While you may have a ‘dream floor’ in mind when you are shopping around for flooring for your home, it’s important to think about the practical side of your purchase too.
There are lots of scenarios where it’s important to consider how easy a floor is to clean, how durable it is and how regularly it will need attending to. For example, if you are letting out your property then it might be unwise to choose a type of flooring which is luxurious but not very durable as you might have to replace it when your tenant leaves the property. It could be that you have young children, who tend to make a mess, or you have cats and dogs that you fear may scratch your flooring. Maybe you have health issues which mean that you can’t clean your flooring as often as you would like, or perhaps you just aren’t a big fan of cleaning. Luckily, there are options available to you when it comes to low-maintenance flooring and ways that you can prevent damage to flooring which require a little more TLC.
Wooden flooring is a timeless choice for a home and one of the most popular choices for flooring in modern homes. Wooden flooring is usually available either as a solid wood floor, which is entirely made up of natural wood, or as engineered wood which is made up of layers of ply topped with a layer of solid wood giving it the same appearance. Either way, it’s a favourite with homeowners as it goes with almost any style of home or decor.
In terms of keeping wooden flooring clean there isn’t a whole lot of upkeep to do, at least in the short term. Spills can be easily mopped up and dust can be easily vacuumed or swept away. However, the problems with wooden flooring come with the more long term maintenance that has to be done. Dirt, oil and grime can easily build up over time on wooden flooring and scratches can occur frequently when grit is brought into the home underfoot. Wooden flooring can be refinished and these types of deep marks and scratches can be removed with steel wool or lightly sanded away if required, but this takes considerably more ‘elbow grease’ than many other types of flooring. So, while wooden flooring is a versatile and stylish form of flooring it is best to pair it with a rug or mat at the entry points of your home. By doing this you can help reduce the amount of grit that makes its way on to your wooden floor and as a result reduce the amount of scratches.
Vinyl flooring is probably the easiest to clean out of all the options listed here and also one of the easiest to maintain. Also known as Cushion Floor, vinyl flooring is available at a good price and can take plenty of wear over the years, which is why many will come with a 15 year warrantee. Many people have misconceptions about vinyl flooring being old and outdated, but today’s vinyl flooring comes in a variety of different styles and options from the very basic to more expensive, luxury options. You may even find that you can purchase a very realistic imitation of a different type of flooring at just a fraction of the price. So don’t write it off before doing some proper investigation.
In terms of cleaning ease, vinyl tends to have a protective layer which acts as a barrier to stains and spills. So, if you’re concerned that your flooring might get quite dirty then vinyl may be a good option for you. It can also add some further protection against scratches, which may be helpful if you have pets. If your vinyl flooring doesn’t have this protective layer then you might need to give it a good clean and polish every once and a while to keep it at its best. As for general day to day cleaning, it really doesn’t get much easier than this. To clean your vinyl you simply need to give it a sweep with a brush and then run a mop over it – simple. However, if you use a mop you should be careful not to use too much water as it can seep into edges, eventually causing the glue that holds it down to weaken which could make your vinyl come loose, become discoloured or curl at the edges.
Laminate flooring is another good choice for people who want something that imitates wood but is more durable, lower maintenance and more cost effective than solid wood flooring. Laminate is an excellent choice that is made up of a HDF or MDF backing which provides strength, a photograph layer which imitates style or design and then a protective wear layer which makes it durable against scratches. There is lots of variation available with laminate flooring and you may find that the prices can vary dramatically. However, while it is possible to get laminate flooring for a cheap price, it’s rarely a good option to do so. More affordable brands of laminate flooring tend to be of a lower quality which look less realistic and are not as tough and durable as a good quality laminate. The best laminate flooring will come with a 20 year warrantee which is testament to how confident the manufacturer is of its durability. As for the day to day cleaning of laminate flooring, it is similar to vinyl flooring in that you just need to give it a vacuum and a mop. Again, be careful about how much water you use on laminate flooring – it should be able to dry up again within just a couple of minutes of mopping.
Finally, we come to carpet. Carpet is often viewed as the luxury choice for a home. Not only is it available in a huge range of different colours and textures, but it is also incredibly comfortable underfoot and holds in heat which makes it a popular choice for bedrooms and living rooms. Another key benefit to carpeted flooring is that it is cushioned which provides some protection in the event of a fall, protecting knees, elbows and ankles from unforgiving hard surfaces. While carpet is a luxury product it can wear away quicker than other types of floorings, so without proper maintenance and care it will end up needing to be replaced every few years. Because of this, you need to give carpets regular attention and place mats by doors to prevent any grit and dirt from being brought in and wearing away fibres. Carpeted flooring is a fantastic choice for most homes but it is important to keep it dirt free if you want to maintain its healthy glow.
If you’re unsure as to which type of flooring would be most suited to your needs then you should seek the advice from flooring professionals. Our team at Lincolnshire Flooring can help you to find exactly the right product, talking you through the pros and cons and allowing you to get an idea of how it might look and feel inside your home. If you would like advice on picking out a suitable flooring, then please visit us at our showroom or call us now on 01522 524374.