AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011 - (Page 124)

| UNDERFOOT| O Floor it! Are you torn between wood, stone and vinyl ooring? Our comprehensive guide will help you decide on the right ooring for every room in your home of house, too. Floorboards can be bought in more expensive solid wood strips, or in cheaper pre-sealed, laminated planks, which are designed to interlock. Strips can be bought in varying widths, from narrow to wide. If you decide to start over with new wood floors, your purchase will be governed by your budget, choice of tone and markings, and how tough you need your floors to be. You can choose from a range of expensive but decorative parquet floor designs; cheaper, ready-made wood mosaic tiles; or panels and blocks (which are usually made from softwood with a hard wood veneer). Even cheaper are sheets of manmade (or at least man-constructed) woods, such as hardboard (Masonite), chipboard (particle board) and plywood. These are really meant to act as an even base for parquet or other wood tiles, but if they’re well laid, stained/painted and sealed, they can look quite stylish in their own right. However, they’re not TOP TIP: particularly THE ULTIMATE hardwearing. ne of the first things to decide on before doing any conversion work or renovating in your home is the flooring. The area involved is invariably quite large, and therefore immediately noticeable, so a well-chosen floor will literally ‘root’ and enhance the rest of the scheme. Carpet tends to be the favourite for stairs and especially bedrooms, as it’s warm and cosy underfoot, but many people now opt for some kind of hard floor for other areas in the house, because of its durability – and because, by adding rugs and runners, you can cover both options. Hard flooring materials include traditional wood, natural stone, ceramic, porcelain or clay tiles (of varying types), and most of these materials work well with each other, so you can mix and match them to work in your space. HARDWOOD OR SOFTWOOD? Any good wood oor provider will show you samples of what they have available, and what the various woods look like. They should also be able to give you good advice about what’s best for your needs, in terms of both what looks best in a certain space, and what suits your requirements in terms of durability and how the room will be used. However, it’s useful to at least know a little about the subject when you start considering your options. Hardwood is the timber obtained from broad-leaf and deciduous trees such as oak (the classic for hard-wearing oors), extra-hard maple and beech. Other popular hardwoods include sycamore, teak, iroko, rosewood, mahogany and ebony. Walnut is increasingly used and is very handsome, as are cherry and bamboo. Dark Australian ironwood is, as its name implies, the hardest of the lot. Softwood comes from conifer trees such as pine, spruce, r and hemlock. It tends to be cheaper than hardwood, but is also less hardwearing and much more easily dented. Softwood planks need to be particularly well-sealed and are best used for areas with lighter usage – therefore it’s not ideal in, for example, hallways, corridors, kitchens or children’s playrooms. For a cheaper option, engineered wood is made from three or four layers of wood, glued together to create a plank around 14mm thick, with a real wood veneer on the top. Unlike laminate, it can be sanded and treated. However, it’s harder to lay than laminate, and isn’t suitable for a wet or humid environment. > TRADITIONAL WOOD Wood is the most popular and flexible of all types of hard flooring, as it’s available in every price range, tone and finish. Wood works well in most rooms and in different styles WORDS: MARY GILLIATT | PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES, GAP INTERIORS IN ECO-CHOICE IS RECLAIMED FLOORING

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011

EDITOR’S LETTER
HELLO FROM SARAH
NEWS
MAKE IT A DATE
FESTIVE FOCUS
HOME COMFORTS
LIGHT FANTASTIC
PASTE IT UP
SARAH'S WORLD
VILLAGE REVAMP
TO LET OR NOT TO LET?
KEYS TO THE DOOR
QUEEN OF THE CASTLE
HOT PROPERTY
GREAT SCOTS
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
LODGE LIFE
VICTORIAN SPLENDOUR
FINISHING TOUCH
BEST OF THE BRIGHTS
STORE IN STYLE
BOUDOIR BEAUTIFUL
SHAKE IT UP!
FINE DINER
WHAT’S COOKING?
TOPS TOTTY
SPLASHING STUFF
NIGHT ON THE TILES
GADGETS GALORE
OPEN UP
TOTALLY FLOORED
MAT FINISH
COSY CARPETS
HOT STUFF
THE TEMPERATURE’S RISING
RADIATE THIS
FLAMING GREAT
BURN BABY BURN
DREAM HOME
GOING LARGE
SLIDING AWAY
KEEP IT IN
DRAUGHT EXCLUSIVE
DON’T BLAME THE TOOLS
GOING SOFT
ECO EXCELLENCE
WASTE NOT
BRIGHT SPARK
SUN SCREEN
STREET VIEW
BLOOMING BRILLIANT
GARDEN INVADER
GLITTERING BUYS
COMING SOON
SARAH SAYS
MANSION MARVEL
LAST WORD
STOCKISTS
PERFECT PROPERTIES

AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011

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