Explore hard and soft options to find your favourite flooring
When decorating a room, one of the most important things to get right is the flooring. Not only does your floor have to look the part, it also has to be practical and complement the style of your home. Our handy guide is here to help you pick the right flooring for you.
We'll cover our extensive range of flooring options, which include:
- laminate and wood flooring
- vinyl flooring
- carpet and carpet floor tiles
We won't be exploring floor tiles, so for more information on these, head to our Tiles buying guide.
Before you begin
Before we explore the flooring types we offer, let's think about what you need from your flooring.
Where is the flooring going?
Start by thinking about where you want to lay the new floor and what that particular room is used for.
High-traffic areas, like hallways or children’s playrooms, will benefit from durable flooring, while kitchens and bathrooms require a water-resistant floor that's easy to clean. And when it comes to bedrooms, it’s all about soft, luxurious floors that feel great underfoot.
Soft flooring options are also good for children's bedrooms and playrooms, and they're better sound absorbers if you live in a flat or shared house. Hard wood floors are an investment in style and, with a little bit of maintenance, can look fantastic for years to come. Laminate wood flooring and real wood top layer are a great value alternative to solid wood flooring, with plenty of effects and finishes to choose from.
What's the interior style of the room?
Whether you’re going for a traditional look or something more contemporary, we’ve got the floor for you. Natural materials are popular for a lot of period homes, but they look equally good in modern houses too. And we have both the real thing - real wood flooring - and clever alternatives that emulate the look of real wood, stone and slate yet are more cost-effective and easy to install.
When considering new flooring, think about what you have already in place in the adjoining rooms and work out the kind of flow you want between spaces. Are you looking to have consistency and use the same flooring in most, if not all, of your rooms? Or why not use different flooring as you move through the home?
This can be practical as well as eye-catching, as for instance, a hard option in the hallway makes tidying up after wet or muddy shoeprints easier. While a softer option might be better in a lounge for comfortable relaxation. When mixing and matching flooring check that your flooring is all of a similar thickness to avoid trip hazards. And we recommend using the same colour tones to avoid the differences being too jarring to the eye.
Interested in underfloor heating?
More and more of us are enjoying the benefits of underfloor heating in our homes. It’s well-suited to small rooms where a radiator takes up valuable space and it means the warmth is evenly distributed around the room instead of just one area. Plus, it feels great on bare feet on cold winter mornings.
Some flooring doesn't work with underfloor heating, so if you're interested in adding it, check your preferred flooring's product details before buying to avoid disappointment.
How much maintenance is required?
Most types of floor don’t require a lot of upkeep - just a bit of cleaning. And for those that do, we offer a range of specialist products designed to help you keep it looking its best. Some floors, particularly hard floors, need a little TLC if they get scuffed or scratched, so think about how much maintenance you're prepared to do when choosing your favourite flooring.
Does the flooring require underlay?
Once you've found your flooring, it's important to understand if it requires an underlay. Many floors will need one to ensure that you get the best end result.
Not only does an underlay act as a cushioning layer, they can help with soundproofing and heat insulation. They can also flatten out an uneven base and protect both the sub-floor and your chosen flooring from moisture.
Laminate & wood flooring
We offer three varieties of hard flooring; laminate, real wood top layer and solid wood. All three are hard-wearing and can be used in most rooms, with real wood top layer and laminate both compatible with underfloor heating.
Laminate flooring is a completely synthetic flooring option that comes in a variety of effects and finishes. As well as emulating the classic look of solid wood, our laminate flooring also comes in stone and tile effects making it a versatile favourite that works with all looks.
Real wood top layer flooring
Real wood top layer has a layer of real wood on top of an engineered base. It gives the effect of a solid wood floor whilst the engineered base layer provides resistance to heat and moisture changes in your room.
Depending on how thick the real wood top layer is, this floor type can be sanded down and stained in the same way that solid wood flooring can.
Solid wood flooring
Solid wood, as the name suggests, is made from solid planks of wood. This type of flooring can be sanded down, stained or painted to suit your style.
Solid wood flooring gives your home a rich, traditional appearance. It requires more maintenance than other floor types but will last a long time and look fantastic.
Underlay for laminate and wood floors
As laminate and wood floors aren't attached directly to the floor, they will probably need an underlay in order to get the best finished result. A good quality underlay can also improve acoustics and insulation.
Foam, fibreboard, polystyrene and sponge rubber underlays can all be used underneath laminate and wood flooring.Shop laminate & wood floor underlay
To find out more about our laminate, top layer wood and solid wood flooring options, check out our helpful buying guide.
If you’re looking for a flooring option that's soft and warm underfoot, while being fairly straightforward to install then vinyl flooring could be for you. Being water-resistant, vinyl flooring is a great choice for kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms, as well as high-traffic areas like hallways.
