House Renovations and Flooring Options

21 posts in this topic

We are just now embarking on renovating a house and I'm looking at flooring options for a kitchen, flur and attached bathroom.  The rest of the ground floor level has a gorgeous hard wood oiled floor - which has been boasted to be chemical free (that was never important to me, but having the remainder of the floor also eco-friendly would be nice)

 

The kitchen now is a wide tile with pretty grubby looking grout.  I am kind of tired myself of worrying about cleaning out grooves and grout in flooring and I'd like something completely flat, easy to clean, and maybe not so hard on the joints (which may end up being the compromise).  When i google in english, i come up with things like concrete (which would be hard)  and polyurethane.  When i google in German, i have come up with beton (concrete), some sort of fake "beton look" and "estrich".   

 

I'd also like in floor heating.  There is no keller below the floor.  

 

What is estrich? Google tells me its "screed" which I've also never heard of but perhaps its more common in the UK.   Is it a finished floor or is a subfloor?  

 

Any other ideas, suggestions? pros, cons?   

 

And yes, I've searched and googled. I just want to make sure i'm not missing out on something new and cool :P

 

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Have you considered Linoleum?  ( not vinyl)  It's "green" and apparently is very high quality nowadays and comes in lovely designs. It's certainly smooth and easy to clean.

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On 12/15/2015, 9:09:08, Joanie said:

What is estrich? Google tells me its "screed" which I've also never heard of but perhaps its more common in the UK.   Is it a finished floor or is a subfloor?

 

different estrichsorten

 

Polyurethane I wouldn't recommend - here's how it looks in an industrial kitchen :

http://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/bac11304043a6597_4-3245/industrial-kitchen.jpg

 

 

Our  large Bathroom was a crappy wooden floor - I ended up covering it with fermacell platten - underfloor heating on that then large tiles - that was years ago and haven't  had to worry about cleaning out grooves and grout in flooring  -  you don't need to leave grooves - you can grout it almost level with the tiles and going across the tiles with a mop system cleans just fine - the same mops I use for my wooden floors ( mixture of Oiled and varnished )

You could put a wooden floor in but that's  not a good idea with underfloor heating.

 

Some neighbours just put in estrich, smoothed it and poured some kind of Resin over that - took forever to harden and outgassed for months - floor looks cool though

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In Germany, Estrich is just a thin layer of a material similar to concrete (but finer) poured on top of a rough (often concrete) floor to even it out.

I agree, the floor heating needs to incorporated in that.

*On top* of the Estrich, you put the visible flooring (tiles etc.). I'm not sure floor heating in the kitchen is very common in Germany, but IMHO nothing speaks against it.

 

Now, when you put in floor heating, only certain types of flooring are possible, as it needs to withstand heat from below, and conduce it well (instead of insulating it). Tile and stone seem to be the best in that respect (I agree, wooden flooring and even laminate are not well suited due to low heat transmission).

 

However, my neighbors who live on a cold ground floor opted to put cork flooring (with a well sealed surface)  and *no* floor heating in the kitchen.

They said it's warm enough, easy on the joints, and dropping a dish is no problem.

I also had a room with an icy floor in my home - inspired by the neighbors, I put in the simplest cork flooring as a so-called Klickparkett. You don't even glue, it consists of panels that fit together. I now can sit on the floor, and it held up well under traffic and cleaning for the past ten years. Easy to replace, too.

 

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Considering underfloor heating: First you will need a layer of styrofoam to avoid heating the cellar. Approx. 3cm . The tube for the warm water has to be embedded in 5-7cm of estrich. This will raise the floor by 10cm. Do you have the space? All the heat that goes through the windows and walls must come from the floor. The water for the radiator has a temperature of 50-70°C. Much too hot for underfloor heating. Newer houses need a water temperature between 30-35°C. The estrich and the tiles or the wood will insulate a little so we are talking about a surface temperature of 24°C. Which is ok, however, your feet will think that the floor is cold.

If you have a badly insulated house you would have to increase the temperature of the heating water. However, if you raise the temperature of the floor above 30°C it will be unpleasant to stay in that room. So, underfloor heating is only useful in houses with a decent insulation.

 

PS

A wooden floor works very good with underfloor heating. The wood should not be thicker than 1cm.

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2 hours ago, AnswerToLife42 said:

A wooden floor works very good with underfloor heating. The wood should not be thicker than 1cm.

 

 

And that's the point - you have to differentiate what sort of wood flooring you want to put down, wood does not simply mean "good"!

See here for details on proper flooring with floor heating (German).

 

- Traditional style wooden flooring (German: Holzdielen) - which is what I was talking about - is too thick and thus unsuitable!

 

- Thin layers of wood on some sort of carrier (German: Parkett) is frequently < 1 cm so should work. However, there is a form of Parkett made of square tiles of little strips of wood (you see that a lot in apartments from the 60s and 70s) still sold in German Baumärkte - this is too thick in spite of the same name!

 

In a nutshell, even with wood you always have to ask if it is suitable for floor heating. It can go either way.

 

 

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along the same lines does anyone know roughly what tiling costs to have installed?

