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Is DuraCeramic better than Ceramic Tile?

Is DuraCeramic better than Ceramic Tile?

by Ethan Hagan (email Ethan) | | October 28, 2011 | 94 Comments »

My brother and his wife are remodeling their kitchen, and they’ve taken the time to carefully investigate all the different options including flooring. I was really curious when they began talking about DuraCeramic for the kitchen floor. It’s a relatively new product, and I wanted to know how it compared to a more “traditional” choice like ceramic tile.

Editors note: We’re updating another old post from June 2008. Since that time, more information regarding the benefits and disadvantages of DuraCeramic have come out, and we’ve had a lot of readers share they’re experience. We hope you find this comparison helpful.

What is DuraCeramic?

DuraCeramic is a Congoleum product designed to look like ceramic with the warmth and comfort of resilient flooring. In short, it’s a cross between vinyl and ceramic tile. DuraCeramic is made with a limestone composite base and fortified with a polymeric resin. For that reason, it’s tough yet flexible and will resist breaking from subfloor deflection, expansion and contraction. Since DuraCeramic is “more forgiving,” installation is faster and easier because the subfloor requires less attention when compared to ceramic and stone tile preparation.

Tiles are available in 16″ squares and can be scored along the embossed lines into 8″ pieces. Installations can be grouted to look even more like a ceramic tile floor or un-grouted with no space at the joint. You can expect to see DuraCeramic installed on walls, floors, backsplashes, and more. It’s intended for residential and light commercial use in dry, interior, heated areas. It is not recommended for wet areas like shower walls and shower floors.

The price of DuraCeramic has dropped since it was first introduced. Consumer Reports estimates retail price at $5.00 per square foot which is comparable to high-end ceramic tile.

DuraCeramic Benefits

I’ve already mentioned that DuraCeramic requires less subfloor preparation. In fact, DuraCeramic can be installed directly over concrete, suspended wood, some old resilient floors, ceramic tile and terrazzo. Like most flooring installations, make sure everything is clean, dry and free of dust, dirt, grease, etc. DuraCeramic is flexible but the subfloor must be flat. Deviations should not exceed 1/16” in 1’ or 3/16” in 10’. If your floor doesn’t meet those requirements, you can fill low areas with a portland cement patching compound. It’s also worth noting that you don’t need a wet saw. DuraCeramic can be cut by scoring and flexing the tile much like drywall. These are great benefits for the installer, but what about the end user?

Homeowners enjoy DuraCeramic because it’s warmer and easier to stand on that ceramic tile. I’ve even seen mention of it for people who suffer from arthritic ankles. With 12 different patterns and the option to grout joints, homeowners can creative a very unique space. Congoleum claims virtually no maintenance outside of normal floor cleaning, however that may be no simple task. Keep reading, and you’ll see what I mean.

Since the floor is composed of separate tiles, it’s easier to repair defects and damaged pieces than patching a sheet flooring product like linoleum.

DuraCeramic Disadvantages

DuraCeramic does have some inherent disadvantages. For instance, if you prefer the 8″ x 8″ size, these tiles must be grouted at the joints, and the only approved grout is DuraCeramic Premix Grout (designed for high flexural strength and adhesion to the edge of the tile). Grout and un-grouted joints still need to be sealed

The biggest draw for DuraCeramic is also the biggest complaint. Homeowners want something softer than ceramic but are disappointed because DuraCeramic can dent, chip and cut from things like scissors, stiletto heals and pets. Heavy furniture and appliances should have floor protector pads to prevent scratches, and Congoleum suggests door mats to prevent dirt and grit from being tracked onto the floor.

DuraCeramic Clean Up

Many readers want to know the best way to clean DuraCeramic floors. If you read through the comments you’ll see a lot of suggestions like a the Shark Steam Mop. Some readers say steam mops dull the surface while others have no problems. Congoleum states on their Floor Care page not to use a steam cleaner and recommends their “Bright ’N Easy No- Rinse Cleaner or other suitable floor cleaner.” It’s unclear if a steam mop is considered a steam cleaner or not.

Other commenters have shared how a simple water / vinegar solution works great. If you decide to go with DuraCeramic, consider how a textured surface may be more difficult to clean.

Duraceramic Vote

We’ve had a lot of response about Duraceramic, and we thought it beneficial to add a poll. We hope you’ll take a moment to vote to give everyone a snap-shot of the popular consensus. Be sure to check all that apply, and them read through to comments to find other helpful opinions.

What do you think about Duraceramic? Check all that apply.

View Results

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For additional information, check out the Congoleum DuraCeramic installation and technical guide. Image courtesy of Garden Web Forum.

What do you think? Know anyone with DuraCeramic floors? Will the floor last?

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Conversation on This Article

94 Responses to Is DuraCeramic better than Ceramic Tile?

  • Todd responds...
    June 26th, 2008 7:50 am

    We’ve actually installed this product in two houses now and I’ve been very impressed with the results. The first how that we used it in I was extremely skeptical. First off I didn’t think it would look like tile, I just thought it would look like another vinyl floor. Boy was I surprised, not only did it look like tile but it’s much softer to walk on. You grout it in just like normal tile so it ends up looking very similar. The two home owners I know that chose this product say that clean up is easier than tile. I think it would be great for kitchens, easier to clean up and softer to stand on.

    [Reply]

    Dawn Scott Reply:

    Thinking of getting duraceramic flooring in my kitchen and bathrooms, how is the product looking now?

    [Reply]

  • Ethan responds...
    June 27th, 2008 9:04 am

    @Todd, I’ve heard it looks beautiful. I’m just curious how well it holds up. Any ideas there?

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    We had DC tiles installed in our kitchen 3 years ago and loved how they looked. As soon as the floor was installed, we applied felt chair pads to all our kitchen chairs as directed by the installers. We replaced the chair pads regularly as they started to wear out. About 1 1/2 to 2 years after installation we found small white areas on the tile and thought somehow paint had been flecked onto the tiles. On closer inspection, we realized that the top layer of the tile had worn off, revealing the white part of the tile. These areas got larger over time and are now located in several spots where chairs were located.

    A independent adjuster recently inspected our floor and told us that the company would not fix the damage. We are really disappointed in the product and will not be purchase again.

    [Reply]

  • Kathy responds...
    September 28th, 2008 9:59 pm

    We are considering Duraceramic tile for the kitchen and bathroom. Has any one had the Duraceramic tile long enough to tell me their true opinion on installation, product dependability and care?

    [Reply]

    Connie Reply:

    I have had Duracermic tile in my dinning room, hall, bathroom and laundry room for over 3 years now. It has held up beautifully. When I had it installed it wasn’t nearly as expensive as it is now. I would do it again if I needed more flooring.

    [Reply]

  • Remodel responds...
    October 18th, 2008 1:06 pm

    I have had the product installed in a high-traffic kitchen and 2 bathrooms so far for 3+ months. I have dogs and kids on it all the time. No scratches, dents or problems at all. It is easy to clean and doesn’t really show much dirt. It is softer to stand on. Had a hammer drop from about 4 feet and didn’t even harm the tile. Of course, three months isn’t a long time, but with dogs running across and everything my kids drop and do I haven’t seen a single problem. It seems like a good installation is key!

    [Reply]

  • Sue responds...
    January 11th, 2009 1:07 am

    We’ve had Duraceramic tile in our kitchen, hall, family room and bath for 2 years. It is still absolutely beautiful. Ours was professionally installed as part of a major remodel in our 80 year old house, so I’m not sure of the actual cost, but it was far, far cheaper than ceramic tile would have been.

