The following are some of the questions we often get asked about floor coverings and window dressings.
Q: What’s best – hard floor or carpet?
A: There are many different kinds of flooring on the market today and lots of new ‘green’ flooring products. It can be difficult to know where to start. Because flooring has a major influence on the feel and mood of a room, it’s important to make the right choice. And, it’s a big investment, so it’s important you get it right. You have to consider how much traffic it will get and factor in maintenance and durability, as well as appearance, comfort and cost.
Carpet keeps your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, it’s quiet to walk on and helps insulate noise, it’s not slippery (which is good for older people), and it’s relatively easy to maintain. However, it’s not as easy as hard floors to keep clean, and stains can spoil the look.
Hard flooring includes timber, tiles, polished concrete, cork, rubber and vinyl. They’re easy to clean and durable.
Timber flooring, including floating floors and bamboo flooring, is highly durable and, if well sealed, will be resistant to spills, stains and chemicals. It’s easy to look after, good for people with allergies and it won’t take on the smell of your beloved pooch or pussycat like carpet does. However, high traffic areas will need buffing and recoating every three to four years. This isn’t just about keeping it looking good – it’s about maintaining moisture resistance to prevent warping and other problems. Deep scratches mean re-sanding an entire area, which is quite a bit more expensive than buffing.
Vinyl flooring comes in an almost unlimited range of styles, patterns and colours. It’s easy to maintain, is fairly soft under foot and won’t fade quickly. It’s more affordable and easier than other flooring types to install. There’s even the option of DIY. Cons include poor resistance to scratching and indentations. Cheaper versions may only be suitable as a short-term flooring option.
Vinyl planks are also available which are glued down making them also waterproof.
Q: What is a hybrid?
A: A hybrid is a hard flooring option which looks and feels like real timber. It combines the best attributes of both laminate and vinyl to create a rigid floating floor that can be installed throughout the entire home. Hybrid is made of multiple layers of materials pressed together for an extremely hard-wearing floor.
Q: What’s the difference between water resistant, water repellant and waterproof?
A: Water resistant means the floor covering is able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely.
Water-repellent means it’s not easily penetrated by water, especially as a result of being treated for such a purpose with a surface coating.
Waterproof means it’s impervious to water.
Q: What’s SDN?
A: Solution-dyed nylon (SDN). It’s a win/win really. Both wool and SDN carpets are hard wearing, luxurious underfoot and feature stain resistance properties. The biggest advantage of SDN carpet is its ability to hold colour in areas exposed to long periods of direct sunlight.
Q: What is polypropylene?
A: Polypropylene is treated with chemicals to become stain resistant (except oil-based stains) and is less expensive than nylon. Also used to make artificial grass carpets, polypropylene is the second least resilient of the synthetic fibres. The material has a low abrasion tolerance and low melting point.
Q: What’s the best way to care for carpet?
A: The following are some tips on helping to maintain your new carpet’s appearance and prolong its life:
- Avoid carpeting high traffic areas.
- Always wipe your feet before walking on it, or, better still, remove your shoes if you can.
- Vacuum carpet regularly.
- Protect your carpet from the elements.
- When spots and stains appear remove them quickly.
- Hire a professional for not only installation, but also ongoing maintenance such as regular cleaning.
Q: What’s the best way to care for hard floors?
A: The following are the top tips for maintaining and cleaning hard floors:
- Wipe away water spills immediately.
- Remove footwear before walking on your floor.
- Use felt protector pads and never drag heavy objects across the floor.
- Sweep away dust and dirt on a daily basis.
- Clean your floor using a microfibre mop and recommended floor cleaning spray.
Q: Can a carpet be repaired if a section is damaged?
A: The short answer is possibly. If you have carpet remnants left over from installation, you can repair the damaged section with a patch. If you don’t have remnants, a piece of carpeting from a hidden area of the room, such as a closet or behind a door, will also work.
Q: Can a hard floor be repaired if a section is damaged?
A: Badly damaged or rotted sections of flooring must be removed and replaced with new pieces. This involves cutting out or prying up a section of the finish flooring, gluing or nailing replacements to the subflooring, filling cracks to match, sanding the surface, and refinishing.
Q: How do I measure how much flooring I need?
- Make a drawing of the floor plan in the room you are measuring.
- Measure the length and width of the room’s main area.
- Multiply the length and the width to get the main area’s measurement.
- Measure the length and width of any square or rectangular recesses.
- Calculate the area of any round recesses.
Q: Does every floor covering need underlay?
A: No. Carpet and laminate requires underlay. Vinyl planks are glued down (hard stuck).
Q: What’s the most economical vinyl?
A: We stock several brands of budget vinyls come on in and have a look at what suits your budget.
Q: What’s the most economical way for window furnishings?
A: Blinds are generally the cheapest choice.
Q: What’s the best window furnishing for insulation purposes?