Hybrid means a cross between two things. With flooring, it describes a product that combines the best features of both laminate and vinyl to create a floating floor. It’s really the latest flooring innovation within the industry.
The benefits of hybrid
Most hybrid flooring already have an acoustic backing built into the floorboard, whereas a laminate floorboard has a separate underlay, so it’s not attached to the laminate floor as such. This means it’s more simple to install.
It can also be used everywhere in your home. Hybrid flooring can be installed throughout the whole interior of a house, including wet areas such as laundries, bathrooms, and toilets. Hybrid flooring is waterproof, whereas laminate is moisture resistant. Hybrid flooring has no bevelled edges in it, so you end up with a completely flush joint, which stops any ingress of water going in the core and causing damage.
I don’t actually believe any product can claim to be 100% waterproof, however. I’d say hybrid flooring is water repellant instead. For example, if you leave your bath on and end up flooding the room, you’re going to get moisture under the flooring, which can lead to mould and bacteria growth. You’re going to need to pull it out and replace it even though there’s no visible damage. But hybrid can definitely offer you water repellence when it comes to everyday showering or walking on it with wet feet.
It’s a cost-effective solution
In the past homeowners only had the option of using tiles in wet areas, which can be a significant expense in a renovation or build. Hybrid Flooring is more cost effective and is quick and easy to install because they use a click-in system and don’t require any grouting. This means if you have the skills needed you could even install your hybrids on your own.
Using hybrid means you can have a consistent look throughout your home, instead of having to break eye with tiles in the bathrooms, laundry, and toilets. We also see a lot of builders moving from tiles to hybrid flooring because it’s so quick to install. It saves them time on a build that has tight deadlines.
Hybrid flooring is more expensive than laminate flooring, simply because there’s a lot of technology needed to ensure it’s water repellant. The price difference isn’t dramatic, and laminate is still an excellent solution for use in parts of your home that aren’t at risk of moisture damage. Acoustically, and when it comes to wear and tear, they’re both fantastic options.
How else it beats laminate?
If you’re installing boards in a building where someone who’s disabled, elderly or has any special needs lives, you need to check the slip resistance your floor offers. In this case hybrid floors, which have a lot of texture, outshine laminate, even though some laminate flooring is embossed for grip. The quantity of texture on a hybrid affects the price point, so it’s not necessary to go for the highest grade unless there are specific safety concerns in a household.
Keep an eye on quality
The technology used to create hybrid flooring is improving all the time, and there’s a lot of choice of colours on offer these days. As with all types of flooring, there’s a range of different qualities of hybrid flooring on the market too. The technology and inner core mechanisms used affects the durability and other features of a hybrid. You want one that’s produced with a high-quality inner core.
Also look for hybrids that give you consistency in the locking systems, and the backings on the board. Acoustically, the backings are usually about 1.5mm thick, but this can vary. The difference in thickness between product offerings isn’t too much of a concern. The inner core strength should be your priority if its longevity you want.