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DuraCeramic Tile Flooring Review

DuraCeramic Tile Flooring Review

By Fortino Rosas / April 16, 2019 / 27 Comments

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    floor of a bathroomIs it tile or is it vinyl? At a first glance of DuraCeramic tile flooring, it can be difficult to tell. When looking at a faux-tile floor, this is a good problem to have.

    DuraCeramic offers a wide variety of patterns and grout color choices to satisfy even the most color-coordinated designer. Plus, it’s warm and soft underfoot and all wrapped up in an easy-to-install format that won’t break the bank.

    You must still wonder, how well does this stuff hold up? We will get into that in a minute, so don’t go throwing away all your ceramic tile samples just yet.

    Appearance

    DuraCeramic is a high-performance floor product that lives somewhere between a ceramic tile and vinyl composition tile. It comes in a wide variety of stone, tile, and concrete patterns in multiple sizes. The different sizes offer much more versatility in layout than it’s click together or loose-lay counterparts.

    DuraCeramic Origins is a collection of 16″ x 16″ tiles. This collection was one of the first HPF type groutable tiles on the market. You will find a selection of natural stone and ceramic tile looks designed with a classic appeal.

    The Dimensions collection offers a 12”x 24” rectangular, linear design than can be arranged in an ashlar, brick, straight-lay or herringbone layout. Patterns include wood look tile, brushed concrete, linen, and stone. This collection also features unique textures embossed to complement the patterns.

    DuraCeramic can be installed with or without grout. The coordinating acrylic grout is stain-, moisture-, and mildew-resistant.

    Having trouble picking out your colors and layout? Maybe you’ve thought about hiring an interior designer to help? Check out the National Council for Interior Design Qualification for resources and how to find a qualified designer.

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    Durability and Construction

    DuraCeramic is made of limestone and polymer composites with HD visuals printed on top and protected by a durable urethane wear layer.

    It is designed to be scratch-, stain-, fade-, and water-resistant. The water-resistant properties are where this product differs the most from ceramic tile.

    DuraCeramic can be installed on the floor of a bathroom but should not be used in areas with excessive moisture such as a shower–not even on the shower walls.

    Should you choose to install this product in a wet area, you may want to consider doing so with grout. The grout creates a barrier at the joints making it very difficult for water to penetrate. If you choose to install it without grout, it is better suited for an area with minimal or no moisture.

    Congoleum offers a limited lifetime warranty on all their DuraCeramic products. The warranty covers things like delamination and product failure. It doesn’t cover things like wear, damage, discoloration, or failure due to improper installation.

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    Ceramic Tile or DuraCeramic?

    DuraCeramic is a type of flooring called HPF or High-Performance Flooring. DuraCeramic is a stronger engineered floor when compared to many other resilient flooring options.

    It’s tough and flexible and can withstand above average expansion and contraction. Some conditions like these would otherwise leave you with cracked or ledged ceramic tile.

    DuraCeramic is also warm underfoot and more forgiving than ceramic tile. It’s not bulletproof, but you are less likely to damage it if you drop something heavy on it.

    DuraCeramic Installation is faster and easier than ceramic tile to less subfloor prep and special site conditions that you would otherwise need.

    It’s important to note that DuraCeramic is not a replacement for ceramic tile. It can’t go in excessively wet areas, for example.

    Even though DuraCeramic is very durable, a quality ceramic tile installation will far outlast it.

    It’s easy to learn more about flooring specifications and how companies have rated products to perform at ASTM.org.

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    Ease of Installation

    DuraCeramic is a very versatile product with many applications. This is also true of its installation process. There are two different ways to install DuraCeramic.

    The most common installation is a direct-glue method. This method is where you glue the product directly to the subfloor using the pressure-sensitive adhesive the manufacturer recommends.

    If you plan to put this floor in a wet area, you should use the direct-glue method. The adhesive keeps moisture from collecting under the floor which could cause mold or rot.

    Subfloor preparation is of upmost importance with this method. Your subfloor should be flat, dry, and free of debris.

