Welcome to the first in our ‘Before You Buy’ series! This is a succinct guide to the key decisions you’ll face when carrying out a flooring purchase. First up we take a look at the options you have when it comes to choosing a flooring type. Many of you will know your solid woods from your laminates, but if you are undecided at this stage then we are here to help.
An ever-popular choice, solid wood floors bring the most authentic of looks thanks to their irresistible feel and character. This flooring is the ultimate in traditional design and provides a real statement in style. While conducive to sanding and therefore a great long-term option solid wood floors will require professional fitting and attention must be paid to acclimatisation as solid wood is susceptible to changes in humidity. This is the real deal, coming with an oiled or lacquered finish – for more information on this, check out our Wood Flooring Finish article.
Bringing the solid wood aesthetic but easier to install, engineered wood has become a popular homeowner choice. Delivering the ideal combination of practicality and good looks, engineered floors comprise a number of layers, including a top layer of wood that will vary in thickness. As you would imagine, the thicker this layer, the more sanding can be carried out in its lifetime. Most DIY enthusiasts can easily install thanks to the click together joints, and engineered wood can also be laid over underfloor heating systems.
Fantastically easy to maintain, laminate is the ideal choice for hectic family households, or those wanting a fuss-free flooring option. Laminate floors embed a tile, wood or stone effect onto a hardwearing top layer. This is the best of both worlds, allowing you to get an authentic look but without the hassle often experienced with the real thing. The resin wear layer found in laminate floors makes them remarkably tough and easy to care for, whilst still offering the look you crave.
LUXURY VINYL TILES(LVT)
Luxury vinyl tiles bring optimum cleaning and maintenance benefits, coming in an array of impressive designs. This is a great option if there is a high chance of stain or dirt marks occurring, or if your time is at a premium. It is suitable for use in wet rooms too, and hence is also a candidate for wet cleaning, a credential not matched by other materials. LVT uses a click system to ensure fast and simple fitting, its durable, scratch-resistant surface making it a sleek yet hardwearing choice.