Rated 3.5 out of 5 by 2
Rated 2 out of 5 by Disappointed grout failure and thin veneer= a $2500 mistake
We've had our flooring about 20 months, long enough to have it's weaknesses show. We had this flooring installed in our kitchen by an installer with 30 years of experience who did the job for us through a local big name retail interior design and paint store. We had the flooring about 6 months when we noticed that the grout was seperating from the tile in several places, forming a hairline crack where dirt collected. The retailer had the installer come out to look at it. He regrouted the floor.. About 4 months later the same thing, cracks between the tile and grout. By this time just over a year had past but the installer came out to regrout. A few more months went by and this time I had to do the regrouting. Now, about 20 months after installation, the floor needs regrouting in places. I've also experienced that if anything is dropped on the floor it knocks the ultra thin veneer off the surface exposing the lighter colored material under the surface. Very disappointed in Armstrong.
December 16, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Hammerdad Warm, looks fabulous! (and reasonably easy to install)
I installed this floor in my kitchen and absolutely love it! The installation was easier than the web site suggested - all I needed to cut the tile was a straight edge and a sharp utility knife. The hardest part of the installation was locating the Armstrong spreader/trowel that is needed for spreading the adhesive (though the time spent on your knees grouting the tile and wiping/rinsing the excess is worthy of consideration, too).
I'm just a homeowner with moderate handy-man skills. I acted as my own flooring sub-contractor during a recent major kitchen renovation. I installed my Alterna floor over a weekend while the other contractors were out of the house. All of the tradesmen and kitchen designers who worked in the house were hugely impressed by the looks of this floor when they returned to work on Monday -- they all thought it was a really good installation of a ceramic tile floor until they actually bent down to touch the floor with their hands -- they were astonished to find the tile flexible and warm to the touch and wanted to know more about it -- nobody could believe that it was VCT (a couple of the contractors even took the time to write down the information about this tile -- they wanted to install it in their own homes). My wife, my dogs and my neighbors all love the floor. When padding around the house in bare feet, I'm particularly fond of this floor -- I'm getting the great looks of a ceramic tile floor without its drawbacks (floor height, inflexibility/brittleness, coldness, weight and difficulty of installation).
The pattern on this tile is very livable - it doesn't immediately show every scuff, footprint or crumb that is dropped on the floor, meaning that you don't have to be a cleaning slave to your floor. I've had this tile on my kitchen floor for four months now and have no regrets whatsoever.
If you plan to install this floor yourself, a couple of tips to keep in mind are:
-- if you're installing this over new subflooring, you'll need more a bit more adhesive than is recommended in the directions.
-- follow the directions carefully when grouting this floor; not spreading too much grout will make clean-up/rinsing a lot easier -- I got slightly better coverage from the grout than the instructions suggested.
-- knee pads are a must for this installation - laying the tile is pretty easy and goes quickly with these large-format tiles, but you'll thank me for the kneepad tip by the time you're done grouting.
-- if you have no skills, leave this installation to a pro. But, if you can use a measuring tape, a straight edge, a utility knife and tile spacers, and are willing to spend some sweat equity time on your knees, installation of this product can be handled very successfully by a homeowner (even if you've never used them, you can quickly learn to use the necessary trowel and grout float on the job).
September 13, 2011