When we renewed our lease agreement this year, we asked our landlord if he would consider giving us a budget to spend on some upgrades that are desperately required in the house. To our absolute delight, he agreed without hesitation. And so the fix up journey began. The budget for upgrades was conservative at best and I was going to have to do some serious prioritising – hello new flooring.
The flooring in this house had bothered me since the day we arrived. Whilst the tiles were actually not at all offensive, being light and very neutral in colour, they were in a terrible condition downstairs with lots of chips and marks and areas where there was barely any grouting left. At some point, a previous tenant had replaced the kitchen in the villa with an IKEA one and whilst that made for a nice change, you could see drill holes in the floor of where the original cabinets had stood. It bothered me so much, but as with many things in a rental home, I learned to look past it and live with it. Changing the kitchen doors (so easy to do when it’s an IKEA kitchen) was also on my wish list but I knew that any upgrade to the kitchen would be pointless until the floors were fixed.
The search for flooring was extensive because I wanted to find something that was affordable, but also durable and preferably not horribly toxic, as can sometimes be the case with artificial wood flooring. Since it would be going through the kitchen, I also really wanted a floor that would have some level of water resistance. At first, I assumed that this requirement ruled out all laminate options, and that only choice would be LVT (luxury vinyl tile), which is generally at a higher price point than laminate. However, at the last moment, I found a well-priced water-resistant laminate at Floorworld in a colour that I loved. The brand is QuickStep and the colour we selected is Estate Oak Beige.
There are a few things to consider when looking at new flooring for a rental villa, but one of the main points to think about is what to do with the existing skirting, which in our case was tiled. The two options were to (a) cover it with a custom-made skirting that would conceal the old one without having to remove it, or (b) remove the tiled skirting in favour of a new, ready-made one. Option a was by far the more expensive route and would result in a taller and thicker skirting profile than I would have preferred. Option b was less expensive but a much messier job. After much deliberation, we settled on b.
We also had to decide between a white skirting or one that was a (close) colour match to the floor. I initially chose white but then changed my mind at the last minute and went with the colour match – mostly because I’d become accustomed to that look with the tiles and had actually grown to like it. Happy to say, I’m very content with the choice.
I have to say that the team at Floorworld were really helpful and more than patient with my many questions, not to mention the need to see every sample I considered in my home.
It’s been a month since the floors were installed downstairs and I can’t tell you how happy I am with the product and the end result of the work carried out by the installation team. I’m the first to admit how fussy I am when it comes to workmanship and I have to say that I’ve been suitably impressed. Aside of the obvious upgrade to overall aesthetic of our living areas, RI thought I’d share a few of the other reasons why I love this floor:
It has a very natural, matte finish that actually shows wood grain. I love seeing it in the afternoon light in our home. I looked at many LVT and laminate samples that were simply too shiny. This one is everything I hoped for.
It is resistant to moisture, which gives me peace of mind (particularly in the kitchen) and makes cleaning easier than expected. It’s worth mentioning that we had a burst water pipe in the kitchen shortly after the floors were installed. We were able to react quickly, so water didn’t stay on the floor for long but they were not affected at all. I also received a message on my Instagram account from someone who had installed the same flooring in a farmhouse in the UK and assured me that even after several years, it had proved to be a durable option.
It’s scratch resistant so Pepper (and the kids) won’t leave marks.
If my online research is anything to go by, it’s a high-quality floor that is produced in a sustainable way. An excerpt from the QuickStep website reads, “Quick-Step laminate floors were the first to receive the EU Ecolabel, a label of environmental excellence introduced by the European Commission. It rewards products and services that meet high ecological standards throughout their entire life cycle, from raw materials extraction to production, distribution, and disposal.”
In summary, I couldn’t be happier with the transformation that this new flooring has made in our home. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or ask in the comments section on my Instagram.