What is hybrid flooring? Is it a good option? Does it need underlay? Can hybrid flooring be laid outside?

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Hybrid flooring is a massively popular flooring option at the moment, but many people still remain unconvinced. What is hybrid flooring and how does it differentiate from other flooring materials? Is it really a good option? In this article, we’re going to take a closer look so that you can decide if this flooring type is for you. In addition to that, should you decide to move ahead with a hybrid flooring option, we will look at whether or not it needs underlay and if it can be used outside.

What is hybrid flooring?

Hybrid flooring, as the name suggests, is a mixture of two different types of flooring, laminate, and vinyl. These popular flooring options are both blended together to make a hard-wearing and durable floor option.

You see, on its own – laminate flooring tends to be prone to swelling and isn’t waterproof, which is an issue to some. Vinyl on the other hand can withstand moisture quite well, however, it is difficult to install the planks themselves need to be glued down to the floor. What hybrid flooring does is that the best qualities of both and does away with their drawbacks in order to create a superior flooring option.

 

Is hybrid flooring a good option?

The short answer to that question is yes, hybrid flooring is indeed a good option. The trouble is, there are so many different flooring options available to you in the market right now, including vinyl, laminate, hybrid, and timber. With all of these different options readily available, deciding on which type of flooring is best for your home can be a difficult process. It’s all about figuring out what features and qualities are most important to you – including what your available budget is as some options are more expensive than others.

Hybrid flooring is quite popular due to the fact that it is 100% waterproof, highly durable, stylish, and affordable. The drawback with hybrid however is that it is not made from the real timber of trees and as such, the aesthetic doesn’t quite match that of real timber hardwood flooring. That said, if the aesthetic appearance of your flooring isn’t the most important feature to you then this shouldn’t be an issue.

Can hybrid flooring be installed on top of existing flooring?

When it comes to laying DIY floorboards, it is important to fully understand the installation process and what you can and can’t get away with. So, can hybrid flooring be installed on top of existing flooring in your home?

While it is possible to lay hybrid flooring over an existing floor, the process isn’t as simple as you might imagine. Not all flooring types will make a suitable foundation for your hybrid flooring to be laid upon and as such, we have a few important questions that you should ask before going ahead…

Can hybrid flooring be installed on top of carpet?

We would not recommend that you install hybrid flooring over carpet. In addition, bricks and natural stone are among the other floors that you cannot lay hybrid panels over. This is due to the uneven nature of those materials which will, as a result, put a significant amount of stress on the joining system. In addition to this, laying your vinyl flooring on such materials will add to the wear and tear on your new flooring, potentially causing all manner of issues such as bucking and cracking.

While it will certainly mean extra work for you, having to rip up those carpets or covering bricks with the proper preparation materials, however, this is an essential step if you want your hybrid flooring to work properly and last as long as possible.

Fortunately for those whose home is already laid with smooth and evenly finished flooring such as plywood, vinyl, concrete, floorboards or tiles, your hybrid flooring can be laid straight over the top, immediately.

Do remember that when you lay flooring over an existing floor, you will be adding extra height so you should check how much space you have before you begin – you wouldn’t want to go to all that trouble only to find you can open and close your doors properly!

 

Does hybrid flooring need underlay?

Does hybrid flooring require an underlay? Typically, not. The majority of the hybrid flooring available on the market today has a built-in underlay already and as such you won’t need to purchase underlay separately.

The only event in which you may want to go ahead and purchase underlay separately is if you want the additional layer of padding in order to help with acoustics or increase the height (e.g., laying hybrid flooring on concrete can often benefit from additional acoustic layering).

 

Can hybrid flooring be laid outside?

One question that many of you might be wondering is whether or not hybrid flooring can be used outside and the answer is yes! If you want to lay some decking outside in your garden, hybrid flooring is an excellent option. As hybrid flooring is made from several layers of vinyl and laminate pressed together, it creates an extremely hard-wearing floor and is 100% waterproof, thus being suitable to last outside in all weather conditions for many years.

 

Conclusion

Let’s summarise:

  • What is hybrid flooring? – Hybrid is laminate and vinyl flooring fused together to make a stronger and more durable product.
  • Is it any good? – As it takes the best of both laminate and vinyl, hybrid flooring is a very strong option.
  • Is underlay required? – Typically not as hybrid flooring comes with its own in-built layer of underlay.
  • Can it be used outside? – You can lay hybrid flooring outside, however, we would advise using high quality hybrid floorboards so that they can better withstand the elements for longer. 
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