I don’t know about you, but when I’m choosing finishes for a room I find the flooring one of the hardest to decide upon. It’s one of the most expensive parts of a renovation and so it’s really important to get it right. Because of that I often end up like a rabbit in the headlights, surrounded by a plethora of swatches and just can’t decide. If I make a mistake with paint on a wall, then it’s no big issue. Annoying perhaps, but not expensive. The flooring however, can totally alter the look and feel of a space and would be expensive to replace.
We have a busy lifestyle and the room we wanted to lay new flooring in was going to see a lot of messy traffic. It really needed to stand the test of time. It’s not just about whether you like the look and feel of a floor. You really need to think about your own lifestyle and all the factors that could potentially take their toll on a floor. So, before you decide, here’s my experience and we came to decide on our flooring.
Last autumn we installed a new painted hard wood orangery in our Victorian Gothic home. It sits off of the kitchen/diner and there is also a door to it from what will be the boot room/utility. Finally, there are French doors that lead from it to the walled garden beyond. So, there’s a lot of traffic!
Eventually, we want to lay whichever flooring we chose in the adjoining utility room and a downstairs loo, so it’s imperative that the floor can withstand spills and any possible leaks. Fingers crossed that never happens!
I knew that on a daily basis we would be walking through the space with our wellies on from working in the garden. It would become the room where we would have coffee in the morning and also bring our dog Missy through with her muddy paws from the daily walk. I also knew I would be carrying washing through from the utility room to hang on the line and Mr C would be traipsing through with his work boots on from doing DIY in his workshop. He’s not one for wiping his feet and definitely won’t take his shoes off.
This floor needed to work hard for us and it’s important to be realistic about your lifestyle. We needed a strong brut of a floor that could roll with the punches and take all that life threw at it. At the same time, we also wanted it to be beautiful, don’t ask for much, do we! After much research we decided upon a High Pressure Floor in Manhattan Oak by BerryAlloc. I’d read that these floors were strong enough for them to be laid at Heathrow airport. So, if they could withstand that amount of traffic, then they’d be fine for our needs.
How we decided upon the colour and style of our flooring
The issue we had was choosing which colour and style and then visualising it in the space. BerryAlloc made it so incredibly easy for me to make the right choice with the use of their online Floorfit tool. All I had to do was upload a photo of my room and then try out all their different styles, colours and solutions. It was a great way to be able to visualise the finished look, as well as finding out the best fit for our lifestyle.
Take a look at the two photos above. The one on the left is the CGI from the Floorfit tool of how the High Pressure Floor in Manhattan Oak would look. On the right is the finished floor installed by myself and my hubby, Mr C. I also tried out a few other options just to be sure. It’s astonishing how different the space can look with different colourways and plank widths.
BerryAlloc high pressure floors
The range comes in three varieties: Original, Grand Avenue and Grand Majestic. All highly durable floors that ooze harmony and elegance at the same time. The main difference between the three is the length and width of the planks. We chose the original in Manhattan Oak.
The flooring we chose is extremely impact resistant. I can vouch for it! There’s no need to worry if you accidentally drop something heavy on the floor. They have a thick, high quality surface, giving them an extremely strong protective layer. I dropped a very heavy ceramic plant pot filled with soil on ours and there wasn’t a mark to be seen. No damage to the pot either! High pressure floors are also scratch and stain resistant too, so perfect for a busy home life.
Does your flooring need to be water resistant?
Now this was important to us because the same flooring will also be laid in the adjoining utility room. There will be the usual washing machine and tumble dryer as well as a Belfast sink. It’s important to us that we don’t in anyway ruin the floor with any possible leaks or spills. In the orangery we will also have quite a few plants and it wouldn’t be the first time that we accidentally spill copious amounts of liquid when watering and feeding them. The flooring we chose has a robust water-resistant top layer which protects both the surface and the bevels. The product core is also fully water resistant as well. Problem solved!
Make sure it’s easy to fit.
Our floor was so incredibly easy to lay and we did it in the shortest time. It has a clever aluminium lock which adds extra strength. All we had to do was push down the planks and the aluminium lock fixed the plank into place. It couldn’t have been more simple and anyone can do it. We used a jig saw for cutting any planks that needed shortening or shaping for the edges of the space. I also used a profile gauge to copy the contours of the walls to make it easy to then make the perfect cuts on the planks to fit around them. I found a handy installation video from BerryAlloc, so I thought that might be useful to include here.
We didn’t even have to use expansion proFiles. This was so suited to our orangery as we were worried about the temperature fluctuation in the room causing expansion and contraction of the floor.
What about noise levels?
One of the things that we were drawn to with BerryAlloc’s high pressure floor was the fact that the cushioning and sound absorbing underlay is already attached to each plank. How fab is that? It meant even less work for us to do. Neither of us are light on our feet, but the sound absorbing underlay make us sound like we are weightless ballerinas! Ok, maybe that’s going a tad far, but you get my point!
We did, however, use a moisture barrier underlay, also from BerryAlloc, as we were laying our floor directly onto ceramic tiles. It just makes sure the floor is protected from humidity and moisture and it took no time at all to lay. We also took it upon ourselves to lay some insulation too, which the floor would float on. Below the original tiles is a concrete floor, so we wanted to make sure the space could be as warm as possible too.
On the edges we also used matching skirting to complete the look. These took minutes to fit using their simple clips, which give us the ability to remove the skirtings, should we need to, without damaging the walls.
We really feel we made the right choice for our lifestyle. Already we have tested its strength accidentally by dropping heavy things on the floor, spilling water, walking through with muddy boots and a filthy dog and even moving furniture around. So far there are no marks, dents or scratches whatsoever and it looks as good as the day we laid it. The floor is super easy to clean too. Just a quick hoover around and a light mop once in a while and you’re good to go. If you’re looking for a top quality, easy maintenance floor that withstands all that life throws at it, then BerryAlloc high pressure flooring is the one for you.
If you liked this, then why not read: Bring the outside in: creating outdoor rooms.
Ad. This post was sponsored by BerryAlloc. All opinions are my own.