    Acceptable subfloors include cement, gypcrete, and OSB/Plywood. You should not direct glue to particle board, but don’t worry, there’s an alternative so you don’t have to go ripping out all your subfloor.

    The second method is a floating installation. This method uses a special underlayment called Underflor, this also known as an uncoupling membrane. Instead of gluing the tile directly to the subfloor, you glue it to the underlayment which then “floats” between the tile and the subfloor.

    Choose this method if you have a particle board subfloor or think you may want to replace your floor sooner than later. It is much easier to remove the tile when you have not glued it to the subfloor.

    If you want to go for the true-to-tile look, you can opt to install the DuraCeramic floor with grout. Keep in mind that you can’t go using any grout from the hardware store. There are a couple reasons for this.

    The first is that a regular urethane or cement-based grout will damage the finish of the tile when you apply it. Second, using anything but the products the manufacturers recommend will void your warranty if you do have a problem with your flooring later.

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    Cost

    DuraCeramic is a premium product with a price tag to match. Expect to pay retail $3-$5 per square foot. Additional sundries include adhesive and grout that adds approximately $45-$75 per bucket to your tile flooring cost depending on size. For a floating installation, the Underflor underlayment runs around $80 for a 100 square foot roll.

    Limited DuraCeramic colors are available from some big box retailers such as Lowe’s, but you can also find extended color options from online retailers as well as your local mom and pop flooring dealer and showroom.

    Don’t forget the trims and transitions. In this case, one trim does it all. The DuraCeramic multi-trim functions as a reducer or t-mold.

    Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a seasoned professional, the labor cost won’t break the bank. Although, you should expect to pay more for the glue-down and floating installation as these require more time and preparation than a typical click-together Congoleum vinyl floor.

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    The Verdict

    DuraCeramic tile flooring has a lot of great things going for it. It’s soft and warm underfoot, water-resistant, and easy to install. Of course, it’s tile – so it’s easy to clean. Also, many styles are readily available at local retailers and even more options are easily found online.

    However, at a price point that’s comparable with a mid-grade ceramic tile, it makes for a tough sell. It also isn’t necessarily a replacement for ceramic tile as it can’t go in excessively wet areas. This would leave you with your flooring not matching your shower walls.

    Overall, DuraCeramic would only be a good choice for you if you either just really don’t want ceramic tile or have the subfloor that supports it—or you still want warm feet without springing for the radiant heat system.

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    About Fortino Rosas

    Chief Floor Critic, 32 years of experience in flooring installation and sales

    Fortino Rosas is an independent flooring contractor with 32 years of experience in residential and commercial flooring installation and sales. He joined the Floor Critics team to share his expertise with our readers. Fortino has acquired vast knowledge and skills in the areas of product selection, space planning, and installation. He has installed flooring in residential, government, and commercial office projects in the Midwest. Visit Website.

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    27 thoughts on “DuraCeramic Tile Flooring Review”

    1. I just found this website as I was looking to see if there was an answer to my problem. I had a rug under my dinette set in the breakfast area and I took it up to get it cleaned. Upon doing so, I saw that the floor around it had yellowed terribly. As I have a light marble pattern this is extremely noticeable. I just read the warranty and it stated that it does NOT cover discoloration!!!
      I also have tiles that are cracked even though the flooring was professionally installed. And there are chips in the flooring from things that were dropped on it. It is just my husband and myself that live here so it is not like there is a lot of traffic. I am extremely upset as we have this tile in our kitchen, breakfast room, hallway, bathroom and entry as they all run together. It is going to cost another small fortune to have this all replaced.

    2. Usually on reviews you only read the good. I wonder if the material has changed over the years for the better. Was seriously thinking of using this product for our main floor. After reading these reviews and how the company deals with warranty issues I think I will pass. Thank you everyone that posted real reviews!

