that on whim and seasonally.
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On Wed, 30 May 2007 12:01:01 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"

Also look for the thickness of the "wear layer" - the bigger the better.

Always use ply or hardboard over floorboards first. Make sure the floorboards are as flat as possible beforehand.
M
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Snip
There is Karndean www.karndean.com which is very good quality vinyl which comes in 'planks' when bought in wood effect. I think the brand for wood effect is Knight Tile. It used to only be sold to registered installers, but I gather that you can now buy it direct. The installers instructions (there's a two day training course) are to lay it on board over floorboards, or on a latex scree if over anything more solid. It has it's own glue, but I think it's a standard PVA type glue. I'm highly impressed with the stuff, and if laid properly beats 'normal' lamintate hands down (in my opinion).
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