    Because our old floors are not perfectly level, it was great to be able to forego the additional cost of subflooring that would have been necessary for ceramic. The flexibility of both the tile and grout make it virtually impossible to see any unevenness in the floor. We have never had any chipping or damage of any kind, except at the time of installation, and it was easy for the installer to come and replace the problem tiles weeks later. Since then – no problems.

    We live in North Dakota, and under our family room we just have a crawl space. We thought carpet was our only option for warmth (apart from putting under-floor heating in), but have been very happy – and actually pleasantly surprised – with the warmth of Duraceramic.

    I used a sealant recommended by our installer on the grout – purchased at Home Depot, the can sprays upside down so you can stand and spray. Very easy. We have the light grout, and it still looks great. We just mop – have not done any special cleaning of the tile or grout.

    Friends who have more expensive homes than ours, who have ceramic tile, have been surprised to learn that ours is not, because it looks so good, and they appreciate the warmth underfoot.

    Finally, we were just in AZ staying with friends who have ceramic throughout their million dollar plus home. My feet were sore just walking back and forth on that for several days. It’s good to be home – despite the weather!

    [Reply]

  • Sherry responds...
    February 13th, 2009 4:31 am

    Installed DuraCeramic in a new house in the kitchen and mstr bath after my inlaws installed it. Pricey stuff no doubt. Still after 5 mos I can’t remove all of the grout haze in the indentions. Just went to look at the inlaws floor and after 1 yr it is showing dirt in the indentions terribly and my MIL is a cleaning fanatic. Her grout has darkened. Think I made a bad, expensive choice, we’ll see, only time will tell.

    [Reply]

  • Jamie responds...
    February 25th, 2009 9:38 pm

    I have DuraCeramic installed in my kitchen and main entry hallway. 12″x12″x1/4″, interlocking, groutless. I’m fairly certain mine have been laid as a floating floor, much like normal laminates. I actually thought it was just laminate tiles with a strange veneer at first.
    They are printed with a greyish border to give the illusion of grout yet the smoothness of a laminate or vinyl floor. They’re never cold, work excellently as an added sound barrier between floors, and are actually quite impressive in their durability. Probably the most interesting thing about these floors is how well they deal with sand, salt and tracked in snow during the winter. No frosting, no water damage, no scratches. Incredibly easy to clean as well!

    Truly, these floors work AMAZINGLY well in an active home!

    [Reply]

  • Jamie responds...
    February 25th, 2009 9:52 pm

    Sherry,

    What kind of grout did you use? Contact the manufacturer of your tiles and see if there are any potential incompatibilities with different products.
    Next, contact the manufacturer of the grout and ask them if there is any suggestions they can offer for cleaning up the haze. (They might make a cleaner specifically for their product.)

    I’m wondering how deep the indentations are in your floors. Mine are probably 3/32″ deep, barely textured. Any deeper than 1/16″ and you’ll probably have trouble getting anything out of them… even 1/16 is pushing it if the indentations are deeper than they are wide.

    For your MIL’s floors, I’d probably look into a steam cleaner/pressure steam cleaner. Again, check with manufacturer of both tile and grout.
    Hell, a steam cleaner might even take your haze off!

    Goodluck!

    [Reply]

  • Jeff responds...
    March 4th, 2009 6:26 pm

    We had Duraceramic installed in 08/2006 and are still in love with the floor. The cleaning of it is very easy. My wife just uses water. We have a large dog (boxer) who we, sometimes , play ball with and he slides on the kitchen floor and there is absolutely no damage done. We did a combination of the regular (16″x16″) tiles and the options (8″x8″) around the perimeter. The whole thing was grouted with the vinyl grout that it came with. We have had no staining whatsoever. We are getting ready to install it in 2 of our bathrooms. Our kitchen is 16′ x 20′ and to have it installed it was about $2200. They laid it over our existing sheet vinyl. The labor portion was about $800. I would definitely do it over again.

    [Reply]

  • Jeri responds...
    April 8th, 2009 3:18 pm

    We’ve had dura-ceramic installed in our new home; lived in a year.
    I had ceramic tile in my previous home and always…………….always had leg aches. No more aches with the Dura-ceramic.
    We have it in the foyer, kitchen and breakfast bar area, sun room, lower level bath and a second kitchen…………………………….ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I have it in black with charcoal grouting. Very, very easy to keep clean. [We have a Golden Retriever puppy–accidents, spills, etc–no problem!!!
    My neighbor has white dura-ceramic in her foyer and kitchen and lower level bath………………………and she loves her floors as well.
    I think the secret is getting it installed by a good professional, who has experience working with the product.

    [Reply]

  • charles sisk responds...
    June 24th, 2009 3:57 pm

    We are thinking of replacing vinyl with duraCeramic. If sub floor and luan is o.k. is there a need to replace the luan?? Installer feels that would be the safe path to follow.

    [Reply]

  • Sue responds...
    June 24th, 2009 10:18 pm

    Charles Sisk -

    I would get a second opinion, preferably from an installer who has done more than a few DuraCeramic floors. If you have a good sub floor, I would think it unnecessary to add the luan.

    As far as cleaning the grout goes – I’ve had a fun time with one of those little steam cleaners (the shark?), and it works very well. Looks like new. On the other hand, the grout (that I haven’t gotten to yet) doesn’t look too bad after nearly 3 years!

    [Reply]

  • Anita W. responds...
    July 17th, 2009 4:43 pm

    All,
    We’ve had DuraCeramic floors for 2 years. I had tile before and stated to my builder I would NEVER have ceramic tile again. I had to scrub the grout with a stainless steel brush to get it clean. The DuraCeramic has exceeded my expectations. They were put in professionally while we were building and I’ve had no problems with them. Ours are in all the bathrooms, mud room and laundry area. (We’re actually considering laying them on a covered screen porch.) This is a very active house with 2 boys, 2 large dogs, and many college co-eds who “hang out”. The floors are very easy to clean. I usually clean it with one of the Swiffer WetJets about every other week to remove muddy paw prints. For especially tough stains, I use a wet paper towel! I’ve had other friends see my floors and install them as well; we’re all pleased with the results.

    For those questioning about cleaning the grout, my opinion is don’t use any. We didn’t, they still look good, and I don’t have to be on my knees scrubbing for hours. However, don’t confuse cleaning grout with trying to clean the tiles (ceramic or DuraCeramic)! Also, a properly chosen grout (dirt colored!) and a good sealant goes a long way too.

    [Reply]

  • Ann Denany responds...
    August 3rd, 2009 2:22 pm

    we had duraceramic installed in our kitchen a few months ago and we just love it. it is warm and comfortable to stand on. i was wondering what is the best cleaner to use?? i’ve just been using water. saw one comment about the swiffer wet jet. would love some feedback on different opinions for cleaners. thanks, ann

    [Reply]

  • Sherry responds...
    August 5th, 2009 10:38 am

    Ann, I use a water / vinegar solution to clean my kitchen floor, 2 ozs. vinegar to 1 qt water. Just acidic enough to help w/ dirt removal. I am the one who posted bk in Feb about dirt on my MIL’s duracermic. I went out and bought a Hoover floormate. A pricey machine ($100) but I have been soooooooo pleased. You can “flood” the floor (sections at a time) w/ hot cleaning water, let set a few seconds and vacum it dry. I do this once a week or so and I only sweep when needed. The great thing about this machine is……you don’t push dirty water to another area, you put down clean water each time. I’m telling you, I’m a terrible skeptic and a tightwad, but when this machine bites the dust, I will purchase another one. Oh, let me add, no bending over or wringing, just what these 50 yr old knees and hands need.

