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Design Talk: How To Decide On What Flooring To Buy

W hen it comes to home renovations, often our flooring choice is an important element we look to changing / updating first. Although it’s something that sits so low to the ground and can often be a considered as subtle backdrop to an interior scheme, upon entering a space, if you’ve got great flooring, it can be the deciding factor that makes or breaks a space. Additionally, flooring choices can be costly and to most are considered an investment item, so naturally when it comes to how to decide on what flooring to buy, we need to carefully consider a wealth of options first before taking the plunge! It can be overwhelming though, especially if it’s not something you’ve experienced before. ‘What’s vinyl flooring’ or ‘is engineered wood better than real wood?’ we hear you say! So here at Topology we want to take the pressure off the decision making for you. In this post, we’ll be sharing with you some popular types of flooring options which we think are worth considering – such as real wood, engineered, vinyl & laminate. This way you can decide which one to shop for with confidence.

Real Wood Flooring:

First up on the topic of how to decide on what flooring to buy real wood flooring. This type of flooring is an all-natural wood product where each board comes from just one piece of solid wood. If you’re looking for a space to have a natural, rustic feel, this might be the option for you. A few key things to remember with real wooden flooring:

Fast Facts

  • It’s durable in terms of scratching & chipping, brands like Luxury Flooring & Furnishings ensure they use multiple coats to strengthen & protect.
  • It shouldn’t be used in wet areas like a bathroom as solid wood flooring can swell if in contact with a large amount of water. However it can withstand splashes & spills.
  • It cannot be used with underfloor heating
  • To prevent cracks and squeeks it’s important to lay an even subfloor beneath the planks to ensure it’s being laid upon an even surface. Speak to your builder / tradesmen about this.
  • Before you lay down your solid wood floor, allow up to 120 hours (5 days) for the planks to acclimatise.

Engineered Wood:

Next up, engineered wood. This a popular contemporary option as opposed to traditional solid wood. Unlike solid wood discussed above, engineered woods are composed of multiple layers of compressed timber which is then finished with a top layer of solid wood veneer. The reason being is that it can give off the same appearance as solid wood but with added stability and durability. A few key things to remember when installing engineered wood are:

 

Fast Facts: 

  • Like solid wood above, it’s durable in terms of scratching & chipping.
  • It shouldn’t be used in wet areas like a bathroom as likw solid wood it can swell if in contact with a large amount of water. However it can withstand splashes & spills.
  • It can be used with underfloor heating but it’s recommended that the temperature does not exceed 27 degrees celcius.
  • To install it, you have 3 options. You can either glue it directly to a sub-floor, nail the floor to the sub-floor or lay the flooring as a floating floor.
  • To prevent cracks and squeeks it’s important to lay an even subfloor beneath the planks to ensure it’s being laid upon an even surface. Speak to your builder / tradesmen about this.
  • Before you lay down your solid wood floor, allow up to 36 hours (1.5 days) for the planks to acclimatise.

Vinyl Flooring (LVT)

As a homeowner, when you are in the process of discussing how to decide what flooring to buy you may also want to consider vinyl flooring.  A favourite of ours at Topology! Vinyl flooring, abbreviated to “LVT” aka ‘luxury vinyl tiles’, are a great innovation for modern homes. Crafted from a bespoke blend of PVC, each tile offers unfaltering practicality whilst also delivering the authentic feel & texture of natural materials like a real wooden floor. At an affordable price, LVT is a great solution for those on a budget whilst also wanting a wooden effect floor. We’ve outlined some top tips for vinyl flooring below:

 

Solid Wooden Shutters Fast Facts: 

  • Vinyl tiles will need a minimum of 24 hours to acclimatise before being installed and should be laid flat.
  • They are available as either a ‘click-down’ or ‘glue-down’ option. The glue down option is typically cheaper to buy butmore expensive to install.
  • Glue down planks are great because if you ever have an issue with the flooring such as experiencing damage from a flood, you will only need to remove the damaged planks, whereas with the click-down option, you will need to bring up the entire floor.
  • Vinyl can be used in wet rooms
  • You will need to ensure what you lay the LVT on top of is even by creating a sub-floor such as a plyboard underlay. Speak to your tradesmen about this.

Laminate

Last up to discuss, is laminate. Probably the most commonly known amongst people due to it’s widespread use amongst rental & commercial properties. Popular as typically it’s very affordable, laminate is worth exploring as a viable flooring option when budgets are tight. Constructed from a unique blend of wood fibres each board is versatile, low maintenance and wear resistant. Laminate also offers a photo-realistic depth and texture if you are looking for a real wood appearance. See our guidance for using laminate below:

Fast Facts

  • Most laminates are reasonably water resistant but it’s advised to mop up spills as soon as possible. The best option is to use a guaranteed 100% waterproof laminate option if you are concerned about this.
  • Suitable for underfloor heating up to 27 degrees Celsius
  • You will often need to bear in a mind a scotia or beading when using laminate to fill in a gap between the skirting board & the flooring around the room
  • Laminate has an easy install as it clicks together making it a great option for a DIY fan – it also makes it cheap to install
  • Allow up to 48 hours for laminate to acclimatise & lay it flat on the floor to avoid damage.

We hope this has cleared up some decisions for you on how to decide on what flooring to buy! If you have any questions, do drop us a message on Instagramand we’ll see if we can help!

 

This post has been sponsored by Luxury Flooring& Furnishings, but as usual, we only ever work with brands we respect & trust.

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