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When shopping for laminate flooring, you may encounter a term referred to as a “laminate AC rating”. Meaning “abrasion class”, AC rating describes a floor’s durability against a number of key factors. The higher the AC rating, the more durable it is. Whilst laminate with a rating of AC1 is only suitable for areas with little footfall, the higher AC5-rated laminate floors are robust enough for use in commercial buildings, such as busy retail stores.

Laminate AC rating determines how well a laminate floor copes within different environments. Abrasion class was first introduced by the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF). Since its conception, it’s been adopted as the industry standard for rating laminate flooring.

How is AC Rating Determined?

In order to receive an AC rating, laminate flooring must go through rigorous testing. Known as the Taber test, the process assesses the flooring to measure its resistance. The AC rating is dependent on how it deals with a number of different stress points. Abrasion, stains, impact, moisture, heat and scratches are all factors used to produce a laminate AC rating.

To receive an AC rating, every aspect of the test requires a pass. If it fails even one, it receives an “unrated” label, meaning it misses the mark in terms of quality expected by both retailers and consumers.

Two main groups divide laminate AC ratings: residential and commercial. These two groups are then split again to describe the level of traffic they’re able to withstand: moderate, general or heavy.

Laminate flooring thickness often has a part to play in a difference of AC rating. Generally speaking, the higher the thickness, the better the abrasion class rating.

See also: How to maintain laminate flooring

Different Laminate AC Ratings

As we touched upon earlier, the abrasion class rating of laminate flooring depends on its ability to withstand a number of different tests. How it copes with these tests determines its rating.

So what are the different AC ratings? You’ll often find them described by a simple label:

Residential AC1

Suitable for moderate traffic. Best suited to use in bedrooms or guest rooms that see very little foot traffic.

AC2

Suitable for general traffic. Dining or living rooms are the best place for AC2-rated laminate floors.

AC3

Suitable for heavy traffic. Generally suitable for all areas, especially areas such as hallways which see a lot of footfall.

Commercial AC4

Suitable for moderate traffic in commercial spaces. Think small offices, cafés or smaller retail outlets.

AC5

Suitable for heavy traffic in commercial spaces. Large department stores, public building and large offices are the perfect place for laminate with a rating of AC5.

You may also find AC rating described using pictograms. In these images, the different AC ratings display either a house (residential) or a commercial building (commercial). They may also contain icons for people, as well as numbers to display the laminate flooring’s suitability for either moderate (1), general (2) or heavy (3) use.

Weighing Up Your Options

The higher the the laminate AC rating, the better its durability. So, that must mean you should always go for the higher rating, surely? Well, not always.

As with any flooring, making your decision depends on individual circumstances. AC1-AC4 rated laminate is made using direct pressure laminate, whilst AC5 and higher is created using high pressure laminate. The difference in their manufacturing makes for slight differences in their appearance and feel.

Loft Dark Grey – AC3

Commercial spaces with heavy footfall require a high-durability laminate floor, although there are benefits to choosing lower-rated laminates as well.

AC3/AC4-rated floors tend to be smoother and softer to the touch than those with a higher rating. Whilst the rough texture of AC5 may be good for commercial use, this may be too abrasive for family homes – especially if you have young children.

Direct pressure laminate (AC1-AC4) is also better equipped to look more realistic than high pressure laminate. This is also due to the laminate flooring thickness and its wear layer. Each AC rating increase means a 60% increase in wear. So, for example, AC3 has 120% heavier wear than AC1. The heavier wear may also mean a cloudier look to your flooring. Therefore, if you prioritise style over durability, you’re better suited to a lower grade flooring.

Our AC Ratings

Here at Direct Wood Flooring, we only sell laminate flooring with an AC rating of AC3 and above. This ensures high durability, without compromising on the authentic look of the flooring. Images are crisp and clear, whilst a textured surface gives an authentic real wood feel.

To find your chosen laminate’s AC rating, simply scroll down the product page until you reach the AC rating in the product information.

To Conclude

Laminate AC rating is certified through rigorous testing to even receive a rating. Even with the lower AC1-AC2 floors, you can still make a decision knowing the product is certified for its purpose.

The lower AC-rated laminate flooring is better suited to residential properties, whereas higher rating such as AC4 and AC5 are perfect for commercial environments. AC3 sits in the middle, and will handle any area in your home, as well as being suitable for light commercial use.

If you’re looking for laminate flooring and would like advice on the best AC rating for you, get in touch by calling 03308 088777, or email sales@directwoodflooring.co.uk.

The post What is Laminate AC Rating? appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

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Brand new for 2019, our herringbone laminate flooring range combines the beauty of herringbone flooring with the practicality of a laminate floor. Coming in six colours, it’s versatile in its design to fit into any home’s décor.

Speak to anyone about interior design trends, and herringbone wood floor will be at the forefront of many people’s minds.

Its distinctive pattern often comes in the form of real wood or luxury vinyl tiles. To make the options available to you even greater, we’ve introduced a brand new range of parquet laminate flooring in a desirable herringbone style.