    [Reply]

  • Jim responds...
    August 5th, 2009 11:21 pm

    I’m not sure viniger is a good Idea to use on to-days products.
    I would go with 1/4 cup household ammonia to one gallon of warm water, or Windex works too.

    [Reply]

  • Sherry responds...
    August 6th, 2009 9:37 am

    ……..to my knowledge ammonia can strip a surface off of a floor over time, 1/4 c to a gal of water is as strong as you would want to go and then I feel at this strength you need to rinse with clean water. Using vinegar to clean goes back to great grandma’s day. Vinegar is the natural antibacterial, bacteria don’t like the 5% acidity. But it’s really the Hoover floormate that cleans, being able to flood the floor with water and vacum it right up.

    [Reply]

  • keith responds...
    August 8th, 2009 10:37 pm

    We’ve had this product installed in our house and have been very impressed with the results. We decided not to have grout. We had tiltes ( in the past) with grout and just like everyone, we had to get on our hands and knees to clean. So when we found out that we can get this without, sold the deal. It is cheaper than regular tile and faster to install if you don’t use grout.

    [Reply]

  • Vicki Starin responds...
    August 20th, 2009 12:57 pm

    We had dura-ceramic installed through out our house except for the bedrooms and we love it. It has had things dropped on it, 3 dogs playing on it, and because of our live style, horses and such, lots of dirt tracked on it. It looks great and is easy to keep clean. I am wondering if anyone has used the steam cleaners on it. Our tile is grouted.

    [Reply]

  • Jeff responds...
    October 28th, 2009 7:19 pm

    Does anyone know a good place to buy Duraceramic in Canada. Hopefully in the London area? We would also like to have someone install it with tring to charge an arm and a leg. We had one quote for $4700 for 290sqf.

    Please help! Love the product but don’t feel like getting…well you know.

    [Reply]

  • Sherry responds...
    October 28th, 2009 8:33 pm

    FYI…….thought I should post this here in case you guys have the same problem.
    Have lived with the duraceramic for 10 mos. now. Starting at about the 2 month mark thru the 8 month mark, we had pop ups occur. Some staples used on the underlayment had worked themselves up, putting pressure on the tile, giving you a rounded “pop up” in the tile. Yes, 3d, as in you can feel it and in the right light see it. Have had a total of 13 tiles replaced. The staple actually damages the underside of the tile, so just don’t knock it down w/ a rubber mallet. This cost has to be covered by the people who layed it. FYI…….very important one here, 3 tiles replaced on 1 trip due to above problem. I cleaned on day 3 to no avail it seemed. Matte looking finish, dull, no shine. I cleaned more, each time using harshed cleaning. But the tiles around it did not have what seemed to be haze on them. ????? Over a 2 wk period, our tile company and Congoleum were putting the blame on me, without seeing it. “oh, murphy’s oil soap, oh harsh product”….use a stripper and reapply a shine w/ our products….Then the husband gets in on it………….the tile company came out and within 30 seconds saw the problem. duh…..they brought tile w/ them from the same lot and a different lot. Congoleum evidently ran a “lot” of this tile and didn’t catch their mess up. This lot of tile had no shine on the tiles. Now if you had a all new floor installed with this no problem until you might need to replace a tile, then the difference sticks out like a sore thumb. P.S.-someone stated that duraceramic was cheaper then reg. tile, not here in NC, same price.

    [Reply]

  • Bette responds...
    November 10th, 2009 3:26 pm

    I put Duraceramic down in my kitchen about 18 months ago. I actually hate it. The same as Sherry said with her MIL”s floor, ours has all dirt and stains in the indentations and looks terrible. I am starting to regret ever getting it.
    After reading this, I may also go buy a Hoover floormate and try using that and see if that helps.

    [Reply]

  • Anna responds...
    November 20th, 2009 10:56 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    I live in Milton and we just installed Duraceric tiles in the kitchen & bathrooms.
    We went to Flooring Works-in Milton and they charged about $2000 for 200 sq fett installed!

    [Reply]

  • Carries responds...
    November 21st, 2009 8:42 pm

    I had the Dura-Ceramic installed in my laundry room and 1/2 bath in September and so far no problems. It’s great to walk on and seems to be holding up well. A definite upgrade from the vinyl we had on the floor before.
    After reading the posts, I’m a little worried about the future, but I have high hopes. My question is, has anyone every used on on those Shark steamers on it?

    [Reply]

  • Fran responds...
    January 1st, 2010 12:50 pm

    I just received a Shark for Christmas and am affraid to use it on my almost year old Dura Ceramic floor…My contractor says to only us special products, which are difficult to find in the stores around here. I asked him if anyone has ever used the steam cleaner on the floor and he has no response other than possibly it can dull the surface…The contractor’s products are very expensive..So my question is “has anyone used the Shark on their Dura Ceramic floors over a long period of time and what kind of results are you seeing????”. Is it dulling the floor???

    [Reply]

  • Christine responds...
    February 5th, 2010 8:16 am

    I had duraceramic installed in my kitchen 3 months ago…I love it…. I had an excellent installer that took a lot of time to make sure the sub floor was perfect. I had vinyl removed. It looks beautiful and very much like ceramic. Cleaning is easy and actually it looks like the day it was installed…Yes, I would recommend it. I also have a Floormate cleaner but haven’t used it yet…like wet swifters for now.

    The installer was impressed with it but didn’t like working with the grout for some reason.

    [Reply]

  • Annie responds...
    February 11th, 2010 10:54 am

    We installed our duracermic ourselves two years ago and it still looks like new. I’m very surprised to hear comments about haze and difficulty cleaning. Aside from having to clean thoroughly (on my hands and knees) a few times right after grouting, cleanup has been easy! I use the Shark steam mop (retails at about $79) and it works great. Tiles are still smooth and shiny. We have it in the kitchen, foyer, and bathroom, installed it right over linoleum (vapor barrier in between). Having installed ceramic in a previous house, the process for duraceramic was 10X easier. Our ceramic tile had cracked in 2 places after dropping a heavy vase. The duraceramic has NO cracks, scratches, or anything in two years of tough wear – two kids and three dogs. I would NEVER go back to ceramic tile. Plus it’s warmer and easier on the feet!

    [Reply]

    Erv Reply:

    Annie, we are considering Duraceramic in our kitchen and laundry room. We’re very concerned and hesitant after seeing many negative and some even downright angry reviews. Are you still happy with your floor since 2010? How’s it holding up? Thanks for your help!
    The Meiers’

    [Reply]

  • Nina Brierly responds...
    March 14th, 2010 4:05 pm

    We’ve had our Duraceramic tile in our kitchen (high traffic area) for almost 1 year now. The Congoleum liquid cleaner that you delute with water has not done a good job at all on the floor. It has been used every other week since the tile was installed.
    Unfortunately we chose a very light tile. After all these mos. the floor has become very dirty & will not clean up good with the recommended floor cleaner. We have recently purchased a Shark Pocket Steamer & have used that twice. While the mop pads (I used a total of 4 sides for the 2 cleanings) have gotten very dirty, the floor is still dirty. What can you recommend to get this floor clean? The Shark steamer mop even left streaks of cleaner areas that show. Can you tell me if the steam mop is harmful to this type of floor? Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

    [Reply]

  • Ruth responds...
    March 15th, 2010 1:46 pm

    I have had my duraceramic for one year and the only thing that I don’t like is I wanted it to be a shiny floor and it is not, but other than that I love it I just use water on mine and mop every week

    [Reply]

  • Ruth responds...
    March 15th, 2010 1:48 pm

    Is there something to put on it to make it shiny
    that will not harm the floor

    [Reply]

  • JenniferWebster responds...
    March 23rd, 2010 3:04 pm

    can this floor be installed over radiant floor heat?

