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What is the best flooring for a child’s bedroom?

When it is time to lay new flooring in your child’s bedroom, do you stick with what was there before or do you think about the best option for a family home? As your child grows, you will find they use their room differently, which might have an impact on the type of flooring you choose. If your young child spends a lot of time playing on the floor, for example, it makes sense to consider a soft, plush carpet that is comfortable to sit on; meanwhile, older children or those with allergies might be better served by a laminate that is easy to keep clean and will not hold onto dust or allergens. Here are some pros and cons of some popular floor coverings.

Carpet

Carpet is the traditional choice in children’s bedrooms, but it is no longer the go-to option. While it is soft and warm, making it great for children to sit on and meaning they will not hurt themselves if they fall, it can be more difficult to clean than other options. It is also not always the best choice for homes with occupants who have allergies.

Laminate/wood flooring

Wood and laminate flooring have become increasingly popular in recent years and suit any style of decor. They are great for children with allergies, as they can be wiped with a damp cloth or mop to remove dust and allergens. They are not as comfortable to sit on as carpet; however, you can add a plush rug if this is a problem for children who like to play sitting on the floor. While they look great, wood and laminate flooring is not always the best choice if you want to soundproof your child’s room. Hard items being dropped on the floor can cause a fair bit of noise.

Vinyl florring

Vinyl makes a great floor covering for a child’s bedroom. It is softer underfoot than wood or laminate, and is also warmer. It is easy to install and very simple to maintain and keep clean. It is available in such a huge variety of colours and textures that you will be able to find just about any design you want, making it perfect for quirky or colourful rooms. It also has good soundproofing properties if paired with the right underlay. It will muffle the sound of hard items being dropped and will cushion your child if he or she falls. There are not really any disadvantages to vinyl – it is more likely to come down to a matter of preference and some people will always prefer wood or carpet.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

Wood-effect flooring for bathrooms

Hardwood flooring is a style classic and a firm favourite amongst homeowners all over the world. It is naturally hardwearing, beautiful and extremely versatile, making it suitable for most rooms in the home. It is not ideal for areas of high humidity, however, and does not work well in bathrooms in particular. For a long time, this meant homeowners who wanted the look of wood in their bathrooms had to deal with the problems high moisture levels caused for wooden floors or simply choose another flooring option. Luckily, advances in non-slip flooring, vinyl and laminate flooring mean any home can now enjoy the look and feel of wood in any room.

Laminate flooring for bathrooms

Early laminates often did not bear much more than a passing resemblance to the real thing. They were certainly fairly attractive, and worked well in many homes, but they were unlikely to be mistaken for hardwood flooring. They were also not suitable for use in bathrooms, as they were not water-resistant. These days, however, laminates are practically indistinguishable from real wooden floorboards. The attention to detail on many lines of laminate flooring means it is almost impossible to tell you are not looking at the real deal. Many laminates even feel just like wood, thanks to clever finishes and texturing. While not all laminate flooring is suitable for use in bathrooms, many, many lines are. This means you can now get the look of wood in your bathroom without worrying about water damage.

Vinyl flooring for bathrooms

Vinyl flooring has long been a popular flooring choice for bathrooms; however, the sophisticated vinyl planks and tiles available today are a far cry from the sheet vinyl popular in the 1970s and 80s. Lots of modern-day vinyl flooring looks so much like the ceramic or wood it is replicating that it is impossible to tell the difference until you touch it! Vinyl flooring is still available on rolls; however, much of the highest-quality flooring is supplied in planks, much like laminate. Vinyl is so versatile that it is possible to achieve just about any colour, pattern or texture you can think of, making it easy to get that bleached pine finish or rich, varnished oak look.

Another great advantage of vinyl is that it is generally far more affordable than other types of flooring, making it ideal if you are on a budget. It is also easy to install, meaning that many homeowners will be able to lay it themselves and save paying out for a professional.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

Rescuing your carpet after a party

If you are planning a gathering or two throughout the summer, you will be hoping your home escapes unscathed from the celebrations; however, even careful guests and relatively sedate get-togethers can lead to accidents and spills! Read on for some simple tips to help you get your carpets looking their best again after a full house:

Dealing with food spills

Whether you are hosting an extravagant buffet or just having the neighbours over for a drink and a bbq, food is going to end up on your floor. Crumbs are inevitable and can be easily vacuumed up once everyone has left, but what about more serious spills?

The first thing to do is to remove as much of the spill as possible. Most spills won’t stain, but certain foods – such as tomato sauces and chocolate puddings – can be trickier to clean up. When you have removed as much of the spill as you can, use either a suitable carpet detergent or a homemade white wine vinegar solution to blot the stain. Depending on the size and depth of the stain, you might be blotting away for some time, but this method should work on most common food stains.

