Longing for the warmth and beauty of timber floors but not so crazy about the cost? Interested in a stone or tile floor, but not too keen on the cold surface? Then it’s time to look at the extraordinary range of laminate flooring that is now available.
Today’s laminate floors are made to look exactly like real timber – in an amazing array of styles, colours and even textures – but at about half the cost and without the maintenance associated with the genuine article.
So why choose laminate? Well, apart from the fact that it looks absolutely fabulous and comes in many styles and shades, it’s versatile, cost-effective, simple to install, very hard-wearing and resistant to stains and spills, and, best of all, is really easy to clean and maintain in showroom condition. What’s not to love?
Laminate floors are ‘floating’, that is, they’re laid over an underlay material that provides cushioning and helps to absorb the sound, but, unlike timber floors, they are not nailed down, nor glued like tiles. Rather, the planks are ‘clicked’ into each other, providing an impenetrable surface for your floor.
So how do you know which laminate floor is right for you? Start by considering the style that fits best with you and your home. Are you laying the floor in a heritage-style house? Check the period details of your home online and opt for a laminate floorboard that fits the heritage profile in width and colour. Rare timbers are no longer a problem, and beautiful boards come in a range of widths and colours to suit colonial, Georgian or Victorian houses. Love a country look? Then check out the range of rustic laminate floors – many even have a ‘rough’ feel, so real you’d swear they were real wood or stone. Is a scrubbed back, modern Scandinavian look more to your taste? Light-coloured and ‘lime-washed’ timber laminate floors provide the perfect starting point.
Before you make a final decision, you should also consider the size of the room, the amount of light and whether you want a matte, satin or gloss finish.
And one last tip – don’t try to decide from a small sample. Visit a showroom and see an entire floor in situ. It really makes a difference!