Inside Out (Australia)
laminate & vinyl
The feel: “High-quality laminates and vinyl have really authentic wood designs with natural surface textures,” says national product manager at Quick-Step, Kendall Waller (quick-step.com.au). “Cheaper than timber, they’re also extremely durable.”
The options: “Laminate flooring uses a wood-based panel overlaid with printed images,” says Kendall. “This is impregnated with melamine to give durability and colour fastness.” Vinyl flooring is PVC-based and available in rolls as well as flexible or rigid planks. “It’s soft to walk on, very hard-wearing and completely waterproof,” he says. Some new laminate floors have a waterproof surface that prevents water penetrating the joints. “These guarantee against water damage for up to 10 years and allow steam mops to be used.”
Installation: “Laminate panels click together over any flat surface and can be installed in a day. Flexible vinyl planks require specialised preparation and installation before they’re glued to the subfloor. The rigid planks are installed like laminate floors and need a lot less sub-floor preparation. Special high-density underlays provide a quieter, more solid floor to walk on,” says Kendall.