Espresso Oak Herringbone Laminate Flooring The herringbone laminate range

The herringbone laminate flooring range is a tough and durable choice for fast-paced family homes. Here’s a brief rundown of what you need to know:

  • 8mm plank thickness
  • 133mm plank width
  • 665mm plank length
  • 23m² pack size
  • Moisture resistant
  • Real wood feel textured surface
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Eco-friendly
  • AC4 rating
  • 20 year residential warranty
  • Antibacterial coating
Colours

Our range of herringbone laminate comes with six colours to choose from. From the look of dark stained wood to a light and bright whitewashed style, there’s a design for you.

Bayside Oak

The golden tones of Bayside Oak flow through each plank of this herringbone flooring. Darker grains and authentic-looking wood knots create a simply beautiful laminate floor that ties together any design.

Elegant Oak

Elegant Oak is a lighter wood-style laminate flooring. It given a raw wood look that is incredibly popular in modern interiors. Rustic grains add character to a herringbone laminate floor that’s already eye-catching due to its pattern.

Espresso Oak

A dark brown palette with hints of caramel. Perfect for more traditional interiors, Espresso Oak oozes elegance through every edge of its herringbone design. If you’ve got a modern interior, this flooring suits minimalist contemporary spaces as well.

Palazzo Oak

Palazzo Oak features light brown tones to add a rustic warmth to your home’s décor. Although organic lines and knots are more muted in this flooring when compared to the darker Espresso Oak, Palazzo Oak is a cleaner and more modern laminate floor.

Pearl Oak Herringbone Laminate Flooring Pearl Oak

The light colouring of Pearl Oak creates a modern-looking herringbone flooring. The strong whitewashed style is complemented by grey and brown grains that flow freely across the floor’s surface.

Regency Oak

A beautiful brown surface features stunning grain patterns that enhance this parquet laminate flooring. Light coffee tones and deeper authentic-looking wood knots make for a floor that’s perfect for any décor.

Bayside Oak Elegant Oak Espresso Oak
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Palazzo Oak Pearl Oak Regency Oak
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How is it different to a herringbone wood floor?

People often think of real wood when looking for herringbone flooring. While this is its most common form, new technology allows us to bring you a herringbone laminate range.

Firstly, there’s the price difference. Laminate flooring is widely regarded as a cost-effective alternative to real wood. While there are cheap wood herringbone ranges, the price of our herringbone laminate flooring is significantly less than its real wood counterpart.

Bayside Oak Herringbone Laminate Flooring

Our parquet laminate flooring is moisture resistant, whereas real wood isn’t. This means that our new range has a wider suitability in your home. It’s even suitable for installation in bathrooms!

Laminate flooring features a scratch-proof wear layer, which also features an antibacterial coating. Therefore, it’s perfect for busy family homes and even copes well in areas with heavy foot traffic. That’s why it’s been given an AC4 rating, as well as a 20 year residential warranty.

Maintaining your new laminate floor couldn’t be simpler. All it needs is a regular sweep and once-over with a slightly damp mop, or alternatively you can buy an all-in-one floor cleaning kit which makes tackling even the dirtiest of laminate floors a breeze.

How to fit herringbone laminate flooring

The fitting process of herringbone laminate is quite different from the installation of regular laminate flooring. The same can be said when comparing with real wood herringbone parquet.

Regency Oak Herringbone Parquet Laminate Flooring

Whilst parquet is often a painstaking and long process, our herringbone laminate flooring is incredibly easy to install.

As with many ranges of laminate flooring, our herringbone range features an innovative click system. This means that each plank simply clicks together in place, with no glue needed.

As well as reduced costs in buying your flooring, there are savings to be made when using a professional fitter. Installation takes less time due to its easy fitting mechanism.

If you’re opting for a DIY installation, and would like more information on how to fit herringbone laminate flooring, watch this handy video from Group THYS.

Placement instructions laminate herringbone - YouTube
Why choose herringbone laminate flooring?

There’s an undoubted beauty to herringbone flooring; especially when you consider the benefits on laminate flooring, such as increased durability and lower costs.

When you combine the distinctive patterns of a herringbone wood floor with these benefits, then herringbone laminate can be a clear winner when choosing the right flooring for you.

It’s the perfect middle ground between luxury and cost-effectiveness. That’s why we’re so proud of this new range.

What next?

Order up to four free samples by checking out the herringbone laminate flooring range, or reach out to our helpful team for more advice. Simply call on 03308 088777, or email sales@directwoodflooring.co.uk.

The post Herringbone Laminate Flooring – 2019 Herringbone Flooring Range appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

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When choosing your luxury vinyl flooring, commonly referred to as luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), you’ll often be presented with two options: click, or gluedown. Both share common ground when it comes to their quality, but there are distinct differences between the two, which we’ll cover in this guide.

Click vinyl flooring is perfect for quick and easy DIY installations, and is fitted as a floating floor. Gluedown LVT is cheaper, which in part is due to a lower tile thickness, although professional fitting is recommended. Gluedown can also be combined with feature strips to create grout-style border around each tile.

