After recently installing BerryAlloc Serenity, I felt absolutely compelled to let you know my thoughts. If you’re considering your flooring options, I urge you to take a seat and read this article. It will certainly enlighten you to the pro’s and con’s of Serenity, and give you some insider opinions from someone that is hands on with flooring on a daily basis..
What is BerryAlloc Serenity?
Serenity is a hybrid. It’s made up of the core board of laminate flooring, and finished on the surface with vinyl flooring. A pretty simple concept and extremely effective. Keep reading to find out why..
The pro’s and con’s of BerryAlloc Serenity
It’s difficult to explain the pro’s and con’s of Serenity without touching slightly on the technical aspect of both laminate and vinyl flooring (specifically Luxury Vinyl Tiles as this is essentially what the surface of Serenity is), so please bare with me..
In the world of flooring, sub-floor preparation is absolutely key. Particularly in the context of a Luxury Vinyl Tile (I’ll now refer to this as LVT). The sub-floor must be FLAT and absolutely blemish free. Again, please bare with me here as I explain in a little more detail. A typical concrete sub-floor preparation for LVT’s will consist of grinding, cleaning, potentially applying a liquid damp proof membrane, priming, applying a smoothing compound, leaving the compound to dry, applying a micro topping/scratch coat/feather compound, rubbing down, possibly applying a second coat of micro topping (if required), rubbing down, then finally gluing the LVT down to the sub-floor. A typical suspended timber sub-floor preparation for LVT’s will consist of installing adequately thick plyboard sheeting (generally requiring around 50 fixings/nails per square metre), then an application of a micro topping to all the plyboard seams and fixing (often the micro topping will be applied over all the ply), primer, perhaps a final coat of smoothing compound (if required), then gluing the LVT down. There maybe slight alterations to these two methods (depending on specific circumstances) but for all intense purposes, the descriptions are in the ball park. As you can see, either preparation method is quite clearly a costly, time consuming, tedious task. Although, very much a necessity.
The main benefits of LVT’s being the warmth under foot, low impact sound (quietness when walked on), the close realism to natural materials, stability in changing in home climates (versatility), it’s resistance to direct moisture, and it’s good but firm surface absorption.
The main disadvantages of LVT’s being the extensive sub-floor preparation (as mentioned above), the high cost (In general including preparation and installation materials, the flooring itself, high skill level and knowledge base required to install correctly and labour cost), often difficult to remove and can not be re-used.
A laminate floor is classed as a ‘floating’ floor covering (Not fixed to the sub-floor. Installed floating as in fitted on top of an underlay). LVT is classed as a fully bonded floor covering (glued to the sub-floor). A floating laminate floor typically does not require anywhere near as much sub-floor preparation as an LVT may. With emphasis on the fact the underlay and rigidity of the laminate board will do a lot of the work at keeping slight unevenness and blemishes in the sub-floor from effecting the final look and longevity of the flooring.
The main benefits of a laminate floor covering being the speed of installation (with the use of a glue ‘free’ locking system to join the boards), the speed of installation (due to there being a lesser requirement for extensive sub-floor preparation), relative ease of installation (depending on aptitude), strength/rigidity of the boards, high impact resistance, versatility (due to being able to be installed over multiple sub-floor types, even in instances where sub-floors change mid room/s), they can be used immediately (No need to wait for drying times), they can be lifted up with relative ease and often re-used if required.
The main disadvantages of a laminate floor being they’re typically clacky/tinny when walked on, they have a hard surface with no impact absorption (excluding any absorption from compression of the underlay), they’re often cold to the touch, and finally – although they are relatively stable compared to say a real wood floor – they can be highly effected by in-home climate changes and direct moisture.
As you may have worked out by now, there was a clear point where these two materials needed to collide. BerryAlloc have done exactly that with Serenity. They have taken all the benefits of an LVT and laminate, married them together, and come up with perfection.
BerryAlloc Serenity in a nutshell
Serenity, I had a quick look at the online definition, and found this; “the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.”. Ok, so I suppose that’s laying it on a bit thick. I bet the marketing team were patting themselves on the back for that one! Although, there is a certain amount of correlation with that statement and Serenity (the product of course).
“The state of being calm”, well that resonates more with me when I was installing the stuff. It really was a delight. No hassle, no difficulties. No fighting it.
“Peaceful”, erm, marketing fluff, ignore.
“Untroubled”, well, I can quite clearly see where that word will resonate with the owner of a Serenity floor. You really will indeed be untroubled. It looks stunning (not marketing fluff, my genuine opinion), feels great by stealing both the warmth and low impact noise of an LVT as well as the strength of a laminate. It can be lifted up and re-used, no problem, although, I doubt you’ll want to.
That just about sums Serenity up. There are several other aspects that could be talked about, like the hydroplus core board (which is basically a waterproof wax that’s been applied to the locking system for added protection from moisture), its AC ratings, fire ratings, and slip resistance etc. However, I think I’ve said enough. Apart from my last and final musings which are; I really don’t have a bad word to say about Serenity. For me, it just ticks all the boxes and then colours them in..
You can find out more about Serenity by visiting the BerryAlloc Serenity webpage by clicking here..
If you’re in the UK, it can be purchased online or by contacting Cheshire Tile Studio..© Copyright 2016 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor