Your guide to getting fabulous floors

Decisions, decisions: There are many different floor options to consider

Decisions, decisions: There are many different floor options to consider - Credit: Archant

Deciding to change your home’s floors is one thing – deciding what to change them to is another matter entirely.

Between solid, laminate and engineered, it seems there’s no end of options – and, for the uninitiated, it can be hard to tell the difference.

Luckily, help is on hand from the flooring experts at Atkinson & Kirby, who have pulled together their top tips for choosing flooring for your home.


Laminate is the ultimate cost-effective option for homeowners wanting to install flooring on a budget. Suitable for all rooms in the home apart from bathrooms, it is versatile, practical and easy to install. Laminate floor does not fade, which means that even in sunlit areas, it will retain its original features for years to come.


Engineered wood flooring benefits from the natural beauty of real wood, combined with the hard-wearing durability of a multi-layered construction and a choice of three installation methods, secret nailed, glued down or floating.

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For the premium finish, solid wood flooring provides unbeatable aesthetic appeal, while also providing robust performance in high traffic areas, such as hallways and living rooms. Solid wood is a great long-term investment and can easily cover the initial installation cost of the floor, enabling faster sales and higher house prices when it comes to resale.

Which finish?


A UV lacquered finish is applied while the floor is in production. This means fitting is made simpler and quicker. The finish can be satin or matt, the advantage is that it offers a hardwearing layer that will protect your floor and allow you to mop it clean. However if your floor is in an area where it’s likely to get scratched or gouged then this might not be the right finish for you. The downside of a lacquered finish is that you can’t spot repair it – so if you get a deep scratch in a prominent place and want it repaired, the whole floor has to be sanded and re-lacquered to re-create a perfect finish.

Natural oil

Natural Oil is machine applied in factory and second coat is then applied once installed – this means the installation can take longer and be more costly. Day to day maintenance can also be more challenging, with special soap and regular re-oiling required to keep the floor looking its best. The pay back is the ease with which small scratches can be buffed out and re-oiled to maintain a perfect finish.

UV oil

UV oil is another factory finish option providing a good level of protection for the floor and the same ease of installation as a lacquer finish. Day to day maintenance remains simple and crucially the floor can be spot repaired and re-oiled in the event of a significant scratch. This can make it a better long term option for high traffic areas, such as hallways or possibly a dining room where chairs are being moved backward and forward.

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