Click LVT Flooring
  • Easy and quick to install
  • More expensive and thicker than gluedown
  • Cheaper to fit than gluedown
  • No glue needed
  • Best for DIY
Gluedown LVT Flooring
  • Cheaper product than click
  • Needs a flat subfloor for installation
  • Use feature strips to create borders
  • More expensive to fit than click
Turin Click Dark Grey Oak Luxury Vinyl Tiles

When choosing between click or gluedown luxury vinyl flooring, there are a number of different considerations before making a final decision. There are many benefits to luxury vinyl tiles, many of which are applicable to both types. However, as well as personal preference, practicality is also called into question. The room’s environment, budget and installation methods all come into play.

We’ve outlined each of the factors you need to be wary of, and how each type of luxury vinyl tile weighs up in each category.

Composition

The composition of luxury vinyl flooring remains relatively similar, no matter if you favour on the side of click or gluedown.

The main difference comes in the thicknesses of the two. Click LVT has thicker tiles than gluedown, in order to accommodate the click-lock fitting mechanism. With this being said, the wear layer protecting the design of the flooring is the same whichever you choose.

Room Suitability

One of LVT’s key benefits comes in its room suitability. It can be installed in almost any room in your home, meaning more versatility when compared to real wood flooring.

Whether you choose gluedown or click luxury vinyl tiles will depend on the room you intend to lay it in.

Subfloor

Gluedown requires a flat and even subfloor. This is because it’s being glued directly to the underneath surface, and any imperfections could show on your flooring. Long-term, an uneven subfloor will cause damage to the underneath of your tiles. The same is true for subfloors with high level of moisture. Over time, the moisture could seep in the tiles and cause disfigurements to your flooring.

Timberlay Luxury Vinyl Tile Underlay

Click LVT is less restricted when it comes to the subfloor. However, that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t still take proper care in preparing or repairing your damaged subfloor. Because click is normally installed using underlay, it’s better at hiding subfloor imperfections. Using an appropriate luxury vinyl tile underlay will help to keep moisture at bay.

Temperature

Rooms with fluctuating temperatures will be better-suited to gluedown LVT. This is because it’s glued firmly to the subfloor, meaning there’s less room for the flooring to expand and contract, which can lead to the floor rising over time. However, you shouldn’t encounter these issues with click flooring in a room where the temperature is stable and controlled.

Foot Traffic & Room Size

Another consideration when making your choice is your room’s foot traffic. Click flooring will be more comfortable, due to the extra thickness and underlay. However, gluedown is less likely to move and feel the effects of increased foot traffic if it’s firmly attached to the subfloor. For this reason, we’d recommend using gluedown LVT in these areas that see heavy footfall.

Room size also plays a big part. Due to its greater stability, gluedown flooring is recommended for larger rooms. Such rooms will have less joint stability if they’ve been installed with click luxury vinyl. Using gluedown ensures the flooring remains adhered to the subfloor, meaning it’s much less likely lift, or to show vulnerabilities at the seams.

Aesthetics & Comfort

When shopping for LVT flooring, aesthetics and comfort are at the forefront of many homeowner’s minds. Will the flooring look realistic? Will it feel too hard underfoot without underlay? These are important questions you may be asking yourself.

When it comes to the look of your luxury vinyl flooring, there’s often little to no difference between using gluedown or click. The design is the same, and both have textured surfaces to ensure a real wood feel.

Florence Tile Gluedown Vinyl Flooring with LVT Feature Strips

The main difference comes in the use of LVT feature strips, often referred to as design strips. Feature strips fit in-between each tile, creating a grout-like design that creates a beautiful border. They aren’t compatible with click LVT, as it doesn’t fit between the tiles when the click system is in use. Use feature strips if you’re looking to enhance the look of your luxury vinyl for a more defined finish.

When it comes to comfort, click vinyl flooring can have underlay fitted underneath it. This, paired with the higher thickness, often means it’s more comfortable underfoot than gluedown.

With this being said, both options are warmer underfoot than their real tile counterparts. Plus, they’re both compatible with underfloor heating systems, meaning a warmer floor all-year-round.

Installation & Maintenance

Now we get to the real differences between click and gluedown LVT flooring. The clue’s in the name, after all!

As well as the differences, however, there are some similarities. For example, both click and gluedown need to be acclimatised for at least 24 hours prior to installation.

Click luxury vinyl flooring is better-suited to DIY installations. This is because it’s much less time consuming to fit; not the mention, much easier.

Fitted as a floating floor, click isn’t attached to the subfloor. Whilst this is slightly less stable than a floor that’s glued directly to the subfloor, it allows for the use of underlay and is often more comfortable underfoot.

For gluedown luxury vinyl flooring, installation requires each tile to be adhered to the subfloor. This makes the fitting process more time consuming and less DIY-friendly. For this reason, we’d always recommend finding a professional fitter for this type of LVT flooring.

The maintenance of both floors is relatively simple. Because if their robust nature and water-resistance, you can keep to your own cleaning schedule without worrying about damage from everyday dirt or spillages.

To keep your flooring looking pristine, simply brush or vacuum your flooring on a regular basis. Then, you can use a damp mop or specialised cleaning kit to get rid of stubborn marks and kill any bacteria.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring Cost

Finally, we wanted to compare the cost of both click and gluedown LVT.

Whilst click luxury vinyl tiles are more expensive, this isn’t to say your flooring project as a whole will be. Whilst the materials are more expensive initially, a DIY installation will save you a lot of money. Even if you were to hire a professional fitter to do the job for you, it would take them much less time. This means less installation costs as a whole.

