wooden flooring

How to Choose Wooden Flooring for Your Home

Upgrading your flooring can completely transform the look and feel of your home, and you can’t beat the luxurious look of wood when it comes to adding the wow factor to your property.

However, with so many different wooden flooring options available, how do you choose the right one for your home and your lifestyle?

From laminate to LVT, real to engineered, keep reading to find out the pros of each wooden flooring type so you can pick the perfect one for your property.

Laminate flooring

Laminate wood flooring has become increasingly popular in recent years and can be a great choice for families on a budget. It is scratch-resistant, water-resistant and long-lasting. Plus, it comes in a wide variety of different styles, so you are guaranteed to be able to find the perfect type for your home.

Other benefits include:

  • Affordability
  • Pet-friendly
  • Low maintenance
  • Suitable for underfloor heating
  • Easy to install

Solid wood flooring

Another popular choice, solid wood flooring has been around for years and offers some great qualities for both modern and traditional-style homes.

One of its most advantageous features is that it is the most durable of all wooden flooring types. It can also be refinished to look brand new, so if it starts to look a bit tired, you can easily refresh it without spending much money.

Other benefits include:

  • You can stain solid wood to any colour
  • Very luxurious
  • Pet-friendly
  • Low maintenance

Solid wood flooring should always be fitted by a professional floor fitter.

LVT flooring

Although not technically wooden flooring, LVT, also known as vinyl click flooring, does come in wood effect finishes and is a great low-cost option for homeowners who like the look of wood. Ideal for high traffic areas of your home such as the living room, hallway, and kitchen,  LVT flooring is incredibly easy to install, durable and water-resistant. It is also the perfect flooring for people with pets who are worried about damaging more expensive flooring options.

Other benefits include:

  • Can be used immediately
  • Suitable for underfloor heating
  • Styles to suit all tastes
  • Low maintenance
  • Does not scratch easily

Engineered wood flooring

Designed to look and feel just like solid wood, engineered wood flooring is incredibly versatile. The main benefit of choosing this type of wood flooring over solid wood is that, due to the way it is manufactured, it is less prone to movement and, therefore, can withstand rapid changes in temperatures and humidity.

In terms of style, you can stain engineered wood to any colour, and it always provides a luxury finish.

Other benefits include:

  • Very long-lasting
  • Provides warmth
  • Pet-friendly
  • Low maintenance
  • Can be installed using wood floor underlays and floating
  • Easier to install than solid wood flooring

If you are still not sure what type of wooden flooring you should choose for your home, our wooden floor specialists in Balham are ready and waiting to help you. Whether you are looking to install wooden flooring in one room in your home or you want it throughout, we can advise you on the best type of wood for both your home and your family’s lifestyle.

Why Choose Vinyl Flooring for Your Home

If you are thinking about installing vinyl flooring in your home but are not 100% sure if this is the right choice for you, you have come to the right place.

Vinyl flooring is known for being a cheaper alternative to more expensive flooring types such as real wood and tiles, but what other benefits does it offer?

Let’s take a closer look.

Vinyl flooring is long-lasting

As long as it is installed properly, vinyl flooring can last anywhere up to 20 years. For optimum durability, look for high-quality vinyl that has been well manufactured. Here at aflooringboutique.co.uk, we offer the best vinyl flooring on the market, with options to suit all tastes and budgets.

Vinyl flooring is sturdy

If you are looking to lay vinyl flooring in high traffic areas of your home, such as the kitchen, the living room, and the hallway, you will be pleased to hear that vinyl is extremely sturdy. In fact, it is one of the most hard-wearing flooring solutions available today.

Vinyl flooring is easy to install

Whether you are planning to lay your new floor yourself or you prefer to leave this task to the professionals, vinyl flooring is known for being easy to install. The only thing you really need to take care of is making sure that the ground you are laying the flooring on is completely flat before starting.

Viny flooring is easy to maintain

Out of all the flooring materials you can choose from, vinyl is by far the easiest one to maintain. That being said, you still need to make sure that you remove any dirt or stains regularly to avoid scratches or any other damage to the surface.

Vinyl flooring is versatile

Vinyl flooring comes in a wide variety of different styles, so you are sure to find something you love. One of the most popular designs is the replica of real wood, which provides a much more affordable alternative to real wooden flooring.

Vinyl flooring is water-resistant

If your home is prone to spillages, then vinyl flooring is a great option as vinyl is known for its water-resistant properties. This makes it a great choice for rooms in your home that experience high levels of moisture, such as bathrooms and utility rooms.

Are there any disadvantages to vinyl flooring?

