When you want to update your home, or have another reason for changing the flooring in a house, it is often that you’re faced with the dilemma of picking between laminate or hardwood. There are many differences between the two types of flooring, and it can help to know the key ones when planning such a change.
Solid hardwood flooring is the closest to the trees you’ll get when it comes toflooring. The planks are produced from single, big piecesof wood and they come ina large variety, and can be found available even unfinished.
Engineered hardwood flooring is somewhere in between. Theplanks of this type offlooring consist of several layers made out of wood or plywood. There are differentengineering techniques, but many also have a special top layer,consisting of a sawn wood lamella. Engineered hardwood isprefinished when you buy it.
Laminate flooring is completely synthetic. Its design is meant to imitate actual wood.However, the core of this flooring is created from melamine resin or fiber boardmaterial. Laminate flooring usually has a top layer that is actually an impintedtexture, to make it look like real wood.
Solid hardwood, and engineered hardwood are both organic. Singlepieces of woodmake up the planks of these types of flooring–or several pieces, in the case of engineered floors. However, since they are natural, theyhave a larger impact on the planet’s forests. Since it takes up a lot more wood to producethese types of floors,you might want to reconsider if you want to place them in your home.
Laminate flooring is hardly organic. Of course, it’s still made out of wood, but theprocess of manufacturing this type of flooring consists of bonding compositematerials, along with the melamine resin. Along with this, consder the fact that manymanufacturers choose to use cheaper adhesives to cut back on the costs. These gluescan sometimes be harmful even after production has ended.
To conclude the ecological perspective – when buying flooring, no matter the type, try to strike a balance between going natural and being eco-friendly. The two are not interchangable, since natural wood can also have a detrimental impact on the environment. Research the manufacturer well before you commit to remodeling your home.
The main aesthetic difference between the two types is in the texture first and foremost. The wood grain in hardwood floors is characterized by uniqueness – no two hardwood planks (solid or engineered) will look the same, since the patterns and the look of it is not artificial. On the other hand, laminate flooring only imitates how wood looks, which makes it fall far behind in terms of how ‘real’ it feels. The texture of laminate flooring is smooth, while the appearance is an imprinted pattern to make it look wood-like. Since it’s imprinted, however, the patterns are designed, and therefore most laminate planks will end up looking almost identical. That’s not to say that laminate floors can’t be pretty – the latest developments in this type of flooring have reached a point where even experts can be fooled on a first glance.
To conclude, the differences between the two become obvious after you research a bit. Before committing to a choice, make sure you research the manufacturer, as well as the type of materials that make up your flooring.
If you’ve decided to have your house fitted with laminate flooring, it is highly recommended that you know how this particular type of flooring should be taken care of over the years. Laminate flooring is highly popular due to its practical nature. It doesn’t require any advanced technical skills to install, so it’s easy to see why a lot of people would choose it for their home. It saves up a lot of money, because laminate flooring is usually much cheaper than hardwood flooring, for example. At the same time, in our day and age you can easily find laminate flooring to fit any decorative style. All this considered the same can be said about the maintenance of such flooring. It only comes down to a few basic principles, that, when applied, will ensure a lengthy lifespan of your laminate flooring.
First and foremost, water should be taken into consideration. Most laminate floors do not have special protective coatings (which decrease water damage). As such, you should take extra care not to use water when cleaning it, unless you are certain that your specific type of laminate flooring is capable of handling it. Otherwise, the planks will become bent and misshapen over time. The water is partially absorbed by the flooring and it gives the planks a malleable property – thus, when the water evaporates, you end up with planks that do not fit together any more or other such issues. To make sure your flooring can be cleaned using water, check your local laminate flooring shop, or consult a specialist. Even if a water-resistant coating is protecting your floors, you should still make sure not to use too much water, as the coating itself may wear off over time. The correct way to clean laminate flooring requires the usage of a vacuum cleaner, a dust mop, or cleaning it with cloth fabric (again, not wet). Yes, it’s that simple. There is an exception: you can use hot water to wipe your floors (but you should not do so very often, once every other month is enough), but afterwards you must use a dry mop, so as to not allow the water to sit too much on the surface of your floors. In other words, you should not let it dry out when it comes to laminate floors.
