When it comes to home improvements, there are many investments that can add significant value to your home, and one of them is wooden flooring. There's nothing quite like a wooden floor for bringing warmth and style into a home, and not to mention an instant ‘wow’ factor when you walk through the door.
There is a common misconception that installing flooring is a time consuming, difficult task, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In some cases, new flooring can be installed in a day, making it an achievable project for many DIYers.
Stylish and hard-wearing real wood and wood-effect is the aspirational floor of choice for the majority of homeowners, and an ideal investment when it comes to property resale. The new Richard Burbidge Express Flooring range is inspired by current trends within the home improvement market and has three systems: solid, engineered, and laminated, which provide the perfect aesthetic appeal to enhance any room, adding texture, warmth and significant value to your property.
Laminate is a great, cost-effective option if you want to install flooring on a budget. Suitable for all rooms in the home apart from bathrooms, it is versatile, practical and easy to install. Laminate floor does not fade, which means that even in sunlit areas, it will retain its original character for years to come.
Compared to hardwood floors, laminate is a less expensive alternative, which is ideal if you’re looking to increase the visual appeal of your home, without wanting to commit to a costly investment.
Engineered wood flooring benefits from the natural beauty of real wood, combined with the hard-wearing durability of a multi-layered construction and a choice of three installation methods – secret nailed, glued down or floating.
For a premium finish, solid wood flooring provides unbeatable aesthetic appeal, while also offering robust performance in high traffic areas such as hallways and living rooms. Solid wood is a great long-term investment and can easily cover the initial installation cost of the floor, enabling higher house prices when it comes to selling your home.
How to fit the perfect floor
Once you’ve chosen the style of flooring and measured the size of your room it’s time to get started…
First let the packs of flooring acclimatise for 48 hours in their unopened packaging in the middle of the room they are to be installed in.
Prepare the floor to create a smooth and flat sub-floor. On existing wooden floorboard sub-floors, nail down any loose boards and check level is no greater than 2mm per metre. New concrete sub-floors must be sufficiently dry with a maximum moisture content of 2.5%.
Remove existing floor-covering, then roll out the underlay across the width of the room and trim to suit (laminate/engineered).
Leave a minimum 10mm expansion gap around the full perimeter of the floor to allow the floor to both expand and contract freely.
Cut door frames to allow the floor to fit under and always stop the flooring at doorways and cover the gap with a suitable threshold.
Lay boards in the same direction as the longest straight wall, or for a square room lay them in the direction of the sunlight. If you have matching flooring in a next-door room, lay them in the same direction for consistency.
When you've finished laying the boards, remove the expansion gap spacers, and either fix new skirting board to wall or if existing skirting boards where left in place use a cover strip fixed to the skirting and not the floor to cover the expansion gap.
Top maintenance tips
A well maintained wooden floor will last for years. Follow these simple tips to keep your floor looking and performing its best.
1. Sweep or vacuum regularly, and when necessary clean the floor with a cleaner suitable for flooring. Use a well wrung out mop and dry immediately.
2. Remove liquids from the floor as soon as possible.
3. Use protective floor pads on furniture and chair legs and non-slip matting under rugs to protect the surface.
4. Place effective doormats at all external doors to remove grit, sand and water from shoes.
For more information on Richard Burbidge’s range visit www.richardburbidge.co.uk.