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What flooring should I choose?

Different flooring solutions work better in certain rooms than in others, affecting everything from practicality to ease of cleaning


At Queen of Gleam, we’re used to encountering all kinds of flooring. The polished resin surfaces of a car showroom are a long way from the hard-wearing cord carpets often installed in offices and commercial premises. Yet each is chosen for specific reasons – durability, warmth, its ability to support heavy weights, and so on.


The same principles apply at home, where there’s no flooring type that works equally well in every apartment. We’re thankfully past the era of pink bathroom carpets and peeling laminate boards in kitchens, but there’s still a wide variety of flooring options for your home. To help you make practical choices, we’ve summarised the main types of flooring, and explained why they’re particularly well suited to certain rooms. We’ve also included advice on how easy they are to clean –as domestic and commercial cleaning specialists, we’ve tackled everything from marble tiles to carpet tiles…


Solid wood


Always a popular choice in older properties, solid wooden floors are very attractive throughout corridors and public rooms/bedrooms. Oak is the default choice, but you can go lighter (ash, maple) or darker (mahogany, walnut). Solid wooden floors are easy to clean, and they’re great for allergy sufferers because there’s nowhere for dust to hide. However, they do require mopping as well as vacuuming – which is why Queen of Gleam staff always bring a mop and bucket with them!


Laminate


Modern engineered laminate flooring has come a long way from those peeling beech planks found in Millennial kitchens. Some laminates come with a 50-year guarantee, though they’ll still dent if you drop a sharp object onto them. Like solid wood, they’re easy to clean but require regular maintenance to look their best. Pet owners love laminate’s ability to shrug off mud, while they won’t be dented or imprinted by high heels or heavy furniture – unlike softer solid wooden planks.


Carpet


Still the most popular option in bedrooms, a thick carpet is a lovely thing to sink your toes into. Carpet relies on good-quality underlay to deliver its best performance, and it’s not practical for rooms with high moisture levels like kitchens and bathrooms. We recommend having your carpet thoroughly vacuumed once a week to extract the dust that naturally settles, especially if you suffer from allergies. Carpet is the best choice for stairs, since it’s soft, yet you won’t slip on it.


Tiles


Tiles are perhaps the slipperiest of our shortlisted floorcoverings. As such, you need to carefully choose where to put them. They look great in halls and kitchens, but can be a slip hazard in a hallway if you come in with wet feet and don’t take your shoes off. Better locations include shower rooms and bathrooms, in tandem with an absorbent bathmat. You also need to wait for mopped tiles to dry completely before walking on them, whereas other floor types are more forgiving.


Vinyl


Often designed to resemble tiling, vinyl is a cost-effective yet versatile flooring option. It’s easy to clean and very hard to damage, while the lack of grouting means it requires less maintenance than tiles. Vinyl is ideal in bathrooms since it won’t absorb water, but it’s also warmer and more grippy than polished porcelain tiles. Vinyl is often the cheapest of these five options, making it great for people on a budget, though it doesn’t look or feel very indulgent in bedrooms or living rooms.

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