    [Reply]

  • Louise Kurylo responds...
    May 9th, 2010 6:40 pm

    We installed DuraCeramic 3 years ago in our kitchen. I love the look of ceramic, but my husband hates how cold and hard ceramic is. DuraCeramic is our compromise.

    I like the product, but it is not as durable as I would like for the kitchen. I have a few small (1/8″) round delamination pits, but nothing major.

    We’re building a new house and WILL use it in our bathrooms (less intensive use than the kitchen). However, we’re going to try rubber flooring for the kitchen since we don’t like the other, more traditional options.

    Decent product with some limitations — like most every other product we know of.

    [Reply]

  • Amanda responds...
    May 18th, 2010 2:09 am

    We have duraceramic floors in our kitchen and dining area that were installed in 2006. They have been great for the most part, a few dings here and there from things dropping. A couple of months ago though, I bought a steam mop, and it has dulled the surface in spots. I can’t stand it ( I am a clean freak); I can see the dull spots in random spots on the floor. Not happy at all. I would be very cautious before using a steam mop on duraceramic.

    [Reply]

  • Kim Bowman responds...
    June 22nd, 2010 4:40 pm

    ? on the duraceramic floor grout. 2 years installed. Ours has turned that dirt color from the dirt and oil off of our dog. Is there a way to clean the grout. I am pretty sure it was sealed when the floor was put in. Thanks I love my floors just do like the grout where the dog lays. Thanks

    [Reply]

  • wendy responds...
    August 28th, 2010 2:00 pm

    I live in Winnipeg and I am wondering where the best price to buy the duraceramic is.Does the duraceramic hold up well at the main entrances where there is alot of sand and grit? Thank you for your help

    [Reply]

  • Schedule responds...
    October 29th, 2010 8:30 pm

    Maybe you could change the blog name Is DuraCeramic better than Ceramic Tile on One Project Closer to something more catching for your webpage you create. I loved the blog post still.

    [Reply]

  • Nanci Rubin responds...
    November 17th, 2010 4:53 pm

    Just had duraceramic installed in my kitchen (like last week). It is the color of dirt (which is good for my dirty dog and my messy husband). After reading all the posts I am confused about a cleaner. I love the look of the tile but hate the speed bumps that go into my den…Anyone having really good results with one cleaner?

    [Reply]

  • Jim Martin responds...
    January 12th, 2011 11:39 pm

    I just installed duraceramic in our bathroom. It turned out beautiful and so far seems extremely easy to keep clean although it’s only been installed a couple months now. I did the install myself and have experience with both vinyl and ceramic floors. There are tradeoffs. It was very easy to work with the duraceramic tiles, very easy to score and break and also easy to make angled or circular cuts. I used the adhesive recommended and that is the most difficult part of the the installation. It’s similar to working with contact cement and is a slow process. Also, it’s virtually impossible to shift the tiles once they’re placed, so you need to be extremely careful setting them. Also the adhesive takes about an hour or more to set up before you can lay the tiles and since the positioning of them was so critical I was only able to install about 7 or 8 tiles at a time. It was very tedious process and took me much longer than it would have to lay a regular ceramic floor. Also, I had to cheat on the adhesive curing time under the door trims, because if I had let the adhesive cure I wouldn’t have been able to slide the tiles into place. I was wondering if the tiles would adher properly, but they did, so I’m not sure if one really has to wait the full time recommended for the adhesive to setup. I plan to call the company on this issue as I do a lot of handyman jobs and would be reluctant to use this product for that one reason, it would take too long to install a floor. The tile company said that I should be laying tiles while applying more adhesive to the next area, but I would have had to stretch too far to lay tiles and was concerned I’d have trouble getting them properly aligned. Also, I see some comments on the grouting and sealing it, but these people did not use the recommended grout, as it’s acrylic based and doesn’t have to be sealed.. A good product but need a better adhesive.

    [Reply]

  • Haley responds...
    March 29th, 2011 10:37 am

    Has anyone had duraceramic for more than 10yrs in their kitchen and still feel it is holding up well? I have read a few reviews that have said after 5 years they had to replace their floor. Looking to put it in my kitchen but since it’s quite expensive want to be sure it will hold up.

    [Reply]

  • Bette responds...
    March 29th, 2011 12:55 pm

    We have had it in our kitchen for less than 3 years and HATE it. The grout has all discolored – no dog. Some of the tiles will not come clean – always appear dirty. We have had people out looking at it from the store who tried different things to clean it but really did not work. The company sent out an independent person to have a good look at it and took pictures. They said there was nothing wrong with it but yet they agreed to refund half the price of the tile. So if nothing was wrong with it, why did they send us money back?

    I would NEVER recommend it to anyone….

    [Reply]

  • Mary Jo responds...
    March 30th, 2011 1:30 pm

    Looking into Duraceramic and was told by the store that the manufactuer will not honor the waranty if you use a steam cleaner on it or if you lay it over more than one layer of linoleum. Not sure what to do, it’s so expensive and now we have to think about the expense of either removing the linoleum or putting somekind of material over the top of it which would make it even higher and this would probably look ridiculous butting against our dining rooms wood floor. And that’s all I ever use is a steam cleaner.

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  • >C. Lemire responds...
    April 2nd, 2011 2:24 am

    OMG!! I’m researching to figure out what to replace my kitchen floor with – all the above comments are very interesting, but they leave me with some insecurity re: possible problems with duraceramic. I’ve visited a floor shop in Winnipeg and was impressed with the product and all of its virtues…still, despite of being hard on the feet and yet quite cheaper to buy, I’m wondering if good old ceramic tile is not the way to go for the kitchen including the back landing. It looks great forever – and easy to clean to boot!!!! I’ll just have to wear indoor footwear (slippers), and place a mat in front of the sink. I’ll have to think abut this. BTW, I drive a Honda!

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  • Ann Moyer responds...
    April 3rd, 2011 6:53 pm

    I have had duraceramic installed for over 5 years or more, and I love it. I have a very busy kitchen with children, grandchildren and two cats. I would have to say you have to have it installed professionally for it to perform well. Installation is the key to this product. It is a breeze to clean with just about anything and things that fall on it don’t break as easily as they do on ceramic. It feels great underfoot and always looks good even when I don’t clean it. If you do have to replace a tile, it is as simple as getting a heat gun or hair dryer out and heat up the tile that is damaged and replace it with a new one.

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  • donna responds...
    April 25th, 2011 12:38 am

    I’m wanting to know if you can lay it over lino, we put down a sub floor now the nails have started to raise up so there are bumps under the lino, I want to know if I will have a problem with the nails showing with this flooring as well, and can it be laid over lino?

