Hard flooring is a trend that’s here to stay.
Surveys conducted over the past 20 years have shown that homeowners across Australia still prefer the feeling of soft carpet underfoot when it comes to their bedrooms.
But when it comes to their living areas, they’re ripping the carpet up and ditching it in favour of hard floors, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Hard flooring requires little in the way of upkeep, it doesn’t get microscopic nasties and bacteria living in it like carpet does, and it suits almost every interior you can imagine.
The same rings true for laminate and vinyl options. The quality of these alternatives has improved so much over recent years that consumers are now opting for them over more traditional hardwood floors, and not just because they’re cheaper.
It’s a no-brainer when it comes to picking a new flooring style for your home or business. Laminate flooring all the way. It’s got it all: appearance, performance, easy-to-install, stain and mark resistant, plus it’s highly affordable. What more could you want out of a floor?
Looks like natural timber, but it's now. This is Quick-Step Impressive Ultra Classic Oak Natural
What happened to laminate floors?
The laminate flooring of today is barely recognisable from the humble product from which it first developed, way back in the 1970s in Sweden.
The market has come so far over the years with laminate flooring, it’s like comparing pogo sticks to Ferraris. The performance and looks of modern laminate flooring is light years ahead of where it once was.
And yet – despite these advances – there still exists a certain stigma around choosing laminate flooring products, which is largely due to perceptions of inferiority which the product itself has long since outgrown.
In the old days, a lot of affluent customers purchased laminate flooring for their home. They loved the colours, and it had the exact look they are after. Customers are highly pleased with the product.
And yet there was one small, seemingly inconsequential detail with which customers seemed to be struggling.
They didn’t like the word laminate. It’s as if it embarrassed them. They wanted us to remove the word from the delivery packaging, can you believe it?
Laminate flooring once got a bad reputation because of its name at some point in time.
Modern days Laminate floors low-down
Laminate floors is a high-density fibreboard panel that has undergone reconstitution and been overlaid with paper layers infused with melamine to make it super sturdy and durable.
Printed onto the paper is an authentic woodgrain effect, which is so realistic that unless you were told otherwise you’d think you were walking on the real thing.
Most people can’t tell the difference between wooden floors and laminates these days. The technology’s gotten that good, people just think they’re walking on wooden floors.
Available in planks that snap together with ease, laminate flooring is fitted on an underlay and installed easily over the existing subfloor.
Because it’s a rigid panel, it works with basically any subfloor. It’ll work on floorboards or even slightly uneven concrete.
The latest in Vinyl floors
Vinyl flooring is also becoming increasingly popular.
Once upon a time, this flooring product was only available in rolls that measured in at two or four metres in length, but not anymore.
Vinyl flooring can now be purchased in plank form, and is available in either soft or rigid formats to suit clients’ various needs.
And don’t worry about its appearance. Advances in technology have ensured that vinyl planks scrub up just as nicely in the authenticity department as its laminate counterpart.
Complete with realistic prints of timber colours and patterns, it gives off the illusion of a true hardwood floor.
But that’s not all. Vinyl flooring is highly affordable, it’s waterproof, sound absorbent, wears well, and is easy to install.
The only area in which it loses marks is that it gives off a slightly plastic look, compromising its otherwise stellar integrity as a believable ‘wooden’ floor.
We’ve come a long way when it comes to vinyl flooring. It might have a little plasticky feel about it, but as technology continues to develop, one day soon it will be on par with the laminate in the looks department.
The time will soon come when flexible vinyl is given up in favour of rigid vinyl. This change will allow vinyl to be produced in plank format, thereby increasing the simplicity with which it can be installed.
Just like the laminate, these vinyl planks will click together with an easy ‘snap’ just like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
Quick-Step Balance Click Canyon Oak Light Brown with Saw Cuts
How to choose
So, with so many great options on the table, how does a prospective buyer know which product to pick?
You should always consider first how you want to design your interior, which will in turn determine the colour, look and style you’re after.
If you want to install the same flooring throughout your entire house or workplace, we recommend using waterproof laminates or vinyl planks which can be used in water-prone areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.
Floors are a long-term investment,If you buy from a reputable company you can rest easy knowing that your floor will be of the highest quality, and if you ever need to replace or repair that floor for whatever reason, you know that the product will always be available. Quick-Step is a reputable brand with both laminate and vinyl floors. We highly recommend the Quick-Step Majestic and Quick-Step Eligna laminate floors. Customers can always check out the free samples at our Rockdale showroom.
It’s always wise to consider a good, long-term warranty contract, just to insure the lifespan of your product.
If your budget allows for it, it’s probably a good idea to pay an expert to install laminate floors for you. Anybody can technically install these things, but it won’t be finished with the same professionalism or flair if you were to pay an expert.
Laminate floors getting more popular by day
The ultimate goal for any flooring product is that it should be one-hundred percent waterproof. This is a goal that Quick-Step’s Majestic and Impressive Ultra range has been kicking for days, thanks to a Hydroseal coating on the bevels between planks, making it completely watertight.
The lengths and widths in which these products will be available will continue to grow, and advancements in printing technology will allow for ever more realistic wood effects and overall authentic presentations.