Mannington Adura vs. Armstrong Alterna vs. Congoleum Duraceramic

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by herman2manny, May 17, 2013.

  1. herman2manny

    herman2manny Active Member

    Okay, I have samples of all three of these vinyl tiles. I got them from three different places and they all say the same thing: "these will wear like iron". It is going to cost me about twice as much as getting a good sheet resilient floor. Is it worth it (besides the look?). Also, I would love opinions on which one is the best. I have been researching this and am getting totally confused! I have pets and grandkids at my house all the time and want something that will give me the best wear and that can take moisture. Thank you so much!!!
  2. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Is it worth it? I tend to think not, however, that does not mean that the products are inferior in any way. I tend to lean towards a nice sheet vinyl. With the proper floor preparation and installation, a good sheet vinyl will outlast many floors.

    Drawbacks I have seen from duraceramic/alterna type products are grout cracking, and the fact that it still looks like it's half vinyl/ half ceramic. The duraceramic products will hold up well to normal use (not abuse!) and will last many years with care. That's one thing about the flooring world, there are so many options!!
  3. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    Opinions may vary. :D I like vinyl plank, and Adura is a good product. It's a bit more forgiving, then the grouted tiles like Duracramic and Alterna. I prefer the plank as I said, but have laid quite a bit of the adura tile as a tight fit, in a sort of Mixed Medium type of installation, but it depends on the size of your project

    I working on a project now, an entire house of Metrofloor Engage Select. Tiles in the hall bath and laundry, plank in the bedrooms, hall, kitchen and dining room, and a very nice low level loop in the living room. Dust is the archilles heel with this family, factor in an active dog and grand children, and for my money, its a better choice then trying to install the same look in sheet vinyl.
  4. herman2manny

    herman2manny Active Member

    Can the vinyl plank take moisture, though? Do they seal between the planks. That is what I was most worried about with them. Also, my husband thinks the Alterna looks more like real tile than the tile planks. I am seriously debating just getting an old-fashioned Armstrong Duality floor. I am getting more and more confused, the more I research these floors. I almost wish someone would just flat out tell me what to get. Everyone seems to have such incredibly different opinions. I was going to get a very, very narrow grout seam with the Alterna tiles. Would that make any difference as to the possibility of the grout cracking. The lady at the flooring store told me she has had these for 8 months and has had no problems so far--although I did ask about her lifestyle and it is just three 60+ years olds living at her house (herself and her 80 year old parents). So, I imagine it doesn't take a lot of wear and tear. Has anyone seen the Alterna actually work out for anyone? My husband and I have found one that we really love, but if the grout is going to crack, I would rather go with the Duality floor. Can anyone tell how confused I am? We want this floor to last a while. Thanks for any and all help!
  5. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Vinyl planks are very moisture resistant. Of course, this comes along with different standards of "moisture". You can't dump 100 gallons of water on a floor, but it's very good for normal everyday use moisture. A wet mop won't hurt it.
  6. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    They will all perform similarly
    I do not sell Mannington, just Duraceramic and alterna
    Grout cracking is due to
    A) Not a sturdy Subfloor
    B) over wetting the grout

    Make sure that Subfloor is primo birch and you'll be all set
    Alterna does look very real, Duraceramic has some nice colors. These floors are the future.
    Best of luck
  7. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    I've done my fair share of both Alterna and Dura Ceramic, don't have a preference, except I prefer they pick a darker grout, thinking it will stay nice longer, and I only do the 1/16" spacers, making the grout line about an 1/8"
    Sure is easy to second guess your self with all the info on the web. I think you could comfortabky pick either one of those product with confidence. The tiles can be replaced if badly damaged not a big deal. Find a color you like, a shop with a reputation for quality installs and enjoy your floor.

    Another thing, even if 99% of the people who have these types of floor s love them, it always seems you run into that 1percent of dissatisfied customers to make you doubt yourself. Never fails:)
  8. herman2manny

    herman2manny Active Member

    Steve, thanks so much. You are right. It is probably only the people who have had bad luck that post on the internet. I imagine if you are happy with something, you just go about your life and don't even think about it or posting positive things on the internet. I am going to take the plunge with one of these products. I guess I will just pick the tile I like the best. It was actually a Duracermic one, but I was scared off of it by the internet, so switched to Alterna. I will buy some extra tiles just in case!! Thanks to all of you!!
  9. Jackreed

    Jackreed jackreed Charter Member

    No reason to be scared of Duraceramic. Just got done installing 3200 sq ft in a new home. Half of the main living area and the whole basement all grouted.
  10. herman2manny

    herman2manny Active Member

    Thank you Jackreed. You have all made me feel so much more confident in my decision. You guys are all great!
  11. prvolunteer

    prvolunteer Member

    Hi, I know you posted about a year ago about putting in select plank by metroflor. Do you remember what color it was ? We ordered sun river oak going by a sample and unfortunately we ordered 310 sq ft (wished we had thought about just getting one box) we opened the one box and we are disappointed as it has much darker brown grain in it and the embossing around the knots is over done and makes it look unrealistic. how do you think the plank floor looked with the embossing and grain ?

