7 key questions to ask before buying flooring
- Credit: Aldiss
From durability to stain-proofing to what type of underlay to use, there's plenty to consider when choosing flooring for your home.
Neil Hubbard, flooring manager at Aldiss department store in Norfolk, shares seven key questions you should ask before buying flooring to help you make the right choice.
1. Is the flooring suitable for the room?
“The first and perhaps most important question is ‘what room is the flooring going in?’ as this will help to narrow down your options,” says Neil.
For heavy-use areas, such as the hallway, your flooring will need to be resistant to daily wear and tear. “Vinyl is a good durable option for high-traffic areas or Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) that have an additional protective layer and are even more long-lasting,” suggests Neil.
Twist pile carpets can also work well in areas that have a lot of footfall. “The extra heavy-wear Primo Grande carpet range is great value for money and well-suited to busy areas like the stairs,” says Neil. For less-used rooms where you want something soft underfoot, he suggests deep-pile carpets: “Saxony carpets are very popular for bedrooms due to their luxurious feel.”
2. Is the carpet stain-proof?
Spills are inevitable in family homes, and while no material can be completely stain-proof, certain qualities can help to keep your flooring looking its best. “Wool carpets have natural stain-resistant features and man-made materials such as polypropylene are generally quite tough,” says Neil.
For rooms where there's more activity, such as the living room, he recommends choosing a carpet that has a mix of natural and synthetic fibres. “Mixed fibre carpets will have the best chance of maintaining their appearance,” he says, adding that you should “look for a material you can clean with bleach to help remove stains, and use rugs and runners for extra protection.”
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3. Is the carpet moth-resistant?
A question many people overlook is whether or not the carpet is protected against moths – but these troublesome pests are more common than you might think. Large holes and thread-bear sections are tell-tale signs you have a moth infestation.
“Many people don’t realise that moths can cause a lot of damage to the natural fibres in thick wool carpets,” explains Neil. “Synthetic carpets made from nylon and polypropylene are more resistant to moths but you can also help to deter insects with thorough and regular vacuuming.”
4. Is the flooring pet-friendly?
If you’re a pet owner, you’ll need to look for flooring that has a combination of high durability and low maintenance. However, Neil cautions that some materials may seem like they have superior wear resistance, though that’s not always the case.
“Hardwood floor appears to be a practical choice for homes with pets but it can actually scratch and stain very easily and can require a lot of work to keep in good condition,” he says. “Instead, I recommend LVT that is easy to clean and doesn’t need much maintenance, or even a hardwearing carpet.
“Putting a Hug Rug at the front and back doors can also help to absorb moisture and dirt brought in by pets,” he adds.
5. What underlay do I need for my flooring?
Underlay is laid between your flooring and sub-floor and has many benefits – namely to keep it level, prolong its lifespan and provide sound and heat insulation.
“There are several types of underlay available depending on your requirements, and I always recommend speaking to a flooring specialist who can advise on the best choice for you,” says Neil.
6. How should I install my flooring?
Once you’ve chosen your covering, you’ll need to think about how you want it to be fitted. It is possible to install some plank vinyl and laminate flooring yourself but bear in mind that it can be labour-intensive and a costly mistake if you get it wrong.
Carpet fitting is often best left to the professionals. “Our expert fitters will ensure a fantastic end result and can provide a much quicker service compared to DIY installation. We offer a free full carpet fitting service for customers who spend over £500 on carpets and purchase Treadmore underlay at Aldiss,” says Neil.
7. How much will it cost?
The total cost will depend on the type of flooring you choose and the amount of square footage you need to cover. Naturally, the higher quality and more durable the material, the more expensive it will be, but you can still find more affordable alternatives that look just as effective.
Fortunately, Aldiss stocks a wide range of flooring options to suit all budgets. “Vinyl is a great cheaper option, and it comes with an array of styles and designs. LVT is higher quality with a realistic wood or stone effect finish,” says Neil. “Likewise, we offer budget-friendly carpets and more luxurious versions to cater to all needs.”
To browse the full flooring range at Aldiss, visit the stores in Norwich or Fakenham. Alternatively, go to aldiss.com.