 

We're thinking of redoing our bathroom we were quoted 9000€ for a complete gutting and quality furnishings. What I didn't realized was that didn't include the tiling. That came to another 6000€ for a small bathroom. If I understand the quote correct it's 22 sq mtrs

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I would say try getting a couple of different quotes.. Especially if you have already picked out the tiles and fixtures that you want, than you can compare the labor costs which is generally the most expensive part..

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Before you get tiling quotes make sure you understand what state the floor will be in after the other work...

 

In our bathroom the floor was steel reinforced concrete covered in several inches of estrich, then tiles. We knew that removing the old floor tiles would likely damage the estrich & removing the estrich was a good idea because it meant the new bath & shower could be fitted on the concrete floor and water pipes could run across the floor.

 

Once the fittings were installed, the concrete floor was left exposed with no estrich and several water pipes running across it.

Re-flooring the bathroom consisted of a layer of insulation material with interlocking estrich panels on top and finally tiles. That construction meant the shower tray was a lower step up, the plumbing was easier and the tiles, insulated from the concrete below, aren't icy cold on bare feet.


Make sure you don't just get a quote for tiling the floor then find gutting the bathroom and installing the fittings involves removing the estrich and the floor needs to be re-built to its original height.

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On 4/23/2016, 6:11:45, Tim Hortons Man said:

can't edit but I figured out the quote also included the hallway and kitchen, it looks like the bathroom cost around 3000€

 

We are thinking of fully renovating our bathroom (~5 square meters, get everything old out, and install everything new). Does anyone have idea/experience of how much could it cost, ballpark? I am especially interested in knowing labour costs as one never knows what this covers (e.g. tiling, fixing, electricity?, exhaust, etc.)

 

Also recommendations, pleasee ...

 

ps. The main fixtures, i.e. wash basin, tub, WC, mirror, etc. costs about 4k for a decent quality.

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So we just renovated a 100 sqM apartment with 5mm thick flooring. It looks like hard wood but its a plastic composite. The Germans call it "click menu" or "click venu" (not sure how its spelled, just know what I heard). We bought it at a place in Darmstadt and its basically thick vinyl  flooring, the same thats used in commercial stores with high traffic. We had ugly tile floors. Dont ask me how to spell it but its called "ausgleiswasser" (basically epoxy) that goes down to level out the floor and fill in the gaps in the grout. then they lay a mat down and click in the flooring. Our workers got it done in 2 days.

 

For 100 sq M it was about 3000 euro and a few hundred for labor. We have a German shepherd and a three year old and the floor has held up against dog nails and matchbox cars being thrown on it. If you decide to go with something like this make sure it sits in your house for 24 hours before being laid down. If you dont wait for it to reach the same temp as your house, itll expand and you will get a huge bubble in the middle of your floor.

 

if you want pics, private message me your number and I can whats app some to you or email them

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On 6/2/2018, 2:59:37, niland said:

 

We are thinking of fully renovating our bathroom (~5 square meters, get everything old out, and install everything new). Does anyone have idea/experience of how much could it cost, ballpark? I am especially interested in knowing labour costs as one never knows what this covers (e.g. tiling, fixing, electricity?, exhaust, etc.)

 

Also recommendations, pleasee ...

 

ps. The main fixtures, i.e. wash basin, tub, WC, mirror, etc. costs about 4k for a decent quality.

Bathrooms are insanely expensive to do. Ours is an older 1960's building and the quote I got was nearly 10,000€ plus fliesen, another 6,000€ plus vanity etc. Conceivably it could run 25,000 if we put in really high end stuff, but from talking to other people 12,000-15,000 is about right. I figure we can get it down to 15,000 by hiring (legally) a non German. Our place is old and there's a ton of behind the wall work to be done. The vanity we found a really nice for 1500€ and for the rest I have a guy who charges only 20€ an hour plus VAT. 

 

Best is to get several quotes, the company that we want to do with created a very detailed plan of all the work that needed to be done. The rest just did general quotes.  

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I've got a question about German bath tubs. It seems to me, that they buy the same sort of bath tubs as we get in England. However, rather than sit them on a wooden frame, they seem to prefer a polystyrene surround and then tile over that. The joy of the frame is that you can then just put panels around the wooden frame and if there are any problems with the plumbing, you can remove the panels and fix the problem. However, if I tile over the polystyrene, it seems that there is no way for me to access the underside of the bath if a leak occurs without removing the tiles and having to redecorate.

Is there a solution to this German way of decorating a bath surround? I'm probably just missing something really obvious.

  

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Usually there is a small access point in the area of the Taps/Drains...   They are usually very well hidden/Finished

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2 hours ago, dstanners said:

it seems that there is no way for me to access the underside of the bath if a leak occurs without removing the tiles and having to redecorate.

Is there a solution to this German way of decorating a bath surround? I'm probably just missing something really obvious.  

 

Just install a Fliessenrahmen... That's basically a metal plate held  by magnets.

 

FR.jpg.832e9cd6ef6e493331af709737db54d8.

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@franklan thanks for that. Not only a fantastic tip, but it also turns out that is what the previous owner had used below one of the shower trays (a leaking shower tray, so particularly useful).

 

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