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Q&A On The Best Flooring

Adding second coat of varnish floor boards

Does a luxury carpet mean you cannot afford it? Are there ways to get the ideal look at a price to suit?

Absolutely not, it is our firm belief that luxury doesn’t need to be expensive. Dependant on your point of view on luxury, high quality 100% wool looped carpets start from £22 a square meter. 80/20 Wool carpet starts from £22 a square meter.
The key is deciding what you’d like to be the feature in the room, if the floor is the feature then it would be the colour of choice to stand out and be the focal point of the room. Alternatively, if you decide to use something else in the room as the centrepiece it would be a neutral colour that would serve you best. Looking luxurious and classy whilst complimenting other items in the room. The days of beige being the neutral colour of choice have moved onto customers now selecting an array of grey shades.

Luxurious feel is often seen as only ‘tuft’ deep, this is a mistake. You can find an array of silky velvets and polypropylenes that give you a soft feeling underfoot, but underlay is often seen as an added extra when it actually plays a vital part in not only the soft or luxurious feel underfoot but is also key to the lifespan of your carpet. Your carpet’s warranty will only match the lifespan of the underlay it’s fitted on.

We recommend that you get the best that you can afford as it is cheaper than having to do it again in a few year’s time.

What should you consider when choosing between carpets, tiling, exposed floorboards, laminate etc on your floor?

This choice is often a nostalgic one, we often follow the flooring we grew up with when it comes to an initial choice. Although there are many things to consider when approaching the subject of flooring.

There are a number of questions that you need to ask yourself in order to narrow it down and find the right flooring for you.

Are you looking for a practical choice of flooring, one of comfort, low maintenance, quick and easy to fit? And so on.

Carpets are often a warm, soft and luxurious option but will eventually flatten where there is high foot traffic. Wool carpets are known to be harder wearing but can be harder to clean than man made carpets, which can often be cleaned with a bleach solution. Man-made carpets tend to be the carpet of choice for families with pets or small children due to its practicality. Wool carpets will shed small fibres throughout their life span and therefore are almost(to a degree) self-cleaning over time.

Tilling can be more of a permanent and expensive solution. While being an easy to clean and long-lasting option, it will be very cold during winter months, unless you have underfloor heating. Homes in the UK tend to experience movement due to the temperature changes, so it is not uncommon to see small cracks develop in new homes and in more mature homes around the country. Rendering it often unsafe and needing to be replaced.
Exposed floorboards are a lovely way to show off an original feature of your home, but beware of the cold that comes with them as the cold air can come up from below, especially during the winter periods. This option is normally used in minimal fashion to show off the lovely floorboards as well as having carpet runners and rugs in the room and on the stairs to reduce the drafts. This creates a good mix of the beauty of the floorboards and luxurious, stylish carpets.

Laminate is a cheaper alternative that has been highly popular over the years but is unfortunately often low quality and not actually suitable for the areas where it is laid.
It expands and contracts with temperature changes and does not react well to moisture.
Luxury Vinyl Tile has become vastly popular in recent years. It comes in an easy to fit version(Click) similar to laminate and a fully bonded version(dryback). These are very versatile with a wide variety of styles and colours available and are impervious to water. They are also scratch resistant and hard wearing, so they are perfect for high traffic areas, kitchens and bathrooms.

Engineered Wood is thankfully making a popular return to many homes. It has come a long way and has improved further in recent years. Multiple ply layers heavily reduce expansion and contraction, due to temperature change and moisture, by changing the grain direction on each layer. As well as being mostly natural, a quality wood floor can be sanded back 3-5 times which could make a good wood floor, a lifetime flooring option.
Another key factor is that whilst the original oak wood plank is still very fashionable, there are many more shades and colours now available along with chevron, herringbone and a whole host of unique patterns and designs to bring an authentic, rustic look to your home.

What are common flooring buying mistakes consumers should try to avoid such as choosing the wrong colour, low quality/ No underlay, poor installation etc

Be mindful of fashion trends when choosing colourful or patterned carpets. It’s great to keep up with modern looks but they often phase out quite quickly. Consider how you could change a room’s decor to keep up to date with trends, unless you want to change the carpets too.

Hard flooring isn’t as easy to keep replacing and can be very costly.

A common rule of thumb in the flooring trade, is you get what you pay for. Not all carpets that are expensive will last forever, but it’s a good guide and will especially affect flooring at the lower end of the scale. Carpet again with a low-quality underlay, or even worse, no underlay will decrease the lifespan of your flooring yet again.

This is where you need to find a flooring specialist who takes the time to find out more about you, what you are really looking for and more importantly, what you actually need, compared to what you actually want. The classic ‘salesman’ will always divert you to his own carpet of choice, not ask relevant questions about your own circumstances, your family, pets etc before they recommend a flooring. You might want an expensive carpet that is luxurious and soft for your home, but having a family of 7, you’d have to take into account that the chances are strong that your carpet will get ruined very quickly. A big busy family would need either a short pile, practical carpet to withstand the higher traffic, a flecked carpet will help hide the average day today. A luxury vinyl tile is also very low maintenance, easy to clean and durable. A fantastic option to consider for these kinds of circumstances. Don’t, however, feel forced to take this option. Always remember the decision is still yours, but you must take responsibility for that decision. Deciding to have a soft luxurious carpet everywhere in the home is fine if you want to live the life of luxury, but you then also took the decision that the flooring will have to be changed again in the not so distant future. Listening to all the advice is good but the decision should always be yours at the end of the day.

The fitter who fits your floor, will make or break the experience you have. Sadly, the salesman can do everything you could have ever dreamt of, but if the fitter does a poor job or comes across poorly, that will be part of the experience you will mark the service on. This is a sad truth of the industry. Fitting carpet is a skill, a skill that is refined with time and experience. While it will always a lottery who you get dependant where you go, a good indicator will be the reviews for the company and how the fitters are described by the store staff when asking about the fitters. One size does not fit all when it comes to floor fitters I’m afraid. You should always have a specialist fitter dependant on the flooring you are having fitted. We use specific fitters for each job that they specialise in. Many can do one or two variations very well, but it’s like finding a unicorn when you find a fitter who can fit more than two types of flooring to a very high standard.
You should always ask for photos of work done by their fitters or the specific fitter you will receive.
If you are having wood flooring fitted and they show you carpets they have fitted, RUN!

For more information visit vandaflooring.co.uk

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