    We are actually thinking about returning it and losing $250 in restock fees and getting armstrong alterna with grout, my husband thought a true floating floor would be better as the addition to the kitchen was not done well and may continue to settle (although it is over 40 + years old, so should be done settling), he will have to degloss the existing sheet vinyl floor but really as it is 20 years old my dogs have done a good job of that! and he will level the floor. I don't like a busy looking floor and with the metroflor I am afraid it will drive me crazy with the loud graining. I am considering Alterna multistone caramel gold or cream as it seems to have little variation in pattern.

    Is the alterna truly mixed with limestone making it more durable than aluminum oxide/ceramic bead finish or are they one and the same ?

    any comment or advice is appreciated...
  12. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    You should understand that flooring is manufactured in "lots". Just because you have a sample and a style number this doesn't mean your order (lot) will match your sample perfectly. Had you ordered only "one box" and liked what you saw and then ordered two more boxes this doesn't mean the latter two boxes would match the first box. You are lucky the restocking charge is only $250. These products are manufactured at different times and sometimes by different makers all using the same "style number" and the same recipe but this doesn't necessarily mean all products will be identical.

    Go to a legitimate LOCAL flooring store, look at samples, keep a sample you like for future reference, order from them, order everything you need with a little extra all at the same time, and hope for the best. If your order still doesn't match your retained sample then you have an argument and someone to argue with face to face.
  13. federer

    federer Well-Known Member

    so what happens if i come home and find the floor i ordered doesnt match the sample? i have to take it back to the store and wait for another shipment, which may not match as well???:confused:
  14. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    There will always be slight differences between samples and product because of color/dye lots. It is the same with all material. But the difference should not be more than a shade or so off.
  15. federer

    federer Well-Known Member

    Gotcha. So i just deal with it. fair enough
  16. prvolunteer

    prvolunteer Member

    the problem is there is much more than a shade off, the sample was a warm red tone of grain, the floor that was sent is a dark , dark brown which makes the grain and pattern which repeats way too often, stand out much more than it would have had been lighter. Plus the sample has soft grain , no knots and heavy grains. I was hesitant to go with it as metroflor had no pictures of the actual floor on their website. I went by the sample way too much, lesson learned. I have a bit of OCD and the patterns bother me a whole lot. Still trying to decide what to do next ?

    You guys can help with this question: does the 16 " Armstrong alterna tile and grout have any flex in it ? He is afraid that he can not get our uneven floor (old house with addition added), level enough even with floor leveler to prevent the grout from cracking. Any experience advice you can give. The other option is for him to cut /pry through 4 to 5 layers of flooring: plywood, asbestos sheet vinyl and sheet vinyl and start over from the bottom... something he prefer not do, but is getting closer to doing so we have more options...
  17. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    If what you say is in fact true about the multiple layers of flooring, then it is time to remove them, all of them. However, the grout used with the products you are considering isn't the type of grout that cracks.

    You guys could have a few energy drinks and then get to work removing old flooring.
  18. prvolunteer

    prvolunteer Member

    We didn't think it would crack easily until the alterna sample which it grouted, was walked on, not paying attention to the fact it had a plank under it, which made it a bit uneven and probably a tiny bit of open spacing, and now it has some minor cracking along the line of the tile.

    If we remove them it would be just down to the original hard wood floor of the house, leaving that, I would love to see if we could salvage it, but judging by the basement looking up, it looks like there were large areas cut out for floor registers, drop down steps to basement or cellar, etc. which would make it difficult.
    The hall and original part of house have beautiful old hardwood, which we have refinished a few times over the 30 years we have been here.

    We need to get a saw (he knows the name) to cut around the cabinets, he just refinished those so they are staying put..

    do you think we take up the old floor any special equipment is needed besides a respirator mask considering there is 300 sq ft of asbestos floor to be taken up in between the layers. No way to know how easily it will come off being pried, may need to saw into it.

    Finally, if we do all this , what flooring is best porcelain tile or LVT like alterna ? Does Alterna scratch very easily from dropping knives, dogs claws, etc.
  19. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    You are comparing bananas to parakeets!
  20. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    DO NOT SAW OR ABRAIDE into asbestos it will send the fiber flying into the air and they remain airborne for quite a length of time. We cannot tell you how to do it due to gov't regulations are different in each state.



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