New installation above an existing floor

Francesca is about to renovate an apartment located on the ground floor of a building of the early ’80s. She would like to replace the whole flooring of the house by installing a new one over the existing.
She is asking me which is the better solution concerning typologies and materials.

It’s not easy to answer because the choice will depend on personal tastes and especially on how much you are willing to spend.
I can still introduce some alternatives, analyzing strenghts and weaknesses of the different types of flooring.

First of all, the laying surface must be well cleaned, dry and especially flat and regular for all the types of pavement you are going to install.

FGM 199

I start with my personal experience.
When I bought the house where I live in, an apartment in mid-70s building, I chose to install a new flooring over the existing one.
I preferred light oak parquet planks in “natural effect” posed with glue.
I replaced all the internal and the entrance doors. Instead, I conserved the wooden windows and doorways, sawing the bottom part of them.


The thickness of the single element is about 2 centimeters. The floor is not walkable when it is freshly laid, you will have to wait about two days to make the glue dry. Then it will be finished with the chosen treatment.
After 8 years and despite of the many signs of the use (and two children who always play on the floor) I’m still fully convinced of my choice.

Examples of “celebrity houses” with parquet flooring:
Chiara Tonelli
Simone Rugiati
Enrique Balbontin
Paolo Stella
Carolina Kostner
Ludmilla Radchenko
Michel Altieri

FGM 199

The second option is the porcelain flooring posed with glue.
The laying procedure is similar to that of the parquet, as well as the problems are the same about the sawing of the bottom part of the windows and the waiting time to be practicable.
Types and forms of the elements, their thickness and price are decidedly variables.

Examples of “celebrity houses” with porcelain flooring:
Rabarama
Francesco Baccini
Gianna Tani
Carolyn Smith

The choice between parquet and porcelain flooring affects
a warm and experienced surface against a cold but tough one.

FGM 199

A third option could be the resin flooring.
It is a very common material, used because it allows to obtain a monolithic surface, without joins and edges. The thickness of few millimeters, does not involve the cutting of doors and windows. You can select from a variety of colours and processing techniques, flooring can also have customizable decorations.
It is necessary to properly assess the adhesion of the existing tiles to the substrate in order to avoid cracks or fissures due to movements of adjustment or significant expansions.

Examples of “celebrity houses” with resin flooring:
Nicola Santini
Gué Pequeno
Matteo Tagliariol
Giusy Ferreri

FGM 199

Finally you can choose laminate or ceramic tile flooring without joints and without adesive.
Aesthetic quality and static behavior of these types of flooring (not glued to the subfloor but only installed on an acoustic underlayment) are greatly improved. They also benefit the ease and velocity of installation and the fact to be immediately walkable. Laminated tiles contain the warmth of a wooden floor but a greater resistance to scratches and bumps.
Honestly, I would use both this types of flooring as a last alternative for a home.
I consider them rather a good solutions for offices or commercial activities, also because easily removable and repositionable in other rooms.
The pavement, if compared to the tiles laid with glue, may present more easily unpleasant squeaking and sliding between the planks.

In all the choises presented, even the most simple, it is sincerely suggested to turn on qualified labour, in order to avoid the occurrence of unpleasant situations, due to an incorrect installation.

You should always order a higher quantity of pieces (estimated approximately in a 10%, but it varies in relation to the size of the single elements) to be kept as a spare in case of need.
In case of breakage of an underfloor pipe (praying that it would never happen) it is necessary to remove two layers of pavement.
It is not often straightforward to locate a loss, therefore, is not easy to quantify the pavement surface to remove and then replace. You may also need to abandon the old pipe and make one new from scratch with a different path.
You only have to hope tubes are of good and do not deteriorate.
Obviously, in this specific case, the use of a floor without glue would be functional as easily and quickly removable and reinstalled when the problem is fixed.

I am waiting for your comments and your own experiences!

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