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There are a number of advantages and disadvantages with this but as with all laminated flooring. When i decorated my first house with my partner we chose this as choice of flooring on the ground floor and i remember distintively we swore never to get it again. But i can now tell you a few years on, last week we were looking at buying flooring for our new house and we were very close to buying it again.
Advantages are that it is stunning, especially the living surface range, which is what we went for. There are only three of its type available in Oak, Beech and Pine and gives the effect of a real wood floor (as apposed to the panelled effect like a school hall/gym floor/disco floor) It has the immatation scratches of the effect that the planks have been individually sawn, and the grain and knots are very unique and different on every plank. With this particular range you are looking at expensive flooring from around £18.99 - £28 SqM whereas for the more standard laminate flooring as mentioned above, of a more panelled effect it is anything from and around £3.99 SqM.
It is suitable to be used in all rooms, including the bathroom - the laminate has a special extra watertight core, which improves the floor's moisture-resistant properties - although personally I wouldn't have it in here as there would still be the danger of slipping.
It does come in a design of ceramic tiles with a coloured effect between the squares to mimick tile grout. This does look extrememly realistic. The squares are individually and uniquely shaded to give the 3D effect.
Everyones taste is different and there is something to suit every style of decoration from Modern to Traditional.
The Uniclic idea works very similar to tongue and grove floor boards. Slot together, and press down until it clicks. Yes, it is easy, my partner did a 15x14 room in a day and comes with full installation advice and instructions but you will have to buy the fitting kit seperate (Approx £10)
The floor lives so it will expand and contract. You are advised to leave a gap around the edge from the wall and you can finish this off with matching wooden beading.
As soon as these are clicked together there is instant tension - no gaps between each panel so no dust can accumulate between or under the floor.
The floor can be walked on immediately after being layed. There is no glue involved at all. You may need to cut some down to mould around alcoves and door frames, etc. A standard saw can be used for this.
It is easy to dismantle for future reference and you can re use it and buy more matching panels to complete a bigger room.
Each panel contains for layers. 1. An impact-resistant top layer provides the finishing touch. 2. Underneath is the high quality printed design layer in the various Quick-Step colours and patterns. 3. A waterproof, glued and very high density HDF sheet. 4. The bottom layer of resin keeps the panel nice and straight.
Disadvantages is that if you cant afford a lot then this is an expensive option as you will need to buy the recommended insulation floor pack to fit down before fitting the planks and this can double your calculated price.
Also we found the floor very cold, ok so we didnt have any central heating or double glazing and we had a severe damp problem but the floor didnt help and on visiting friends who have similar flooring it was a very uncosy cold room to be sat in. So unless you do have money to spend, an additional cost for under floor heating is out of the window too.
It is noisy to walk on with shoes or if you drop things, but generally stilettos, fag ash or keys will not damage your floor as many of them are protected against this (But check the stats before buying as each one varies depending on what you spend on your floor - if you read my comments, Wearsidelass informed me that her dogs have scratched her wood laminate that she has in her kitchen)
It is uncomfortable to walk on bear foot/without slippers or shoes, especially if you have a cat who uses a cat box and likes to flick cat litter everywhere, when you stand on gritty bits it can be painful!
It's probably not recommended for people with animals, especially dogs. Having pets around is unfair on them - its not to cosy for your cat so you will probably need to get a rug to keep it happy and larger dogs such as Great Danes or Irish wolf hounds are prone to long-term leg damage. Your vet will confirm this.
The dust/fluff/hair your pet occumulates and departs with often floats around and to the edges of the floor and in places you wouldnt think to clean often, its not easy to hoover so hard work with a mop and broom depends on how motivated you can be. (At least if you spill red wine, you can take your time and mop it up without worrying about stains!)
I many a time slipped on my socks when stepping off of the last step on the stairs and contol is often lost and you land hard on your bum. It can be very dangerous so purchasing non slip slippers is a definite. (Not really suitable for hyper children who forget to wear or dont have slippers.)
You can buy the floor packs from most DIY, carpet and homeware stores such as B&Q, Homebase, Focus, Carpet right and even online.
For home owners - definetely a profit making idea as the buyers will love it!