How to do DIY

Real Wood vs laminate Flooring

With news of economic uncertainty, as home owner you'll have to think smartly about how to retain/increase the value of your home.
Installing new floors can be one of the easiest ways to increase value without shelving out lots of money. According to a recent Study :

"A new carpet or flooring could be positioned as “money in the bank” as it adds value to a home and makes it easier to sell when the time comes to move house." ( Mintel May 2011)

Choosing what floor what sort of floor you want can be difficult if you are unaware of the pros and cons, and there often seems to be a debate on whether to choose real wood flooring or laminate flooring.

The truth is that both have advantages and disadvantages, so it's just a matter of choosing what's right for your home, budget and lifestyle.

As an expert in the business for over a decade 1926 co- owner Patrick Jeffers, gives his tips on the pros and cons of each type of flooring:

Solid Wood Flooring

Made from one piece of hardwood timber, solid wood flooring is as authentic as you can get when it comes to wood flooring and comes in a variety of thicknesses and widths, pre-finished or unfinished for you to varnish.
The warm, natural tones of oak will bring a touch of style and elegance to any home and can really enhance the existing decor.
Also called solid wood flooring, this type of surface is 100% real wood, with no extras other than paint or varnish, if you require them.

Solid Wood Flooring

For capturing that authentic look, nothing beats real wood flooring. Solid wood floors can be sanded to remove any scratches or scuff marks. This means that they last longer than laminate as the surface can be revamped several times during the course of its life. Real wood flooring can also be varnished and painted to match the decor of your room each time you redecorate. Solid wood flooring is best for those with a larger budget looking for a very long-lasting floor and a customised finish. It can also add considerable value to a home and can be seen as an investment.

As real wood flooring consists solely of natural wood, it can expand and contract depending on levels of humidity in the air. This means that you should leave a small gap around the edge of wood flooring to allow for any expansion.
On particularly cold frosty days, you may find your flooring has unsightly gaps between the planks in draughty rooms. Conversely on days with high levels of humidity you may find the wood has buckled. This buckling can result in severe damage if you have not left enough space to accommodate it. Additionally, solid wood flooring is the more costly out of the two.

Wood floor

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring consists of melamine resin fused with layers of fibre board, which simulate the appearance of real wood, stone or any other kind of flooring.
Also using a layered construction, laminate flooring does not contain any real wood but imitates the material with the help of a printed pattern set within a resin or plastic layer, mounted on top of MDF or HDF with a balancing backing underneath. The main advantage of this flooring is cost and you get what you pay for here. These floors are simply clicked into place over a layer of foam, making them very easy to lay.

Wood floor

This type of flooring is great if you're on a budget. Generally it's cheaper than real wood flooring (starting at around 10 per metre,) but is a bit of a compromise if you're looking for an authentic finish.
If you have small children, laminate flooring is an excellent option as it is very easy to clean; dirt and moisture can simply be wiped away and the flooring won't be discoloured by chemicals in household cleaning products. This kind of flooring is resistant to scratches, so it a fairly robust option. Laminate will also not absorb moisture, which can be a problem with real wood flooring so it can be laid anywhere, even areas in the home which experience varying levels of humidity, such as the kitchen. Some laminates as so resistant they can even be laid in the bathroom.

As laminate flooring is made from several layers of manmade fibre, it is impossible to sand it down should it get damaged. This means the only option for dealing with imperfections which may occur in the laminate, such as cracks, is to replace it entirely. Also, if you want to change the appearance of your flooring, the only option is to buy an entirely new floor.

Elgo super gloss

On behalf of 1926 Wood Flooring

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