8 Disadvantages of Karndean Flooring: UK Guide [Cons]

Karndean flooring is a brand name for luxury vinyl tile or LVT. It’s primarily composed of limestone, polyvinyl chloride, and various pigments. 

It mimics the look of other types of flooring, such as natural stone and hardwood.

This type of flooring has plenty of benefits, such as durability, versatility, and customisability. It’s warm underfoot, has a non-slip surface, and is highly moisture- and bacteria-resistant.

Karndean flooring comes with disadvantages as well, including the following:

  • It comes at a high price
  • It must be professionally installed, adding to its overall cost
  • It’s prone to fading when exposed to sunlight
  • It’s susceptible to scratches
  • It’s combustible
  • It’s challenging to repair
  • It shouldn’t be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner
  • It’s less durable than other flooring options

Read on to learn more about each of Karndean flooring’s disadvantages. We’ll also provide a few tips for combating potential drawbacks.

1. High Cost

Karndean flooring can cost more than hardwood and natural stone flooring, so it’s not ideal for those on a tighter budget. 

However, Karndean is pretty durable, so the initial high cost could pay off in the long run. 

Plus, pricing can vary depending on the type of Karndean flooring you choose, the size of the area where it will be installed, and the company you hire to install it.

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We recommend getting quotes from a few different installers before buying to make sure that you’re getting a good deal.

Read: cost of karndean flooring

2. Requires Professional Installation

Another drawback of Karndean flooring is that you’ll likely need to hire a professional to install it. While you can absolutely attempt to install it yourself, it’s not wise unless you have experience with this type of flooring.

The flooring’s complex design can be very tedious to install. Incorrect installation can lead to issues like bumpiness, peeling, flaking, and the creation of crevices where water can seep in and do damage.

Since it’s best to hire a professional to install your Karndean flooring, you’ll need to factor the cost of installation into your budget on top of the price of the product itself.

3. Prone To Fading With Sun Exposure

When exposed to direct sunlight for a long period of time, Karndean flooring can fade and become discoloured. 

Although this type of flooring is manufactured with UV ray inhibitors, the protection doesn’t last forever.

4. Susceptible To Scratches

Although Karndean flooring is advertised as scratch-resistant, it is not scratch-proof. 

Vacuums, large appliances, and furniture can all scratch Karndean flooring. Children and pets can also inadvertently cause scratches. 

You can purchase a protective film to install on top of your flooring to help prevent scratches. Another option is to select flooring options with weathered designs, which are less likely to show damage.

5. Cannot Be Cleaned With Vacuums

It’s not recommended to clean Karndean flooring with vacuum cleaners, especially those that have beater bars. 

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Instead, it’s best to clean Karndean flooring by first sweeping away debris and then mopping it with a pH-neutral cleaner made for vinyl floors. Karndean has its own line of cleaning products specifically made for this purpose.

Another cleaning-related drawback is that you cannot mop your Karndean floor until the adhesive has fully cured after installation. 

The curing process can take as long as 28 days. If you mop before the adhesive has cured, you may damage the seal between the flooring and the subfloor.

6. Vulnerable To Fire

In comparison to natural stone, Karndean flooring is much more combustible and vulnerable to fire. 

It’s crucial to be careful if you’ve installed this type of flooring in rooms where flames will be lit. This even applies to rooms where cigarettes will be smoked. A cigarette butt can cause a fire if dropped on vinyl flooring.

7. Challenging To Repair

If you encounter a situation in which you need to replace a large section of your Karndean flooring, the repair process can be tricky. 

Just as with the installation, you’ll need to hire a professional to complete the job.

8. Not As Durable As Other Options

Karndean flooring is highly durable, but it’s still not as durable as tile or stone. 

Still, it typically has a longer lifespan than carpet, laminate, and other vinyl flooring options.


One of Karndean flooring’s biggest disadvantages is that it’s expensive and requires professional installation, which adds to its cost. 

It’s also susceptible to scratches, prone to fading when faced with long-term sunlight exposure, and cannot be cleaned with vacuum cleaners. 

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In addition, it’s combustible, challenging to repair, and not as durable as flooring options like tile and stone.

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