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  • Jayne Harris responds...
    May 23rd, 2011 1:10 pm

    Has anyone installed Dura ceramic groutless over concrete such as in a church basement? I have it in my kitchen and love it, but it is grouted and was on sub flooring. We have had the 1700+ square foot area of concrete tested for hydrostatic pressure and was told we could install any product we want. Like the lifetime durability of tile, but older folks concerned about slipping if wet and they like the rougher finish and feel of the dura ceramic. It is a small church so there is not a lot of heavy traffic.

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  • Patty K responds...
    June 14th, 2011 12:29 pm

    Seems a lot of both love and hate comments here but one thing I have noticed is very few say which brand of duraceramic they used and have had installed and that is going to determine quite a bit. There are many companies who sell duraceramic tiles and some install with regular ceramic tile grouts… some use sanded or non-sanded and some use the correct grout which is recommended by the company which actually has a polymer in it and it is a vinyl grout. I personally do not like duraceramic even though it is pricey it is not in my professional opinion (and yes my husband and I are contractors) a product we choose to install. Its made cheaply and after time looks terrible in many cases that we have found from others who have had it installed and are using it. I have not met one person yet who actually likes the tile after a couple years worth of use. We are in Louisiana but have traveled all over the USA and same results….

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  • Jane Fletcher responds...
    July 10th, 2011 7:02 pm

    We had duraceramic installed in a large kitchen in the fall of 2004. We are a couple in our 60′s who still work full time, so 98% of the time it is only the two of us in the kitchen, the other 2% of time time we have adult children and grandchildren in the kitchen. We have no pets and are diligent about the care and attention given to our home and belongings.

    We have the duraceramic in a large kitchen and in one bathroom.

    Yes, it is warmer than ceramic tile.
    No, objects do not break when they are dropped on the floor. They do, however chip the vinyl coating on the tile. After 7 years use we have approximatly 16 small chips in the vinyl coating in the kitchen although there are no chips in the bathroom. These chips are very noticeable to us, however, I doubt friends and family entering our home would see them. For this reason I would never purchase this flooring again.

    After about 3 years of use I realized I should talk to the retailer who sold us the floor, but I was told nothing could be done about the problem, we would just have to live with it.

    We were told to use only water or Windex to clean the floor and did so for several years. Our flooring is an off-white in the kitchen and has a slightly textured surface which, over time, began to trap the soil so we bought at steamer and I now use that on the floor. It has made cleaning the floor easier and gets the floor thoroughly clean without harming the surface and dulling the sheen of the tile.

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  • Tom B responds...
    August 2nd, 2011 10:54 am

    We are building a new house and still debating between ceramic and duraceramic. There are almost equal love vs hate comments. We are wondering of the people that love the product; which manufacturer did you use and did you go with grout or groutless? We are also thinking of ceramic but it is hard to stand on for long periods of time and also cracks.

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  • Carrie S responds...
    August 2nd, 2011 5:34 pm

    I’ve had Duraceramic by Congoleum flooring for two years and I really like it. We opted for the grout and it’s easy to clean. I’ve never had any of the issues people have commented on (discoloring, etc.). I have it in a laundry room (that has access from the garage so it gets a lot of foot traffic) and a small bathroom.

    I I’m glad I chose the product.

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  • jdshores responds...
    August 19th, 2011 8:18 pm

    I am considering this product and after reading all the reviews I am wondering what style and color these comments are referring too. While I am just learning about this product and considering using it in my entry and possibly the kitchen, I would like to know if any of these reviews are in refferrence to Rapolano style in a Desert Chimney color. Of everything I’ve looked at , this color works best to bring the surrounding colors together in harmony…Anybody use the Rapolano style tile in Desert Chimney color?

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  • jdshores responds...
    August 19th, 2011 8:18 pm

    I am considering this product and after reading all the reviews I am wondering what style and color these comments are referring too. While I am just learning about this product and considering using it in my entry and possibly the kitchen, I would like to know if any of these reviews are in refferrence to Rapolano style in a Desert Chimney color. Of everything I’ve looked at , this color works best to bring the surrounding colors together in harmony…Anybody use the Rapolano style tile in Desert Chimney color?….

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  • mjconnor responds...
    August 21st, 2011 2:43 am

    I have seen Congoleum DuraCeramic installed (with a dark grout) over concrete subfloor at a flooring ware house. The floor has been subject to heavy foot traffic, hand-carts, pallet jacks, fork truck traffic, and the occasional toppled stack of wood/ceramic/porcelain. If now for some of the rubber left from the tires (which I believe could be buffed out) this floor would look almost as good as new. Is has been down for several years now.

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  • Steven Bone responds...
    October 28th, 2011 8:16 am

    My aunt had this installed in her bathroom and was very pleased with it. I then installed it in my bathroom (and ultimately three more bathrooms after that). The key is to READ the installation instructions and warranty completely (it is right on the mfg website) and make sure the installer is doing it properly – as a homeowner this is something you must be responsible for when using a product that is rather new and niche. If an installer is treating the job like they would a vinyl tile or ceramic tile job they will be doing it wrong.

    Subfloor preparation is key. I used screws to put down a sheet of thin hardwood (NOT luan) underlayment and then filled in the holes with the proper product. This prevents the nail and staple heads from popping up as mentioned by others.

    You MUST use their specific brand of glue and their sealer (in groutless applications), and the floor MUST be rolled. Oh, and the tile and glue should be sitting in the same room as the job (temperature/humidity must be same for quite some time before the job because of expansion and contraction of materials).

    Since that first bathroom job in my house, I have gone on to redo the floors of the other two bathrooms in the house – both were ceramic with cracked tiles (one on a wooden subfloor and one on cement – prepping the cement floor after removing ceramic tile was a bear). I also did the bathroom floor in my parents house. The glue is good for a year once opened, so I was able to save a bit on the installation costs by using the same glue (the glue is expensive and hard to find in small quantities) on all the other jobs and buying 2-3 boxes of one style and lot from leftovers on ebay.

    The only issues I have heard about these tiles from multiple vendors (besides what I read here about nail popping) is the edges coming up. This can be caused by unclean subfloor, wrong glue, not letting glue ‘dry’ before laying the tile, not rolling it, not sealing it, and not allowing the tile to acclimate before installing. In other words, all avoidable, and all as a result of not following the instructions.

    It is now 3 or 4 years since that first installation, and I absolutely love the floors. No cracking, scratches, dents, or surface scratches. As it is a ‘composite’ (plastic) you really need to be careful about using high heat and chemical solvents. I’d imagine that you should not use Goo Gone, etc. for cleaning these tiles like you can on ceramic. I generally use vinegar/water mix to clean the floors, sometimes simple green or 409 on harder dirt.

    [Reply]

    Ethan Reply:

    Steve,

    Thanks for the detailed info- this is great. Sounds like having an installer with previous experience with DuraCeramic is really important. You a DIYer or contractor?

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  • jeff_williams responds...
    October 28th, 2011 8:46 am

    Ethan, now that this installation is 3 years old, how is it holding up?

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    Ethan Reply:

    They actually didn’t go with DuraCeramic. At the time is was too pricey for them, and they went with ceramic tile.

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  • Icarus responds...
    October 28th, 2011 10:28 am

    so you’re probably not gonna use these with radiant heating

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    Ethan Reply:

    Actually, I think Congoleum has approved DuraCeramic for radiant heat with certain limitations. The installation guide has the specifics.

