What’s the difference between Hardwood & Laminate Flooring?
The second largest area in your room apart from your walls so this is a big choice to make as you have a lot of factors to consider when choosing your floor. The colour, the style, the amount of traffic on it, other factors that could possibly damage your floor, for example, spillages, kids playing and dogs scratching the floor. Direct sunlight can also damage your floor so the quality of the floor you pick can be a major factor, so the cheapest price is not always the way to go.
Vinyl or LVT flooring
This is new to the market and still not a lot of people know about this type of floor. So what is LVT flooring? LVT flooring is a heavy-duty vinyl floor, produced in individual tiles or planks like a laminate floor. Think of it like a laminate floor without the complications that water or moisture can cause. These are made of moisture resistant PVC or virgin vinyl. These floors are easy to maintain and highly durable and very quiet underfoot. The quality and look of these floors will rival most solid and semi solid flooring as they have a very realistic look about them. LVT flooring can be glued or fitted with glue less self-clicking system just like fitting a laminate floor. The main advantage of this floor is that it is 100% waterproof and if you were unlucky enough to have a major leak or flood you can simply pop up the floor, dry everything off and refit the floor like new. The main areas this floor is used is in kitchens, bathrooms and wet rooms but because of its realistic look and feel underfoot it is quickly becoming a choice for all areas of the house.
Laminate floors are made of layers; the primary layer is made of (HDF) high density fibreboard. This gives the floor its rigidity and strength. The rest of the top layers are where the quality and price come into play. You might think all laminates are the same and wonder why the price can vary so much? Well this is down to the amount of top layers that are applied to the board which will stand the test of traffic and other factors such as spillages. Some laminates are 100% water resistant on the top only while others are only water resistant to a certain amount of water and the time the water has spent sitting on the floor. A cheaper floor although might look as good will not stand up to these factors and you will end up with the edges lifting or chips leaving permanent damage. Laminate flooring is installed as a floating floor system and should never be glued or nailed down.
Choosing Your Floor
How do you pick a floor? If you can pop into us in store, then we can advise you and show you the floors up against different colour doors and skirting to make the decision easier. We will also discuss the areas the floor will be fitted and decide on the type of floor you need whether it is waterproof or simply water resistant you will need. We will also find out the amount of traffic in that area to decide on the quality you need. Every floor you see will look different when placed on the floor in different lights so make sure you do make a trip to see what it looks like down on the ground as you will be very surprised how different a floor can look from a picture or brochure to seeing it in real life on the ground.
The most common thing we hear in store is the thickness of the floor and why should you pick a 12mm floor or an 8mm floor. There is no real answer to this question as an 8mm floor can have a much higher quality than the 12mm and when used with the right underlay you will never know the thickness of the floor when it is fitted. The 12mm floor is an extra 4mm of the HDF fibre board and nothing to do with the quality of the board so do not be swayed by the larger board thinking it will be a better floor as some of the most expensive floors are only 8-9mm thick. Yes, the extra 4mm will make a difference in the sound carried through the board but with the right underlay the same can be achieved with the smaller thickness boards.