Removing wax from a carpet

If your gathering continues throughout the evening twinkling candles and tealights may be dotted around the home, it is a good idea to acquaint yourself with the easiest method of removing wax from carpet. Many people choose to melt the wax with an iron, soaking the melted wax into a piece of paper such as a brown paper bag. While this is often highly effective, the heat from the iron can burn your carpet and cause irreparable damage; therefore, this method is best avoided, particularly if you are dealing with expensive flooring.

Instead, use a regular butter knife and gently yet firmly scrape the set wax from the carpet. If this leaves the carpet looking tatty, a small, sharp pair of scissors can be used to trim any fluff or untidy strands at the end of the process. When you have removed most of the wax, it is time to dig the iron out. Use a low setting, and don’t use a paper bag – a clean tea towel or folded cloth will help to prevent the iron burning the carpet. Brightly-coloured or dark wax might stain lighter carpets, so finish off with a suitable stain remover if required.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

How to choose the best carpet for your stairs

Stair carpets can last many years if they are properly cared for; however, if you live in a busy household with constant foot traffic from humans and your four-legged friends, you might find your carpet starts looking a bit tatty before too long. If your current carpet is showing signs of wear and tear sooner than you expected, it might be worth considering a different type when you come to replace it.

Here are some of the factors to bear in mind when you re-carpet your stairs.

Durability

You will need a tough, durable carpet than can withstand constant foot traffic. The stairs of any home are one of the busiest areas – just think about how many times you walk up and down them in a single day, then multiply this by the rest of your household. Stairs are also often a prime attraction for household pets, with cats in particular often enjoying stretching out and scratching the carpet on the stairs. Before choosing a carpet, make sure it is suitable for use on stairs. All carpets are not created equal – many types will not be suitable for such a high-traffic part of the home.

Thickness

It is easy to assume that a thicker carpet is going to be more durable than a thin one, but this is not always the case. Carpets that are very thick are not always suitable for use on stairs and can cause fitting problems; in addition, a thick carpet can be a tripping hazard – something no one wants on or around the stairs. Thinner carpets can be highly durable, but always check the manufacturer’s or retailer’s advice to make sure your chosen carpet is suitable for stairs.

Soil resistance

It is always worth opting for a soil-resistant carpet if you can, especially if you have children and/or pets in your home. You might be surprised to learn that soil resistance and stain resistance are not the same thing. When it comes to stairs, stain resistance is not particularly important because it is not an area of the home where people are likely to be eating or drinking or otherwise doing anything that might cause stains. A soil-resistant carpet, however, will help prevent particles of dirt sticking to the fibres. Regular vacuuming will also pick up any debris and dirt, preventing it becoming ground into the carpet or pushed deep into the fibres.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Best Flooring for Sunny Rooms

Not many UK homes have a designated sun room or sun lounge, but most homes have one or two rooms that tend to get the best of the sun and are usually brighter and lighter than other parts of the home. If you are lucky enough to have a room in your home that always seems to be filled with bright sunshine, you might be wondering what type of flooring is your best option. After all, carpets can fade dramatically over time, making them look tatty and older than they actually are. What about other types of flooring, such as vinyl and laminates? How are they affected by sunlight?

Carpets

Carpet is still one of the nation’s favourite floor coverings, despite heavy competition from laminates and hardwoods in recent decades. It’s warm, versatile and comfortable, not to mention available in just about every colour, pattern and texture you can think of. While it is perfectly fine to use in sunny, bright rooms, you might find it fades considerably over time. This tends to be more noticeable if part of the carpet is in a permanently shaded area, as the difference in the two sections of carpet will be more obvious.

Laminates

Laminates are a great choice for sunny rooms. Most laminates will not fade in the sun, meaning they are suitable for use in bright rooms. It’s usually advisable to lay your laminate flooring with the planks running away from the window, so the sunlight falls along the length of the plank rather than across the width of the plank. Most laminate flooring is suitable for use in conservatories or any other rooms with a lot of windows.

Vinyl

Vinyl is a popular choice in conservatories, as it’s durable, warmer and more affordable than stone or tiles and is very easy to install, clean and maintain. Not all vinyls are create equally, however, and some are more prone to fading than others. If you are thinking of laying vinyl flooring in a room that is exposed to strong sunlight, speak to your supplier or the manufacturers themselves. They should be able to tell you how well the vinyl stands up to bright sunlight. In many cases, you might want to redecorate and replace the floor by the time fading is very noticeable anyway, but it’s worth getting an idea of the lifespan of your chosen flooring.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

What is the best flooring for hotel rooms?

