Foundations: Solid Ground
Home Beautiful|September 2020
Foundations: Solid Ground
From how to choose the best hard flooring for your spaces to installation and maintenance, we’ve got all your questions covered
Kate Barber

There’s nothing quite like the warm colours of timber to bring a home to life. Whether you select solid boards, engineered flooring, vinyl or laminate, you can find the perfect look and price point you’re after. One of the benefits of these surfaces is that they’re very hard-wearing and easy to clean. “Almost all of the timber floors are pretty forgiving,” explains Anne Plumb, director of Royal Oak Floors. And if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to timber, there are excellent vinyls and laminates available for a stylish switch-in.

ENGINEERED FLOORING AND SOLID TIMBER

Before selecting your hard flooring, it’s important to understand the differences between the types. “Engineered flooring is made with a plywood core constructed from hardwoods that are glued together in opposite directions,” says Anne from Royal Oak Floors. “The cross lamination of the core gives engineered floorboards greater stability from humidity changes, which allows greater widths compared to solid timber.” However, Anne says if you want a very even look, solid timber may be the better choice. “We brush out the grain of our floorboards so it doesn’t look as flat,” she says. One of the other benefits of solid timber is that it can be sanded, stained and finished on site.

VINYL AND LAMINATE

Vinyl flooring has come a long way since the ’60s. “There are so many more patterns that mimic wood and stone,” explains Andrew Ferguson, national technical manager at Polyflor. “Plus, it usually has a clear wear layer on top so that the pattern remains fresh and protected. Vinyl is also a very safe product from an environmental perspective.”

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September 2020