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What is the best flooring for your basement?

Whether you call it your basement, cellar or something else, you will need to lay suitable flooring if you want to create an extra living space. Let’s take a look at some of your options, along with the pros and cons of each.

It is vital that you eradicate any damp and/or sources of moisture before installing new flooring in a basement. In older homes especially, cellars can be very prone to damp, and you are likely to need specialist help to solve the problem completely.

Vinyl Flooring

A popular choice for basements, this is available at various price points. Vinyl flooring deals with moisture and spills well It is an excellent insulator when teamed with the correct underlay; however, it can be cold to walk on barefoot, and basements and cellars tend to chilliness anyway. Vinyl is hard to beat if you want to use your downstairs room mainly for storage or intend it to be for occasional use; however, if you want it to be comfortable and warm all year round, vinyl might not be the best choice.

Laminate Flooring

Similar to vinyl, this is a popular choice for basements, but you will need to be sure there is no risk of damp before going down this route. Laminate flooring can warp in damp conditions – even laminates that are engineered to deal with wet conditions, such as those in bathrooms. Laminate is an excellent insulator against drafts and chills, but it is not warm to the touch. If you choose laminate, you will probably want to add a rug or two for a cosier and more welcoming feel. Laminate can be a great way to add a homely vibe or to tie in the room with the rest of your home if this is your usual flooring.

Carpet

Providing your basement or cellar room is entirely free of damp – which is quite possible if not always easily achieved, particularly in older properties – carpet can be a great choice. It is soft, inviting and warm enough to walk on barefoot. If you plan to use your basement room as an extra living space or games room, you will want it to be warm and cosy, with carpet the best way to achieve this instantly. In properties with no damp or excess moisture in the basement, carpet is probably your best bet and will help keep the room warm all year round.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

Choosing hotel bedroom flooring

Choosing the best flooring option for hotel bedrooms can be stressful; after all, depending on the size of the hotel, it can be a considerable investment. Selecting the wrong flooring could be a costly mistake, so it is essential to take your time. We have compiled a list of some of the most popular flooring types and their pros and cons when it comes to choosing the perfect hotel flooring for your bedrooms.

Carpet

By far the most popular choice for hotel bedrooms, carpet offers a host of benefits; for example, it is warm, comfortable to walk on, creates a homely vibe, and is excellent at muffling sounds. The main disadvantage is that it isn’t always as hardwearing as other types of flooring, so you might notice signs of wear and tear sooner. It can also be stained reasonably easily, especially in a busy hotel where guests might not always take care not to spill food and drink. Choosing carpets designed for high-traffic areas and treated with a stain protector such as Scotchgard is always a good idea if you are choosing carpet for hotel bedrooms.

Vinyl Flooring

A less common choice for hotels, vinyl can actually work very well, especially if you add rugs to create a cosier feel. Vinyl flooring is very hardwearing, difficult to stain, and easy to keep clean. It also copes well if water or other fluids are spilt on it, even if they aren’t cleaned up immediately. A suitable underlay can do a great job of muffling noise, and it isn’t as hard as laminate. On the cons side, although it is available in a vast range of styles and finishes, it will never have the same homely feel as carpet and might not be suitable for all types of hotel. In budget properties, however, it can be a great option.

Laminate Flooring

Extremely popular in homes, laminate flooring is increasingly found in hotel bedrooms. It is not great for insulating against noise, and there is only so much underlay can do, particularly if you have noisy guests! It does have several benefits, including that it looks stylish and contemporary and can be hardwearing, even in high-traffic spaces. You run the risk that spills and splashes might be left sitting on the floor for long enough to seep into the joins between the planks and cause irreparable damage; however, individual planks can be replaced relatively easily if this occurs.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Commercial Flooring

What is the best flooring for your home office?

With so many more of us working from home, home offices have received a lot of coverage in lifestyle and interiors magazines, blogs and articles over the last two years. If you previously rarely worked from home and the start of the pandemic forced you to hastily kit out a basic home office, you might now be thinking about making your home office a permanent feature as you embrace flexible working for the long term. Let’s take a look at the various home office flooring options available and weigh up the pros and cons of each.

Carpet

There is no doubt that carpet is the most comfortable and soft flooring available. If you prefer to work barefoot or in socks, carpet will keep your feet warm and will provide a cushioned surface to walk on. It is also a great choice if your office tends to be a little chilly because it is an excellent insulator, especially when teamed with a good underlay. On the downside, it is notorious for clinging on to all manner of allergens, including animal dander, pollen and household dust. If you have allergies, carpet is probably not the best choice for you.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for home offices because it looks good and is very easy to keep clean. Food and drinks spills can be mopped up without staining, and it is a top choice for allergy sufferers because there is nowhere for allergens to hide. Laminate might feel a little cold in the winter, but it is simple to add a rug if you like something warm and soft underfoot. Another advantage is that laminate is difficult to damage, so it will be able to cope with your office furniture even if you move it around regularly. It is still worth adding felt or rubber pads to the bottom of your furniture to safeguard against scratches.