Roma Gluedown Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring

Gluedown luxury vinyl flooring is less expensive than its click counterpart. This is, in part, due to the lesser tile thickness. However, in reflection on installation costs, you may be required to pay more for a fitter to complete your project. This isn’t to say that the cost will end up being the same as if you bought click flooring, as each project is different. You should consult your fitter if you’re looking for a true representation of how much the flooring and installation will cost you.

Depending on your room size, your new LVT flooring may be a significant investment. However, with fantastic warranties across all of our LVT ranges, you can rest easy knowing you’re covered should there be any faults with your flooring.

To Summarise

Making a decision between click and gluedown LVT flooring may be a difficult one. For some, it can be much simpler. It all depends on your specific needs and personal preference.

If you prefer DIY installations, then click is the obvious choice for you. Similarly, if you’re laying flooring in a room with fluctuating temperatures and high moisture levels, gluedown is the way to go.

If you’re unsure on which is right for you, we’re here to help. Get in touch by calling 03308 088777, or email sales@directwoodflooring.co.uk for advice from our professionals.

The post Luxury Vinyl Flooring – Click vs. Glue appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

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If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. That’s exactly why we’re proud to share this stunning transformation, thanks to Karen from popular interiors blog, The White Approach. We spoke to Karen about her ideas for her landing renovation, and the difference it has made to her home.

Where did you draw inspiration from when looking for ideas for your landing makeover?

“Inspiration for my hallway makeover comes from my love of interiors and my existing home style.  As a homes and interiors blogger I watch trends and incorporate aspects I feel will suit my home style.  Plants are currently a big trend and I recently discovered I could keep them without killing them off! So decided to include them in the hallway makeover.”

What made you decide to renovate?

“I decided to renovate the hallway because living in a home with four men, there is an awful lot of footfall.  We had a carpet down which was looking very sorry for itself despite my attempts to keep it clean.  The wooden flooring I chose from Direct Wood Flooring was not only beautiful but very hard wearing.”

Did you fit the flooring yourself?

“My amazing husband fitted the flooring. He is inspirational in his ability to turn his hand to all of the jobs around the house I ask him to do.”

What made you choose engineered wood for your flooring?

“I chose engineered wood flooring because it was both beautiful and hard wearing.  It is also amazing value for money for the quality.”

Karen used our Manor Natural Oak Lacquered Engineered Wood Flooring How did you find the floor to fit?

“From where I was standing it looked pretty straightforward to fit the flooring.  My husband is a perfectionist, but I know the fact that there were FIVE doorways to fit into might test the patience of a saint!”

See also: How to glue down engineered wood flooring

Are you pleased with the end result?

“I am over the moon with the end result.  I am hoping we can lay the engineered wood flooring in our bedroom and the twins’ room in the near future.  It is a real pleasure to go up the stairs these days. It’s so easy to keep clean, has not marked despite the constant people traffic and is beautiful to look at.”

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A post shared by The White Approach (@thewhiteapproach) on Apr 30, 2018 at 5:50am PDT

Would you recommend this flooring and a DIY installation to your friends?

“I would absolutely recommend this flooring and Direct Wood Flooring to my friends and yes, DIY installation saves an absolute fortune.  I am very lucky I have such a talented husband although the engineered wood click floorboards are very straightforward to lay.”

There are many benefits to engineered wood flooring that make it so popular in high-traffic areas such as Karen’s landing. High durability, plus the ability to sand and re-finish if required, means it has outstanding longevity. Meaning Karen’s landing stays looking beautiful for longer!

You can read more about the renovation on Karen’s blog, The White Approach. The project was covered in two posts: laying the engineered flooring, and the final results.

We offer up to four free samples if you’d like to shop our range of engineered wood flooring. Simply order online, call 03308 088777 or email sales@directwoodflooring.co.uk.

The post Landing Renovation: Karen from The White Approach appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

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Rustic interiors strike the perfect balance between comfort and ruggedness. The beauty in rustic design is how natural elements complement the clever use of a space’s unrefined charm. So where should you start when it comes to creating your own rustic interior?

Colour Palette

You guessed it, natural colours are the preference when it comes to rustic interiors. Greys, browns and greens are common colours that are rife within a rustic home, and help to create warmth.

Rustic colour palette

With other interior design concepts, a colour palette is ordinarily designed from flat colours to match textured elements such as upholstery. In rustic interiors, the colour palette usually takes inspiration from natural materials; think wood, leather, or stone when forming the basis of your palette.

Furniture

When looking at furniture, simple works best. The design and shape take a backseat, allowing the natural materials to shine through. Whilst modern interiors favour minimalist furniture (often meaning tiny sofas and even smaller tables), rustic interiors favour the oversized look. It’s more inviting, and instantly appears more comfortable.

Rustic Dining Table from Etsy

To achieve the desired look through your furniture, it’s worth considering an upcycling approach. A connection to the past is what gives many rustic interiors their charm, and used furniture can give exactly that. Rather than buying new, shop around for pieces with character and enquire about having them restored. An old dressing table can become your new favourite showpiece with a sand and lick of paint!

