Long gone are the days when carpet was the popular go-to for flooring – now, we’re finding our specialist floor tools are being utilised for hardwood floors more than any other style. Traditional wood styles are now what many homeowners seek in their properties, but often they can get lost in the look without considering which material best suits them and their budget. So if you want a clear, concise guide for next time you get put on the spot with a question, here’s our quick rundown.
Available in rolls of printed vinyl plastic, this flooring is like wallpaper for your floors. It’s available in wood flooring designs, however, it’s the least realistic up close. While vinyl flooring will handle spills brilliantly, it’s not the most durable of flooring overall, as it can suffer from wear and tear such as rips, and also bubble.
It is, in most cases, a very affordable option, however, more luxurious vinyl floorings have made an appearance in recent years, bringing the material into a more design-forward reputation. Check out the likes of Atrafloor for some pretty incredible, inspiring designs, but be warned it doesn’t come with the usual vinyl flooring price tag.
Laminate and luxury vinyl tiles
Laminate flooring varies from traditional vinyl in that it’s a solid flooring made up of a number of layers, generally composed mostly of wood, then fixed and fitted as hardwood flooring normally would be. Laminate flooring has a hard plastic top layer however, which overlays a wood grain image, giving the look and in some cases the feel of treated wood. Of course, as this is not made from expensive wood materials, it’s a budget way to have a hardwood look in your home.
Luxury vinyl tiles are somewhat different, as they’re made completely of plastic, but come in hard planks more like laminate than vinyl flooring. The best LVT have grain imprinted into the top layer of plastic, giving a more realistic feel which mirrors the wood image underneath.
As both have a plastic outer coating, they’re also a great option for spill-prone spaces, or areas where moisture is present such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Real and engineered wood flooring
Real wood floors need little explaining – they’re made from 100% wood of a certain type, and have a cost per square metre to match. Engineered wood flooring is more similar to laminate, in that it’s a composite of wood materials, however, the top layer this time is a think wooden veneer, rather than plastic, for a more realistic finish.
These types of flooring may come pre-treated, but will need a little more aftercare than plastic varieties.
Porcelain and ceramic
Last but not least, recent years have seen an explosion of ceramic effect wooden planks which really do look like the real deal. Porcelain materials are durable and hardwearing, and are great for spaces with wet zones, including bathrooms and kitchens. They’re easy to clean and can be used on walls too. Areas like bathrooms, which are traditionally cold in style, can be easily given the warmth of wood with these effect tiles.