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Frequently asked questions on flooring

From the difference between flooring materials, to the best type of flooring for each room of your home, here are our expert answers to your FAQs on flooring.

What are the main differences between laminate, wood and luxury vinyl flooring?

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is made up of high-density fibreboard compressed under intense pressure. It is made from from four layers. On top is the transparent wear layer that protects the pattern layer beneath, decorated with the photographic texture of wood or stone. Then the substrate layer of high-density fibreboard, finally protected from moisture and warping by the backing layer.

Wood flooring

When it comes to wood, you have two choices - engineered wood and solid wood. Engineered wood is made up by multiple layers of wood topped with a hardwood veneer. Solid wood is just that; made from a single piece of wood shaped into planks. The beauty of solid wood is that it will last a lifetime; however, it is the most expensive option.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring is the latest addition to our flooring range and offers authentic-looking natural flooring designs at a more affordable price than real wood. It is also the best option for kitchens and bathrooms thanks to its moisture-resistant properties.


What is the difference between the various locking systems?

Our laminate and luxury vinyl ranges have two different locking systems; Twin Clic or Rapidfit. Both are easy to install, however, Rapidfit takes less time and is easier if you are working on your own. Have a look at our how to videos, which explain how to fit both locking systems.


Engineered wood and solid wood are likely to have a tongue and groove locking system, which may require gluing or secret nailing. Certain flooring manufacturers will have different locking systems specific to them, so always check the product instructions carefully. always check the product instructions carefully.


Can I put laminate, wood or luxury vinyl flooring in a bathroom?

Flooring not specifically designed for bathrooms may expand, warp and discolour over time. All of our 8mm tile-effect laminate flooring is suitable for use in a bathroom, as is our luxury vinyl flooring. There will be other laminates that can be used in bathrooms, but please check the product description for more details. Certain types of engineered wood floor are also suitable for bathrooms, but you’ll need to check manufacturer’s recommendations. Another option is solid bamboo flooring, which is naturally moisture resistant and environmentally friendly. However, other solid wood floors are not suitable for bathrooms. If you get large quantities of water on any of our flooring, it’s best to mop it up straight away.


Can I put laminate, wood or luxury vinyl flooring in a kitchen?

The same rules apply to kitchens as to bathrooms, as floors in both these spaces are likely to get liquids on them at some point. Kitchens are counted as high-traffic areas, so it’s always worth checking the manufacturer’s recommendations to find suitable, durable flooring.


How do I look after laminate, wood and luxury vinyl flooring?

Gravel caught in the bottom of shoes can scratch your flooring, so mats near external doors are a good idea. It’s also worth getting protective felt pads for the bottom of your furniture legs to avoid scratching. To repair any scratches and surface holes on laminate, luxury vinyl and engineered wood, we sell a flooring repair kit. All solid wood and some engineered wood floors can be sanded down and re-treated with an oil, varnish or lacquer, if needed.


How do I clean laminate, wood and luxury vinyl flooring?

To clean your flooring, just vacuum or sweep as you would any other floor. If you need to clean any stubborn dirt, use a damp (not wet) cloth or mop as excessive water can damage the floor. If you spill any liquid on your floor, clean this up straight away with an absorbent cloth to avoid moisture penetrating the floor. If you do need to use any detergents or floor cleaning products, always check the manufacturers’ instructions.


Can I install underfloor heating beneath laminate, wood and luxury vinyl flooring?

Underfloor heating can be used under most types of flooring, however, the material you choose will have an impact on its efficiency. Of the types of flooring we sell, solid wood is the least suited to underfloor heating because its thickness makes it the least thermally efficient. You should always check with the manufacturers of both the flooring and heating system to check they are suitable for using together. They will also give you advice on the kind of underlay to use, as you will need one that conducts, rather than absorbs, the heat.


Why do I need expansion gaps between the flooring and the walls?

You will need expansion gaps of between 10mm to 15mm at the edges of your room, depending on the manufacturer's recommendations. This is because natural fluctuations of temperature and humidity will cause your floor to expand and contract. These gaps are usually covered by your skirting board.


Can I lay laminate, wood or vinyl flooring over carpet?

No, you will need to remove all the old carpet and the underlay before laying your new flooring.


Can I use my old carpet underlay under my new flooring?

No, carpet underlay is unsuitable for laying laminate, wood or luxury vinyl flooring over. It has too much give in it and so it will put undue stress on the joints.