Vinyl

Similar to laminate, vinyl flooring is a great practical choice and is very durable and easy to keep clean. It is also available in an endless array of colours, designs and textures, making it the ideal option if you want to unleash your inner interior designer and create an eye-catching office. Vinyl is tough enough to withstand the wheels of an office chair, so you can scoot back and forth to the printer without worrying about marking your floor. Like laminate, it might feel chilly in the colder months, but a rug can sort this out.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

Which is the best underlay for your new carpet?

If you are thinking of replacing a carpet, don’t forget that you will also need a suitable underlay. Underlay is often an afterthought but it is important to do your research to ensure you get the best match for your needs. The right underlay can make a dramatic difference to the durability of your carpet; what’s more, it can muffle noise and even help to keep your home warm in the winter. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most popular types of underlay.

PU foam underlay

This is an excellent choice for many homes and is often a great eco-friendly choice because it is frequently made from recycled materials. You will find PU foam in a variety of thicknesses and at a wide range of price points, which makes it great for both people on a budget and those who want a more luxurious finish. Thicker PU foam is an excellent insulator against both sound and cold. If conserving energy is a major concern for you, choose a thicker underlay to keep the cold out and the warmth in. PU foam is also soft underfoot, which is perfect if you like to sink into your carpet! On the negative side, it can flatten over time and won’t spring back as easily as some other underlays.

Rubber underlay

Although less soft than PU foam, rubber also adds some spring underfoot. Beware of very cheap rubber underlays, however, as these can start to fall apart after a few years. It is possible to buy recycled rubber underlay to boost your eco-credentials, with many manufacturers now focussing heavily on more environmentally-friendly products. Rubber underlay can recover better from heavy furniture marks than other underlays and is a smart choice for soundproofing if this is a concern in your home.

Felt underlay

This is the most traditional option on our list and is still popular amongst homeowners. Felt underlay provides excellent insulation, making it perfect for colder or draughty homes. It is available at a wide range of price points, but expect to pay more for premium varieties. Like the other underlays we have mentioned, it is often made from recycled materials and is a good eco-friendly option. As with rubber, it can recover pretty well from marks left by furniture. It doesn’t feel as soft underfoot as PU foam, so might not be the best choice if you want a really luxurious finish.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Update your bedroom with luxury vinyl flooring

We all know about the advantages of vinyl flooring in the bathroom and kitchen, but have you considered laying it in your bedroom? Vinyl flooring has a number of great advantages over other types of flooring and can add a modern and luxurious finish to any bedroom.

Great for allergy sufferers

Lots of us suffer from allergies, whether we are affected by pollen, household dust, or dander from our pets. Vinyl is one of the top flooring choices for anyone with allergies, as there is simply nowhere for those pesky allergens to hide! Carpet is well-known to be a poor choice for homes with allergy sufferers, as the fibres trap the allergens. Even regular vacuuming can’t remove them, but with vinyl you have the option to mop your floor, or wipe it with a wet cloth, to remove almost all allergens instantly. If you find yourself waking up in the mornings with a stuffy nose or itchy eyes, consider switching to vinyl flooring.

Easy to install

While the exact installation method will depend on the type of vinyl you select, vinyl flooring is easy and quick to fit. It is usually possible to lay a vinyl floor within a day and most competent DIYers shouldn’t have any problems doing it themselves without the need to call in professionals. Although for the best finish possible, our experienced fitters are available to install your new vinyl flooring.

Warm underfoot

Vinyl flooring has excellent thermal properties, meaning it doesn’t feel cold to the touch like laminate can. Many vinyl flooring products also offer cushioning, making your floor soft and comfortable to walk on. You can team your vinyl with different underlays to address the most important issues in your home, such as warmth, soundproofing or cushioning.

Affordable

Vinyl is a great budget option, with prices starting at an extremely affordable price point. If your bedroom needs new flooring but you are on a budget, check out some of the stunning vinyl flooring available. You will be amazed at the luxurious finish you can get for far less than you would pay for a high-end laminate or carpet.

