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Ask The Expert

Here at Happy Feet Floors we don’t just want to sell you a floor, we want to ensure that you pick the right floor covering for your tastes and requirements.  We won’t push any product over another, we will only advise on what we feel is the right product for you.

There are many things to consider when buying a floor covering and you should base you choice on:

  • Usage and level of traffic
  • How long you want the flooring to last for
  • Waterproof requirements
  • Type and condition of sub-floor
  • Room the flooring is going in to
  • Slip resistance requirements
  • Anti-allergen
  • Personal preference

Over time we will look to build up a database or frequently asked questions and answers. If you have anything that you would like to ask us, feel free to contact us.

Q. Hard or soft floor covering?

A. When a customer comes in to our shops or contacts us looking for advice on flooring, the first thing we do is to find out where they are looking to put the floor and if they have any product preferences. In general, there is only one area that I would always recommend a hard covering, such as wood for, and that is the entrance hallway or lobby. In our experience, the most replaced piece of carpet in the house is the hallway, and often customers will feel the need to replace the stairs and landing at the same time.

The decision about whether to go for a wood, laminate or other hard floor covering as a pose to carpet is one that requires an understanding of the type of usage the floor will receive, the level of traffic, and personal preferences. Many people are happy with a hard floor covering such as vinyl or laminate in a kitchen and hallway, but would never consider them for a lounge. Whereas some customers are perfectly happy with a hard covering for their lounge and prefer the flexibility of buying a rug and changing it when necessary.

As a guide, a carpet will be more comfortable and slightly warmer underfoot than woods and vinyls, but hard coverings will be easier to clean and maintain.

Q. Real wood or laminate flooring?

A. Laminate flooring is essentially a picture of wood mounted on to a piece of high density fibreboard and overlaid with a durable translucent plastic. Whereas, real wood is a natural piece of timber that has been milled and usually finished with oil or lacquer to produce a finished floor board.

The choice between the two products comes down to a number of factors specific to your circumstances. These include:

  • Budget – A laminate floor will be a cheaper alternative to wood floor as the material and labour costs are both lower. If you are looking to refresh your property at a minimal cost, a good quality laminate floor can be a great option.

  • Usage – A good quality laminate floor is extremely hard wearing and has a good level of scratch resistance. If you have pets and young children, it can provide a tough and durable surface that can last for anything up to 30 years. However, a wooden floor is very durable also, and can be sanded and sealed in the future to give a good as new surface.

  • Longevity – A laminate floor will have a warranty attached to the product, and the majority of customers will probably not keep the floor for the full length of time. Whereas a wooden floor can be considered a more long-term investment, and be kept in a property for many generations.

  • Preference – some customers will have a preference for one product over another, and we will advise about the suitability for their needs, but the final decision comes down to you.

The old view of laminates being very cheap and tacky is slowly disappearing, and the quality of the  laminates that the major manufacturers are bringing to the market are sometimes unbelievable. The array of woods, stones and other affects is growing all the time, as is the level of texture and overall quality.

Solid woods have the benefit of being a truly natural product and every board is a unique piece of nature. While the top surface may not be as hard as a laminate, the natural beauty and ability to carry out both minor and major repairs provides a great long-term flooring investment.

Carpet buying tips

  • Independent is best – as you can imagine, the first piece of advice is slightly biased, but we genuinely believe that the independent flooring retailers provide the best value for money on the market. If you value a good deal and a personal service, independent is the way forward.

  • Don’t be afraid to shop around and let the retailer know that you will be comparing quotes. But always be fair with your dealings. Driving too hard a bargain may lead to resentment on both sides.

  • Invest in underlay. Underlay is often overlooked and not considered as important as the carpet. A good quality underlay will give comfort, heat and sound insulation and prolong the life of your carpet. It is possible make a cheap carpet feel much more luxurious with a good quality underlay.

  • Use the free measurement service provided by independent retailers. It best to let the retailer take the final measurements and this will avoid the chance of any mistakes and running short on materials. Good independent retailers will not charge for a measurement service, and the larger retail chains won’t offer this level of service.

  • Don’t be pressured into buying something that you don’t want. A good independent retailer will think of you as a potential long term customer and will want to provide the right carpet for your needs. Overselling can be common in the carpet business, and at Happy Feet Floors we will never oversell you a product that you don’t need.

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choosing the
right flooring?

Here at Happy Feet Floors we don't
just want to sell you a floor, we want
to ensure that you pick the right floor covering for your tastes and requirements.


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