Kitchen flooring is quite an investment and it’s reasonable to expect it to last a good ten years. So when our DuraCeramic vinyl flooring starting flaking off after only four years, I couldn’t believe it.
Then I remembered that the manufacturer, Congoleum, has a limited lifetime warranty on DuraCeramic. Unfortunately, trying to get them to honor that warranty was an exercise in futility.
I didn’t just get a bad batch of flooring. Lots of other people are reporting the same issues with DuraCeramic and also with Congoleum.
Update 2015: There is a class action lawsuit pending against Congoleum for their defective DuraCeramic product, failure to honor warranties and false advertising. For more information on participating in this lawsuit, visit Class Action News.
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Congoleum claims this product is tougher than regular linoleum
This product is a vinyl composition tile, or VCT. It’s mixed with limestone which is supposed to make it stronger. The salesman even told us it was like a hybrid of linoleum and ceramic tile. It’s supposed to resist chipping and cracking, and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
DuraCeramic is soft and dents easily
There are dents in the floor where the refrigerator used to sit. This is pretty consistent with regular linoleum that hasn’t been enhanced with the addition of limestone. Again, this was pitched as being stronger and more durable than ordinary linoleum.
Near the top of the photo you can also see the floor is scratched.
Thin flimsy tiles
These measure just under one-quarter of an inch thick. The material is soft, pliable and easy to drill through should the need arise. In fact, the tiles must be stored flat or they’ll warp. So far, more characteristic of linoleum than ceramic tile.
No, those aren’t paint splatters. It’s just the design wearing off.
These white spots started appearing about four years after installation. At first I thought someone spilled paint on the floor. Then I realized the pattern was wearing off. For that to happen this top layer must have been microthin.
Now I’ve had a lot of linoleum flooring over the years, and this problem has never, ever happened. Most of the time it seems to wear like iron and only ends up getting replaced because you’re tired of looking at it.
Some areas are worn down further into the tile
The damage is not limited to the top layer in some places.
Four tiles are affected so far
This area by the sink is the worst
Here’s a short video of my damaged kitchen floor
I took this video with my camera and I apologize for the quality.
What happened to the lifetime limited warranty?
When it comes time to make good on their warranty, Congoleum doesn’t want to hear from you. I believe the technical term for it is “giving you the run around.” And should you think mine was an isolated incident, please feel free to read the horror stories you can find here:
I first contacted the salesman about the problem we were having with the floor. He said he would file a claim with Congoleum and they would come out to inspect. But they didn’t come. Instead they sent the salesman to my house to take pictures a week later.
Two weeks passed and I didn’t hear anything. I called the salesman again and he said he would contact the manufacturer’s rep about putting in a claim and that they would call me the following week.
Eight days passed with no word. I called the salesman again. This time he promised the rep would call me in a couple of days.
Another week went by and I had to call the salesman yet again. He said he would call the rep, again. The very next day he came back to my house to take pictures because somehow the first set of pictures got lost.
Fifteen days passed and what do you know, I finally got a call from the Mohawk consumer affairs rep. She said the claim was in process!
Another two weeks went by and I called the Mohawk rep to find out what was going on. She told me I had to talk to the salesman about the status of my claim. He wasn’t in and I had to leave a message for him to call me back.
The next day, nine weeks after initially contacting the salesman, he called and gave me their verdict: claim denied. If I wanted the floor fixed I would have to pay for it myself at an estimated cost of $200 for a box of tiles and installation.
Well that was it! No way was Congoleum going to get any more of my hard-earned cash to fix their lousy floor.
In conclusion, DuraCeramic is a waste of money
If you’re looking for new flooring, steer clear of DuraCeramic or anything else made by Congoleum. There are lots of other choices for quality products made by companies with integrity.
As for me, I decided to invest my money on new flooring that will truly stand the test of time—porcelain tile! And the best part is, I don’t even have to tear out the old floor. The new tile can go right on top.