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Real wood or luxury vinyl ?

(42 Posts)
Bogwarts Sun 09-Aug-09 21:47:59

We are looking to refloor all of downstairs, which is currently carpeted. We have been considering a real wood (oak) floor. However this involve the hassle of removing all skirting boards, which when we did this upstairs it caused huge damage to the walls (old house and the walls crumbled away - seemed they were held in place by the skirting hmm).

Someone recommended "wood look" luxury vinyl planks to us (Amtico/Karndean/Polyflor), which we have never considered before. I have had some samples sent and I am really impressed, particularly with the ones that are bevelled, so look like wood planks when laid. And using these would avoid the hassle of taking off the skirting boards.

But for some reason I am hesitant on the luxury vinyl. Maybe I am being snobbish where I shouldn't be, but I am worried that people will look down on us, as everything you read suggests that real wood is the ultimate that people desire.

So what does MN think? Is "luxury" vinyl considered naff? Would it put you off buying a house if the downstairs had vinyl wood planks rather than real wood?

zaphod Sun 09-Aug-09 22:02:21

The luxury vinyl costs a fortune, because the floor has to be levelled professionally, and that can bring the price up to 95euro a sq mtr. Thats what I was quoted for the kitchen. On the other hand it is supposed to last for 20 years.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 09-Aug-09 22:04:19

I am a snob, real wood every time.

Bogwarts Sun 09-Aug-09 22:07:04

Zaphod - our flooring man will have to level the floor first for real wood too <knackered old house emoticon>

NeedOpinions Sun 09-Aug-09 22:09:19

Karnean is fab_doesn't scratch,looks great,easy to clean,doesn't warp-am a big fan!
HAve it in kitchen,playroom and bathroom0slate version in bathroom looks very real but is much warmer.

elliott Sun 09-Aug-09 22:10:19

We got posh vinyl. I guess I would have preferred wood, but it would have been too destructive and major to lay it (knackered old house here too). The amtico is good, really practical and looks smart. It won't wear and scratch like real wood either. tbh I don't really care what other people think!

Bogwarts Sun 09-Aug-09 22:10:39

Why do you think there is this snobbishness over real wood Five? Is it ingrained (ha!) into us?

Because even without the cost of levelling the floor (which most people won't have for real wood) the material cost of the luxury vinyl is double that of the wood. So in theory, snobbish people should want the more expensive product - which is luxury vinyl.

Bogwarts Sun 09-Aug-09 22:14:42

NeedOpinions and Elliott - thanks for your input and reiteraring the benefits of the vinyl. I have to say that almost everything stacks up in favour of the vinyl, other than cost, as it is more expensive (but not unbearably so).

I have to make a decision on this by Tuesday and I really don't know what to go for!

<<Goes off to bury snobbish beliefs about wood in hope of being able to stop dithering and make a decision>>

NeedOpinions Sun 09-Aug-09 23:01:42

Good luck Bogwarts-am sure whatever you choose it will be fine for you but having used Karndean for years I am delighted with it.Wood,however is beautiful (I am really not much help am I?)

Bogwarts Sun 09-Aug-09 23:26:23

no, no help at all grin

but I'm gratefull all the same

AitchTwoOh Sun 09-Aug-09 23:38:39

it depends whether you'll be selling or not. buyers want wood, doesn't matter what how good the vinyl. they want their shoes to make a tippy tap noise on the floor.

Bogwarts Sun 09-Aug-09 23:52:06

ah - I may not want my shoes to make a tippy tap noise when I roll in drunk after a night of cocktails <<wistful thinking emoticon>>

actually, that has triggered a question - how badly do stilettos mark wood?

AitchTwoOh Sun 09-Aug-09 23:56:46

if you have a nail coming loose and you haven't noticed... badly.

Bogwarts Sun 09-Aug-09 23:57:45

yikes. might need to consider that in the pros and cons list too. am not very efficient at shoe maintenance.