Flooring

If you’re committed to achieving a rustic look with your interior design, a change in flooring may play a big part. It should follow the same natural theme as the rest of the space, meaning stone, tile or wood are all good options.

Solid or engineered wood flooring are the most efficient when it comes to the authentic wooden look and feel. Choose something that will add a warm feel to your décor, carefully choosing a colour that suits your preference. The grains and twisting knots will add to a room’s character, with brushed wood flooring being the preferred choice to make these more accentuated.

Chalet – Rustic Vintage Oak

If a wooden floor is out of budget, there are alternative such as laminate flooring that give you the same feel at a fraction of the price. Certain ranges, such as our Chalet range, devote themselves to rustic interiors, meaning you’re spoiled for choice. Luckily, Direct Wood Flooring offer up to four free wood samples!

A rustic interior is all about making the most of natural elements, whilst still creating a homely, comforting space. It’s a broad term, one which encompasses many different design elements. You can incorporate modern features in moderation, whereas you can also include rustic elements in the relatively contemporary interior you already have. It’s all about striking a balance.

Charming and authentic, rustic is difficult to pin down as one exact style. Find an interior that works for you, while you stay true to a natural and unrefined look.

If you’d like some advice on flooring for your rustic interior, get in touch with our team by calling 03308 088777 or email sales@directwoodflooring.co.uk.

The post Guide to Rustic Interiors appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

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Fitting a new floor can make all the difference to your interior design. Laminate flooring’s a popular choice for its ability to mimic the look and feel of real wood, whilst offering added durability. However, this doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. Accidents happen, and so does wearing over time. Thankfully, the process for repairing a laminate floor is straightforward.

How you repair damaged laminate flooring depends on its severity. In most cases, you can prevent replacing damaged planks by using a repair kit. If the laminate is beyond repair, you’ll need to fit a replacement.

Making repairs to floorboards

If one of your laminate floorboards has sustained damaged, there’s no reason to panic. Regular scratches and even cracks can be repaired with a floor repair kit. Available in different colours depending on your laminate’s colour, they’re simple to use with impeccable results.

Floor Repair Kit for Light Woods Floor Repair Kit for Medium Woods Floor Repair Kit for Dark Woods
  1. To repair surface issues such as minor scratches, you’ll first need to clean your floor and ensure it’s dry. Excess dirt may prevent your repair kit form working its magic, and may actually scratch the laminate’s surface even more.
  2. Once your floor is clean and you have your repair kit on hand, it’s time to start repairing. Take a sharp chisel and round off the edges of any scratches, to help for a smoother finish.
  3. Take the heating tool from your floor repair kit and flick the safety catch, and press the button to heat up the tip. Press the heated tip against the hard wax, using two or three colours for a consistent wood-like finish. Drop the wax into the damaged area, filling the scratch or crack.
  4. You should always put more wax in than you need. It’s better to have too much than too little! Once you’re happy with the repair, use the rasp on the side of the heating tool to rub away any excess wax and ensure it’s level with your flooring. Don’t worry though – this won’t damage your flooring further!
  5. Draw in the grain detail if you need to, using the darker or lighter colours, then you’re finished! This video from Stroolmount from explains how quick and simple it is to use.
Replacing a damaged plank

Sometimes, irreversible damage can’t be avoided. If this is the case, you may need to replace a plank in your laminate flooring. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, we’d recommend finding a professional flooring fitter to do it for you.

On the edge of a room
  1. Remove the scotia and skirting board from the wall
  2. Lift out the laminate planks, beginning with the ones closest to the wall. Laminate flooring is fitted using a floating installation, so you’re not required to remove any glue in order to lift up a damaged plank.
  3. Replace the damaged plank and click into place
  4. Return the boards to their original place, working in reverse order
  5. Re-fit the scotia and skirting

In the middle of the room
  1. Use tape to mark the edges of the board to help with cutting
  2. Cut out the centre of the board. To make it easier, drill a few holes along the edges of the area you want to remove
  3. Cut from the centre hole to the outer edge and remove the remaining part of the plank
  4. Cut the tongue off the replacement laminate plank
  5. Apply wood adhesive around the edges on the underneath of the plank
  6. Place the board into place, then use a hammer and tapping block on one side until the plank fits snug
  7. Carefully wipe away any excess glue
  8. Weigh down the new plank for a couple of hours, and then clean your flooring to ensure any debris or remaining glue is removed
Preventing damage

One of the main attractions of laminate flooring is a durable wear layer that covers the top of each plank. Without influencing the design, this extra layer means it’s resistant to scratches and is very hard-wearing. However, laminate isn’t impervious to damage completely. It’s important to take steps to prevent damage occurring in the first place.

Regular cleaning of your floor will prevent scratches. Keeping your laminate floor well-maintained will prevent a build-up of dirt and debris, which can lead to scratches on your laminate flooring.

In rooms with heavy furniture, fit felt adhesive pads to the underneath of legs to prevent scratches occurring. Even small movements over time can create damage, especially if contained to the same area.

For more advice on how to repair a laminate floor, get in touch by calling 03308 088777 or email sales@directwoodflooring.co.uk.

The post How to Repair a Laminate Floor appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

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Keeping your flooring in pristine condition might seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be; Laminate flooring is a relatively low-maintenance flooring choice. There are a number of ways to maintain laminate flooring, without strenuous cleaning.

