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The advantages of laminate flooring in the bedroom

Laminate flooring is everywhere these days and it is not hard to see why. It is attractive, hardwearing, low maintenance, and comes in a huge range of colours and finishes. Many people still prefer carpet in their bedrooms, however, as it is soft and warm underfoot. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider laminate next time you replace your bedroom flooring.

It is great for allergy sufferers

Millions of us are allergic to dust mites, pollen, animal dander and other common household allergens. Laminate flooring is often recommended for allergy sufferers as it is far easier to remove allergens from than carpet. Even with a short pile carpet, there are thousands of little tufts and fibres that cling to dust, pollen and other allergens. Vacuuming has some effect, but it is impossible to get everything up. With a laminate floor, however, it is far easier to remove allergens. If you want to be really thorough, you can vacuum or sweep and then go over your floor with a damp mop or cloth. This picks up most of the allergens and will help allergy sufferers to get a good night’s sleep.

It looks just like real wood

There are so many types of laminate available that it has never been easier to find the exact shade or style you are looking for. Whether you favour a bleached pine look for a seaside home or a rich oak for a classic style, your perfect flooring awaits. If you have always wanted wooden floors in your bedroom but budget or practical considerations have stopped you, laminate is the answer.

It is easy to clean

If you have carpet in your bedroom, you are limited when it comes to cleaning. Carpet needs vacuuming regularly; even then, it is only partly effective. With laminate you can vacuum, wash, wipe, sweep or mop. You can even add a non-slip specialist laminate polish if you want it to have an attractive sheen. There is no need to lug the vacuum upstairs every time you want to freshen up your room – a soft broom or damp mop will do the job in most cases. Any spills, such as drinks, toiletries or makeup, can be instantly wiped up with minimal fuss. Compare this with the rigmarole of trying to clean up trodden-in eyeshadow or a spilt cup of coffee from a plush carpet and you will soon realise how much time and effort laminate flooring could save!

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Laminate Flooring

Recycling your old carpet

If you are thinking of replacing existing carpeting, have you considered how you will dispose of it? Many carpet layers and retailers will take away old carpet, either as part of their service or for an extra cost, but where does it end up? Sadly, a lot of unwanted carpet ends up in landfill, exacerbating the UK’s already huge waste problems. If you want to ensure your old carpet is put to use rather than adding to the country’s landfill crisis, here are some things you can do.

Offer it to a new home for free

If your carpet is in decent condition, someone will be happy to take it off your hands. Freecycle and Freegle are both fantastic sites where users can sign up to browse items others are giving away for free. Even smaller pieces of carpet might be desirable to someone looking to fit out a home on a tight budget.

Re-use part of it

If you are replacing a carpet because it is damaged or stained in one area, check whether there is enough undamaged carpet left to be used elsewhere. Could it be used in a box room, study or other smaller space? You can even use carpet as an extra layer of insulation in your loft, helping to keep your home warm and your energy bills down.

Use it in the garden to keep weeds down

Old carpet was traditionally used by allotment holders to keep weeds down in unused beds. It also makes a great allotment path. While many council allotments have banned the use of carpet due to the chemicals contained in some older varieties, there is nothing to stop you using it in your own garden. It acts as a tough weed suppressant for overgrown or neglected areas and can easily be removed when you want to start cultivating the land.

Donate it to an animal shelter

Many animal shelters would be grateful for used carpet, as it makes great mats for kennels and cages. It can also be used for cats and kittens to scratch to help keep their claws healthy and can help to keep cold shelters warmer in winter.

Recycle it via your local authority

Recycling services vary dramatically across the country, so you should check with your local authority about the options locally.

If none of these options are suitable and you decide to dispose of your carpet via your retailer or carpet layer, be sure to check that it won’t end up in landfill.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Flooring Trends for 2019

Now that 2018 has well and truly finished, the interiors industry has already started looking ahead to 2019 to reveal what the biggest trends in home decor are going to be. When it comes to flooring, there aren’t actually all that many surprises – the main trend once again appears to be wood, which has gone from strength the strength in recent years. Here are some of the ways in which you can expect to see wood featuring as flooring next year.

Engineered Wood Flooring

This is expected to be a huge trend in 2019, with more and more people recognising that engineered wood delivers the best of both worlds when it comes to flooring. It’s timeless, durable and beautiful, meaning it will look just as good in five or ten years as it does on the day it’s installed. It’s also versatile and is suitable for laying over many different types of flooring if the correct installation procedures are followed. It’s the perfect compromise for anyone who wants hardwood flooring but doesn’t quite have the budget or conditions required.