AitchTwoOh Mon 10-Aug-09 00:02:10

you could get wood and then put a strip of dowel (it might not be called that) along the edges so as to cover up gaps to the skirting. my pal had to do that, victorian house etc.

Bogwarts Mon 10-Aug-09 08:46:05

Thanks for the suggestion Aitch, but I really don't like that look (reminds me of crappy rental flats I stayed in with cheap laminate flooring), so want to avoid it. We're not considering engineered wood for this reason.

GrapefruitMoon Mon 10-Aug-09 08:49:05

I'd go for real wood - especially as there won't be much difference in cost. If you decide to go for vinyl I would recommend Amtico over and above Karndean. Have had both and Amtico was far better quality (imo)

Pannacotta Mon 10-Aug-09 09:03:22

I'd go for wood but would get a few quotes and ask for advice about fitting it, you don't normally remove skirting or level a floor to install wood as far as I know. Could they put down ply as a sub layer?

DO you have original boards which would be restored?

Or how about a really good engineered wood which if fitted well can look like real wood and no need to dowel around the edge.

I think vinyl is a bit plastic-y modern in an old house, other than in kitchens/bathrooms.

Bogwarts Mon 10-Aug-09 09:20:03

Thanks for your input Grapefruit & Pannacotta.

I am erring towards choosing wood. As whilst on a practical side the vinyl makes more sense, I need to love coming into the house and I think wood will give me that.

We do have original floorboards, but unfortunately these can't be restored as sections have been attacked by woodworm over the years and replaced with mismatching wood and even thin ply (hence the need for levelling).

Pannacotta - I'm interested in you saying that you don't need to dowel engineered wood. Our flooring man advised that we did.

Pannacotta Mon 10-Aug-09 09:44:26

We had engineered wood flooring in the conservatory in our last house (the rest of the downstairs was exposed boards but solid floor in there and no budget for real wood) and we didnt have any edging.
Though thinking about it he put in skirting after the floor so not sure that helps you.
But worth getting a few people round to quote and see what they say.
GOod luck.

Bogwarts Mon 10-Aug-09 09:57:44

Thanks for your input Grapefruit & Pannacotta.

I am erring towards choosing wood. As whilst on a practical side the vinyl makes more sense, I need to love coming into the house and I think wood will give me that.

We do have original floorboards, but unfortunately these can't be restored as sections have been attacked by woodworm over the years and replaced with mismatching wood and even thin ply (hence the need for levelling).

Pannacotta - I'm interested in you saying that you don't need to dowel engineered wood. Our flooring man advised that we did.

Bogwarts Mon 10-Aug-09 09:58:56

sorry for doubkle post - refreshed screen and it posted again hmm

Bogwarts Mon 10-Aug-09 10:00:12

Ah yes Pannacotta - if the skirting goes on afterwards you don't need the edging, as that covers the expansion gaps

Pannacotta Mon 10-Aug-09 10:10:15

I realise that, I had forgotten the order of work before posting above. Whoops!
There might be some way round it.
Is solid wood too ££? Sometimes you can get good deals and it works out not that much more than engineered and you ought to be able to lay that without the dowel.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 10-Aug-09 10:12:30

This is going to sound really weird but my friend lives in a lovely house (and expensive at 600k) and she has Karndean but because it's an expensive house, expensively furnished and styled you can only assume it's very expensive vinyl (and it looks great).

If it was a cheapy, shitty house like mine you would not think the vinyl was expensive - you would think how weird, why do they have vinyl in this tiny living room hmm.

Acres of it looks really good imo.

I have had cheap laminate, new floorboards and engineered beech and the one I would least have again would be the beech as it was just so impractical with the dog - it had scratches within a week that made it look like it had been there for years - maybe because it was a far lighter wood, oak tends to look good scruffy (thinking like parquet).

So what I'm trying to say is if you have space for lots of it, it looks good but if very small rooms it looks a bit weird with vinyl.

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