    3. Installed Duraceramic in our kitchen and stairs to the basement over 10 years ago. For few months we really liked this product, it was a good price, a lot of work to install DIY. We put a subfloor down and then glued and grout. It looked great, felt great under foot in a Canadian prairie climate. Then the accidental dropping of a cutlery piece, a permanent chink of the top came off, then another, then another and now we have approx 50 to 70 white chips in the tiles. UGH! That was not anticipated. Regrettably we do not recommend this product and will not be replacing our kitchen flooring with something similar.

    4. We had it installed in our hallway and kitchen six years ago and the tile has held up well. We have three large dogs who have made mincemeat out of our adjacent hardwood floor but the Duraceramic shows no scratching or wear. I would opt for a no grout install since we have noticed some chipping and cracking with it.

    5. We put the product in our kitchen , which is a main traffic area over 10 years ago. It was a darker color and have had many white chips over the years which se filled in with a sharpie.
      The bigger problem is the cracking . We used the correct subfloor and padding but it cracked and settled in areas.

    6. We installed this 7 years ago in our kitchen and two bathrooms. Fortunately we have not had any wear issues of note. We are having problems with the seam sealer coming out in chunks (we went grout less) The problem is they no longer make replacement DS200 seam sealer to fix the problem areas. Does anyone know of a replacement product for the seam sealer?

    7. I have had the origins in a lovely dark slate for almost 12 years and it is still beautiful. Virtually no chips or scratching. I love it.

    8. A Question: will this product perform correctly, no cracking or expansion or contraction, if installed in an unheated [Minnesota] cabin which is not used during the cold weather?

    9. John Martin Kiefer

      Our floor also began to show white chips where we had our bar cars-so the floor company replaced about 6 tiles by the bar-now I see another tile has developed the white chips also. Guess we will try the floor company to see what can be done

    10. I have this floor and same problem, the top layer wore off absolutely the worst floor I have ever had. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT.. It was expensive and a huge waste of money.

    11. We are having the exact same negative experience with DuraCeramic as noted by another poster Elizabeth: “we keep finding chips or mini gouges everywhere. It also scratches.” Yup. I would NOT recommend this product to anyone. Not worth the price whatsoever.
      We’ve had our DuraCeramic floor less than 1 year…it consists of about 185 total tiles, and there are about 10 tiles with chips, 3 tiles with ugly scratches that can’t be removed.
      A tile in the middle of your floor is easily replaced by a flooring pro, but don’t forget you might have some tiles partially covered by a kitchen island, cabinets, baseboards, etc, where replacement is not going to be clean and easy.

    12. Well, I guess it’s not just me! We bought Duraceramic 9 years ago, with the lifetime warranty against wear. Huh, a year ago we began noticing wear-through in the middle of the kitchen, as well as under the dining room table. We are two retired people, with no pets. We certainly don’t give our floors excessive wear! I wrote Congoleum, and got no answer. The store owner who sold us the flooring came out and took pictures, and later told us that Congoleum refused to honor the warranty. He offered to replace the damaged tiles anyway, but it’s been over a year and nothing has happened. Besides, why would we want more of the same defective tiles? Are all of us dissatisfied customers just out of luck?

    13. I have had my DuraCeramic floor down for nine years now and it is everything I could ever hope for. It was installed in 2010 to replace sheet vinyl in my kitchen and dinette. Mine has been grouted and there is not one problem. I believe the secret to having no problem is preparation. You can’t put any floor down if the surface you are applying it to is uneven, dirty, is damp or moves. A little spent replacing the underlay is worth it. I would recommend the product and will use it again.

    14. We bought Dura Ceramic for our kitchen and Bath, We have 2 Adut Children 3 grand children over often. Yes you can be picky but any floor is going to wear . If you have wood floor, ,a crawl space, Your house is older it;s going to move , Ceramic Joints are going to crack , WE like our floors and plan on buying more for a future remodel.

    15. Concur. It looks nice, bu we keep finding chips or mini gouges everywhere. It also scratches. There are two adults and no pets in our house and we don’t wear shoes inside either. I’d go with another type of flooring besides congoleum duraceramic.

