This post has been a long time coming. Once upon a time I found a Pinterest picture of parquet with white weaved in. I was sold. I wanted my downstairs entrance hall- though poxy- to have some kind of impact- some kind of- this is my house and I am bloody proud of my style. I looked into ceramic tiles- got quotes the lot and then it started adding up. Then I looking at vinyl again and the options of flooring are just so extensive it genuinely hurts my head.
I had five quotes and that was enough for me. I focussed on one guy called "Dan, Dan the Flooring Man" based in Uckfield who couldn't deal with my- why have you suddenly whacked on an extra grand to do the hallway after I decided to run herringbone right through. Then he decided he didn't really want to help with the white parquet. So I decided he was not being overly helpful and so I realised that heaven forbid a customer asks for something a bit 'out there' and here is your first issue- finding a floor layer.
I was recommended a guy called Simon who was excellent and Barry, Lyon Flooring based in Surrey, was who Simon also recommended. Now, Barry was the guy who helped lay it but to be honest Simon was the main guy in the job and thank god because now having had Barry upstairs do less than a great job I would be fuming if he had been on his own downstairs with this specialist job. So, there you have it - all the luck finding someone to lay LVT. My upstairs as I type remains unfinished and Barry's customer service has been absolutely awful but I digress...
Polyflor have their ranges and I think the quality is as fabulous as any of the other more costly brands. I ordered through another awful workman (long story where I was going to get my conservatory guy to lay it and again thank goodness I didn't) but you can order direct through your floor layer who can order through your local main dealer. Then you can get certain ranges to be "specially cut." Online places can ask for this too direct from Polyflor but my estimate from one was really high for the special cut and it is common for the special cuts but just my combination had never been done. It needs to be specially cut by them as small little groves need to marry up exactly- this isn't something a floor layer can do- the Polyflor company machines do it. So your floor layer can get a quote for you and a minimum order quantity. We had 12 m squared of their "Metalstone" which was the whitest they had but actually I loved the mottle look with the silver shining and the rest to make up the 52 m squared in their Cambridge parquet. You can get samples from online places.
There are so many points to make on it so I am going to list them as they come to me below:
1. Your floor needs to be squeaky bum level and whether you have concrete or wood base depends on the type of latex. You can speed up your drying time if it's a brand new extension with a breathable (not so cheap) membrane of the latex to allow the floor to dry slowly through it if your extension is concrete.
2. The laying of LVT is expensive labour-wise not cost wise. In the end laying an actual wood herringbone floor probably works out in similar price when you weigh up labour and costs believe it or not but there are pros and cons to real wood and LVT. Personally I wanted reclaimed and to paint some blocks white but again- the cost seemed too high as there was again a different way to lay this but certainly I would look into it again.
3. LVT does not need skirting removed- he sanded back the bottom and it slotted underneath.
4. You will always need more than you think due to wastage.
5. You can have it with a border or without and according to Simon he said it's the same labour for both.
6. This was a random pattern with patches- random is harder than you think so we sketched it out often to be clear.
7. LVT is a bloody dream to walk on, clean, sweep.
8. I love it three thousand times more than my laminate upstairs which is Oak Beige impressive by Quick Step.
9. If one gets damaged you can apparently heat it with a hair dryer and replace it with a single one again.
10. It isn't forgiving for crawling, newly standing babies and weaning babies- so I have a plastic sheet under their chairs.
11. Cost wise- I can't really remember exactly as it escalated but though it did- it is worth it. I think his labour and materials minus the flooring for 52 metres squared was £2.8k- so yeah...but I paid for Simon basically. The guy was professional, slick and knew what he was doing. He was immense. I had other estimates between 2k and 2.5k but in the end paid this to get the job done after other stresses. But- you've got to remember it is so intense laying this floor- every single piece is by hand.
12. You need the whole area levelled so we had to go out for the whole day and it was a few days of disruption.
13. This was discussed so much- more than anything in our marriage I am sure. The reason we went for it was because we knew this would potentially last years- a lot longer than vinyl or laminate. I mean my upstairs already has marks in it from my child dropping things or our phones being dropped as another example. As usual in life you get what you pay for and money-wise we broke ourselves a bit to get this right and done properly.
Hope these points help- leave a comment if I've missed anything.
I do adore it and though it's not for everyone I personally couldn't love it more- like it's a serious passion I have for this flooring chat as it was such a labour of love to get to this point- I worked seriously hard- but for me a flooring makes a house and it's really helped improve my happiness no end...now laying it is over...back to focussing on making wooden pears and boob adorned items it is.
Lots of Love