To maintain your laminate flooring, you need to:

  • Take steps to prevent dirt and damage in the first place
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Regularly sweep the surface of your laminate
  • Use a damp mop for a more thorough clean
  • Make repairs if needed
Preventing dirt and damage

One of the biggest challenges when maintaining your laminate flooring is prevention. This may seem easier said than done, but there are some additional steps you can take.

If your laminate just doesn’t seem to stay clean, consider using doormats in any area people (or pets) could trail in dirt from. You could even consider asking guests to remove their shoes.

Using felt adhesive furniture pads will protect your flooring from scratches over time. When a piece of furniture is moved, even slightly, it could leave lasting damage to your laminate. Using felt pads on the bottom of chairs and tables prevents any such damage from occurring.

Clean up any spills straight away

Excess moisture is a big no-no when it comes to laminate floors (or any kind of wood floor for that matter). If left on your floor too long, liquids such as water can soak into the joins between planks and into the laminate. Over time, this will cause your flooring to suffer from warping or other defects.

If you want to maintain your laminate flooring’s durability and looks in the long-run, make sure any moisture is cleaned as soon as possible.

Regular sweeping

Laminate flooring comes with a scratch-resistant surface, which makes it perfect for busy areas in homes and commercial properties. With this being said, however, a build-up of dirt and debris and lead to scratches over time. By sweeping regularly, you prevent these scratches from happening.

Using a dry dust cloth or soft-bristled sweeping brush will ensure a quick clean without causing unnecessary abrasion to your laminate’s surface.

Thorough cleaning

As laminate flooring is not waterproof, it’s important to keep water to a minimum whilst cleaning. If using a mop, use very little water so the mop is slightly damp and use this to clean your floor.

For more cleaning power, you can try adding vinegar to your water (which will also help to prevent water spots forming). There are also a number of multi-use floor cleaners that will help get rid of more stubborn dirt on your laminate. Just always be sure to reads the label to check it’s 100 percent compatible with your flooring.

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For a more thorough cleaning solution, an all-in-one floor cleaning kit will cover everything from your dry mopping to a more thorough clean.

Making repairs

If damages to your laminate flooring do occur, there’s no reason to panic. Rather than replacing a plank, or your flooring all together, you can pick up a repair kit to deal with everyday scratches and scrapes.

If the damage is irreparable, you may need to replace a plank or two. Luckily, due to laminate’s easy click-lock fitting system, making a replacement should be a simple task for any fitter or handy DIY-er.

Laminate flooring is built to last. Regular maintenance ensures it looks new for longer, as well as keeping a solid foundation for anything life may throw at you and your home.

If you have laminate flooring and would like some advice from our professionals, get in touch via cs@directwoodflooring.co.uk or call 03308 088777.

The post How to Maintain Laminate Flooring appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

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Deciding on new flooring is often a big step in home or commercial renovation projects. With so many styles and variations available, it’s rarely an easy choice. A common question that follows a decision on flooring is “what accessories do I need?”

This buying guide will help you with what you need for floor preparation and underlay, fitting your flooring, adding the finishing touches and ongoing maintenance.

Different types of accessory

If you’re searching for information on one particular accessory, you can click the link to jump to that section.

Here’s a list of the accessories you may need for your wood flooring:

Why are accessories so important?

Accessories are fundamental to your wood flooring for a number of reasons. They help to prepare your home for your new flooring, achieve a professional-looking finish, and increase your flooring’s longevity.

Floor preparation

Preparing your subfloor is a crucial step in any renovation project. From making necessary repairs to preventing moisture damage, here’s what you can use to prepare for a new wood floor being laid in your home.

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Wooden subfloor repairer

This is required if your subfloor is uneven and has gouging or depressions. An uneven subfloor can lead to an uneven wood floor, or cause long-term damage.

Concrete subfloor repairer

Similar to wood, a concrete subfloor needs to be repaired before laying your wood floor. Small cracks in a subfloor can get bigger as your floor is walked on more, so preventing these issues beforehand is important.

Wooden Subfloor Repairer

Concrete Subfloor Repairer

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Primer / damp proof membrane (DPM)

If you have a concrete subfloor, primer and DPM gives it a waterproof layer. Excess moisture can lead to warping in your wood floor, and these products help prevent it reaching your flooring. A regular DPM can be used for perfectly even concrete subfloors, whereas a primer comes in handy to hide smaller bumps and imperfections.

Fitting

What fitting accessories you need depends on whether you’re fitting the flooring yourself, or finding a professional flooring fitter to do it for you. To get your floor laid without fuss, there are a range of accessories you can use to help.

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Underlay

Underlay helps you get the most out of your new flooring. It adds warmth to your room, as well as cushioned comfort underfoot and noise insulation. Commonly used for floating installations, underlay is fitted underneath your new flooring.

There are different kinds of underlay, depending on what your needs may be. Fibreboard underlay will help to cover slight imperfections in your subfloor, whereas an underlay compatible with underfloor heating might be required to help improve heat transfer.

