The quality carpet and
flooring specialist

Specialising in quality carpets and selected hard floorings.


01462 450 780
Wood, laminate, vinyls & how do I choose?
Making a choice between the different types of hard flooring and what is right for you takes a lot of honesty on what you expect from it, how you will look after it and how long you want it to last.
 
There are several key questions you need to ask yourself:
 
  1. How much maintenance do they need – daily, monthly, yearly etc?
  2. Am I worried about denting, scratching or do you like the distressed look?
  3. Do I mind if there is colour variation or graining/knotting or do I want it to be more uniform and know the colour I’m getting
  4. How tough does it need to be? – even children’s toys can damage some surfaces
  5. Do I want a product that needs an expansion gap or something that fits right up to my skirting?
  6. What is my sub-floor (i.e. what will be underneath it)? Will what I choose be suitable to go over it?
  7. How much work am I prepared to have done to give a level surface if my floors prove uneven?
  8. What will suit the style of my home and the look I want?
  9. Do I need any water resistance and moisture/steam resistance?
  10. If it’s a new concrete floor have I allowed enough time for it dry before laying? British Standards state – 1mm depth per day for drying time 
As a general rule:

Woods:
  • will need a regular maintenance routine
  • surface can be softer than other products
  • variations in colour, texture, graining, hardness
  • specific fixing required on some – will depend on sub-floor you have
  • not good in areas of temperature variation or moisture 
Laminates:
  • will need a regular but far less onerous maintenance routine
  • what you see is what you get with colour and patterning/grain
  • does need some expansion room, easy to lay in most instances
  • good quality ones have a good tough, scratch resistant surface 
Vinyls:
  • soft backed vinyls offer comfort but less durability
  • Solid vinyl tiles are far more durable and available in both tile & woodplank form
  • will need a regular but simple maintenance routine
  • good scratch resistance, water resistant, reasonably warm under foot
Still unsure? Then feel free to come in and chat about your home and what you need.
 
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Ceramic Tiles v Luxury Vinyl Tiles
For many years kitchens and bathrooms have mainly been floored with traditional ceramic or stone tiles. However, in recent years new flooring has taken consumers by storm – LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tiles to give them their full name. 

The description of vinyl tile doesn’t do them justice and seems to hark back to an era of the rather uninspiring stick on tiling of the 1970’s – it couldn’t be further from the truth. Today’s tiles or planks mimic fashionable real stone, slate, marble or wood planks in rustic or sleek modern grains.
 
So what exactly are LVT made of? Think of your sheet vinyl and imagine a far more solid version that is cut into strips or tiles. They are made up of several layers:
 
  • Base backing layer – made of material that is strong and adheres very well to adhesive (although a new click together version is now available)
  • Centre core of different plastic properties to give more strength and stability.
  • A printed image of the stone/wood etc – so accurate today with digital imaging and a variety of images to make the floor look more naturally varied
  • Transparent layer
  • Polyurethane coating – this is what gives your surface scuff resistance and a low maintenance regime 
 
Why would you choose a vinyl tile over ceramic?
 
 It is true ceramics/stone have very good, long lasting qualities – very durable, cemented in with grout so movement is minimal. The glaze also gives an excellent strong surface which is fairly difficult to damage (although some stone can be absorbent if not protected).
 
So what does LVT offer that ceramic doesn’t? There are some key features you may like:
  • Warm – it feels warm and softer to the touch, tending to retain the ambient temperature of the room
  • Hygienic – there are no grout line to try and keep clean
  • Easy to maintain – day to day just wash with small cap of cleaner in water (minimal aftercare – saving time and money)
  • Affordable – excellent quality of product for lower prices than stone or wood
  • Practicality – you can put it in any room. Although hard to damage you can just release a tile and replace it 
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