AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011 - (Page 124)
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. >
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
HELLO FROM SARAH
MAKE IT A DATE
PASTE IT UP
TO LET OR NOT TO LET?
KEYS TO THE DOOR
QUEEN OF THE CASTLE
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
BEST OF THE BRIGHTS
STORE IN STYLE
SHAKE IT UP!
NIGHT ON THE TILES
THE TEMPERATURE’S RISING
BURN BABY BURN
KEEP IT IN
DON’T BLAME THE TOOLS
AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011