The Edge Tile and Kwik Tile floating tile floors are both dead. I first covered Kwik Tile in 2011 and since that time I have seen nothing come of either brand. Kwik Tile's site domain is up for sale. Edge Tile's site is live but inoperable. It's impossible to order either product anywhere. For historical purposes, I'm retaining the original Kwik Tile company profile, below:
Will floating tile floors replace the traditional "wet" method of laying ceramic and porcelain tile? A floating tile floor, on the face of it, is a homeowner's dream come true: a way of laying down real tile (not resilient tile), but doing so with utter precision and predictability. The tiles are attached to plastic trays which interlock with adjoining trays, no mortar necessary. Not only that, but the trays automatically space the tiles and control vertical alignment.
To hear tile professionals talk about floating tile floors, you would think that it's just another pipe dream doomed to failure. Are the tile pros worried about their livelihood being yanked out from under them? It's hard to say. But I do know that many of the ill feelings were caused by an early product called Edge Precision that did not meet customers' satisfaction. Edge is no longer manufactured, yet the feelings remain.
Many new ideas are met with initial scorn before they become accepted: OSB for subfloor or sheathing; laminate flooring instead of hardwood; PVC trim; Tyvek instead of tar paper. The list goes on. Could floating tile floors--Kwik-Tile in particular--be one of those ground-breaking products?
To that end, we asked Van Conners, President of Kwik-Tile, based in Dalton, Georgia, to provide his thoughts on floating tile floors and on Kwik-Tile.
Growth of Floating Tile Floors
As you have discovered, floating tile as a category has grown over the last four years and has been warmly accepted by not only the “Do It Yourself” home owner, but you now see it being installed by the “Laminate Flooring Installers” professionally. Our Kwik-Tile product is designed to allow a home owner with basic improvement skills to complete their tile floor with professional appearance, one of the more difficult home improvement projects.
Failure of Other Floating Tile Flooring Systems
The original floating tile floor system was a product by the name of “Edge”. This was a 1/16th inch tile, glued to a laminate core board system. While innovative in its concept, the tile had a tendency to “crack” under some weight loads. The Edge was short lived and sold through Lowes. Due to its issues, the company is no longer in business. Kwik-Tile has been tested for its durability using the accepted industry standard ASTM C627 “Standard Test Method for Evaluating Ceramic Floor Tile Installation Systems”. Through the independent testing preformed by the Tile Council of North America, Kwik-Tile rated “Light Commercial Use in office space, reception areas, Kitchens and bathrooms”.
Kwik-Tile rates in excess for the traditional residential applications, and performs well in residential environments.
Reasons For Installing Floating Tile
As your article states, when using Kwik-Tile the home owner not only does not have to mix thinsets or mortars, but no thinset is required for the installation at all. Kwik-Tile is designed to install directly over most existing well bonded vinyl floors, wood floor, concrete floor, vinyl tile, plywood or OSB sub floors with little or no additional floor preparation. As any professional tile installer will tell you, floor preparation and setting materials are the cause of the majority of ceramic or porcelain tile floor failures. With Kwik-Tile those possible areas of failure are removed for potential failures for the life of the floor. As you noted, Kwik-Tile is also designed for self alignment and joint spacing, but our system also aids in vertical alignment limiting the potential for “lipage” issues that can cause tripping problems from tile to tile.
Significant Time Savings
While we have developed a product that removes a majority of the potential installation issues for a “Do It Yourself” homeowner, the major benefit is time. After many years in the industry, the majority of installation problems occur due to frustration of time required to install ceramic tile. When installing tile traditionally, you cannot rush and cut corners, and most first time self installers do not realize the time it takes to do the job properly. Through our installation testing, we have found our system being installed over an existing sheet vinyl floors completed on average 72% faster. What this means, you are installed and grouted in 5 to 6 hours on 200 square feet with Kwik-Tile, versus 18 to 22 hours with a traditional installation. Not only will the installation be simpler and quicker, but without the setting material and sub floor requirements there is also a great deal less dust and mess then that associated with a traditional tile installation.
An American Company, Georgia-Proud
I would like to point out one item that has changed with Kwik-Tile as a company. Recently we have moved our manufacturing facility and office to Dalton Georgia. All Kwik-Tile Flooring is now a truly American made product from the plastic it the trays, to the porcelain tile on the surface. We will also be expanding our design and color pallet this fall.
Looking To The Future
Over the past few years the entire product category has grown by leaps and bounds from the days of Edge Flooring, and the few disadvantages you saw are things of the past. We at Kwik-Tile make a product geared to in installation simplicity to the “Do It Yourselfer”, yet providing professional results in the finished floor.