When we bought our house last year it was with the understanding that it needed to be done up. The house was tenanted before we bought it and the previous residents has cats who wrecked the carpets as well as cheap nasty laminate flooring, badly installed. So this month we are putting a new kitchen and bathroom in, knocking through a wall and painting everywhere, so of course we have also decided to completely refloor downstairs too. The question then is, what type of flooring to go for with two young children in the house?

When my two were babies I remember thinking I could never live in a house without carpets because it would be too cold and slippy for kids. However, a mum friend I made lived in a house with no carpets and she had absolutely no problem with her son. In fact, I remember thinking her house always looked a lot cleaner because the floors always looked brand new. My carpets had all kinds of baby related stains on them and she told me it was just so easy to wipe hers down.

Having decided we would get rid of the dirt and stain magnets that are carpets then, we hit a dilemma; which type of flooring to go with? Laminate or engineered wood? The laminate currently in our house is very cheap quality so put me off initially.  Then I had a lot of tradesmen come to price the job and I found a split in opinions. Half of them actually told me that the standard of laminate flooring has improved drastically in recent years so it was worth considering.

I took a look at the range that Direct Wood Flooring have on offer and was pleasantly surprised to see their laminates really do now look a lot better than they use too. Direct Wood Flooring have an extensive range of laminate flooring that looks like a variety of wood types. It is made from high density fibre-board with the top layer being a high quality printed image. The main pro to laminate flooring is that it really is the least expensive option in terms of both the product itself and also the hours you would need to pay someone to fit it. A lot of laminates now are also scratch and water resistant which is ideal with kids running around.

Our second option would be to go with engineered wood. I have always dreamed of parquet flooring but it won’t fit the style of our current house. So my next thought had been hardwood flooring until I heard about engineered wood floors. They are once again less expensive than hardwood but unlike laminate, the top layer is not a printed image but is wood itself so can be sanded down. This seems that this could be very handy if the kids drop anything and chip it for example. It is fast to install as well, and can be done as a floating floor rather than fastened down as hardwood would be so although not as cheap as laminate to fit, it is still less expensive than hardwood. Overall we have decided to go with an engineered oak floor, althoigh more expensive, we feel it will last longer and hold up against the kids better in the long run. Whuch would you go for?

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