    16. David Kowalewski

      Retail salesman assured us that they would seal the joints in the floor tile. After installing the second floor in two weeks [first would not stick] they tell us they can’t seal the joints between the tile. We would not have chosen this product if we were told that the grout less joints cannot be sealed. We do not want water and dirt in the joints between tile in our bathroom.

    17. where can I find someone to give me answers to why my dura ceramic floor has rips, chips and tears and the grout is cracking ….. I have already filed a complaint 3 years ago and the person told me it was not duraceramic problem more or less ……. anyone know of a good lawyer for this flooring …… sick or tired of rips and chips and cracks

      1. Rosemary Sleboda

        It is a terrible product. Junk, I still have its, very difficult to clean. Chips, color comes off. For seniors it’s a rip off.. This company should have been sued for fraud advertisement..

    18. Consumer Information Hotline
      (609) 584-3601,
      Monday through Friday,
      8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

      Write to Our Customer Service Team
      Congoleum Corporation,
      Department C
      P.O. Box 3127
      Mercerville, NJ 08619-0127

      I have discovered how unscrupulous Congoleum Corp is! They said they would pay for the replacement of my damaged kitchen floor because their product has failed to live up to its warranty. In Sep 2019 my kitchen floor was repaired and I have sent letters in Sep, Oct, Nov, & Dec requesting my reimbursement. To date no refund. How does a large company like this stay in business I ask? I’ve found the BBB to be worthless in addressing this issue. How is it that consumers are taken advantage by large corportations such as Congoleum.

      1. I had this type product from Armstrong and loved it. It was throughout most of our first floor. We had similar issues with cracks in grout by our patio door and some chips of flooring coming out and showing white under the top layer. ( which was medium brown)
        It was noticeable in A few spots. I contacted our retail company and they came out to take pictures and notes. After conferring with Armstrong my retail company came out and replaced three whole tiles and redid all the grout so it was right and it would all match. I was so impressed and grateful that they stood behind their product and the retail store did as well ,with the installation. Congoleum should have handled this properly like Armstrong did.

    19. I agree. I hate this flooring. Scratches and white spots where actual floor colouring has worn off. Love the way it looks and feels. Just terrible quality!!!! Do NOT recommend.

      1. This is the worst product for flooring. Wears and fades and chips very easily. Cant believe it is still in the market and the people who manufacture it and sell it should be embarrassed.

    20. I’m with all the bad reviews for congoleum duraceramic flooring. Save your money and buy another product. We are 64 years old and take good care of everything including our new flooring! We have no kids at home and no grandkids. The floor began falling apart less than 6 months after install. Congoleum ignored us for another 6 months then finally came out and had a look. Never got back to us! We found out from where we bought the flooring that congoleum was not honoring their warranty. The warranty is a scam that I will spread far and wide. SAVE YOUR MONEY AND BUY FLOORING FROM ANOTHER MANUFACTURER!!!!

      1. Thank you for your review. You just helped me make a decision that would have been very costly for us. I will look for other flooring options.

    21. I purchased Dura stone flooring because it was guaranteed to last and a lifetime warranty. The floor by the sliders is all turning green, the floor has so may scratches In it so it always looks dirty. I absolutely hate this floor and would like to know what the company would do about it.

    22. Stephan T Faherty

      We purchased this product in 2006. Within about a two year period it began to chip. We contacted the local flooring company. They came photographed and inspected the flooring and submitted their findings to Congoleum. It took a year for the manufacturer to approve replacement.

      Again, after about two years the flooring began to chip. I contacted Congoleum and explained the problem. I was bluntly told by the customer service rep that “you only get one warranty.” What if the transmission in your car failed within the warranty period and they replaced it. And, the replacement transmission failed. And you were told “you only get one warranty”? It does not work that way in the auto industry. They step up!

      CONGOLEUM’S LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY is worthless. SAVE YOUR MONEY! BUY ANOTHER PRODUCT!

      FYI: we are empty nesters who do not wear shoes in the house. There are no large dogs. No cats.. Only a pocket Beagle who is not a chewer or scratcher. It is your money. But, don’t pave Congoleum’s streets with your gold!

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