Grey Wood Flooring

Greys, especially pale, bleached tones, are expected to be back again next year. There has been a move towards grey woods and laminates recently, but 2019 is when this trend will really come to the fore. Grey is particularly popular in kitchens, where it works well with glass and brushed steel. It’s also becoming increasingly popular in bathrooms, where it offers a contemporary alternative to tiles.

Sustainable Woods

Consumers are more eco-savvy than ever before, and manufacturers are upping their eco-credentials in order to win over those who want to minimise their carbon footprint. Always check where the wood you’re using is sourced from and research the sustainability of the materials used in your flooring, no matter type what you choose. Bamboo has been a popular choice recently because of the incredible speed with which it grows – this trend is expected to continue, and there are even laminates replicating the unique and striking appearance of bamboo flooring.

Darker Woods

2019 is likely to see increased demand for darker wooden flooring or laminates. This indicates a slight shift away from the pine and oak tones of the past few years – although these will remain popular due to their mass-market appeal. Darker woods are more associated with a luxurious finish and look incredible paired with white walls and boldly coloured accessories.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

The latest trends in bathroom flooring

As the smallest room in the house, it is easy to overlook the bathroom and keep it as a neutral, classic space rather than following the latest trends in interior design; however, it is precisely because of its small size that it is often possible to go for a more daring finish in here than you might in your living room, for example. Striking flooring is one easy way to instantly update your entire bathroom and does not have to cost too much. It can also usually be done in just a few hours. Here are this year’s biggest trends in bathroom flooring to provide you with inspiration.

Grey wood or laminates

Laminate flooring has long been a popular choice in bathrooms, especially in homes that have laminate installed in other rooms. It enables the rooms to flow together and has the added advantage of going well with all colour schemes and decor styles. This year’s big trend in laminate flooring is grey tones, which instantly add a modern feel to any room and are perfect if you want a calm, soothing bathroom with something of a spa feel. Opt for lighter tones of grey if you want to keep your room feeling bright and airy or go for a more dramatic dark grey if you really want to make a splash. Just make sure you choose a laminate that is suitable for installation in bathrooms or other rooms with high levels of humidity.

Intricate patterns

You might dream of an intricate, mosaic-tiled floor, but this can cost a considerable amount of money – not to mention take a long time to clean to keep it looking as good as new. If you love brightly-coloured, intricate patterns, why not opt for vinyl flooring instead? You will find a huge selection of colours, patterns and textures, and all for a fraction of the price of real tiles. Vinyl is also easy to install, quick to clean, and wonderfully soft and comfortable underfoot.

Indigo

Indigo, which has been big news in interior design for the past few months, has now made its way into bathrooms. If you don’t want to paint whole walls this deep, dramatic shade, why not consider adding elements of indigo to your flooring? Pick a striking vinyl flooring that incorporates indigo or purchase some soft, luxurious indigo bathmats, which will look particularly striking against clean white tiles or a pale laminate.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

The lowdown on patterned carpets

Patterned carpets have come back into fashion with a bang over the past couple of years. Designs that just a few years ago would have been seen as too busy are now flying out of flooring stores as homeowners attempt to add more personality to their decor. Although patterned carpets can work in any room of the home, they are particularly well-suited to hallways, stairs and landings, where there are often minimal furnishings for them to clash with.

Statement carpets

These have become increasingly popular and there is no sign of them falling out of favour any time soon. Statement carpets, such as those with bold or unusual patterns or colours, are ideal for smaller rooms, such as hallways or home offices. You can be far more adventurous with your flooring choices in a small room and a statement carpet can even be the main design feature of your decor. Statement carpets work well with plain walls in a complementary colour and minimal furniture for a fun, contemporary feel.

Classic patterns

Traditional patterned carpets work very well in period homes, particularly on stairs and landings. They do not tend to work as well in modern homes, so it is a good idea to avoid classic styles in newer properties. Persian-inspired designs are a timeless choice for a luxurious and tasteful finish. Be sure to check that your chosen carpet is recommended for the area in which you are planning to lay it; for example, you will need something that can cope with heavy wear and tear if it is for the stairs or a hallway.

Stripes

When browsing carpets, you will find a whole host of striped options in all the colours under the sun. Striped carpet has a modern feel and works well in modern and period properties alike. It is important to think about the direction you lay the carpet in when working with stripes. Striped carpet can make a narrow room appear wider if the stripes run between the narrowest points; however, if laid in the wrong direction, stripes can make spaces feel smaller than they are. Striped carpets look great laid on stairs and give an instant and modern boost to your hallway.