Another important thing to take into consideration when maintaining your flooring is how sensitive it can be to scratches. Make sure you always use soft fabrics and that you’re not pressing down too hard on the floors while cleaning them, to avoid any damage; also, if you’re using a vacuum cleaner, use it without the beater bar. Laminate flooring can become quite ugly if it acquires scratches over time!
If you need to clean marks on your floors that won’t simply be wiped away by a cloth mop, you should be on the lookout for products that can be used on laminates. Of course, there are a multitude of options available when it comes to shopping for cleaning products. However, most of the time you won’t need to waste your money on them, since a lot of these types of marks can be cleaned with a bit of ingenuity. Creating a solution of vinegar & water is something anyone can do – just take a bucket or other such recipient and fill it with three parts water and one part vinegar. Stains such as mud, dried out liquids (beer or juice for example), shoe marks – all of them can be cleaned with such a solution. Be sure to use a bottle with a spray cap, in order to ensure once again that you won’t use too much liquid on the floors. As before, use the same type of soft cloth to clean the dirty areas, as well as making sure to use a dry piece of cloth or a mop to clean the leftover water. On the other hand, there are indeed marks and spills that can only be cleaned using special products. You should investigate what type fits your flooring best before you spend.
As with anything, if you simply inform yourself before heading out to buy expensive products that might not even end up helping you, you will end up saving some money!
There has been a bit of debate going on with me and my friend lately as to whether he should get a fitted bedroom installed in his bedroom. He’s looking for a solution to have some sliding wardrobe doors put in as well as a fitted desk built onto the side. The only real thing that is stopping him doing it is the cost. He was quoted a variety of different prices from a few different companies. The prices ranged from between £1200-£3600, big difference I know.
So let’s ignore cost for the moment, as it is what is is. Let’s look at some other reasons whether a fitted bedroom may be of use:
- They look good. It’s a made to measure service, meaning all of the furniture is the exact size it needs to be for the room. This means no empty space is wasted.
- The general finishing of the products used are generally quite high quality.
- Bespoke to your fashion. Whether it’s an oak look or a modern look you are going for, it can be built just for you
There are also some negatives to fitted bedrooms:
- The service can take time, you have to get somebody to come out and measure your room.
- The furniture then needs to be manufactured to your specifications which can take weeks.
- The furniture then needs to be properly installed by a professional to make sure everything is secured.
- Mistakes can happen and your made to measure furniture actually may not fit, giving more time for alterations.
Sliding wardrobe doors can be a great addition to a bedroom allowing more space to use for other things. Overall we believe that if a fitted bedroom is within your budget then go for it, but make sure to choose a reputable company such as Reflectalux Interiors.
Edit: In the end he went with it for a cost of £2000. Hurray!
As many of you will know, laminate flooring comes in many designs, patterns, colours, materials and so on. If you are looking for a Oak, Chestnut, Maple, Pine, etc you will find they are not cheap. However the great thing about laminate is not only does it look great and is easy to fit, but it is also incredibly cheap compared to the solid oak. Of course, you will not be able to match the quality of wood you would get if you sourced your wood from a lumber, however laminate provides the closest thing to it!
You can source your laminate from many of the big realier stores, such as Wickes, Travis Perkins, B & Q, Romford Locks and so on. However you are better off looking for local businesses who are likely to give you more materials for your money. Small companies will always have scraps and offcuts, which they have no use for and will be willing to give it away, if you shop with them. The wood will be better quality and you will be helping a local business in the process!
When designing and building a room, time is always a costly thing to take into consideration. However doing some bits yourself will mean you will save more money on labour and services even though it make take abit longer to reach the final product. Laminate flooring requires no glue or clamps and it similar to a big puzzle, and is renowned for being easy to fit regardless of your DIY experience or skills in this area of work. This video shows you the simplicity of fitting laminate flooring and the highly successful result it makes to a room.
This post was brought to you by Mike from Wood Flooring Cardiff.
When creating any house there are many factors to consider if you want to create the perfect project, and quality of material is key to achieve the results you want strive to meet. There are many elements to be considered when designing a room, and it has been scientifically proven that the floor makes up 60% of a first impression of new buyers walking into a room. Many people are going for laminate flooring as it provides a cleaner and more hygienic surface, which is perfect for children and pets. Carpets are still popular as they provide a luxurious and more comfortable surface for all users. However research did a study and found the best carpets Cardiff had to offer was the best in the of the UK, and their quality and high density carpets were hard wearing and incredibly durable.