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  • paintergal responds...
    October 28th, 2011 10:33 am

    Yes, I am also curious as to how it has held up. I would never install ceramic tile. I hate how it is so hard on the feet. Standing in the kitchen, washing dishes and cooking, my feet get really sore.
    So the DuraCeramic sounds like a good alternative.

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  • smyley responds...
    October 29th, 2011 2:46 pm

    Sounds interesting! We have Travertine in our kitchen and I love it, but are currently looking for something to put down in our laundry room. Sounds like its worth checking out!

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  • DNuccio responds...
    October 30th, 2011 1:41 am

    I just had Duroceramic installed and it looks beautiful, but I am still confused about the best way to clean it. The surface is kind of rough, so cleaning is not very easy. Any recommendations on what works best? Also, should I seal the grout?

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    Bob Reply:

    DNuccio
    I am a salesrep for a Congoleum distributor in Illinois. Duraceramic has Scotchguard built in the wear surface. Meaning that as the wear surface wears down over the years the scotchguard is still there. It is recommended by Congoleum that you should use thier Bright-n-Easy floor cleaner. And you use this mixed with water. It’s also waranteed to be easy to clean for 15 years and thats because of the the scotchguard. Nothing will stick stick to the surface.

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    Denise Nuccio Reply:

    Yeah, I have been using the cleaner since we got the floor. I hate this floor. I recommend staying away from it. I had it professionally installed, called Congoleum because of chips all over ( which is ridiculous because we are two adults, no kids,no pets, and we are working full time) and they gave us up to $250 to fix it… That’s a joke. Pick something else folks! Forget the ” warranty” . It’s expensive crap.

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  • KimotheKing responds...
    November 5th, 2011 9:32 pm

    I think Jeff had it all right. We had our floor installed last week over concrete and was glad we had the old vinyl removed. We were lucky to find an installer with 30 years of experience and the patience and will to do the job right. Patience to wait for the adhesive to cure, rolling the flooring , and generally following the instructions that come with the duraceramic tiles.

    My last question to him was whether the grout needed to be sealed, and he definitely said it was not necessary. We ordered all the material ourselves from an online source in Georgia including adhesive and grout so we knew we were using the correct materials. We were lucky that we got the name of someone to do the job right without going through a middle-man, that was more luck than anything. Our grout was dark brown so hopefully cleaning will not be an issue. The job turned out beautifully and hope to have many years to enjoy our new kitchen.

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  • JustME responds...
    November 10th, 2011 1:14 pm

    I read this awhile back, but thought I preferred our ceramic floors. Well the last few times I’ve steam mopped the kitchen floors I’m finding new chips from, I’m sure, our grandson dropping my Corelle dishes on the floor. He has his own plastic dishes. It seems no mater what I say his Mom insists on using our dishes, picture me pulling my hair out here, so I guess eventually we’ll be looking into a new floor. Not like we don’t have enough to do to finish our home. I’m thinking DuraCeramic will be the way to go.

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    Rita Reply:

    DuraCeramic installed over one year ago, love it! Wanted the look of tile, but not the cold, hard surface. Removed old vinyl and made sure underlayment was in good shape, making repairs as necessary. Offset the squares and used a complimentary grout. Used recommended products as well. It looks good and does not show the dirt, cleans easily – spot clean and use steam mop almost weekly. I do not saturate floor, but keep it moving. I have a few dings, but had a few dings in my old vinyl. No problems with grout darkening.
    Now planning to install it in our master bath.

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  • Kathy responds...
    January 30th, 2012 3:27 pm

    Has anyone used Duraceramic for a splashguard above a shower? One contractor told us it was fine; another said definitely not to use it. Now I’m confused.

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    Bob Reply:

    You should not install Duraceramic where it will be contact with water from a shower head. If your talking about the area above a fiberglass tub/shower unit that would be OK. Just make sure you caulk all corners so water cannot get under/behind the tiles.

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  • charlene myers responds...
    February 1st, 2012 2:33 am

    Was told duraceramic was stronger, more durable than tile, easier to replace if needed. HA! The installer did I a wonderful job and I love the look, love the warmth, easily cleaned with mild soap and water. HOWEVER, the first week I found two tiles with nicks in them. I could live with that, but I have more and more, and they are getting bigger and bigger. The first time I moved the fridge to clean, the top layer wrinkled all up, and my two year old floor looks almost as bad as my 10 year old vinyl it replaced. No kids, no dogs, no spiked heals. Tiny gravel in tennis shoe soles?? Don’t use it in any high traffic area,or bathroom because of moisture, or anyplace you have heavy furniture. Maybe in a closet. I WARN people against buying it.

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  • Steve responds...
    May 2nd, 2012 6:41 pm

    Can anyone recommend an installer in the Portland O. area that does quality work and has good experience with this product? Doing a bathroom remodel.
    Thanks!

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  • Keena responds...
    September 23rd, 2012 8:42 pm

    I had DuraCeramic professionally installed in the foyer of my condo in August 2011 and it has held up great and still looks beautiful. My 50-pound dog runs over it continuously every night chasing her squeaky basketball and it shows no scratches or damage of any kind. When I needed to replace the worn out parquet wood floor in the foyer, I originally wanted a laminate floor that would mimic ceramic tile. My choices were limited and I didn’t see anything I liked. I ended up at a small, local family-owned flooring company and the owner suggested the DuraCeramic flooring. I had it grouted and it’s beautiful. It’s a little pricy but it’s a relatively small area so it didn’t break the bank. I just clean it with plain water but I will start adding a little bit of white vinegar.

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    Keena Reply:

    Oops…the correct spelling is pricey, not pricy.

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  • Denise Nuccio responds...
    September 30th, 2012 12:12 am

    Exactly the same experience as Charlene… Do u think it is defective? No kids, no pets,heck…I don’t even cook anymore and there are chips all over. I am so upset…because it definitely was not a cheap floor… I love the look of it, but it is only a year old and it is not holding up. Any recommendations, anyone?

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  • mike responds...
    March 15th, 2013 11:12 am

    Horrible floor, never again! Stay away from this floor. We had chips and pops, scratches appear right from the start. We had taken the precautions to put sliders on the chairs and tables. Drop anything and you will have dents and holes. We were very upset with the product. Got in touch with the company, who sent two different reps out to look at the floor. responses were wrong installation, did not take the precautions on the chairs and tables to prevent scratching, everything was on someone else, except their poor product. One bright side, on our laundry room floor the tiles are perfect, BECAUSE WE HAVE CARPET OVER THE ENTIRE FLOOR! The floors were cleaned two times a week, finish comes off, looks like it’s been down for 20 years, only 3 years old. Save your money.

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    Erv Reply:

    Mike, did you by Congoleum brand and have professionally installed with grout? We’re considering Duraceramic and are confused (and somewhat scarred) by some of the negative reviews. Thanks for your input.
    The Meiers’ in WI

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    Denise Nuccio Reply:

    I hate this floor. I recommend staying away from it. I had it professionally installed, called Congoleum because of chips all over ( which is ridiculous because we are two adults, no kids,no pets, and we are working full time, so we are rarely home). Of course they told me it’s not defective! It’s expensive crap… Don’t do it!

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    mike Reply:

    Yes, it was Congoleum, top shelf and Yes, it was installed profeesionally by a company we have used in the past for flooring and carpet, they have been in the bussiness for over 50 years. They were the ones who fought for us to get the reps out to look at the floor. 2 reps mind you. The installers will not reccomend this to anyone after the service to us and to them. Speaks volumes of the company.