Large patterns

Big, bold patterns work well in spacious rooms. They draw the whole space together and can help to make large rooms feel cosier and more welcoming. While a large print pattern might seem too big for a smaller room, some such patterns can work well as statement flooring, as discussed earlier.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Quick fixes for dirty carpets

With the holiday season approaching, you are probably expecting an increase in the number of visitors to your home. Friends, family and neighbours popping round for parties, drinks and social gatherings, but it can sometimes feel like a struggle to keep your house looking presentable at all times. Spilt food and drinks and outside dirt being traipsed in can leave your pristine carpets looking a little worse for wear. While the best way to clean a grubby carpet is often by using a professional carpet cleaner, here are a few speedy tips you can do by hand if you need instant results.

Use a carpet brush

This old-fashioned method is particularly effective on soil and dust. Trodden-in soil that has dried solid might seem impossible to remove by hand; however, by using a stiff carpet brush to loosen and break down the dirt, you will be able to simply vacuum most of it up and leave your carpet looking as good as new. This tip works best when there is only a small patch of mud or soil, as larger patches will require a lot of time and elbow grease to break down.

Freshen up a stale-smelling carpet with vinegar

Vinegar comes to the rescue in a range of household cleaning emergencies, so it is worth keeping a large bottle in the cupboard. Fill a bucket with warm water and a generous splash of vinegar. Using a soft-to-firm scrubbing brush that won’t damage your carpet, scrub your carpet with the water and vinegar solution. Replace your vinegar solution with fresh warm water and dip a clean cloth or towel into it. Wring this out and use it to scrub the treated area, then simply leave the carpet to fully dry.

Remove stains with baking soda

This is a tried and tested tip that people have been using to clean carpets for decades. It works in a similar way to the carpet powders you can buy from any supermarket and is handy for when you have run out or the shops are closed. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the affected area, then spray the area lightly with hot water from a plant mister or similar. Leave this mixture to sit for as long as possible – three hours or more is ideal and you can even leave it overnight if you have the time. The mixture will soak up dirt and any unpleasant smells from your carpet. When it is dry, simply vacuum up the baking soda.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Get creative with retail flooring

When selecting new flooring for your retail or commercial premises, you probably place a lot of importance on functionality and durability. While this is a sensible approach, playing around with colour and layout can really make your business stand out and improve the experience of your customers. Here are just a few ways in which you can really make your flooring work for your business.

Lay out paths

Customers like having a clear sense of direction, even if they sometimes veer off course. One way of laying out a clear path for customers to follow is via your flooring. Use different colours to separate different sections of your premises or lay out a clear path through your store in a different colour to the rest of the flooring. Customers might not even be aware they are following a path, but this is a great way to direct customer flow exactly where you want it.

Choose colours wisely

If your business is design-led, think about the colours that work best with your fittings and the products you sell. A dull, uninspiring floor in a neutral colour might seem like a practical and safe option; however, playing with colours can really lift your whole space. With the huge variety of colours available in vinyl, for example, it is possible to choose just about any colour you like. Do you want your space to be cool and contemporary, warm and welcoming, or soothing and relaxing? The colours you choose can play a huge part in the overall feel of your premises and can really make a difference to how your customers feel when entering.

Separate areas with flooring

Depending on the size of your business, you might have several different departments or smaller sections that display and sell different products. Using different colours or patterns can help to segregate these areas and create clearly-defined and distinct spaces. You might even choose to have different flooring altogether in different parts of your business; for example, a homewares store selling furniture and accessories might choose heavy-duty commercial use laminate flooring for the majority of the store and a contrasting thick, luxurious carpet in the part of the business that displays high-end accessories or luxury items.

We supply flooring to all kinds of businesses and our experienced team is always on hand to answer any questions you might have about your own premises.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Commercial Flooring

Removing scratches from laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is hardwearing, durable and able to cope with most of the knocks and scrapes it goes through in the course of everyday life; however, accidents do happen and over time you might notice scratches on your flooring. The good news is that you can fix most scratches simply, leaving your flooring looking as good as new.

Minor scratches

Minor scratches can be easily disguised by using a wax pencil in the same colour as your flooring. Simply clean the area of flooring you want to repair and ensure it is dry and free of dust or debris, then take your wax pencil and use it to fill in the scratch. Use your fingers or a lint-free cloth to force the wax into the scratch and to blend it into the surface of the laminate flooring. When you have filled the scratch, which is best done by dragging the wax pencil across the surface of the scratch in different directions to build up the layer, simply buff the wax with a clean cloth. This is a very effective method and is ideal for fixing minor scratches.

