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Kitchen questions - flooring & water softener

(7 Posts)
gabbybaby Mon 30-Nov-15 10:32:47

1, water softener - we had intended to install one, until the plumber said that the kitchen tap has to be connected to the mains water, so we'd still hard water in the kitchen, and the rest of the house would be connected to the softener. But we can't drink water from the taps that are connected to the softener, which means only drinking water from the kitchen tap. We're also doing a loft conversion, and my DH (being American, where plumbing is totally different from here) was looking forward to being able to get middle of the night water from the en suite, rather than going down 2 flights to the kitchen. Can anyone confirm that what the plumber said is correct, you can't drink from the water softener taps and must have the kitchen tap connected to the mains, so still have the hard water issue in the kitchen? If this is all true, then we'll save ourselves the £1000 and not bother installing one!

2, Flooring - is it ok having laminate flooring in the kitchen? We'll have ufh. Tiles would be preferred for the kitchen, but as we want one flooring throughout downstairs, we're considering not having tiles, but having laminate throughout. The flooring dealer says the quality of this one is fine for the kitchen. This is what we're considering. Has anyone used it?:
floors.villeroy-boch.com/?cid=1385463513&lang=1&name=Country

AnnaLP Mon 30-Nov-15 13:55:30

Water softener:
We used to have a water softener in our old house with the setup where the cold tap in the kitchen was straight off mains and all other taps softened (incl hot in kitchen). Which worked fine and we did drink water from upstairs taps if desperate.

New house 2 years ago had similar softener fitted (cos you can't live without them round here) and apparently the level of sodium is within the Drinking Water Regulations so our kitchen hot and cold are both now softened.

However, we also have a utility and that has a mixer tap but also a separate tap and the separate tap is not softened - if we are drinking straight water then we usually use that tap.

So there's no reason you can't just get a 3rd tap - but you can also get 3-way mixers - 1 softened hot, 1 softened cold and 1 mains.

Flooring:
I know plenty of people who have engineered wood floor with UFH and that works well and I know laminate floor manufacturers say UFH is OK with laminate but they also specify certain ways of installing the floor over UFH ("floating") but I'm not sure I'd risk laminate.

gabbybaby Mon 30-Nov-15 16:41:23

Thanks Anna. Helpful reply. We'll talk it through with the plumber again, although you response implies that it's probably not ideal to drink the softened water. How do we find out the sodium level in our area?

Engineered wood does work with UFH, but is so much more expensive. From what we've been told, if we use the really good laminates, they are just as good with ufh as engineered wood is, at a fraction of the price. The ones we've seen looked very real. Previously we have been very anti laminate, only having real hardwood before, but we were pretty impressed with how real they looked. We also showed them to our kitchen designer who thought they were engineered wood and was surprised they were a laminate - and that was a designer smile.

PigletJohn Mon 30-Nov-15 16:44:00

You can drink softened water, it contains sodium bicarbonate as used in baking powder and indigestion remedies, the amount of sodium is miniscule, and less than you get from a slice of bread or a dollop of ketchup, but hard water does seem to be healthier. There is never any salt in the water from a softener, unless it has a severe fault and needs repair.

You will want a hard water tap for watering the garden, and it is quite popular to have a small drinking water tap in the kitchen. It's quite easy, you just connect to the pipe before it goes into the softener. My kitchen sink mixer tap runs softened hot and cold.

Your bathroom and washing machine will benefit a lot from soft water.

PigletJohn Mon 30-Nov-15 16:53:26

I managed to find a source, I have seen others [[ link]]

"Let’s compare the sodium content of a glass of typical London water that has been softened with that of other foods & drinks in our diet:

1 glass of water 25mg of sodium
1 glass of bottled mineral water 116mg of sodium
1 glass of skimmed milk 10mg of sodium
1 glass of whole milk 98mg of sodium
1 slice of white bread 350mg of sodium
1 tablespoon of tomato sauce 300mg of sodium
1 serving of cheddar cheese 820mg of sodium
1 serving of strawberry yoghurt 215mg of sodium
1 slice of apple pie 406mg of sodium
1 pork sausage 210mg of sodium
1 serving of tomato soup 667mg of sodium"

And Coca-Cola say

45mg per can

PestoSkiissimos Mon 30-Nov-15 17:00:45

My parents have a water softener and their tap in the kitchen is a 3-way one. It has softened water both hot & cold, plus a smaller tap for mains drinking water. Their outside water tap is not connected to it, so plant waters is unaffected. However, they cannot drink from the taps upstairs as they are all softened water only. Their solution is to keep a bottle of mains water chilling in the fridge. They take a glass of that with them up to bed every night.

PestoSkiissimos Mon 30-Nov-15 17:01:23

plant watering

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