A theme that can be traced in this blog, and also in the flooring covering industry in general is the idea of evolving product lines. For instance, the suggestion of an easy out-of-the-box floor covering may once have made consumers and installers assume that these materials are just stopgaps, and that perhaps corners are being cut by choosing them.
But these days, with the building materials industry actively seeking to meet changing consumer demands for easy floors that look great and are made to last, this is no longer universally true. When you want to install an interior or exterior floor covering quickly, you no longer have to turn to inferior products that are going to let you down in the long term.
To illustrate the point, I thought I’d profile three choices in what can be called out-of-the-box floor coverings. These are floors that you don’t need tools to install, and that don’t need to be acclimated for days after you take them out of the packaging. In fact, they are designed for the DIYer with little or no experience in floor installation, are made to be durable, to look great in the long term, and to be installed as soon as you get them home. Here they are.
1. Deck Tiles
Of the benefits of deck tiles, their versatility is an amazing feature alone. Being able to install this product nearly anywhere, and over any flat surface is pretty liberating, particularly for those living in condos or apartment buildings. And because you can install them right out of the box, and do so without tools (because they’re designed to be clicked together and floated), this makes them a great candidate for easy floor coverings.
We’ve talked about wood deck floor tiles before here. But, there are also composite deck tiles on the market that add the same ease of use and flexibility. Like the wood deck tiles, they’re designed to snap together, and be unsnapped and taken up according to your circumstances.
2. Vinyl Tile
Much like deck tiles, vinyl tile is designed to be laid over a flat substrate, and to be done so as soon as you bring it home. Other than a utility knife, there aren’t any tools required to install it. The best in vinyl tile is designed to be interlocked like puzzle pieces, which is different from that cheap, and frankly very messy, stick-down lino you used to see years ago.
Modern vinyl tile sticks to adjacent tiles, not directly to the substrate underneath. This means a lot less bother if you have to pull up ‘planks’ to make minor corrections as you go. Once they’re down, they’re indistinguishable from whichever surface they’ve been designed to imitate.
3. Carpet Tile
For an fast turnaround and easy installation in getting a carpet surface in a space, carpet tile is a revelation as a floor covering. Once again, this is a sub-category of flooring product that you can start installing as soon as you get it home. And you can do it yourself, just by connecting the tiles together. They are designed to overlap each other, and like the vinyl tile, to be entirely seamless once you’ve finished installing them.
And similarly to the deck tiles, if you need to take them up later, or need to replace a tile due to a spill, then that’s easily done as well. If you’ve got company coming and don’t have time to treat the affected tile, just swap it out with one you’ve installed in your closet, and treat it later .
With all of the above, out-of-the-box floor coverings are great for homeowners looking for a quick transformation without a lot of fuss. And another group of people may also look to these types of floor coverings to get a fast transformation – homestagers! These floor coverings are easily managed when getting them from a vendor, into a car, and installed in a property in time for that showing.
And to that point, once these types of floor coverings are installed, they look great. This is not the band-aid job that it might once have been. Choosing deck tile, vinyl tile, and carpet tile is a legitimate and stylish choice that adds visual punch for the long term.