I used to be a laminate snob, I’ll admit it. I love a real wood floor, and I particularly love original wooden floorboards, painted, stained or varnished. If you told me before I had kids, or even a year ago, that I’d choose to have a laminate floor I’d think you’d lost your marbles. Because the picture of laminate that I had in my mind was not how I imagined my house to look.
But we’re now living in a 1970s house that doesn’t have floorboards.
And we have two toddlers.
And 50 square metres of floor to cover.
When it came down to it, for us as a family right now, laminate was not a last resort, it was our best option. It’s extremely hard-wearing, very low maintenance, budget-friendly and perfect for a young family. I want my kids to ride their scooters inside and drag their little play chairs about without that heart-stopping fear they’ll scratch the floor. I have enough on my plate without worrying about maintenance.
To help us select which finish we liked, we visited a local flooring showroom where we narrowed our choice down to two. We were then lucky enough to be able to take actual samples of those final two finishes home with us, where we lived with them on the floor for a week or so before making our final decision. We knew we wanted an oak-effect finish,and in the end a light oak won out, as our focus has been on trying to make the ground floor space feel as light and bright as possible. We also selected a finish with a subtle grain effect and grooved edges around the planks to make it feel more like real wood.
No, it’s not the same as having a real wood floor. To me, a real wood floor has something magic about it. But I still love my laminate, and anything that makes my life easier at the moment will always win out.
We chose Quick-Step’s Elite flooring in White Oak light. The Elite flooring costs £19.99 per m sq.