When it comes to commercial flooring, most businesses choose easy-to-maintain options that can be kept clean with minimal effort. Retail establishments tend to favour tile, vinyl, laminate or wood, as do many restaurants or other leisure businesses; however, hotels are slightly different. Many people like to treat their hotel room as a home from home, whether they are on a short business trip or a lengthy holiday; therefore, comfort and ambiance must be considered along with the practical aspects of different types of flooring installed wihtin a hotel.

Carpet

Carpet is the traditional option for hotel rooms. Although it is less popular in other businesses and in homes these days, it is still a common sight in hotel rooms. It is warm, comfortable and comforting, and has the benefit of being great for soundproofing. Combined with suitable underlay, it can muffle a lot of the sounds of guests in other rooms, allowing everyone to get a peaceful night’s sleep. It is often considered less hygienic than other types of flooring, such as wood; however, as hotel rooms are generally vacuumed and cleaned every day, this does not really apply. A major disadvantage is that it can be tricky to remove stains from carpets and the whole carpet will usually need replacing if an area is damaged.

Wooden Flooring

Although timeless and attractive, wooden floors are not always a suitable choice for hotels. While certain underlays can muffle a lot of noise, footsteps can be very noisy on wooden floors, as can the sound of heavy or hard items being dropped. The high levels of foot traffic and suitcases being wheeled about can also cause scratching and dulling of wooden floors, meaning the level upkeep is high; however, wood is a great luxury choice.

Vinyl/laminate Flooring

A popular option in some budget hotels or hostels laminates and vinyl’s are generally affordable and hardwearing. They also have the advantage that they are available in an almost limitless range of styles and colours, meaning they can fit in with any design or look. Another major plus point is that if one area of flooring is damaged, it is often possible to simply remove the damaged tile or plank and replace it with an identical one.

Ultimately, the ideal flooring will depend on the class of hotel and the kind of travellers it caters to. While laminates and vinyl’s are great for budget hotels, they are likely to look out of place in a luxury hotel in which hardwood or plush carpet would be more in keeping.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Commercial Flooring

Keeping your laminate floors looking shiny and new

One of the top reasons people choose to install laminate flooring – besides it being attractive and available at all price points – is because it is relatively low maintenance. It is hardwearing and difficult to stain, stands up to heavy foot traffic reasonably well, and many types can handle frequent spillages and humid environments; however, over time, it can become dull and begin to lose some of its appeal. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your laminates looking as good as new for as long as possible.

Avoid over-sweeping

While the occasional going over with a soft broom or a dustpan and brush won’t cause any serious damage, frequent brushing with a heavy broom can cause scratching and dull the surface of your laminate, especially if you are dragging debris across the floor and being heavy-handed while you do so. It is all too easy for tiny stones, pieces of gravel and other debris to be trodden in from outdoors, whether by members of your family or your pets. In addition, sweeping will not remove all the debris and dust from your floor, so it won’t be as clean as it could be.

Invest in a dry mop

Dry mops, or dust mops, are perfect for laminate floors. They attract dust and small bits of dirt, leaving your floor clean and dust-free. They are soft, so they won’t scratch your laminate, and they are great for people with allergies, particularly if you follow the dry mopping with a quick wipe with a damp – not wet – mop or cloth to pick up any allergens that have been left behind.

Use the correct vacuum attachment

Most vacuums come with various attachments for different jobs – you will usually have at least one carpet attachment, one for hard floors, one for crevices, and another for upholstery. Check the user manual to find which attachment the manufacturer recommends for laminate floors and follow any relevant instructions or tips. Using the wrong attachment could scratch your floor, ruining the finish and instantly ageing it.

Go easy on the liquid

Although many laminates are suitable to be used in areas of high humidity and with a high risk of splashes and spills, you should never leave water standing on the floor for any longer than is unavoidable. If you have laminate in your bathroom, dry it off with a towel every time you step out of the shower. Water can eventually seep into the gaps between the planks and can cause warping and discolouration.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Laminate Flooring

What colour laminate is best in my living room?

If you are redecorating your living room – or perhaps it is just time for some new flooring – you will face a whole world of decisions. Once you have decided to go with laminate flooring, you might think the hard work is over; however, you will soon find the choices of finishes, textures and colours are almost limitless. Getting the colour of your floor right makes a huge difference to the look and feel of your living room, so here are a few things to think about before you make your final decision.

Think about the size of your room

The colour of the floor has a considerable impact on how big the room feels. If you have a large room that sometimes feels a little cold or unwelcoming, opt for a darker yet warm wood, such as a walnut or oak. The latter is particularly prized for its warmth and adds a classy touch to any room. If you are dealing with a smaller room and want to make it feel more airy and spacious, consider a lighter colour. Pines or light maples can really help to open up a small space and make it seem much bigger than it actually is.