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Adhesives

Depending on your floor type, there are different adhesives you can use to ensure your new flooring is secure. Most commonly, an adhesive is used to bond flooring to the subfloor. However, you can also use adhesive to glue tongue and groove planks together; this isn’t required for click flooring.

An all-in-one floor adhesive is the most popular choice for obvious reasons, and is especially helpful if you’re fitting flooring in multiple rooms with different flooring types. It’s also suitable for use in homes with underfloor heating.

Impero All in One Adhesive

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Joint protector

Joint protector helps waterproof the joints between wood and laminate flooring planks. It prevents moisture and dirt from getting into your new flooring, which increases your floor’s lifetime. Impero Joint Protector is easy to use, odourless and transparent.

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Fitting kit

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a DIY-er, you can take on the task of fitting your new flooring yourself. To make the process easier, we recommend using a fitting kit. They come with the basic tools you’ll need to fit your wood flooring such as spacers, tapping blocks and pull bars, ensuring you get the professional finish at a fraction of the price of hiring a fitter.

Wood Fitting Kit Laminate Fitting Kit

LVT Fitting Kit

Finishing touches

Small touches can help finish a room perfectly. Whether it’s covering an expansion gap or making a seamless transition between rooms, the right accessories make all the difference.

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Scotia / beading / trims

Scotia (often referred to as “beading” or “trim”) covers the expansion gap between your wall and newly-fitted flooring. It’s compatible with wood or laminate flooring, and colour-match to your flooring for an aesthetically pleasing border around your room. Depending on your preference and budget, you can choose from either solid wood scotia, or one that’s made from high-density fibreboard (HDF).

Scotia

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Profiles

The most common use for profiles is to fit them across doorways. They join the flooring between two rooms, and there are four main styles depending on your requirements.

End profiles – These are used to join flooring to a spot that goes up against a wall, window or door.

T-profiles – Used to join two floors of the same height.

Ramp profiles – Used to join two flooring of different heights.

Multi-use profiles – Have the ability to join floors of the same or different heights. Best when the difference between floor heights is only slight.

Similar to scotia, profiles are colour-matched to your flooring to give you a professional-looking and seamless transition between rooms.

Ramp Profile

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Skirting

Skirting boards, like scotia, come in solid wood or HDF. They cover the joint between your interior walls and your flooring. They can mask uneven edging, and also cover the expansion gap if required. What’s more, they’ll help protect your walls from bumps and scuffs, such as furniture or door marks.

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Radiator rings

Used to dress the pipes supporting your radiators, radiator rings are great for adding the finishing touches to your flooring. The ring is quick to install, simply sliding round the pipe or clicking into place, depending on whether you go for wood or PVC rings.

Radiator Rings for Wood Flooring

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Finishing oils

Finishing oils create an added layer of protection to your wood flooring, as well as enhancing the final look. Available in a range of colours, unfinished wood flooring can be stained to its desired colour whilst enhancing the wood’s natural knots and grains. If you’d rather stick with the unfinished look, clear oils will give you the protection of oil without taking away the wood’s natural colouring.

Care and protect

Once your new wood flooring is fitted, ongoing maintenance is crucial to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

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Furniture pads

Furniture pads protect your flooring from unsightly scratches due to moving furniture. When tables and chairs inevitably move, they can cause damage to your wooden floors. To prevent these entirely, apply furniture pads to the legs of any tables, chairs or cabinets to create a smooth barrier between your furniture and flooring.

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Wood floor cleaning products

To keep your floor looking it top condition, it should be cleaned regularly. Simple maintenance includes cleaning up any spillages as soon as they happen to prevent moisture damage.

For cleaning, an all-in-one wood floor cleaning kit will help you remove dust and keep your flooring clean of any bacteria or unsightly marks.

Impero All in One Cleaning Kit

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Floor repair kit

Hopefully, you’ll never need to repair your wood floor. However, if minor damages do occur, there are floor repair kits to make getting your floor back to its former beauty as easy as possible. Smooth over everyday scratches and scrapes, so nobody will know but you.

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Embarking on a home renovation project is no simple task. There’s a lot to consider when building the home of your dreams, and the process was no different for our customers, James and Steph. We caught up with the couple, who are based in south-west Scotland, to find out more about their home improvements.

Why did you decide to take on this renovation project?

We both love Prestwick, South Ayrshire as a town. James originally grew up in Prestwick and Steph from Mossblown (a village just outside of Ayr). Steph and I bought our first home in Mossblown around seven years ago, it was a new build home in a new development. We loved our house but the plan was always to move back to Prestwick. Prestwick is a wonderful seaside town with loads of local independent shops, nice restaurants and bars. It also has great transport links, Glasgow (45 minutes by train) and also a small airport with flights to and from Europe. Steph also owns two businesses on Prestwick Main Street, therefore we just knew Prestwick was going to be our long-term base.

Prestwick Promenade

We viewed the house we purchased around four times and, to be honest, we fell in love the first time we viewed it. The reason for the additional visits was to try and understand that if we purchased what would we do with it. This allowed us to start planning ahead. My Uncle / Cousin are both architects and they visited with us to give us some initial ideas. The house itself is a 1950 three Bedroom Semi-detached house around three streets back from the beach front and front facing views over to the Isle of Arran. Within walking distance we have the beach, local schools, grocery stores and Prestwick Main Street.