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  • Kenneth Charles Taylor responds...
    March 31st, 2013 8:16 am

    I have had Dura Ceramic on my kitchen floors now for five years. I also am a dog breeder of Shilohs Shepherds (a very large dog) This floor is wondeful, takes more abuse than the average floor and we still get comments on how beautiful the floor looks. Clean with an Oric steam cleaner, which in fact is very easy and fast.
    I would never even consider another floor other than “Dura Ceramic”

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  • Andrew Clay responds...
    May 6th, 2013 4:12 pm

    We built our house less than 8 years ago. Our flooring “professional” recommended Duraceramic over ceramic tiles. Two years ago, we remodeled the bathroom and found that the original pattern was discontinued. We paid $250 to have two boxes shipped from the U.K.

    Recently we noticed two tiles in the kitchen were starting to delaminate. It is a high traffic area, but the tiles are less than 8 years old! Now the bad news, this pattern has also been discontinued. We’ve been searching for 3 weeks on the ‘net and have yet to find any. The installers were so efficient that there was only one complete tile remaining from the original installation. We cannot afford to replace the entire kitchen floor, over 360 square feet. One salesman recommended a magic marker.

    I asked about the warranty and was told it only covers “wear through”. I guess a defective product that delaminates after only 8 years is not covered. It wouldn’t be so bad but the limestone base is bright white and shows like a beacon. Maybe a magic marker is not such a bad idea. I don’t think the wife is gonna go for it.

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  • David McKinney responds...
    June 29th, 2013 1:34 pm

    let me preface this by saying I am a general manager with a flooring company. We deal with Congoleum as well as other manufacturers as well.

    Be careful of some of the reviews that you read. Congoleum had 2 different products out at one point. Duraceramic and Durastone. Many people get the two products confused or just see “Dura” and think that is the floor they have.

    Durastone was a square edge product that did have some issues with chipping. If the subfloor was not level it had the potential to cause lipage (one tile slightly raised compared to the one next to it.) between the tiles. This had a stong possibility to chip. Durastone was discontinued in 2012.

    Duraceramic on the other hand has a slightly beveled edge to it (Congoleum has the patent on this so no other manufacturer can do it). The slightly beveled edge eliminates the lip, it also gives a more realistic look to the tile.

    In all of the years of selling duraceramic, I have never had a complaint of chipping. I did have one complaint of the finish coming off around the table. Upon inspection they had not installed felt protectors on the chairs.

    As far as cleaning, the ONLY flooring product that the manufacturers recomend steam cleaning is carpet. The heat and moisture form the steam cleaning could have an adverse effect on the adhesion of the finish coats to the substrate of the floor. The company that makes the steam cleaners only care about selling you the cleaner, that is their only vested interest. What their cleaner could potentially do to the floor seems of no concern to them. For the Congoleum, I would recommend staying with the cleaner they make. this way , if you do have an issue you are covering yourself by using the recommended cleaner.

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    Kathryn Laskey Reply:

    I do not have the two confused. I had Duraceramic (NOT Durastone) professionally installed in my kitchen in 2006. Within a month I had numerous chips and scratches. It has gotten worse over the years. By now, seven years later, it looks terrible. I will never buy this product again.

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    Michael Weil Reply:

    David…I think I’m being convinced against the DuraCeramic as a long term flooring solution. It seems the floor needs a lot of care/protective actions with regards to cleaning, denting, and perhaps the most troublesome comments, white spots (from finish wear through?). Any thoughts on the other posts here?

    Separately, any recommendations for a long lasting kitchen floor (not ceramic tile)?

    [Reply]

  • Jennifer responds...
    August 3rd, 2013 9:14 am

    My question is where can I buy Dura Ceramic tiles. I live in Toronto, Ontario. I fell in love with this flooring when I visited my friends in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I have been trying to find this flooring for almost a year, with no success. Please help. Thank you.

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  • John Dornbush responds...
    October 1st, 2013 12:02 pm

    After reading thru all of the posted comments, the one thing that really stands out, is the lack of support from the manufacturer should there be a problem. Not one comment said that they had a satisfactory warranty claim in the event of a problem. Also, the problems that do arise and are posted in these comments are pretty consistent and numerous. I am a contractor who will be avoiding this product after reading many reviews on many sites. Thanks for all the postings, it was very helpful!

    [Reply]

    Michael Weil Reply:

    John…as a contractor…what would YOU consider for flooring in a kitchen? Don’t think we really want ceramic tile or hard wood. What have you had good luck with?

    Think I’m being dissuaded from the DuraCeramic…mostly due to what looks like chipping/surface wear through. Your opinion too?

    [Reply]

  • Michael Weil responds...
    November 16th, 2013 8:51 pm

    I am considering DuraCeramic in a kitchen to replace poorly installed ceramic (over plywood instead of backer board, thus delaminating, cracking, etc). The DuraCeramic meets my criteria for a kitchen floor in that it looks like tile, seems to be easy to maintain, is softer and warmer than tile and wears well (as advertised). A couple of questions to folks with it installed…

    1. The directions call for felt pads. Our current chairs have the white nylon glides, but over the tile floor, I have to replace them nearly yearly because they wear through. Have you had experience with felt pads? Do they:
    – wear through? If so, how often?
    – trap grit under pad an scratch floor?
    – what do you put them on? Could they be place (stuck?) on the nylon glides?

    2. Several posts complain of “white spots” showing through, and after reading numerous posts, I conclude that these are places where the top finish has worn/abraded off. Is this an accurate conclusion? What has caused the wear-through places? Ways to avoid these spots?

    3. Grout vs non-grout. Recommendations? If I were to use a grouted application, I would use a dark/dirt colored grout! (we are not fastidious cleaners in our house, so a floor that REQUIRES constant detailed cleaning is not a good candidate!).

    4. Any issues with a non-grouted application with regards to dirt accumulating in the joints? Does the clear joint sealer have to be reapplied periodically?

    5. Scratching. I too tried to scratch the floor in the showroom…I finally did with a pair of food tongs they had there to pick up donuts, but I had to work pretty hard to do it. Does the tile scratch from people tracking dirt and “twisting” their shoe on the floor?

    6. Marking. While we don’t wear high heel shoes ourselves, several posts have said their floors were marked from this. Any comments?

    7. Is the grouted floor a “better” installation, ie. are there substantial “benefits” in durability vs just aesthetics? Or, does it matter?

    8. Finally, installation. I am a fairly skilled DIY’er, having put down floating floors, ceramic shower floor, vinyl siding, roofs, etc. It seems like the non-grouted installation is much easier in terms of layout and install. But still, am wondering if it is best to get a competent installer?

    Thanks for inputs.

    Oh, one final shout-out…any other recommendations/ideas for a kitchen floor material? Don’t really want a floor that is easily damaged.

    [Reply]

  • David McKinney responds...
    November 18th, 2013 1:11 pm

    Answering these from my opinion and my experiences .

    1. felt pads will grab and trap dust and grit. I recommend my customers check them every 3 months to see if they need to be replaced. If you do not replace them they will eventually turn into a sandpaper on your floor.

    2. I would agree that the white spots are caused by abrasion. Without inspecting each individual home, it would be misleading to say exactly what caused all of them. common culprits are chairs/furniture without the proper protection on the feet. things like rocks stuck into the sole of a shoe and then the floor being walked on (though a bit rare), I know of one person who took a scrub pad to aggressively clean the floor. The best prevention is proper protection such as the felt pads and walk off mats at entry doors into the house to help catch grit and such carried in on shoes.