Versatile

No matter what your style, you are sure to find the perfect vinyl for your bedroom. It is available in an endless array of colours, patterns, styles and textures. Whether you want something contemporary and clean or a cosy rustic vibe, you will be amazed by the huge number of designs you will find.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Vinyl Flooring

Flooring trends: back to black

Whether wood, laminate or vinyl, black flooring is huge news at the moment and marks a shift away from the lighter, more rustic flooring trends of the past few years. It is certainly a bold choice for the home and you might find it daunting, even if you are a fan. Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate this statement flooring into your home and consider alternatives that give a similar contemporary feel but with more versatility.

Install it in a small, bright room

If you are worried that black flooring will make your home too dark but really want to add this 2021 flooring trend to your property, why not incorporate it into a small room? Smaller rooms are often our lightest rooms simply because of the window size to room ratio, making them the perfect place to experiment and opt for bolder decor. A home office, for example, is a great choice for a black floor. You can pair it with walls in a soft white for a sleek minimalist feel that you can accessorise in any way you wish.

Update your bathroom with a black floor

Black flooring in bathrooms adds a modern touch and looks extremely elegant when paired with classic white tiles and contemporary spotlights. For an affordable bathroom makeover, vinyl flooring is a top choice and you will find a whole host of stunning designs in black. For a dazzling high-end finish that won’t darken your bathroom, pick flooring with a high sheen. For something more subtle, a matte finish will look much softer and more low key.

Go monochromatic

If you are not certain about solid black flooring, why not compromise and opt for black and white? Black and white chequerboard tile patterns, whether ceramic, laminate or vinyl, are an interior design classic that will always be in style. The perfect finish for a striking kitchen or bathroom design, you are sure to find something you love within your budget simply because there are so many options.

Opt for dark brown instead

If you love the look of black flooring but feel it is too much for your home, consider very dark wood-effect flooring instead. You will find plenty of dark vinyls and laminate flooring that perfectly replicate the look of real wood – but without the expense – and recreate the luxurious and contemporary vibe of black flooring but slightly less dramatically.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

Signs you need to replace your carpet

If your carpet is looking a little tired and worn, it might be time to replace it; however, how do you know whether it needs pulling up or if a little TLC can restore it to its former glory?

It looks flat and worn

If your carpet simply looks flat, giving it a good going over with your vacuum’s brush attachment might be enough to give it a new lease of life. Depending on the type of carpet, the action of brushing up the pile and removing ground-in dust and debris might work wonders; however, if it is heavily worn and vacuuming has little to no effect, it is time to replace it.

It is frayed in places

There is no easy fix for fraying, so your carpet will need replacing. Pets with sharp claws can cause fraying in carpets, so opt for something durable – and preferably with a short pile that can withstand busy paws – if you have furry friends in your home. You can disguise small patches of fraying with rugs or move your furniture around, but the only real fix is replacing the carpet.

It is stained

Many stains can be removed using specialist carpet cleaners or traditional home remedies; however, if you have tried everything and stubborn stains remain, replacing your carpet is the only real option. Professional carpet cleaners might have better results than home remedies; however, there are no guarantees. Unless it is a very expensive carpet, the easiest option is often to buy a new one. For rooms such as dining rooms in which spills are common, it is a good idea to opt for a carpet that comes pre-treated with a stain-resistant product.

Your allergies are getting worse

This one might come as a surprise, but carpet fibres can hold on to common allergens such as animal dander, pollen, and dust, even with regular vacuuming. If you find your allergy symptoms worsen, it could be time to give your carpet a deep clean. If this doesn’t help or is not possible, it could well be time to replace your carpet. While smooth flooring such as laminate or vinyl is preferable for allergy sufferers, choose a low pile carpet so there are fewer places for the allergens to cling to if you can’t bear to give up carpeted floors.

It is faded

This is common in rooms that experience a lot of sunlight, and the only option is a replacement. Fading tends to be more noticeable when you move furniture that has been in place for a long time.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Make a small room feel more spacious with these flooring tips

While small rooms can feel cosy and inviting, sometimes you will want to create the illusion of more space. Flooring is a simple way to do this and can make more of a difference than you might think. Here are our top tips to open up a small room and make it feel and look larger.

Opt for light colours

No matter what type of flooring you choose, go for lighter colours to create a spacious feel. Vinyl flooring, laminate flooring and carpets are available in such a vast range of colours that there is bound to be the right light shade for your room. Off-white shades are a great choice and instantly brighten a room, making it feel more spacious. If you are worried about stains or dirt, go for vinyl or laminate rather than carpet, as this is far easier to keep clean and much harder to stain.

If anything in the white family is a little light for your tastes, neutrals are another great choice. Be sure to stick to the lighter end of the spectrum and avoid anything too dark, as this can make your room feel even smaller.

