Looking for the perfect flooring solution for your home? Local flooring experts, Michael Metcalf Carpets explain the benefits of both luxury vinyl tiles and carpet.
In recent decades, the domestic flooring trade has seen the market flooded with Luxury Vinyl Tile products (LVT). The most popular, trusted, and well known of these being produced by two companies, namely Amtico andKarndean.
There has long been an interest in alternatives to carpet, particularly in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and entrance hallways from both a practical and an aesthetic point of view. There was a period of time when many people had their original floorboards sanded flat and varnished to produce a natural ambience to their surroundings. This however was found to reduce the warmth and thermal efficiency of their homes and to increase heating bills. Then laminate was introduced which solved this problem, later being replaced with real wood plank installations, and after that, engineered wood.
Certainly over the last twenty years however, the trend and fashion is lending toward LVT. The advantage of this product which is made of tough vinyl is that it can be produced with a massive range of designs and colours to complement anyone’s particular chosen style, furniture, or installed kitchen or bathroom. This can be selected either during the process of interior design, or indeed following a decoration or new kitchen due to the vast array of choice and availability.
It was popular up until recently to have these tiles arranged with borders around the perimeter though most installations now are without borders. Luxury vinyl tiles mainly are available in three different configurations, namely to resemble either wooden floorboards, slate, or ceramic tiles. As ceramic tiles too seem to be fading out of fashion to a degree, most present day installations of LVT are in the floorboard format.
The quality of the tiles themselves is determined to a large degree by the thickness of the tough clear vinyl wear layer which covers the coloured layer underneath, and usually a minimum of a 0.50mm wear layer is considered preferable. Amtico is manufactured in the UK and is generally considered to be the toughest and the best choice of vinyl tile. Karndean do not actually manufacture, but as with most other suppliers of these products, source them from the far east. This however does not mean that they are not excellent products, because the manufacturing process is highly regulated due to the market being mainly in the UK and Europe.
What is not usually readily understood by the consumer though, is the absolute importance of the installation process. All Amtico and Karndean products are of a superb standard, and to complement this, both companies insist on strict procedures when it comes to having them fitted in one’s home so that they will last for many, many years. Installations often fail due to the trade guidelines being ignored, and incorrect or inferior materials being used under the tiles during the sub floor preparation process.
Your local experts Michael Metcalf Carpets have over 20 years of experience in the installation of Amtico and Karndean. They offer a complete, personal, and free onsite survey and estimate where advice can be supplied and any questions answered. Their installer works to the highest standard possible, and achieves 100% successful customer satisfaction.
In addition to Amtico and Karndean, the showroom at 69 Bridge Street Morpeth, also displays LVT from Distinctive Flooring, another top class company with a beautiful range of modern tile and plank. In all, around 400 variations of colour and design are on display in your local Morpeth high street studio.
WHY CARPET IS STILL KING
While the above products presently reign supreme in kitchen, hallway, bathrooms and toilets, only a few families choose to cover the entire ground floor of their home with vinyl tiles, and almost everyone prefers carpet in the bedrooms. So why is carpet such a dominant floorcovering in the UK?
The main consideration is insulation. Carpet with a good quality underlay cannot be beaten when it comes to comfort and warmth, providing a great choice for any home, and they also reduce noise levels. Studies reveal that older people are over three times more likely to suffer a fracture when falling on vinyl floors than if they landed on a carpeted area. Carpet, especially with a good quality polyurethane high density underlay has been shown to help cushion a fall and minimise injuries. It is also for the same reasons, child friendly.
A significant point to note is that wool is naturally flame resistant due to its unique chemical structure which has a high nitrogen and moisture content, and this is one reason why wool carpets are used on cruise ships and in major hotels.
Additionally there has recently been a huge growth in demand for soft, silky, deep pile carpets, and they have become a firm favourite with homeowners. These carpets are even more akin to cushion a fall. Carpet companies have responded to demand in the market for softness underfoot at an affordable price by launching various ranges that can be found at Michael Metcalf Carpets by the manufacturers Cormar, Cavalier, and Associated Weavers.
Michael Metcalf Carpets, 69 Bridge Street, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 1PQ. Tel: 01670 513868 www.michaelmetcalfcarpets.co.uk