On the very first day we moved into our home 5 years ago I decided we needed to change two things. Actually, thinking about it I decided we needed to change about 50 (most of which are still in progress) but the two that were at the top of the list were our fences and the living room floor. Five years later and we finally have both done and oh my word, it was so worth the wait!
It’s hard for me to put into words how much I love this flooring. Yes (full disclosure) this is a PR product from Quick-Step. They are a company that I have worked with in the past and been so impressed with. But I could (and have) raved about this floor to anyone who will listen. In fact my next door neighbours now have the same floor (in a different finish) in the same room and my father in law is going to use it too! I’m basically Quick-Step’s newest salesperson.
But seriously, there are many reasons I asked Quick-Step to work with me on this collaboration. I have their laminate flooring in Amber’s room and it is honestly such incredible quality. Every night I say a little thank you to the Quick-Step gods as I silently creep out of her room without making a sound (unless I crash into something, which I could try to blame on Quick-Step, but we all know it was my job to put that toy away). It’s easy to clean, (I love my Quick-Step spray mop.. I know – it’s too much) and it’s really easy to install which is great because I’m the one putting it down!
But anyway, back to the living room. This space is very well used. It’s what would be called a high traffic area in the flooring world. I have the pushchair parked here. Shoes and boots are kicked off, wet coats left on the floor. It’s a creative space with paint, water, clay, glue and anything else the kids get their hands on left on the floor. All manner of things are trodden into the room from both ends of the house and many other accidents involving potty training, snacks, drinks and god knows what else comes out of a child!
Basically a family lives here and our home needs to be child proof. And small child proof and that. So I went back to Quick-Step to see what they could do. One product that caught my eye was the vinyl flooring. I’ve never considered using vinyl flooring before but not only were the specs incredible, installation looked easy and most importantly the wood effect of the panels was visually stunning. I chose Botanical Beige in Alpha Vinyl, which is a warm wood effect without the orange tones. It’s textured so it not only looks more realistic, it’s also not too slippery for all those indoor races that seem to happen every night just before bedtime (just us?). And it also copes with water and spillages well (which from many, many, many experiences I can confirm). This floor has it all!
Once the flooring was ordered and I managed to organise a weekend of child activities outside the house, we cleared as much furniture out of the room and pushed the rest into the corner nook. This would be the last place to lay the floor, so it was easy to work around. With this vinyl flooring you don’t need to put down underlay, but I chose to put it down to add another layer over the concrete flooring. I hope that it will have an insulating effect over winter and keep the floor warmer.
Then it was time to lay the floor. So, full disclosure here. I read the instructions, thought I knew better and got started. After the first couple of rows Quick-Step tells you to kneel on the flooring that you have laid, position each plank into place and pull towards you. But I really didn’t think I was going to have the strength to do it this way. It felt more intuitive to push the plank into place. Well, after struggling for a few rows I decided to try it their way… And yes, surprise surprise, Quickstep know what they’re doing. It was much easier this way. The planks easily slot together with minimum effort. There’s a knack – but there’s always a knack. Once you have it the floor goes down so fast!
When I reached the end of each row I used my jigsaw to quickly cut the last piece to the right size. I took two days to put the entire floor down and I’m so sure that without child interruptions and moving furniture around I could have done it in one.
I took the skirting board off most of the room, which I’ve cleaned, sanded and nailed back into place. But on one side of our house the gas pipe runs inside a bigger, boxy skirting. I wasn’t going to mess around taking this off and potentially hitting a gas pipe. But luckily Quick-Step have the solution to this too!
They have a product which is the transition/threshold strip, scotia, profile, stair edge cover all in one. You’re able to easily trim it into the application needed. I’ve got a video on this coming up over on Instagram so follow me there if you’re interested in that. Again this is incredibly easy to install. I used a simple mitre saw to cut the joins at 45º angle – along the straight sections this means they sit together without showing a gap. At the corners cut the angle at 45º again but this time opposite each other to create a mitred join.
Now we’ve lived with the floor for a few months I’m still over the moon with it. So much so, that I’m planning to take up the engineered wood flooring in our kitchen and replace it with this vinyl floor, at my own cost. It’s now maintenance so perfect for a kitchen and I know I’ll be able to keep it cleaner and looking much better than our pretty dire kitchen floor looks at the moment. Fingers crossed I’ll be back sharing that really soon!