Congoleum AirStep Review | 2020 Vinyl Flooring Reviews


Congoleum AirStep is a flexible solid sheet luxury vinyl floor available in 3 product lines, Advantage, Evolution, and Plus. AirStep is offered in a variety of design choices including flooring that mimics wood, stone and tile and in many patterns, colors, and textures.

Thank you for checking out our 2020 Congoleum AirStep review. Picking the right floor for your home is always a testing decision, so in our flooring reviews we try to make things a little easier by helping you decide if a particular flooring is any good and whether it has the features you need for your home.

So let’s start by taking a look at your AirStep vinyl sheet flooring options, followed by info on pricing, installation and cleaning.

AIRSTEP COLLECTIONS & STYLES

AirStep is a luxury sheet vinyl floor, offered in a variety of design choices including flooring that mimics wood, stone and tile and in many patterns, colors, and textures. AirStep is made in the USA by the Congoleum flooring company which also produces LVP floors like DuraCeramic and Triversa.

Let’s look at the collections within each of the 3 lines to see what the choices are.

AirStep Advantage

Backed by a Lifetime limited warranty, is available in 7 collections, 5 featuring the look of wood, one with a stone tile appearance, and one with a ceramic tile appearance. The aluminum oxide wear layer on most Advantage lines is 14 mils, the thickest of any AirStep flooring.

The Playtime collection looks like solid wood planking in 5 colors, from the very light natural color of Hop to the rich dark brown hue of Tree House. Another wood choice is the Reminisce collection, featuring a distressed wood look, creating dimension and texture, available with 8 inch wide planks and 3 colors.

Natural stone tiles are featured in the Savor collection with 5 color choices, including Clam Chowder and Pecan Pie. Unwind features the look of travertine tile in 2 colors.

AirStep Evolution

Available with a 50 year residential limited warranty, has 15 collections. Most are covered with a 10 mil wear layer of aluminum oxide.

There are 4 wood collections including Acacia, inspired by Hawaiian Koa wood in 4 colors. Colonial Plank provides a rustic weathered wood appearance in 4 colors. The Forest Valley collection provides the look of Oak in 3 shades, and the Vintage Barnwood collection has the look of extra-wide planks in 3 colors.

There are several collections in AirStep Evolution flooring that feature stone and tile designs. The Cozumel collection provides the look of tumbled stone tiles in 3 color choices. Slate is mimicked in the Grand Canyon collection with 13-inch squares and the appearance of deep grout lines, available in 5 colors including the very light tones in Antique Lace to the very dark tones in Enchanted Evening.

AirStep Plus

This is the most affordable flooring of the three. It’s warranty is just 20 years. The 10-mil wear layer does not contain aluminum oxide.

The 26 collections include those replicating classic wood flooring like Woodland in Chestnut, Goldenrod and Maple Sugar. Topside in dark-toned Figurehead and bleached Trade Winds has a distressed appearance.

Large tile is represented in Satin Cloud and in several tones. Starlight looks like traditional small tiles, while Linea boasts subway tiles in 4 colors. Stone tile is replicated in two hues of Western Slate AirStep flooring. Crossing, aptly named, depicts tile laid diagonal for visual interest.

PROS & CONS

These are the advantages.

  • AirStep offers wood, ceramic tile and stone tile looks available in a broad choice of colors.
  • The flooring closely mimics the “real thing.”
  • Scotchgard Protector is fused into the flooring to better repel stains and sticky substances, making cleanup easier.
  • Silver particles are incorporated into the wear layer of many of the AirStep products. Silver helps kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and algae creating a safer, cleaner home.
  • AirStep products are made with a wear layer of either nylon or aluminum oxide making them very scuff, stain, and, scratch resistant and very durable.
  • AirStep flooring uses a product construction technology called Ultratec which uses a felt inner core. The felt core allows for a small amount of size change necessary with natural temperature changes preventing gaps around the perimeters. It also allows for laying the flooring “loose,” meaning without adhesive. Perimeter glue and full-glue installation is acceptable too.
  • AirStep flooring is FloorScore certified, meaning it won’t release harmful VOC’s.
  • Some of the AirStep flooring can be accessorized with the use of grout, inlaying of unique patterns, and with transitional moldings.

These are the disadvantages

  • There are just a few ceramic tile looks.
  • The floors can be slippery when damp, and can be a fall risk.
  • Luxury vinyl flooring won’t increase the value of your home like hardwood or real stone or tile can.

INSTALLATION

Congoleum recommends that the AirStep flooring only be installed by a professional or an advanced DIYer, in part, because the correct tools must be available to the installer.

INSTALLATION METHODS

The Ultratec technology provides for a better installation by allowing the flooring to be loose laid creating a floor that lays flat and can hide small imperfections in the subfloor better than glued-down flooring.

However, you can also glue down AirStep or fasten it to the perimeter walls.

WHERE CAN YOU INSTALL AIRSTEP

AirStep can be installed anywhere in the home, above or below grade. We especially like it in basements, living rooms and kitchens. It’s also a good choice for bathrooms but be aware that the flooring can be slippery when wet.

HOW DO I PREPARE MY ROOM BEFORE INSTALLATION?

Prepare the subfloor making sure, whatever the subfloor surface, it is smooth, clean, dry and stable. Clear the room of appliances and furniture and remove baseboards and other trims.

DO I NEED TO ACCLIMATE AIRSTEP FLOORING?

You don’t need to acclimate Congoleum AirStep, but you will want to let the floor relax and flatten after you have unrolled it.

CAN AIRSTEP BE INSTALLED WITH RADIANT HEATING?

Yes, Congoleum vinyl floors can be installed over concrete radiant floor heating. Heated floors should not to exceed 85°F (29°C) in temperature.

ANYTHING ELSE

All flooring should be inspected before installing for color match and condition.

An improperly installed floor may not look or perform as it should. Not installing the flooring according to Congoleum guidelines will void the warranties.

COSTS

AirStep flooring costs anywhere from $2.57 to $3.70 per square foot. The price varies due to the warranty, the style, and the design selected.

AirStep Plus is the cheapest, AirStep Evolution is mid-priced and AirStep Advantage is the top of the line. All three AirStep floors can be purchased at Lowes.

These prices are for product only, installation will be additional.

CLEANING

For 48 hours after the flooring is installed, foot traffic should be kept to a minimum and furniture should not be moved into the room.

Sweep or vacuum regularly, so that dirt does not have a chance to dull the finish. Do not use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar as these can damage the surface.

The flooring can be wet mopped as long as the excess water is removed. Spills can be wiped up with a damp cloth or mop. We recommend one of our top rated spin mops.

Latex backed mats or rugs should be used in areas near doorways and where heavy traffic occurs. This will help to keep the finish from dulling over time.

The Congoleum website offers a line of cleaning, polishing, and restorative products.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

The customer reviews for the AirStep flooring are mostly positive including one from Karen, in Minnesota, who writes,

“I used the flooring in my master bathroom and laundry room. It is super easy to clean, even when muddy, and I’ve had many compliments on the floors attractive appearance.”

Bentley, from Canada, indicates that his flooring began to lift at one end. An independent inspector felt that the flooring had been properly installed but that the in-floor heating system may have caused the problem.

 

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