It is no question that hardwood floors are one of the most popular options for living spaces in the home. But the problem is that they can also be quite pricey when it comes to your renovations. Carpet is popular in bedrooms due to the softness underfoot, although carpet sales have reduced dramatically over the past decade. This is of course due to the ease of maintenance and of course hard flooring is much better for people with allergies as it does not hold allergens as carpet does. Over the past 20 years carpet has slowly been on the decrease when it comes to floor coverings. 

Hard flooring is of course not limited to wood and can include laminate and vinyl as well which are popular as they are very versatile. They have improved in quality and the designs that you can choose from and of course they are just a fraction of the price to install in comparison to hardwood. There are plenty more reasons why laminate floor is getting to be one of the most popular options, and it is not just based around the low price point. 

It is the new ultimate hard flooring covering due to its appearance, durability, ease of installation as well as the obvious resistance to stains and marks. There is really no downside to laminate and vinyl floorings and you will likely be able to get any design that you like, even if you are looking for the hardwood look. 

Laminate was first developed in Sweden in the 1970s and has come a long way since. The big draw of laminate is the fact that you can choose virtually anything. Any colour and any design to suit your space. It is often found that people are generally more satisfied with laminate flooring as opposed to wood flooring. It can be put down to the durability and low maintenance of this product. It is also a lot cheaper than wood.

Laminate itself is made from a high-density fibreboard panel that is overlaid with paper layers impregnated with melamine. You can get any effect you want, including woodgrain, by printing the design onto the paper. The process has been perfected over the last few decades so that the laminate printed version is almost indistinguishable from real hardwood floors visually. Even when you walk on it you may not even realise that it is in fact laminate rather than wooden flooring below. 

Laminate can be installed in several ways. It can be either glued or installed as planks. The planks click together and it is laid on the underlay above the existing subfloor. If your subfloor is not perfect then this is a very forgiving form of flooring and can give the impression of an even floor. If the concrete below is uneven then this can be one of the best options as other flooring types can show this very prominently.

Vinyl flooring has come back in leaps and bounds and is one of the more popular options for flooring in 2020. It is often available in 2m or 4m wide rolls but can also now be purchased in plank form. This can be solid or soft formats.

Similarly to laminate, the texture and finish has come forth to provide a realistic print for timber colours or patterns. Vinyl has many pros and this includes being cost effective if you are on a budget. It is also easy to install, waterproof, extremely durable and even sound absorbent. It is stain and spill resistant which certainly comes in handy when you have small children or pets in the home.

Vinyl does have a very different feel to laminate or hardwood floors. It has a slightly plastic feel, but this has improved dramatically since its creation. Vinyl is slightly cheaper than laminate and it is suspected that there will be a decline in flexible vinyl in favour of the more rigid vinyl planks which are similar to laminate. They can be clicked together rather than be glued down which also makes them perfect for installation on a subfloor that exhibits some impurities.

Now that vinyl and laminate flooring has taken off there are so many options on the market. This can make it a difficult decision when you are looking to choose your new flooring. If you are installing laminate in the bathroom, kitchen or other rooms where there may be some excessive water then it is of course recommended that you choose a waterproof option to avoid damage to the floor. If you want continuity throughout your home then you may want to opt for vinyl planks instead as these are all waterproof and significantly cheaper. You need to however make sure that you are buying from a well-recognised and reputable brand.

This will also ensure that if any section of the floor is damaged that you will be able to find the same flooring and get it repaired quickly. It may even be subject to warranty claims. 

It is suggested by experts that you find a professional to install your laminate of vinyl flooring to ensure the best results. It may seem simple at first, clicking two planks together is something that anyone can do. But professionals can see the finer details and ensure that they are installed perfectly to avoid any impurities in the floor. 

The future holds the notion of only waterproof laminate which will incorporate Hydroseal coating between the bevels of the planks. There is also a shift towards wider and longer boards to make installation easier and leave less room for errors. For wood grain patterns this will also mean a more realistic effect with fewer repeats than if there were shorter, thinner planks installed. 

There are so many options in both laminate and vinyl flooring that it is easy to find exactly what you are looking for to suit any particular design. If you are very particular about your flooring style then this could be the perfect option for you and the durability and cost is just an added bonus!