Larger scratches

If the scratch or scrape is too wide to fill with wax, you can purchase repair kits containing putty. The putty should be the same colour as your flooring. Using a putty knife or similar, spread the putty over the scratch as you would when applying filler to a wall crack. Force the putty into the scratch or scrape, then use your knife to level out the area. The putty is designed to harden and stay in place permanently.

Major scratches

In the event of major damage, putty might not be enough to fill the scratch. The best thing to do in this case is to replace the affected plank. Depending on the installation method of your flooring, this can be fairly simple. You will need to remove the baseboard from the wall nearest the plank you want to replace, then you will have to pull up enough planks to let you remove the damaged one. Simply lay a new board and replace the other flooring. For this reason, it is always a good idea to buy slightly more flooring than you need, just in case your laminate is discontinued or unavailable at a future date.

You can take some simple steps to minimise the risk of scratches appearing on your floor. Furniture pads on the bottom of chair and table legs are highly effective, as is a doormat at each entrance to your home to prevent sharp stones and debris being trodden indoors.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Laminate Flooring

The benefits of laminate flooring

Here are just a few of the reasons you can’t go wrong with laminate flooring:

Quick installation

Laminate flooring is designed to be quick and easy to install. Depending on your skill level, you may even be able to install it yourself, saving the cost of professional installation. Most people with DIY experience should be able to lay a laminate floor in a regular-shaped room with minimal hassle. You will need a few pieces of kit, but these are readily available from DIY stores or flooring retailers. If you decide to hire someone to lay your floor, this is a very quick job in most cases and professionals can re-floor a single room in just a few hours.

Easy to clean

Unlike solid wood flooring, which requires specialist attention and care, laminate is very versatile when it comes to cleaning. You can vacuum, sweep, mop, dust or polish it to keep it looking its best. Just be sure that you only use products and accessories suitable for your flooring and you will have no problems. As it is so easy to clean, it is perfect for homes in which a family member has allergies. There are no nooks and crannies in which dust, pollen and other allergens can get trapped, meaning everything is removed when you vacuum.

Moisture resistant

The earliest laminates were not suitable for use in rooms with high levels of moisture, as water could seep between the joins and damage the flooring; however, laminate became so popular so quickly that manufacturers soon addressed this issue to provide homeowners with more flexibility. Many modern laminates have excellent moisture-resistance credentials and can be installed in humid spaces, such as bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and advice before you install laminate in these rooms to make sure it is OK.

Attractive finish

The main selling point of laminate for most people is its appearance. It perfectly replicates the appearance of solid wood, but for a fraction of the cost. It is also easier to install, clean and maintain. Laminate is so versatile that you can achieve just about any finish you like. How about soft, soothing grey for a relaxing bedroom, warm pine in a traditional family kitchen, or striking bamboo in a modern living room? The possibilities are endless and it has never been easier to find the perfect match for your home’s style and decor.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Laminate Flooring

Troubleshooting: how to dry wet carpet

Whether the result of an external leak, a burst pipe or some other home emergency, wet carpets can be difficult to dry out. This article covers the basics you need to know and provides some helpful tips to ensure your carpets don’t suffer lasting damage.

Identify the water source

This should always be your first step and will prevent the problem becoming any worse. Your priority should be to identify and stop the source of the water and take any necessary steps to prevent further water reaching your carpet. Once this has been taken care of, you can start work on drying out your carpet.

Clear the affected area

Don’t try to work around furniture and other objects. Remove everything from the affected room or the affected area if it is just one part of the room. This will make the clean-up job much easier and will prevent water damage to your belongings.

Use towels for small areas

If your wet carpet is confined to one small area, you can mop up the water using clean towels. Lay the towels down and walk over them to soak up as much water as possible. Wring out the towels regularly as you go, replacing soaking wet towels with dry ones when needed.

Use a wet vacuum for larger areas

If you are dealing with a whole room and larger quantities of water, you can hire a wet vacuum to suck up the water. If required, a commercial fan and dehumidifier can also be hired. If you go down this route, ask the hire company for advice on using the equipment effectively, as they may have some useful tips to speed up the process.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth

Often used in absorbent cat litters, this handy and naturally-occurring powder absorbs water. It is non-toxic and can be sprinkled liberally over wet carpet to soak up water. You can use a garden rake or a heavy-duty broom to move it around the room into the affected areas, soaking up more water as you go. Once it has done its job, simply sweep it up.

Use borax to prevent mould taking hold

Borax is often used in laundry and household cleaning and is readily available from many retailers. Sprinkling borax over your carpet will help prevent mould growing on your carpets. It is a natural product and is gentle enough to use on most carpets.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

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