    3.Grout vs non Grout is always personal preference. I have always suggest to my customers to look at real ceramic tile. For an example, a marble tile has a thin grout joint to it, so then to get a realistic look go no grout.

    4. If the sealer is properly applied to the proper fullness, there should be no issue with dirt getting into the joints. The clear sealer is a one time only process, unless you do a repair.

    5. Is that a possibility? Sure. No floor is bullet proof. As you stated it is very hard to damage, hard but not impossible.

    6. Heels with smaller points on them, thus increasing the PSI exerted unto the floor, could leave marks. Most of the time it is because there is damage to the heels that causes the marks though.

    7 . Grouted again is your personal preference. My opinion is that if you want a more realistic ceramic look, then go grouted as ceramic is grouted.

    8. Professional installation is always the recommended way to proceed. That being said I have sold this to many DIYers with successful results. As someone stated, if you are going to do it yourself, read the instructions. Not all floor products are the same. For instance with the Duraceramic grout , you want to grout smaller areas before cleaning it. I inspected a job done by another company and their “professional” installers let the grout set up to long before trying to remove the excess. the result was the grout was stuck in the texture of the tile and could not be removed.

    Just keep in mind that no flooring is bullet proof. Just like your car, it all depends on how you take care of it on how long it will last you. Don’t change your oil in your car, it wont last you very long. Don’t take the precautions of protectors and walk off mats you are taking a higher risk of damage to the floor. And that can be said for any floor material, laminate, hardwood, ceramic, duraceramic, they all can be damaged. Accidents happen. Just like you cant expect your car not to dent if it gets hit by a cart in the parking lot, don’t expect damage not to happen if you drop something on your floor.

    Professional installers are not all the same. I have seen work done by “professionals” that I think my teenager could do better work. Be sure that the installers have experience putting in the exact floor you are buying.

    Most of the time when a customer is dissatisfied with a floors performance it is because of to high of expectations for the floor. Perhaps the person they bought it from didnt take the time to explain to them the things they need to do to help the floor last or more times than not they oversold the floor and what is capable of doing giving the customer a false sense of durability. No one wants to hear negatives.

    [Reply]

    Michael Weil Reply:

    David:
    Thank you so much for your informative comments. Perhaps you could weigh in on one questions…that is, alternatives. Some background…

    This is a mid ’50′s built house, built by a local builder with very good reputation. Everything in is is solid, straight, true, and good materials. The bedroom floors, for example, are full thickness x 2.25″ wide rock/tiger/flame maple. Sandstone fireplace. Anderson windows. And so forth. I replaced the living room flooring (carpet) a few years ago, DIY, with Mirage Lock, an engineered wood product. Went down well, but frankly, I would have been happier with a real wood product. Good durable surface for scratching, but not for marring. Would rate it as poor in that category…traditional casters leave indentations on rolling. So, unless this is meant to be in a “for show only” living space, I could not recommend it. But back to the present issue…

    The kitchen is currently 9×9 tiles over plywood, and, yup…lots of delaminations and some broken tiles. We don’t particularly want tile again…it’s cold and hard. And subject to breakage from dropping pots/pans/utensils. So, what to use?

    Kind of talking myself out of DuraCeramic because of the high maintenance of chair felt replacements. We want to “live” in our house, not spend all our time maintaining. But I now agree with your assessment of felt holding grit, and yes, it probably will leave scratch marks. Walking on it would be quite acceptable, and if not for chairs and tables, it would probably be perfect…but chairs do scrub the floor, and we have “KEEP CHAIRS ON ALL 4″ issues too, so I am concerned that the DC would be marked/scratched/scrubbed in not too many months.

    So what to use? That is the question…

    Suggestions?

    Thanks, David. (and others, if so inclined!)

    Mike

    [Reply]

    David McKinney Reply:

    Alternatives? Well before you go completely writing off DuraCeramic keep in mind that it was Consumer Reports #1 rated vinyl flooring product. But as far as alternatives.
    Hardwood. Beautiful floors, but also susceptible to scratches and indentations. If you would go this route I would suggest Mohawk’s newer lines with the ArmorMax finish. It has a higher level of aluminum oxides in the finish for a stronger finish as well as Scotchgard for easy clean ability and stain resistance. They also are available in both solid and engineered construction. Keep in mind with rising lumber prices, Solid hardwoods have increased in price by over 20 % for better quality floors. You can still find tavern or cabin grade, and #2 for lower price point, but if you are considering Duraceramic I don’t think price is your first concern, nor should it be. If you go the engineered route not only is it less expensive than solid, but because of the construction there is less expansion and contraction in the floor. In the winter time, especially here in the northeast, when the humidity drops down Solid hardwoods shrink a bit causing the little gaps between boards. This is a place for the dirt to collect, which is a concern you brought up in your post about duraceramic. Now consistent cleaning, including a vacuum with the beater bar turned off or disengaged should remove most of the dust and dirt in the gaps. All wood floors should be in an environment that has a relative humidity between 35- and 50 percent. So that may mean investing in humidifiers and or dehumidifiers for the house.
    Next alternative is Laminate. Very scratch resistant and stain resistant, but not impossible to scratch. Can still indent for objects being dropped on it. Drawbacks for me are : try as they might, I have never been fooled by a laminate into thinking it is a real hardwood floor and secondly depending on the acoustics of the room can sound hollow when walked on because of it being a floating floor. They are less expensive than real hardwood. IF you were to choose this I would recomend either Mohawk or Quickstep (Mohawk bought Quickstep a couple years back) They have “Scratchgard”technology which adds a bit more protection to micro scratches which will appear as dull spots under those pesky chair legs (still does not make them scratch proof though) and “Genuedge” Technology which means the surface wraps down into the bevels and such better for a more realistic look. Also almost all of their products are AC4 rated which means rated for light commercial duty as far as scratch resistance, but again not scratch proof
    Then there is Ceramic. You already have it so you know the performance and potential issues with it. However, back in the 80s and early 90s, plywood was an acceptable underlayment under tile as long as it was thick enough and “BC” rated. I would take a guess because of the 9″ size tile that was when your floor was put in. Go try to find an 9″ tile today, they are near impossible to find. Now of course we have the backer boards and products such as Ditra which give us a better underlayment system to help prevent cracking and such.
    It may or may not come as a surprise that all manufacturers of hard surface flooring (anything other than carpet) recommend the use of floor protectors and walk off mats. Well and ceramic too, most ceramic manufacturers dont list care guidelines. It will take a while for the felt pads to acquire so much grit that they will actually start scratching the floors, but let it go to long and sure it can happen. So if you follow manufacturers recommendations no matter what you put in you will deal with those pesky pads. You could also use those nylon glides, but again you will need to check those for wear every year or so, perhaps as part of your spring cleaning routine.

    [Reply]

  • Marie responds...
    March 7th, 2014 1:50 pm

    We had DuraCeramic by Congoleum professionally installed in our kitchen 6 yrs ago (with grout). We liked it so much that we had it installed the following year in the foyer, kitchen, breakfast area and the 3.5 baths in our rental property. Not only does it look great, but it has held up against heavy foot traffic and a yellow lab. Our tenants still can’t get over how beautiful it looks, how durable it is, how easy it is to maintain and how well it hides dirt! :)

    [Reply]





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