SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 143
HOME IMPROVEMENTS ▲
One for homeowners with larger budgets. So many materials
imitate wood because it is traditional and looks gorgeous
- but its high price (starting from around £40 per sqm)
places it in the luxury category.
It is also a more temperamental material, requiring
regular oiling to maintain its appearance - but if this is done
diligently, the wood can last for decades. Care needs to be
taken when cleaning - don't use a wet mop; go for a dust
mop or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment, so
you don't scratch or stain it.
Bear in mind that hardwoods, such as walnut and oak are
more durable than softwoods like pine, but laying a solid
wood floor is a job best left to the pros.
WORDS: SAM NYE, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES, SHUTTERSTOCK
SAINT MAXIME ALMOND HEXAGON, TILEFLAIR
DON'T FORGET Exposure to moisture can cause real wood
to buckle or expand, which means that this type of flooring is
a poor choice for bathrooms or indeed any other areas that
may suffer from a lot of humidity.
Cheap, cheerful and extremely
versatile, vinyl has been covering
floors for decades, because it is stain
and scratch-resistant. It comes in the
form of self-adhesive tiles or as a big
sheet, which is cut to fit your room's
dimensions exactly and stuck down.
This is a relatively straightforward
job if you are competent at DIY, but
if you want to lay vinyl in a room with
awkward angles - such as a bathroom,
with its fiddly sink pedestal and pipes
- you may need to call in a professional.
In the past, bright colours and busy
patterns were popular choices, but
now it is possible to get sheets that
resemble woodgrain or slate.
A basic sheet starts from £7 per sqm,
while higher-quality vinyl, such as the
brands sold by Flooring Republic
(flooringrepublic.co.uk) cost from £25,
Rubber and linoleum have similar
properties to vinyl, especially if you
would prefer to go for a plain colour.
DON'T FORGET To help you get a
more smooth, bubble-free coverage
when applying your vinyl, leave it for
a couple of days in the same area in
which it will be used, to let it reach
Faux-timber laminate flooring boomed in UK kitchens and
hallways in the 1990s, due to its novelty and relative cheapness.
It is imitation wood (or stone) that comes in strips or squares
of reinforced fibreboard with a photographic layer of the desired
material on top. Prices start from as little as £10 per sqm.
Laminate boards can be laid over most flooring materials, so
long as the surface is dry, firm and flat - you may have to put
down a concrete layer first to be sure of this. The boards need
a thin layer of underlay and often just glue and snap into place
- so it's a relatively quick job to change the look of a room
without having to remove the previous covering.
However, laminate can quickly show its age and poor-quality
versions may look fake - which defeats the object - so take the
time to shop around before you buy.
DON'T FORGET Once a laminate plank has been damaged,
it can't be fixed so the whole floor may need replacing.
www.athomemagazine.co.uk MAY 2017 | 143