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Ask The Expert: Everything You Need To Know About Flooring – GAFF Interiors

Ask The Expert: Everything You Need To Know About Flooring

Hello, dear GAFF reader. While a lot of home renovations have come grinding to a halt what with the Pandemic, we are obviously spending a lot more time at home as a result and, therefore, we may be looking ahead to things we might do to upgrade our home when we eventually get the chance. You also may live in a household with someone very handy and you wouldn’t even need a professional to lay a new floor for you so perhaps this is something you can get to work on sooner than later. Lucky you. That’s the focus of this article: flooring. Every living space requires it – and assuming you’ve opted for wood floors versus carpet, here’s every question you might have wanted answered about the flooring that’s right for you. Though we consider ourselves decor connoisseurs here at GAFF HQ, we must admit we often found ourselves confused on the difference between herringbone and parquet style flooring. Thankfully, we have the experts at Navan based Grain & Groove flooring on hand to clear that up for us, and lots more. And if you’ve been afraid to ask these questions, thinking they’re too stupid to even ask, worry not – we’ve taken one for the team and highlighted the very obvious gaps in our knowledge with this one!

Can you explain the key difference between laminate and solid wood flooring?
Laminate flooring is man made, it is made from HDF – High Density Modified Board. It has a wood effect print on top and has a PVC like coating/finish on top to protect it. The better quality boards have a lower repetition of print on them which makes them look more natural. Laminates are hard-wearing.

Solid wood flooring is solid timber through the whole way. You can’t get more natural than this! We tend to sell more Engineered floors – see answer below. It used to be a case of laminate or solid wood but now there are lots more options.

Can you explain what engineered wood is? 
Engineered flooring is solid timber on top and the base of the floor below the tongue is replaced with plywood/spruce. This makes the board more stable which means you cut out a lot of movement but you still get the look and feel of real timber. It is also more sustainable because less oak is used.

And what’s vinyl? 
Luxury vinyl is made from multiple layers of PVC vinyl. Vinyl flooring can look like a natural timber floor/ stone etc or can have any design printed on it. It is a more flexible form of flooring so softer underfoot that a timber or laminate floor

Are there any more kinds of wooden floors?
Yes, we supply a timber flooring range suitable for bathrooms. It is made from exotic hardwoods so they withstand the humidity of a bathroom. They are a fantastic option for people who love the warmth that you get from timber

The latest product on the market – a hybrid between vinyl and laminate – is this a new thing? Can you explain what differentiates that from the rest?
Yes, this is a brand new range and we are the first in the country to stock it. It has all the advantages of a laminate & a vinyl – so it is strong, durable and soft underfoot and is available in large/long planks. It also has a cork underlay built into it which makes it sound better underfoot too . Ecologically ground-breaking, it meets the highest standards of sustainable living.

What are the price differences or what is the spectrum of affordability from the most basic to the most luxurious flooring?
Laminates start at €18 per m² for a good quality AC5 rated one
Engineered start at €58 per m² – we sell an engineered floor that is down in Heathrow Airport for €68 per m²
Solid start at €80

Generally, the cost reflects the quality.

What are the additional costs – what else is required beyond the actual flooring?

Laminates and Engineered floors will require underlay & fitting costs.
Adhesive is used in place of underlay if it is required to stick down a floor eg: if a customer has underfloor heating
Skirting can be an additional cost required – it is always better to replace/ refit skirting rather than beading.

Does every flooring require underlay?

No, our new Modular One has a cork back underlay built in so doesn’t require underlay.
Also, if you are sticking a floor down, you don’t need underlay, just adhesive.


Herringbone style – is this becoming more popular now? Do you think it has longevity style wise?

Herringbone has always been popular – it is just more readily available. The hardest thing about herringbone is finding someone to fit it correctly. We have been fitting herringbone a long time so our fitters are very experienced which is important for the finished result.
Herringbone has been around a long time – just take a stroll around Paris, you will spot it everywhere, old museums to new coffee shops, it will be around for a long time yet!

People get confused between parquet and herringbone and chevron – can you illustrate the difference?

Parquet is a geometric mosaic of wood pieces used for decorative effect in flooring.
Herringbone is rectangle pieces of timber placed in a zig zag pattern at 90 degree angles.

Rossmore Herringbone

Chevron: The ends of chevron planks are cut at a 45 degree angle and laid in a V pattern.

Expresso Chevron – Semi-solid

Let’s look at the best flooring or what you would personally recommend as the expert for each room in the house.

Playroom? Our Modular One is ideal for here, low sound, comfort & durable.
Bathroom? Tiles or our exotic timber flooring range.
Hallway? Tiles are always going to be the most hard-wearing of floor coverings but a quality timber floor is great here too.
Bedroom? Timber floor – warmer underfoot than tiles, dust free so better than carpet.
Kitchen? It’s a personal choice. Tiles are very practical here and easy to keep but we have a timber floor in our own kitchen and find it very easy to maintain.
Living room? Timber floors are the most popular choice for living rooms as they add a feeling of warmth.

What colours are you finding most popular with Grain and Groove customers?
Lighter floors that have a gently limed look have become increasingly popular. That said, a clear oil floor will never go out of fashion as it will always look natural. Some of our darker floors like our French oak is massively popular actually hard to say. Every second customer is looking for a herringbone floor!

What do people need to know about flooring that they might overlook?
We regularly get asked can you put a timber floor in kitchens, once you have a high quality oil that doesn’t allow water spillages to seep through, it’s perfect. We have a timber floor in out own kitchen!

Tell us about sustainability at G&G – what should people be looking out for if they want to ensure they’re buying ethically sourced wood?

It is of vital importance that your timber is FSC certified both for the quality and the environment. Timber from managed forests are always of better quality. Trees felled naturally due to disease of bad soil are still sold into the industry – this timber is not suitable for timber flooring. You get quality timber from properly managed forests that replace every tree. Also, by using engineered flooring, you get a lot more flooring out of each tree. We use low VOC’s floor oils like Rubio or Osmo – they blend with the floor for a beautifully natural look and are available in a huge choice of colours.

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