It can work with underfloor heating and is a good choice if anyone in your home has allergies and/or you have pets. It’s easy to keep clean as you simply brush or vacuum away hair and dust, making it ideal for those short on time for maintenance. And it delivers style too. Our range can replicate the look of wood, natural stone, mosaic tiles and more making it versatile enough for both contemporary and classic looks.
We offer three types of vinyl flooring: sheet vinyl, self-adhesive vinyl tiles and vinyl planks. The planks are available as either self-adhesive types or Luxury Vinyl Click.
Sheet vinyl flooring
Sheet vinyl flooring is a roll of vinyl that can be cut and fitted to suit the shape and size of a room. Larger rooms might require more than one piece, but for smaller spaces, the whole surface can be covered in a single sheet. It comes in a variety of colours and effects.
Self-adhesive vinyl tile flooring
Vinyl tiles come in a variety of effects and designs. Unlike floor tiles, they aren't cold underfoot and can be a more economic option. Being self-adhesive, they're also easier to lay - requiring fewer tools and being simpler to cut.
Self-adhesive vinyl plank flooring
Our vinyl planks are similar to our tiles when it comes to installation. They're self-adhesive so are easy to lay and we offer them in several wood effects to add warmth to any room.
Luxury Vinyl Click flooring
Luxury Vinyl Click plank flooring combines the look and feel of real wood or stone with the practicalities, softness and quietness of vinyl flooring. It clicks together in a similar way to how you would fit laminate floors.
Underlay for vinyl flooring
If you’re laying sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles on a level surface with few inconsistencies, most types won’t need an underlay. Simply choosing a thick option should be enough to achieve a smooth, level finish.
Our Luxury Vinyl Click flooring does require a foam underlay as its laid in the same way as laminate flooring and so doesn't fix directly onto the floor. Adding an underlay ensures that it’s stable.
To find out more about vinyl flooring and the different options that are available, head to our Vinyl flooring buying guide.
Carpet & carpet tiles
Carpet is the ultimate soft flooring option and we offer it as either cut from the roll or carpet tiles.
Carpet is a great way to add warmth and texture to your bedrooms, living room, hallways and stairs. It's comfortable underfoot and not as slippery as some of the harder alternatives like wood or laminate flooring.
Carpet has an effective sound-proofing quality which makes it particularly ideal for flats and apartments as well as any upstairs room. It's also a great option for children’s playrooms as it muffles their activities and offers a kinder landing if they fall. We recommend them for any room in the home, except the bathroom and kitchen as moisture and carpet is never a good combination.
Our carpets and carpet tiles are durable and will last well and look good for years to come. Our range is manufactured from man-made fibres and so are designed to be durable, stain-resistant and easy to clean. Look for options that are bacteria and bleach-resistant too to help you keep your home clean and looking its best.
When buying carpet, we advise thinking about its construction and pile height.
The texture and pattern of a carpet is determined by its construction. Most carpets found in the home are of a tufted construction. Tufted carpets are made by forming loops in continuous rows, the loops are then either left uncut to form a loop pile or cut to form a tuft of a cut pile carpet.
Loop pile - made up of short, looped fibres, this pile is extremely durable and hard-wearing making them ideal for busy rooms. It feels soft and springy, and the loop pile bounces back easily. They can be either level loop or structured multi-level loop types.
Level loop pile carpets are made by forming rows of loops of a uniform height, while structured multi-level loop types use loops at different heights to achieve a patterned effect.
Cut pile- while less resistant to crushing than loop pile, this option can be a better choice if you have children or pets as it won't snag as easily. There are a number of different types available, but the most popular style is twist pile which pulls the yarns and fibres together very tightly for a very hard-wearing option.
Carpet pile height
The height or thickness of the carpet's pile affects its durability, look and feel. The taller or thicker the pile is, the softer and more luxurious it will feel underfoot which is great for bedrooms. Shorter pile height makes for easier cleaning and is suited to high-traffic areas like hallways and stairs.
Carpet tiles make a hard-wearing choice for any area that sees a lot of use, and are well-suited to small or awkwardly-shaped rooms and loft conversions.
They offer a great opportunity to get creative with your flooring. Lay just one colour, create a unique design by mixing colours, or why not lay in a chequerboard pattern or a random design? They can be loose laid, which means that it’s easy to replace one if it gets damaged, plus you can move them around to reduce wear on particular tiles.
Underlay for carpet and carpet tiles
While carpet with felt backing doesn’t need a separate underlay, adding one will result in a more luxurious feel. Underlay can also help prolong the life of your carpet and a high-quality option is recommended for high-traffic areas. Carpeted spots that won’t get walked over as much, such as those in bedrooms, can have a more cost-effective option.
Most carpet underlay is made from recycled fibres, rubber or advanced technology foam. You may also want to consider adding carpet lining paper that will protect your carpet from dust. This is ideal if you have anyone with allergies in the home. Carpet tiles don't require an underlay.