As with any flooring option for your home, there are a few drawbacks to choosing vinyl. These include:

  • Vinyl is harder to repair than other flooring options such as wood or tiles.
  • Vinyl can fade over time if exposed to too much sunlight
  • Vinyl is made from plastic, so it is not biodegradable

If you are thinking about installing vinyl flooring in your home, make sure that you pick a reputable flooring company and that you read as many online reviews as possible before making your purchase. Plus, if you want to enjoy maximum longevity from your new flooring, opt to have it fitted by a professional carpet or flooring fitter rather than attempting to do it yourself.

How to Choose Carpet Colour

Whether you are moving into a new property or upgrading your current home, choosing a new carpet can be one of the most challenging components of decorating.

With so many different styles, fibre types, and patterns on offer, not to mention the colour, many homeowners decide to stick with what they know rather than embracing a new and exciting carpet option.

If you are struggling to choose the right colour for your carpet, and are already nudging towards the safety of grey, then you need to keep reading.

What affects your carpet colour choice?

There are several factors that you need to consider before you choose a carpet colour for your home or for a particular room, and these are as follows:

  • Do you need a carpet that hides stains well?
  • What type of mood are you looking to create?
  • Do you need to create a sense of space?
  • What is the décor style of the room?

Picking matching colours

Colours can be categorised into three main groups:

  • Primary colours – red, yellow, blue
  • Secondary colours – green, orange, and purple
  • Shades that are produced when you mix primary and secondary colours

When it comes to choosing a carpet that will match the existing interior design of the room, you need to look into accent colours i.e. different colours that complement each other.

If you visit your local carpet store, you can ask for a colour chart that shows you exactly which colours work well together.

Cool vs. warm colours

Whether you opt for a cool or warm coloured carpet will be dependent on the space you are looking to cover and the mood you want to create. Typically, colours such as light blue, green, yellow, and light orange are considered to be cooler colours, whereas dark blue, purple, red, and dark orange are the warmer shades.

Dark vs. light colours

If you are looking to lighten up a small space, then a lighter coloured carpet is the obvious choice. However, suppose you want to tone down a room that is overly bright and has an abundance of natural light. In that case, a darker shade may be more appropriate.

Generally, dark carpets make a room feel cosy, whereas light carpets can make a compact space feel larger. As you would expect, light carpets show stains more than their darker counterparts, so this is also something you should take into consideration.

Benefits of each carpet colour

Each colour offers something different. To give you an idea of the different benefits, take a look at six different colours:


  • Looks clean and modern
  • Covers spills well
  • Suits a minimalist style
  • Best suited to living rooms, bedrooms, hallways


  • Offers vibrancy
  • Suits neutral walls
  • Is unique
  • Best suited to a child’s playroom


  • Covers spills and dirt well
  • Offers a classic look
  • Suits neutral walls
  • Best suited to a bedroom or living room


  • Very versatile
  • Can add a touch of luxury
  • Very modern
  • Best suited to hallways, stairs, kid’s bedroom


  • Neutral base that goes with most styles
  • Can look sophisticated
  • Complements minimalist furniture
  • Best suited to hallways, stairs, and living rooms


  • Hides marks and spills well
  • Lots of different patterns and styles available
  • Can act as a central focal point in a room
  • Best suited to living rooms, dining rooms, hallways, and studies

5 Benefits of Choosing Patterned Carpet

Although most people tend to stick to neutral shades when choosing carpet, patterned carpet is enjoying somewhat of a revival and is currently bringing a bit of pizazz to homes across the UK.

No longer the eyesore of the 70s, patterned carpet is now stylish, sophisticated, and contemporary, enabling you to inject some of your personality into the interior design of your home.

Still not sure if patterned carpet is for you?

Keep reading to discover five benefits of patterned carpet that may sway your decision.

1. Patterned carpet is bold

If you are looking to create a showstopping room with minimal effort, then patterned carpet is the way to go. Once you have laid patterned carpet, you only have to add a few decorative touches to tie the space together, as your flooring will be the room’s focal point.

Alternatively, a patterned rug can be placed over wood flooring to complement a more minimalistic style, with this option allowing for more flexibility in terms of the room’s overall design.

2. Patterned carpet is stimulating

Visual stimulation is a crucial aspect of interior design, but it can be challenging to get right. If you have a room or space such as a hallway or staircase that is predominantly white, patterned carpet or a patterned stair runner can add some much-needed colour and vibrancy.

You can also find patterned rugs with different loops and piles to create textured patterns that are ideal for uplifting a room and creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Whatever type of patterned carpet you choose, make sure that you find a reputable carpet fitter in your local area, with our carpet fitters South London team having a wealth of experience and expertise in the business.

