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True counterfeiters, porcelain stoneware tiles and vinyl floors mimic wood, stone, metal, marble... and even the fabric! Their main asset: they are much easier to maintain!

Ten really amazing flooring!

Porcelain stoneware in all its states

No more tiling without character! Today, porcelain stoneware surprises with its palette of decorations. It perfectly imitates noble materials such as natural stones (slate, blue stone, marble...), wood (in different species), but also concrete, terracotta or metal. And he surprises when he takes on a look close to leather or textile...

Porcelain stoneware consists of an alloy of clay and mineral components (silica, quartz or feldspar). Cooked at a very high temperature (1,200 to 1,400° C), it is reduced to powder before being molded under high pressure and then annealed. The molds can give it shapes and reliefs. Aside from red or yellow, it sports a wide range of colors and finishes to mimic the finest materials.
It can be polished, enamelled, full mass or porcelain.
In the first case, it is glossy and soft to the touch, but its increased porosity requires treatment. Enamelled, its aesthetic and available finishes are enhanced. When colors are embedded in the mass, the color palette expands. Finally, the porcelain stoneware (addition of quartz and kaolin during the cooking) is distinguished by its solidity.

Porcelain stoneware: the choice of formats, an asset of success

Formerly used mainly in public places, porcelain stoneware today asserts itself as an innovative tile, thanks to the new collections proposed by the manufacturers.
There are tiles of any size (up to 60 x 120 cm), whose small thickness (about 1 cm) facilitates installation. Solid, it resists wear and shocks. It is treated against stains and its extremely low porosity makes maintenance easy. It is also a material suitable for walls and floors of bathrooms.
As for the disadvantages, they are limited to the cold contact of the material and the risk of slipping when the soil is wet. But it is possible to add a non-slip treatment. Its price varies from 20 to 150 € / m2 depending on the type, size and finish of the tiles.

Vinyl, a very decorative mille-feuille

Vinyls perfectly imitate decorations and materials - Tarkett

Highly fashionable in the 1970s, vinyl flooring is making a comeback in our homes. Practical, they mimic materials, offer unexpected style effects with stunning realism!
Among the most successful, the imitations of parquet floors (with reliefs, knots, chamfered edges, worn joints...), metal, tiles, marble and terracotta.
Vinyl combines all the aesthetic benefits of tiling without its main defect, the cold touch of the tiles. It also displays the chic of a wooden floor without its fragility.
A vinyl floor consists of six layers, each of which plays a specific role. The thickness of the wear layer (on which we walk) determines the strength of the vinyl. It is one of the criteria to take into account when choosing (resistance to the passage), such as those of ease of maintenance, wear resistance, the back (felt or thick foam for sound insulation) or the surface finish.

Vinyl flooring: glued, free or semi-free

Available in DIY stores or trade, vinyl coatings are in the form of rolls, blades or slabs.
Depending on the part and the quality of the existing support, the coating can be laid in different ways: glue (with a simple glue acrylic emulsion glue), fixed in semi-free pose (with double-sided tape around the workpiece and at the joint location) or free pose (without gluing) in the case of a heavy and thick coating.
This installation is suitable for spaces with an area of ​​less than 35 m2. Blades and slabs offer additional comfort since they are self-adhesive or clip-on.
Finally, vinyl requires very little maintenance, it is simply cleaned with soapy water.
Its price is reasonable: count from 10 to 25 € / m2even if you do not hesitate to pay more for a good quality product.

Vinyl: clean material?

Wood imitation vinyl flooring - Saint Maclou - Gerflor

Contrary to popular belief, "new generation" vinyls consist mainly of vinyl resin, plasticizers, fillers, pigments, varnishes...
Leading manufacturers (Gerflor and Tarkett Sommer) have removed from the composition all heavy metals, toxic plasticizers, solvent-based inks...
As a result, vinyl is healthy and has an A + rating for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in indoor air.
In addition, this material is now 100% recyclable.

Vinyl and porcelain stoneware: the good criteria for choosing


Wear resistance

The UPEC classification defines the resistance to wear (U), punching (P), water (E) and chemical agents (C) in all rooms of the house. Each letter is followed by a number (1 to 4) corresponding to a rising resistance level (moderate to very high traffic). The higher the number, the greater the resistance. As for the ranking PEI (Porcelain Email Institute), it determines the resistance to abrasion and the level of passage. In a house, the IEP must be between 2 (moderate passage) and 5 (intensive passage).

