Hybrid planks are becoming increasingly popular in Gold Coast renovations as they’re marketed as an ‘easier’ product to install. While you may be searching ‘how to lay hybrid flooring’ to save some money up front on your installation, cutting and laying hybrid flooring is not something that any handyman can execute properly.
In this blog, we highlight a hybrid flooring installation in a Gold Coast property that was actually installed by a qualified builder—not a flooring installer. While the client was promised by the builder that he had the trade background to install the hybrid flooring properly, this certainly wasn’t the case.
How to Install Hybrid Flooring
When it comes to installing hybrid flooring, getting the subfloor level is paramount. Regardless of whether or not your new hybrid planks are laid over tiles, vinyl or old timber flooring, it’s important to have the floor reviewed by an expert to determine the best course action. This could mean:
- Removing old flooring (carpet, vinyl, laminate etc) and starting from scratch on top of your subfloor.
- Laying over the existing flooring using a levelling compound.
- A combination of laying additional subfloors and levelling compound to bring all of the flooring to the same level.
What went wrong?
In this project, the home was an old ‘Queenslander’ and had some levelling issues on the upper floor. In an attempt to overcome this, the builder installed a thin, cheap chipboard where the floor level ‘dipped’. These boards were attached to the subfloor with (many, many) nails and were placed directly next to each other.
Levelling compound was also used to build ‘ramps’ to existing door entries with chipboard added on top of it.
But one of the biggest issues was that the flooring did not have sufficient expansion gaps surrounding the entire floor, meaning that there was not enough space for the floor to ‘grow’ in the changing Gold Coast humidity.
Within months of the hybrid floor being laid, the customer noticed that the flooring was ‘bubbling’ in multiple places. The hybrid planks were lifting more than 10ml from the subfloor and would only ‘deflate’ when stood on.
There were also multiple hybrid planks throughout the room that creaked with every step.
Unfortunately, by engaging with a builder, the client did not have any guarantees on the hybrid flooring installation (like we do at One Source Flooring) and was forced to seek assistance externally. That’s when we came to the rescue!
How to Lay Hybrid Flooring
So what did we have to do to overcome this hybrid flooring issue? Unfortunately for our client, the entire floor needed to be relaid. As you can imagine this was a very disappointing outcome after she had spent thousands on her first hybrid flooring installation by a builder.
After discussing the initial hybrid flooring installation with the client and investigating the issues that we could actually see, we knew that more was going on under the surface. We wanted to support our client as much as we could, so we provided some tips on how to save costs on the second hybrid flooring installation. The client was able to lift the hybrid flooring herself and provided a ‘map’ to our installer so that we would have as little wastage as possible.
From here our team jumped in and made good of the mess from the builder. Our hand-picked hybrid flooring installer, Pete, took the time to measure and mark-out the floors—ensuring that the right approach was taken to make sure our client would never have to relay these hybrid floors again. The method was discussed with our client to ensure she had complete trust in our process, something that isn’t received by many builders or flooring companies.
Our installer used a mixture of yellow tongue and levelling compound to achieve a perfect, flat base prior to installation. This is a skill that is only developed with years of experience and is certainly not something we would recommend a weekend renovator to try at home.
Once perfected, the ‘map’ was followed and the hybrid planks were laid. Unfortunately, we did require some additional planks as the builder struggled to know how to cut hybrid planks. Overall, our client was thrilled with the new hybrid flooring installation and has left us a raving 5 star Google review. She was so happy with our expertise and service that we were also asked to lay carpet in the bedrooms and completely re-floor the lower level of the home.
How To Lay Hybrid Over Tiles
The lower level of the project required the removal of tiles, testing the subfloor for moisture, installing a moisture barrier, levelling the subfloor and finally laying the new hybrid planks.
When laying hybrid over tiles, you need to factor in the levelling across the entire space, the thickness of the planks, grout lines and more. This house had previously experienced subsidence issues (this was rectified prior to the new flooring installation), so unfortunately there was no other option but to remove the tiles.
Moisture had also been detected in the subfloor, so to ensure that the new planks would last, installing a moisture barrier was imperative.
Avoiding Hybrid Flooring DIY Disasters
As professional flooring installers we, of course, are going to recommend choosing an experienced installer to lay your hybrid flooring. But there’s some pretty important reasons behind why it’s really not a bad idea:
- We offer a 5 Year Installation Guarantee, so if anything should go wrong with your hybrid flooring installation, we’re local and are able to help.
- Our installers are professionals and are hand-picked due to their experience in the industry. They have the expertise to ensure that your hybrid flooring installation has been done properly – allowing you to maintain your manufacturer’s guarantees/warranties.
- Rest assured that your levelling and expansions have been done correctly, avoiding costly relaying expenses.
We cover some super helpful tips in our FAQs on our Hybrid page .
If you’d like to know more about our professional hybrid flooring installation service, fill out our free in-home measure and quote form.