Until quite recently, most UK homes have featured carpet throughout. However, laminated wood floors have become very popular in recent years and for good reason – it looks good, is inexpensive, can be easily installed, is easy to care for and is guaranteed for life. Essentially it gives you the look of solid hardwood flooring which was traditionally associated with expensive larger properties. Laminated flooring though can be bought at a fraction of the price and the without the expense of professional installation. There are extensive ranges of laminate designs and popular finishes include English oak, Rustic French oak, Antique oak, Beech, English Cherry, Maple, Birch, American Pine, Walnut, American Black Walnut, Norwegian Maple, Chestnut and Nevada Larch. However, these days you can also get more funky designs as well, including stonework and tile finishes. So whatever ‘look’ you’re going for in your house, whether it’s contemporary and minimalist, or a more traditional style, there will be a laminate design which will be perfect for your needs. Another benefit of laminate flooring is that is increasingly seen as the flooring style of choice by many people, and many estate agents will say that it is definitely a selling feature of any home.
Laminates in kitchens and bathrooms
Until recently, laminates were not recommended for use in ‘wet’ areas like kitchens and bathrooms. But the quality has improved so dramatically over the last few years, that there are now products available that can be used in these most important rooms of the house – and they still carry a lifetime guarantee (or a twenty year guarantee for the bathroom). This new generation of laminates is being snapped up by homeowners who love the versatility of having them – easy to clean and lovely and warm underfoot.
Unlike traditional solid wood flooring which needs an expert carpenter to lay it, laminate flooring is very easy to install. With help from a fact sheet, anybody (even somebody who wouldn’t class themselves as a DIY-er) could make a good job of it. The flooring has been designed to make installation as easy as possible, and it because it just ‘clicks’ together, once started, a room can soon be covered. Therefore, if you’re looking to do a quick and spectacular transformation of a room, laminate flooring is definitely a good choice.
Laminate flooring: what is it?
OK, some technical information. Laminate flooring is made up of four layers – a base layer which stabalises the product, a second layer which has an HDF core, followed by a photographic paper image of the finish (oak wood planks for example) and then finally, an extremely hardwearing and durable laminate coating. The thinner the laminate (from 7mm) the cheaper it is, but all products these days are hardwearing and offer a lifetime guarantee or twenty year guarantee when specifically designed for the bathroom.
So whether you’re choosing a floor for a family home that you intend to live in for a long time, or refurbishing a property for rental or sale, you can be assured that laminate flooring is a good choice.