Scratch resistance

Sometimes subjected to a hard test (entrances, rooms, kitchens), the tiling fears scratches provoked, for example, by a small pebble wedged under a sole. The MOHS standard graduated from 1 (low resistance) to 10 (excellent resistance) allows you to choose a floor knowingly! This information is available on the packaging and the technical sheets of the products (identifiable small logos).


Wear layer

From 0.12 to 0.20 mm thick, vinyl is recommended in an office or adult room. From 0,20 to 0,30 mm, it is ideal in a living room. Finally, from 0.30 to 0.35 mm, it finds a place of choice in the kitchen or a child's room. The UPEC classification also concerns soft floors. A number is associated with each letter: 1 for "low risk" to 4 for "high risk". For example, U3 P2 E2 C2 for a kitchen. The letter "S" is sometimes associated with a number. Example: P2S indicates a higher resistance to degradation factors.

The type of file

The backrest (layer in contact with the ground) determines the comfort of use and laying. Foam, it absorbs shocks and offers flexibility to walk. In textile, it is perfect to obtain a better sound and thermal insulation. In addition, it allows a free pose.

Focus on 5 porcelain stoneware flooring

Sandstone Ceramics

Imitation parquet : 27 € / m2
• Enamelled finish
Teak and gray
• Dimensions (L. x L.): 12 x 60 cm
Thickness: 10.5 mm
• PEI class 4
"Wood", Lapeyre
The +: imitation of beautiful invoice

Ceramic sandstone

White marble copy: 29 € / m2
• White enamelled finish
• Dimensions (l x L.): 45 x 45 cm
Thickness: 9.5 mm
• PEI class 5
"Aegean" Leroy Merlin
The +: easier to maintain than marble!

Ceramic stoneware

Blue stone decor: 32 € / m2
• Porcelain finish
3 shades of gray
• Dimensions (l x L.): 45 x 45 cm
Thickness: 9 mm
• Class U4 P4 E3 C2
"Blue Building", Desvres
The +: a bushhammered appearance, close
natural stone

Ceramic stoneware

Oxidized metal appearance: 51 € / m2
• Enamelled finish
Brown, beige, gray
• Dimensions (W. x L.): 44 x 66 cm
Thickness: 10.1 mm
• PEI class 2
Ferroker, Porcelanosa
The +: its large format

Grandi Dimore Ceramic Stoneware (at Point P)

Old stone way: 63 € / m2
• Beige enamelled finish
• Dimensions (L. x L.): 33.3 x 50 and 50 x 50 cm
Thickness: 12 mm
• PEI Class 5 "Rivalta", Grandi Dimore (at Point P)
The +: the authentic aspect of the old stone

Zoom on 5 vinyl flooring


Tile Inspiration: 8 € / m2
• Iridescent taupe
• In roll Width: 4 m
Thickness: 2.5 mm
• Wear layer: 0.25 mm
"Bologna", Castorama
The +: soft underfoot


Old style parquet flooring: 8 to 12 € / m2
• 15 colors (mix wood blue or white)
• In roll Widths: 2, 3 or 4 m
Thickness: 2.6 mm
• Wear layer: 0.25 mm
"Design 260 - Patched Wood", Tarkett
The +: successful decor at a low price

Slate vinyl, Gerflor

False slate: 22 € / m2
• Charcoal grey
• In slab
Dimensions (W. x L.): 45 x 30 cm
Thickness: 2 mm
• Wear layer: 0.20 mm
"Slate" Gerflor
The +: easy to maintain


Fabric effect: 23 € / m2
• Gray or chocolate
• In roll
Width: 4 m
Thickness: 3.1 mm
• Wear layer: 0.40 mm
"Texline HQR Taiga", Gerflor
The +: laying without glue up to 50 m2


Imitation parquet flooring: 24 € / m2
• 3 shades of brown
• In roll
Width: 4 m
Thickness: 3.2 mm
• Wear layer: 0.35 mm
"Novilon Nova Durmast", Forbo
The +: it attenuates the noises

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