Check Your Vital Signs

Private Property South Africa
Natalie Webster

Like primary blood vessels from our hearts, high traffic areas fan out from the heart of the home and are used by every person visiting or living there. Constantly under pressure to perform simply due to increased usage, these zones need hardwearing, easy-care, safe and quiet floorcoverings.

Choosing the right flooring for your needs

By identifying the heart of the residence, high traffic zones will leap into clear perspective. Modern architectural design centralises living or meeting areas and the kitchen with a spine leading to bathrooms and lesser used rooms and offices.

Paths to these central areas, kitchens, passages and stairwells then immediately show themselves as high traffic zones prone to soiling, wear and noise pollution. The performance demands and “look” of an entrance hall or study varies vastly from the luxury and comfort required for a lounge or bedroom, and will thus guide you in your choice of flooring.

Carpets

Carpets are ideal for bedrooms, lounges or any living area where warmth and comfort is paramount, except possibly the kitchen. They are also suitable for high traffic areas such as hallways or entrance halls. Carpets are the most effective sound-proofing floorcovering with non-slip safety advantages that are a distinct plus in high traffic areas. Patterned or dark coloured carpets are advisable in high traffic areas as they have the advantage of masking soiling. Frank Moffat, Marketing Director of Belgotex Floorcoverings says: “Carpets are the foundation of a home’s décor adding luxury and warmth. Not only are they stylish and soft, but they also offer added benefits such as heat insulation during winter and anti-allergenic characteristics. Plus, improvements in yarn technology also address previous problems such as staining, bleaching or fading.”

How does one maintain and care for carpets?

  • Regular vacuuming to maintain the pile height and fibres and remove dust and allergens
  • Avoid washing carpets with household detergents such as shampoo and opt for to steam clean instead
  • Stair nosings will reinforce the highest pressure point on stairs and extend the life of the carpet.

Longevity Hints:

Installation of the carpet on top of a cushioning or underfelt, extends the life of the carpet by absorbing impact and improving the efficacy of vacuum cleaning. The undercushion is dust repellent and improves the underfoot luxury and comfort of the carpet.

Laminates

Duncan Semple from BerryFloor says: “Laminates are the affordable way to recreate the look of wood without costing the earth. And since laminates are a photographic reproduction of wood, you’ll be doing your bit to save the rain forests! Available in a variety of decorative finishes and grains, most laminates are hardwearing and strong because they are stain, scratch- and impact resistant and are easy to install. They can be fitted in most living areas except rooms with heavy furniture (eg: grand piano), on stairs or areas leading from a swimming pool. For wet areas such as kitchens or bathrooms, we recommend ranges with a special waterproof treatment which can withstand up to 36 hours of water on it.”

How does one maintain and care for laminated flooring?

  • Clean with a damp cloth, NEVER a soaking wet mop
  • Mop up spills immediately
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or chemicals other than a laminate cleaner
  • Never sand or polish to try to improve the surface or sheen as this will just destroy the protective wear layer

Cushioned vinyls

Cushioned vinyls are the easiest way to get a variety of contemporary looks, from terracotta tiles to slate or cork, (practically any look you want) without the drawbacks of actually tiling and grouting. In addition, you have the added advantage of underfoot cushioning and warmth, plus they are waterproof, so can be used in wet areas. Vinyls are recommended for any of the wet areas in the home such as [bathrooms][1] or kitchens, or entertainment areas such as pubs and patios.

How does one maintain and care for vinyl flooring?

  • Vinyls can be mopped with normal cleaning agents and water

offers the widest range of floorcovering options in South Africa including carpets from BELGOTEX CARPETS, BERRYFLOOR wood laminates and WOODMARK, LUNA OR SWING cushioned vinyls. Visit their website for more information.

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