For a room that is stylish and easy to clean, consider laminate flooring
WHEN IT COMES to home flooring, , clients are spoilt for choice. From plain concrete to elegant patterned wooden or ceramic tiles, the varieties are limitless. However, every type of flooring material has its pros and cons. For instance, concrete floors absorb moisture, have little variety and offer little insulation against sound and heat.
Meanwhile, ceramic tiles are hard on the heels, can be too cold for comfort during the rainy season, and are unforgiving to breakables such as glass and pottery that might accidentally land on them.
Solid wood flooring is often shunned by the environmentally conscious, while carpets, though adding to the overall aesthetics, tend to accumulate dust and sometimes harbour pathogens.
With the foregoing, laminate flooring seems to be an ideal compromise.
Mr Amos Kibaru, the CEO of Floor Décor Kenya, defines laminate flooring as “a hybrid, high- density fibre board that combines wood fibres with melanin resin”.
The material, which can be made to look like hardwood, stone or ceramic tiles, has a smooth finish that makes it relatively more attractive. A visit to Floor Décor Kenya’s show-room reveals a wide variety of patterns and designs to choose from.
“The design options we offer are limitless, making our product suitable for interior décor enthusiasts,” Mr Kibaru says.
But perhaps the greatest advantage when it comes to laminate flooring is its durability which, Mr Kibaru insists, is forever.
“Our products are composed of four layers, which ensure the stability and integrity of the flooring. They have life-time warranties,” he says, adding, that his company had installed laminated floors in motor vehicle showrooms, airports and churches across the country.
The material is also scratch-proof and maintains its colour throughout.
“Unlike hardwood floors, fading is out of the question with our floors, so you don’t need to refinish every couple of years.”
Still, when shopping around for laminated floors, you should take into consideration the standard AC (abrasion criteria) ratings on the board. Higher AC ratings mean more stability and less wear and tear.
Those living in areas with relatively cold areas will appreciate laminate floors as they retain heat and remain warm, unlike ceramic tiles and concrete floors, which can bring about cold feet – literally.
The floors are a good option for pet-owners, as even clawing by cats and dogs will not leave unsightly scratch marks, as happens with hardwood floors. In addition, the material is non-slip, so pets will not skid the way they do on ceramic tiles and polished surfaces.
If you have reservations about installing laminate floors because you fear they can be ruined by moisture, fear not, as Mr Kibaru says they are 100 per cent water-resistant and can be installed even in the laundry, kitchen and bathroom.”
Mr Kibaru says laminate floors are “hygienic in that they do not accumulate dust, which makes them the ideal option for people with family members suffering from allergies or asthma. They are stain-free and extremely easy to clean”.
If you get irritated by the sound produced by someone walking around a room in stilettos, then laminate floors will offer the quiet and peace that you seek. They can reduce sounds by up to 22 decibels due to the cushioning beneath them, making them ideal for churches and studios. The cushioning also makes the boards soft, meaning you can stand on them for long periods without your heels getting sore. Accidental falls on laminate floors are also less catastrophic than, say a fall on a concrete floor.
“Our floors are easy to install and can be laid on top of ceramic tiles or concrete. They are so simple to install that most of our buyers prefer doing it themselves.
Laminate flooring comes packed as planks, which easily interlock when placed together.
You can also install the flooring on the stairs.