I’m always collating ideas, as one day, we’ll be turning a rental property into our own property, and when that day comes, I want to be ready to be getting on with making that house our own. Two out of our last three places have previously been lived in by the landlord, and the fact that they have chosen to lay laminate flooring surprised me – I suppose perhaps I had thought it was only for rental properties, but when I started looking at other people’s houses, I found it was hard to tell the difference sometimes.
Turning to one of my first resources for information, I typed in “Mumsnet laminate flooring” and immediately found threads full of discussion as to why laminate flooring is one of the best and cheapest choices for hard traffic areas of a house with young children. In our London flat, we had laminate flooring in our kitchen, although to an untrained eye you wouldn’t know it wasn’t real wood. Although, for the top range, I guess it is real wood, just layered differently. The flooring we have in our current upstairs hallway is also laminate, slightly cheaper quality in that it has less real wood, but it is hard wearing, cleans easily and is not cold underfoot at all. The conclusion I drew from the Mumsnet thread is that, as with most things, people have out of date views, which are mixed in with class issues. Having observed a number of North London houses though, I can tell you that middle-class families also have laminate flooring.
Our current house has three rooms which are carpeted. The carpet quality is cheap and they are old. I worry that they have years of other people’s dirt in them. One of the bedrooms upstairs, however, has a laminate floor laid. I have been able to clean this myself with a mop and I’m confident it is clean. Dust collects in a little balls under the beds in there, and every week, I can clean that easily.
At Buster’s pre-school, one of the rooms needs a new floor as it is currently bare concrete. The initial suggestion was lino, but I suggested that we priced up a laminate floor too, as that could mimic the cosiness of floorboards and be easy to clean. The only downside is that only specific kinds are recommended for kitchens or areas which may see frequent spills: “Laminate flooring is resistant to spills and splashes but it is not suitable for the bathroom and kitchen environment where humidity and water spills are quite frequent as this may distort and damage your laminate floor. Any spillages must be cleared up immediately.” I can see that at pre-school they may have areas which see frequent spills, so a different choice would be needed for the kitchen and eating area, but it would be perfect for the room that is used for nap time, quiet time and the book corner.