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A Guide to Flooring

It can be a minefield when deciding which flooring is best for your home – from hardwood to lino and carpet to laminate, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to refreshing your floors. If you want the low-down on flooring, our useful guide is sure to help!

Wood

Hardwood floors are one of the most versatile and attractive floors around. There are plenty of beautiful woods available, and each piece is unique thanks to the wood’s natural grain. Wood floors can be solid or engineered (a small piece of real wood glued to plywood) and can be refinished and sanded multiple times. Whilst wood floors are highly desired by buyers and can increase the value of your home, this flooring does have its drawbacks: it’s not waterproof and is therefore prone to moisture damage, it’s not suitable for use with underfloor heating, and is susceptible to scratches.

Best for: hallways, living rooms, and dining rooms.

Laminate

This flooring is a flexible synthetic that comes in a variety of finishes and effects - the top layer is a printed image that can be given a variety of looks. Its positives include its easy installation, low maintenance, stain-resistance, and moisture resistance. It also keeps its colour better than wood and is easy to keep clean. This flooring can increase your home’s value, but not as much as wood, even so, they're both preferable to buyers over carpet. However, laminate can be hard and cold underfoot, noisy to walk on, and, though moisture-resistant, it's not waterproof or water-resistant so unsuitable for high-moisture areas.

Best for: hallways, living rooms, and dining rooms.

Carpet

The most common and versatile kind of flooring, carpets come in a variety of colours, textures, and materials. It’s soft and comforting underfoot, reduces noise, and is perfect for bedrooms and family rooms where you might want to promote a cosy, relaxing atmosphere. It’s great for homes with young or elderly residents and is easy and fast to install. On the other hand, carpet shows wear and tear easily, especially in high traffic areas, and it needs constant maintenance and replacement periodically.

Best for: bedrooms and living rooms.

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Vinyl

A popular choice for high traffic areas, vinyl comes in a huge variety of looks and styles, most of which look like real stone or wood. Vinyl is perfect for homes with kids and pets as it’s easy to clean, resilient, and comfortable underfoot. Thanks to its water-resistant nature, it’s ideal for high-moisture rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom. Despite being highly convenient and easy to maintain, it can be easily marked by heels and sharp objects, and most vinyl is unsuitable for use with underfloor heating.

Best for: hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Linoleum

Lino is made from natural resins such as cork dust and is mixed with linseed oil, making it one of the most environmentally friendly floors around. It’s water, fire, and stain-resistant, as well as durable. Like vinyl, this makes lino an ideal choice for kitchens and bathrooms - but be aware that if you use it in a bathroom, it will need more maintenance and may need sealing and waxing up to twice a year. Natural ambering of the floor can also occur due to the linseed oil reacting with UV light.

Best for: kitchens but needs more maintenance to use in bathrooms.

What are the main differences between lino and vinyl?

Lino is natural whilst vinyl is synthetic
Vinyl is more flexible and easier to cut than lino
Deep scratches on lino are less likely to show than on vinyl
There are more style options for vinyl than lino
Linoleum requires professional installation and vinyl doesn't
Vinyl has a shorter lifespan than linoleum

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