chipped duraceramic tile

Don’t buy DuraCeramic by Congoleum

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.

(The original article continues below:)

Congoleum claims this product is tougher than regular linoleum

box of duraceramic tile

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

dents in duraceramic

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

measuring duraceramic tile

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.

peeling duraceramic tile

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.

Flaking tiles

Some areas are worn down further into the tile

worn duraceramic 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

chipped duraceramic tiles

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:

Pissed Consumer Reviews

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.

23 replies
  1. Michael
    Michael says:

    I would not buy this product again our floor is covered with dents and pealing and pattern wearing off.I am going to look into this as the product is still being sold..M

    Reply
  2. Helene Arbor
    Helene Arbor says:

    If you’re looking for flooring don’t buy them! I have black and white duraceramic tiles that were installed 2 years ago and there are so many gouges that I’m really disgusted with it. I use furniture pads but it’s the traffic areas that are the problem. As is said- when it sounds too good to be true…

    Reply
  3. Becky
    Becky says:

    I bought 23cartons of dura ceramic as well , its 5yrs old an has a couple spots the company has made things right by me, I wrote to the corporation didn’t go through Menard where purchased!
    Its very disappointing it didn’t last like they thought it would , anytime new product they have to tweek the problems, I love my floor tho in all 3 baths an kit………
    Thanks Congoleum for taking care of me.

    Reply
  4. Don
    Don says:

    My wife and I had these Duraceramic tile’s installed seven years ago that look just like yours. We also had a problem with denting and chipping by our kitchen sink after about two years after install. Now, almost seven years after install, we need to replace two more tiles under a kitchen chair in a couple of days. Fortunately, our installer left us 4-5 spare tiles and they agreed both times to replace the chipped tiles for us. Thanks to your posts, I didn’t know that this has happened to many other people and didn’t know about the class action, but I will look deeper into it now. As you, we were told by installer these tiles were scratch resistant, est., before we purchased them. Seven years now and I know I can expect more chipping. I too may have to eventually replace with a better tile.

    Reply
      • Don
        Don says:

        How do I get involved with this class action lawsuit in case I have to replace my entire kitchen floor?
        Also; to add a comment to Tom on October 8, 2015 post. Since I had Duraceramic tiles installed seven years ago, I’ve always used felt pads under my chair legs that periodically have to be replaced with new pads, I still have white wear marks under main chairs. I just replaced all felt pads with new on four chairs two weeks ago and I have noticed new white wear marks on tile under kitchen chair just within two weeks. Fortunately, this is one of the tiles installer is replacing with the spare tiles I have on January 6, 2016.

        Reply
        • [email protected]
          [email protected] says:

          In my opinion Tom’s comment was sarcastic. There’s no mention of chair pads in the warranty. It does however state that the floor will not wear out, will be free of defects, will not stain or fade.

          To join the class action suit just do an online search and follow the instructions contained in the document. Alternatively, you could sue them in small claims court. You probably stand to recoup more of your losses that way as class action settlements tend to be quite small for each individual.

          Reply
          • Don
            Don says:

            I totally agree with you on no mention of chair pads on warranty and you shouldn’t have to baby a tile floor.
            I also checked Consumer Reports website yesterday something I should have done seven years ago before purchasing and most comments are negative and reports of denting and scratches.

          • Don
            Don says:

            Update after service man replaced two tiles for me. I asked him if this has been a problem for other people and he told me he has been seeing this more often and just having to replace 14 tiles 2-3 weeks ago.

          • [email protected]
            [email protected] says:

            That’s not surprising. My installer stopped selling the product after having so many complaints.

  5. Liz
    Liz says:

    We selected the duraceramic because of their claims of “durability” and how beautiful it looks.
    Our conctractor installed the same flooring a few years ago in their offices and have had no issues with it. HOWEVER our new floor had dents and chips after the first week! A dropped butter knife caused a chip!!! Its been 3 months and we have 3 chips now that stick out like a sore thumb and are peeling, a dent and two scratches. I can’t even imagine what it will look like after a years time. The coating is so very thin and soft.
    I believe they are taking too many shortcuts in the manufacturing because the initial product they started out with seemed to be of much bettr quality.
    I would denfinately not reccommend this to anyone!
    Hoping our contractor gets our money back so that we may put something different down. The labor cost to replace is a major concern.

    Reply
    • [email protected]
      [email protected] says:

      I hope you’re able to get your money back. If you do have to install a new floor at least you’ll be able to put it right over the top of the DuraCeramic which will save you some money.

      Reply
  6. Tom
    Tom says:

    I have had Duraceramic tile in my last home. Had it for 8 years before I moved. I never had a problem with it. I do know that if you do not use felt pads under furniture or appliances that the tile can scratch. Think about it. You have all that pressure on little legs. Duraceramic is “scratch resistant” not “scratch proof”.I guess if you wanted scratch proof you could install concrete or real tile. I LOVE the product and I will be installing more of it in my new home.

    Reply
  7. Murray
    Murray says:

    I found your issues very interesting. I was just thinking of purchased this flooring on a recommendation of
    a contractor. I think I better rethink this.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  8. Joan Hanel
    Joan Hanel says:

    My husband and I had DuraCeramic installed in our kitchen and living room entry way more than 4 years ago. We had in installed I our master bathroom floor a year ago. We have since moved to a new home and are having it installed in our new master bathroom as well as our laundry room. I will tell you, I was so surprised when I saw your YouTube video. I had never heard of any complaints but I wasn’t looking for any either. We love our Dura Ceramic! We have never had any of the problems listed with one exception. I did notice the grout cracking right next to the floor tile. That was not a flooring issue, it was the fact, in my opinion that we have a basement under our home and the floor is 40 years old and has movement. I am sorry to see your chipping. We have just never had that problem. Neither my husband nor I are associated with any flooring compny at all. We are just consumers like you.

    Reply
  9. Gordon Merritt
    Gordon Merritt says:

    I am glad you put a video on youtube that is exactly like the problem with my floor lthat is only 3 months old. I understand there isi a class action suit against the manufacture but I wounder how to join it. I believe it is intentional fraud when they try to imply the this is the best of both worlds meaning vinyl and ceramic, when it is really the worst and do so by calling it “duracermic” and charging extra for a floor that doesnt last one forth as long. It looks to me like they only care about looking good for a short period because the top layer is so thin and it has an even thinner sprayed on glaze to give a fresh waxed look but I noticed under my chair that the high points wore off first and had no shine and even looked dirty and dull not to mention minor scratches that I can not account for. The installer for my flooralso sold flooring and said Iit was great he did the kitchen remodel also, but as of late I found out he was not registered and he wrote and knew our contract was void so it is great flooring if your crooked and want to make easy money I just hope my lawyer can get my money back

    Reply
    • Brenda
      Brenda says:

      I bought 2 years ago and I hate my floor. Dents from dropped pot top. Even a fork left its tine points in it. The installer did not get all the grout off and the grout will not come off. Very disappointed.

      Reply

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