We knew the house required work and we were both really excited about the project. We were also fortunate to have the ability to stay with Steph’s mum while we renovated.

What was your design inspiration for your renovation? Did you take style advice from anywhere in particular?

We took a lot of design inspiration from a lot of House Instagram Pages, Pinterest as well as styles from new bars and restaurants. Our Architect (Uncle and Cousin) designed our extension. The rear extension features bifold doors, four Roof Light Windows and a large pane of glass – this area backs on to our kitchen area, so now we have an open plan, living / kitchen area.

James and Steph’s Extension

We also added a side extension to accommodate an extended hall to create additional light as well as providing access to a new downstairs shower room. A utility room also forms part of the side extension and access is via the back of the house from the kitchen area.

How long did the renovation take? Is it still ongoing?

Our plan was to move into the house within 12 months. In total we took 15 months (we moved in one week before Christmas 2018).

Throughout this 15 months we completed the full renovation of the existing house. This included: a full rewire, re-plumbing, replacing and relocating all radiators and boiler, new bathroom and all walls re-plastered. We also made some structural changes which included removing internal walls (supported by beams) to form stage one of the open plan kitchen area.

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Our extension started in July and is more or less completed. Although we have moved into the house we still have big plans which include, driveway monoblocked, garden landscaped, the downstairs shower room is still to be completed and long term we plan to renovate the loft which will feature an additional bedroom.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome during the project?

When we purchased the house it featured a garage and sunroom which were both attached to the side of the house. Our architect’s drawings featured the new side extension, so we decided to knockdown the garage and sunroom. To help keep costs down we decided to take down the garage and sunroom ourselves. We did this with a lot of help from family, however, we completely underestimated how hard it would be to knock down and remove all the rubble.

I thought it would around two days but in total it probably took around seven days. We were under time pressure as it had to be completed before the builders were starting the extension. Also throughout the process we were trying our best not to knock down the boundary wall between our house and the house next to ours. We got there in the end, but it took a lot of time and effort.

What made you choose herringbone flooring? Did you fit it yourself?

We wanted to keep a lot of the house as traditional as possible and we just knew the Herringbone flooring would look fantastic. We considered keeping the original wooden flooring but then we wanted to insulate the house further by putting the new wooden flooring down on top. The Direct Wood Flooring is fantastic, the quality of the wood is exceptional and we love how rustic the flooring looks. We looked at other flooring companies before we came across Direct Wood Flooring and we could not believe the pricing. The service and value for money is second to none. The quality of the flooring will last a life time.

A local joining firm installed the flooring throughout our front living room, downstairs hall and kitchen area. We love how the patterned Herringbone flows throughout each room.  We then gave the flooring a light sand and then sealed it with two coats of a Matt / Clear sealer.

Which part of your home is most popular?

We absolutely love all aspects of our house. We’re so glad we decided to put the Direct wood flooring down in more areas (initially we thought about only doing the hall and front living room). We are enjoying living in the back area of the house in the extended open plan kitchen / living area.

Our visitors are loving the flooring (most have not seen Parquet / Herringbone wooden flooring), the kitchen and the original brick wall in the kitchen area. We wanted our kitchen to feel stripped back and a little different – we wanted it to have a laid back café feel to it. The kitchen features rustic metro tiles, wooden worktop, quartz island worktop, stainless steel Belfast sink, exposed industrial style sockets / conduit as well as a bean to cup espresso coffee machine.

Do you have any advice for people who are about to embark on a renovation project of their own?

If I was to give anyone any advice it would be “just go for it”. This is your opportunity to have your house the way you want it. Focus on your vision and constantly keep that in mind. You will have times and days when you think “why are we doing this” but it will all be worth it. Believe me, it does not take long for things to come together. But most of all have fun along the way!

What are your favourite new features in your home?
  • Wood Burning Stove that we installed in our front living room.
  • Bi Fold Doors
  • Our Extension External Cladding finished in slate grey
  • Our rear / side extension spot lights
  • And of course our new wooden flooring
James & Steph used our Unfinished Parquet Oak throughout their ground floor Is there anything you would have done differently? What mistakes, if any, have you learned from during the process?
  • For some materials such as paint and plywood I would have shopped around a little more
  • Try and keep tradesmen to a minimum as it is easier to project manage. For example our Electrical work, plumbing and gas / boiler work was all carried out by the same person. Whereas initially there were three different people which made it difficult to manage.

Finally, can you describe your experience with Direct Wood Flooring?

As mentioned previously Direct Wood Flooring were exceptional to deal with. Their service was first class and there were no issues with deliveries. The quality and value for money of the product was the best I have seen. I shopped various different companies / suppliers to find wooden flooring and nothing could compare to Direct Wood Flooring. I would recommend them to anyone and I will continue to use in the future.

Where can we keep up with your future renovations?

Please follow our Renovation Journey on Instagram. We appreciate each and every one of our followers. Thanks, James, Steph & Joshua.

You can order free samples of the herringbone oak James & Steph used in their renovation today. Or, if you’d like to speak to a member of our sales team, contact sales@directwoodflooring.co.uk or call 03308 088777.

The post Customer Case Study: James & Steph appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

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