Get hold of some samples

The problem with viewing your potential new flooring in the store or online is that it might look very different in your own home. The artificial lighting in stores is usually harsh and very different to the lighting in our homes – natural light makes a big difference. Get hold of some samples of the laminates you are interested in and view them in different lighting conditions. Ideally, you should take them home and place them on the floor so that you can get a good feel for how the room will look if you use them for the entire floor. The time of day also makes a difference, so see how you like the look of the laminates in the morning light, afternoon sun and at dusk. You will be surprised just how different it looks in different conditions! Don’t forget to see how it looks after dark with the curtains or blinds closed and your normal living room lighting on.

Consider neighbouring rooms

If your hall – or whichever room your living room is entered from – has very distinctive flooring, consider whether this will look OK next to your new laminate. You might even choose to stick to similar colours throughout your home to create a pleasing flow between rooms.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Laminate Flooring

What is the best flooring for an office?

Whether you are setting up a new office from scratch or simply refitting an existing one, you have probably already thought about the office flooring. You might be determined to opt for traditional carpet due to its sound-muffling qualities, or you might be looking into whether wood is a practical choice because you simply love the luxurious image it presents. This article aims to give you a quick rundown of some of the most popular types of office flooring, along with their pros and cons.

Carpet

Carpet is a popular choice for offices, particularly carpet tiles. These are affordable, hardwearing, and allow small sections of damage to be replaced without having to lay a whole new carpet. Carpet is great for muffling sound, which is something you might be grateful for if you work in a busy office. It is also warm and comfortable underfoot. If you are fitting out a smaller office, or you want a more luxurious feel, you can switch from the tightly-woven heavy-duty tiles to something with a deeper pile.

Wood

Wood flooring looks great in modern offices and traditional spaces alike. It is the timeless choice and is ideal for luxurious or aspirational brands. While it is hardwearing and can last for decades if well cared for, it is prone to scratching and does not always stand up well to heavy foot traffic without losing its lustre. It is not as noisy as tiles, but it does not have carpet’s sound-absorbing qualities. It is also expensive and will require specialist attention from time to time to keep it looking its best. If you want a luxe finish, however, polished hardwood is hard to beat.

Vinyl or laminate

Both vinyl and laminate floors are available in planks that can be laid quickly and usually fairly easily to modernise any space. Both types of flooring are available in an endless array of colours, finishes and styles, meaning there will definitely be something to suit every taste. Both are hardwearing and require very little in the way of maintenance or specialist attention, if any. They are easy to keep clean and can handle heavy foot traffic. With the right underlay, laminate can absorb a lot of sound, although it will generally not be as quiet as vinyl. These are good choices for busy offices, but you might find them too noisy if you have a lot of foot traffic.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Commercial Flooring

How carpeted floors can help to keep you warm this winter

Carpet might never have completely gone out of fashion; however, it is no longer the case that every home has carpeted floors in at least some rooms. Laminates, tiles and vinyl flooring have become increasingly popular in recent years, leaving carpet a far less common floor covering than it was just 20 years ago. Many people still prefer carpet in certain rooms of the home, however, even if they have wood or laminate elsewhere. Carpet is still a popular choice in living rooms and bedrooms, where people want to feel warm and cosy all year round. With so many other options on the market, it is easy to forget about the benefits of carpet and how much warmer it can make your home seem.

If you have a cold home that you struggle to heat in winter, carpet could help you to insulate your property and could even help you to reduce your energy bills.

Carpet for insulation

Carpet has excellent insulation properties and helps to keep heat inside your home. If you have exposed floorboards, as is currently extremely fashionable, you will no doubt be aware that they can be tricky to insulate properly. You will probably be accustomed to the feeling of draughts from your floor. While this might be OK – and even pleasant – in hot weather, once winter comes, you will struggle to heat your home. Carpet can stop cold draughts coming up through your floorboards and keep any heat from your central heating or fire in the room. Some homes save up to five per cent on their heating bills by installing carpet instead of hard flooring – you could save even more if your floors are currently very poorly insulated.

No more cold feet

Whether you like to walk around your home barefoot or in socks or slippers, you will soon notice the difference warm feet can make to the rest of your body temperature. If you are used to hard, cold floors, imagine how nice it would be to be able to walk around your home barefoot no matter what the weather outside. The soft, comforting warmth of carpet is great for helping you to relax, and carpet will never feel cold – even in the harshest winter. If your feet are cold, it can be hard to warm up the rest of your body when temperatures drop. You will soon notice how much more comfortable your home feels in the winter months with carpet, even without turning the heating up.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

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