Don’t be afraid to add shine

A gloss finish is another excellent way to create a spacious feel in a small room. The glossy surface will reflect light, making space feel larger and airier. Even if you prefer to go for a darker floor than the colours mentioned above, choosing one with a shine will make your room appear larger and brighter than if you opt for a matte surface. If gloss is a bit much for you, a gentle sheen will have a similar effect. Another advantage is that floors finished with a gloss or sheen tend to be easier to clean, as they have a smoother surface than textured alternatives.

Use pattern to create length

It is commonly known that laying planks of wood, laminate or vinyl across the room’s width creates the illusion that it is wider, which works exceptionally well in smaller spaces. The eye is drawn along the edge of the planks, making the room appear larger than it is. You can similarly use patterned vinyl or carpets; for example, laying a striped carpet so that the stripes run across the width of the room will create the same illusion.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

What is the best flooring for shops?

When buying new flooring for a shop, you need to be confident that it can withstand heavy foot traffic and lots of wear and tear; what’s more, you want it to look great and stay looking new and clean even after months of footfall. Here are some of the best flooring options for shops and the pros and cons of each.

Vinyl flooring for shops

Vinyl flooring has long been a popular retail choice. It is hard-wearing, hygienic and versatile; even better, it looks great and is available in a wider range of styles and designs than ever before. Whether you want flooring that looks like wood, tile or something completely different, you will find the perfect vinyl for your needs. It is also a good budget option, and you will find vinyl flooring at a huge variety of price points.

What about the cons? Well, there aren’t really any cons with vinyl flooring unless you have a high-end store and want a luxe finish, in which case vinyl probably won’t be the best option for you.

Hardwood Flooring

A luxurious choice and one that works incredibly well in exclusive shops, it is difficult to beat the warmth and beauty of hardwood. If properly treated and cared for, hardwood floors can be very durable and last a long time.

The downside is that they are always going to be susceptible to damage from sharp objects and water. It might not be the best idea if your shop is directly on the street, as debris being trampled in from outside all day long can soon take its toll. You will also need to consider rainwater on wet days, whether dripping onto the floor every time the door is opened or from your customers’ clothing, shoes, and umbrellas.

Laminate flooring

Laminates are an excellent choice for shops as long as you choose the right one. You will need a heavy-duty laminate that has been manufactured to deal with lots of foot traffic and wear and tear. Laminate flooring can look just like hardwood, so you should have no problem finding a laminate that works for you even if you want a luxurious appearance. Laminate is easy to clean and requires very little maintenance, making it suitable for most shops.

It is not as susceptible to water damage as hardwood, although you will still want to avoid pools of water sitting on the surface for long periods of time.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Commercial Flooring

How to choose the perfect summerhouse flooring

After the past 18 months, our homes have become our sanctuaries, our workplaces, our beer gardens, and the settings for our staycations. As a result, many of us have built summerhouses or renovated existing garden structures to make them more pleasant to spend time in. The right flooring in your summerhouse can make all the difference, with the best option for you depending on how you primarily use your summerhouse.

While some more basic structures will have a wooden base that it is not possible to add much in the way of flooring to, except perhaps a rug, more permanent structures offer several options. Let’s look at what you should consider when choosing summerhouse flooring:

How do you use the summerhouse?

Is your summerhouse purely a place for sitting with a cold drink on a warm day, or is it used in a variety of ways? Many people use summerhouses for yoga or another exercise. Do you have small children who are more at home playing on the floor than sitting on a chair? If so, you might prefer carpet in your summerhouse. Carpet tiles are great for this purpose because they are easy to lay and can be very hardwearing. It is also simple and cheap to replace the odd tile if it is damaged or stained.

If you use the summerhouse for more strenuous exercise or for hobbies that might make a mess, such as painting, a floor that is easy to clean might suit you better. Vinyl flooring is an excellent option in this case, as it can be mopped or wiped regularly to keep it free of dirt.

Do you need waterproof flooring?

If you like to use your summerhouse all year round, whatever the weather, you are likely to need water-resistant flooring that won’t be damaged by the constant stream of wet or muddy footprints; likewise, if you have cats or dogs who like to curl up in the summerhouse on rainy days, the chances are that they will leave wet and dirty pawprints on the floor. Vinyl is great for a summerhouse floor that needs to be durable and water-resistant. Laminate flooring might also be suitable in some cases, but make sure you check with the manufacturer first.

What style do you want?

If the overall look of your summer house is more important to you than durability, you will simply want to go for the flooring option that suits your decor best; however, always check that your chosen flooring is suitable for laying in a summerhouse.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

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