Amtico vs Karndean

By: edm

Coca Cola vs Pepsi. Federer vs Nadal. Ronaldo vs Messi. In practically almost every field, a raging debate exists on who or what should be crowned as “the best”. Fans and users jealously defend their favourite while pointing out flaws (both real and made up) in the closest competitor. In residential and commercial settings, this debate has raged on for decades as homeowners and designers alike have argued without end on the best luxury flooring out there. Amidst the deafening cacophony, two brands stand out as the favourite – Amtico and Karndean and like other fields of endeavour mentioned above, it has been impossible to find a clear winner so far.

We, therefore, decided to pit them side by side in a friendly match up and possibly, put an end to this debate once and for all!

Amtico vs Karndean: The Ultimate Matchup

The following categories shall be considered: Product type, durability, practicality, installation, price and environmental impact. Ready? Here we go:

Product Type

Amtico flooring is made from high-quality plasticisers, resin, and stabilisers. These materials which are usually of the finest grade are then combined and compressed under high temperatures and pressures. The result is a paper-thin but extremely durable floor that boasts remarkable levels of flexibility. When textured with a matte finish, Amtico flooring resembles natural stone or wood and offers excellent wear for long years.

Karndean type flooring, on the other hand, is made from a clever combination of two PVC backing layers, an HD photographic layer, a clear PVC embossed wear layer and a protective layer of PU coating. This process makes Karndean tiles as durable as their Amtico counterparts, albeit with a glossier finish.


Even though this has been mentioned above, we believe a more in-depth analysis is needed. Naturally, you would go for the more durable between the two when making your choice. In fact, you would be wise in doing so. The big question however is, which is more durable?

In all honesty, durability is a tricky category to measure as it varies from range to range. To make things trickier, both flooring types are known for their wear resistance. Amtico, for instance, boasts one of the highest-rated urethane coatings on the market thanks to its “Quantum Guard”.

On the other hand, Karndean’s “K Guard” brings commercial level durability right to your doorstep across a broader range of products. It is indeed a closely contested battle in this category, but at the end of the day, Karndean takes this. Its K Guard has over time, been awarded the highest wear rating possible and has consistently demonstrated remarkable abrasion resistance.

It is interesting to note, though that Amtico still offers more with regard to impact resilience as its layers range from 0.3mm to 1mm in-depth compared to Karndean’s 0.7mm.


This is another area many lookout for and as with other categories, Amtico and Karndean meet all expectations. They are 100% waterproof, are stable in heat and can withstand direct sunlight. This means that both flooring types are great for bathroom installations, conservatories, and underfloor heating. They are also very easy to maintain as they require minimal cleaning and upkeep.

Going further, Amtico brings to the table, an impressive level of slip resistance with an average rating of R12. This is closely matched by Karndean’s 40+ score on the pendulum wet test. This means that they can both be used in wet areas so homeowners can rest assured without fear of slipping.

Amtico closely edges the final test of practicality as it offers better sound insulation with its 20db acoustic rating. This ensures low levels of noise pollution and undisturbed comfort, thereby making it the better choice if you have active kids running around.


Both products are excellent on this front. No professional services are required as they can be quickly installed with simple loose lay and click methods. This makes either option an excellent choice for DIY enthusiasts or homeowners working on a tight budget.


Of course, no matchup is ever complete without a price comparison. In fact, we’re aware that a good number of you have been unable to decide up to this point. On price, Karndean seems to have the edge as it is the cheaper option between the two luxury vinyl tiles. This is not to say though, that Karndean floorings are cheap or Amtico expensive as the difference is indeed a slight one. Both tiles offer great value for your money, but if you’re working on a tight budget, Karndean flooring types may be the wiser option.

Environmental Impact

With environmental pollution caused by plastics becoming a major concern these days, the impact of household items on the environment is a critical factor which, more often than not, is the final deal-breaker for many consumers.

Both Amtico and Karndean are stellar in this category as both have been awarded certificates recognising their eco-responsibility. Amtico however, has the upper hand here. Its flooring has been certified for low chemical emissions and is completely phthalate-free. It also brings to the table, an A+ indoor quality rating, BREEAM/BRE certification for each product and a long list of other achievements for eco-friendliness.

Karndean floorings have also been the recipient of several awards. The entire range of products, for instance, qualifies for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points, and the SGS has also certified them. They, however, use slightly more plasticisers than Amtico during the construction process. This inevitably increases the number of volatile compounds released.


So, what would it be? Pepsi or Coca Cola? Nadal or Federer? Amtico or Karndean? The truth is that as is the case when two greats are pitted against each other, there never is really any clear winner. A significant number of things come into consideration in matchups such as these, and the choice should be made based on the immediate priority. So whether you pick the elegant matte finish of Amtico or the brilliant gloss of Karndean, there really is only one winner here. You.


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