Whether you’re sprucing up your place in preparation for selling, or it’s simply time to update the look of your living room, the floor is an excellent place to start. Hard flooring is a popular alternative to carpet in high-traffic areas, and there are several main varieties to consider if you’re looking for something that lends itself to DIY installation.
Lay manufactured floorboards
If you like the look of timber but you’re worried about the cost and complexity of installing solid floorboards, don’t despair. Laying a floating floor is an easy DIY job, regardless of whether you choose engineered timber, bamboo or laminate floorboards. Floating floors are characterised by the installation method, which is an easy matter of clicking the boards together on top of a special underlay, without mechanically securing them to the subfloor at all.
Engineered or laminate: what’s the difference?
You may have heard the term ‘engineered flooring’ used to describe timber-look floorboards that seem very similar to laminate flooring, but come with a heftier price tag. The difference is that engineered boards have a thin layer of real timber bonded to a cheaper plywood substrate.
Laminate boards, on the other hand, are made using a photograph of real timber, printed on Kraft paper and protected by a tough layer of transparent melamine. The resulting surface is often harder than that of engineered boards. However, it is possible to refinish a floor made of engineered boards, because a thin layer of the timber can be sanded off, and this is not an option with laminate flooring.
Rediscover the glory of vinyl
If you thought vinyl is a boring and outdated flooring option, think again. In addition to the classic chequered pattern off the roll that you might be thinking of, today’s vinyl flooring is sold in a range of different formats. From slate-look tiles to remarkably convincing faux timber planks and even synthetic parquetry sold by linear metre, it’s one of the easiest, fastest and least expensive flooring updates available.
Out on the tiles
Large-format floor tiles are all the rage in new homes that are currently being built, and for good reason. They look classy and sophisticated as well as creating to an open, spacious atmosphere, and they’re easy to maintain. Glazed tiles are impervious to water and stains, meaning that even if paint or glue is spilled onto them, it can be cleaned off using a suitable solvent without damaging the floor.
Splash out with two-part finish
You might as well include the garage when you’re overhauling the rest of the floors! Give a concrete floor a gleaming, showroom-style finish using a high-tech two-part coating that can be up to 20 times tougher than epoxy resin. Garage floor coatings are normally sold as a kit that includes everything you need, and are easily to apply. Just mix the two parts of the finish, add colour chips if desired, then apply with a brush and roller.