When a room has been updated, I always enjoy seeing the ‘before and after’ pictures, don’t you?
So here’s one for you – the reveal of a brand new floor in my home:
When we moved into our house twelve years or so ago, we had the floorboards in the back room sanded and varnished. They looked stunning afterwards and I was in love with them. We later added the open plan conservatory you can see here and put floorboards down to match. We got the same guy back to do the varnishing, but inexplicably he used a different colour on the new boards, and unfortunately he pulled a bit of a fast one by assuring us that it would blend in to match over time. It never did!
As our family grew, so too did the wear and tear on the floorboards and they began to look less than wonderful. Over time they became truly awful! And there never seemed to be a point where we could afford to hire someone to take on what was a fairly costly project, or the time to tackle it ourselves. In the meantime, I just covered up the worst parts with rugs!
In the end, I didn’t want to re-sand and varnish the boards again; I hated how the gaps between the boards got full of crumbs, dust and debris, plus the kids lost countless Lego pieces down them! They would also risk getting splinters in their feet if they went barefoot, as the glossy finish was so badly worn off in parts.
What we needed was a radical overhaul, so this year we decided to do something about it. For a while I’d been imagining beautiful engineered wood flooring. I disliked the direction of the current planks and wanted the new floor to run lengthways – flooring should always run towards the main source of light anyway, so that’s something to consider if you are replacing any of your floors.
Luckily a partnership opportunity came up with flooring specialists, Quick Step. Quick-Step is one of the leading brands in flooring, with an enviable portfolio of laminate, Luxury Vinyl Tiles and engineered wood floors.
I told them about my dream flooring being engineered wood, but they advised that a high-quality laminate might suit our needs better – and here is why:
Laminate is durable and easy to look after, so with having children and pets, it can stand up to the challenge better. Also, stepping in and out of the conservatory regularly would make laminate a better option due to its hardwearing surface.
Laminate is UV-resistant – an important consideration in a conservatory, which is far more prone to strong sunlight bleaching the floor. Laminate is the best option to avoid fading.
You can opt for water resistant laminate which is a necessity for us as our conservatory has a tendency to leak occasionally in very bad weather (and no one can solve the problem!) plus the boys frequently spill their drinks on the floor… yep, that.
Therefore, all things considered, it was a no brainer that either the water-resistant Impressive or Majestic Laminate ranges would be perfect.
The Majestic is Quick Step’s latest range, featuring longer and wider planks, so ideal for bigger rooms. Impressive is Quick-Step’s biggest seller and the one we went with, because it has great surface texture and you can’t really tell the difference from this and real wood when it is laid down.
We initially chose some samples to look at close up and then had the difficult choice of deciding which colour and finish to go for as they were all lovely. It really is quite difficult imagining such a big floor space with a completely different surface, but fortunately on the Quick Step website there are lots of toolsto help you get a better feel, not only through all the inspirational images but you can actually visualise the different floors in a home setting – I found it really handy.
We kept the samples laid out for a few days in our room too and eventually chose the Impressive Ultra in the Sandblasted Oak Natural because it has a lovely blonde Scandinavian tone, but with lots of texture and woody detail that makes it look and feel so realistic.
A local friend recommended a joiner who managed to get the whole floor laid in one day. We removed as much furniture as possible beforehand to make it easier. Only the sofas remained and the fitter was able to move and work around them.
The edging strip was fitted on another day, which finishes it all off nicely. If you are having new skirting boards, though, you could run the laminate under them which I think may look even better.
My main bugbear with laminate flooring previously has been the ‘clacking’ sound you sometimes get when walking on it, but this is not a problem with our floor thanks to the unisound underlay Quick Step provided us with, which helps to null that effect.
So far, a couple of weeks in it is beautifully easy to maintain; all I’ve done to keep it clean is either sweep up any bits with a dustpan and brush, or vacuumed it lightly and used just a slightly damp mop to clean any spills or dirty marks.
It looks so much cleaner and smarter than those old worn orangey pine floorboards and feels amazing underfoot now with bare feet! And no gaps between the planks. We should have done it years ago. I would 100% recommend it if you have a busy household or a space prone to similar temperature changes and spillages.
We may at some point in the future change the old fireplace (I would love a woodburning stove ideally) so ordered a little extra flooring should any alterations need to be made to the hearth area. It’s also handy to have some extra boards in case of mishaps, if you are fitting the floor yourself!
So what do you think of the new flooring, much improved I hope you’ll agree?!