3. Patterned carpet hides stains

Have you ever noticed that hotels and restaurants always have patterned carpets? This isn’t just a coincidence. It is because they hide spills and stains so much more effectively than single-coloured carpets do.

Furthermore, patterned carpet is better at hiding dirt, discolouration, and general wear and tear, meaning it is much more likely to last than its neutral counterparts.

4. Patterned carpet is safer for stairs

Although hardwood flooring on the stairs can look good and is arguably easier to clean, it can be a safety hazard, especially if you have little ones or elderly relatives using them. Adding patterned carpet can reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents and add visual appeal to your home, even if the rest of your property has hardwood or tiles throughout.

5. Patterned carpet can make a room look bigger

As a general rule, patterned carpets make a room or communal space such as the hallway appear bigger than if you used a single-coloured carpet. To maximise space even more, choose a pattern that is scaled appropriately to the size of the room. So, if you have a large room, opt for a larger pattern and if you have a more compact space, look for a smaller pattern.

5 Benefits of Installing Stair Rods

Are you thinking about adding stair rods to your staircase but aren’t entirely sure they are the right accessory for your home? If yes, then you have come to the right place. From their visual appeal to the extensive range of choice and their ability to unify your stairway, keep reading to find out five benefits of installing stair rods in your home.

What are stair rods?

In their simplest form, stair rods are a set of ornamental rods, typically made of metal, that are used to keep your stair carpeting in place. Once a highly practical accessory, modern stair rods tend to add style and sophistication to a staircase rather than hold the carpet or runner in place.

Stair rods have soared in popularity in recent years, with many homeowners wanting to add a touch of luxury to their stairs.

1. Stair rods add visual appeal

If your staircase is not looking as streamlined and stylish as you would like, then stair rods offer the perfect solution. Typically, stair rods are installed at the point where each of the steps on your staircase meet and are used to hold a carpet runner in place. Each rod has its own set of brackets on each end, with an extensive range of different finishes.

It can be hard to explain just how much better stair rods can make your overall staircase look, so why not look at some of our designs and see if anything takes your fancy?

2. Stair rods complement your runner

A bit like fish and chips, stair rods and stair runners just belong together. Providing a unified, stylish and highly professional-looking finish, the right stair rods will perfectly complement your runner, making it look more high-end and expensive.

You can find modern stair rods and those that are more suited to traditional-styled properties, with finishes including brass, black, antique, bronze, pewter, and so many more.

3. Stair rods come with added extras

As well as all of the above options when it comes to finishes, you can also find stair rods that boast other unique touches, such as crystal detailing, which are ideal for adding some pizazz to your hallway. You can also find a wide range of different styles, such as reeded, spiral, and triangular designs.

4. Stair rods can be lightweight

Suppose you are concerned that stair rods will be too heavy. In that case, you will be pleased to hear that, as well as the more traditional options; you can now find stair rods that are much more lightweight and easy to cut to any length with a simple hacksaw. So this need not be a concern of yours.

5. Stair rods are luxurious

Whichever style, design, and finish you choose, high-quality stair rods are guaranteed to make your home look more luxurious. With the ability to transform your staircase from ordinary to exceptional, these affordable accessories are just what you need to show off your sense of style and add value to your home.

How to Measure Your Stairs for a Runner

Stair runners have so many benefits. They make your stairs last longer. They protect hardwood flooring, and of course, they look super stylish. If you are already sold on the idea of a stair runner, you now need to make sure you pick the right length and width for your stairs.

Fortunately, the measuring process is incredibly straightforward, with even a complete DIY novice being more than capable of carrying out this home improvement task.

How to determine the length of the runner you’ll need

Before you start looking at stair runners, you first need to decide where you want your runner to start, as this will determine how long it will be. Some homeowners prefer their runner to come from the top tread and cover the bottom riser. Whereas others want to keep the bottom riser bare.

 How to measure a full staircase

  • Fix one end of a very long tape measure at the top of your stairs where you want your runner to start.
  • Fix your tape measure at each point where a riser joins to the tread below it until you reach the point where you want your runner to end.

How to measure individual stair

  • Measure each tread (the step itself) and each riser, making a note of each measurement as you go.
  • To measure risers, you need to measure from the top of the nose of the tread above to the point where the riser meets the tread below.
  • When finished, add them all together to find out how long your runner needs to be.

Once you have your total length measurement, it can be a good idea to add an extra 10% allowance to allow for errors during the fitting process.

How to determine the width of the runner you’ll need

As well as the length, you will also need to work out the width of the runner you need for your staircase before you start the ordering process, and here is how you do it:

  • Measure the full width of a step
  • Deduct a minimum of 5cm from each end
  • If you want a narrower stair runner, this is fine, but you need at least 5cm clearance at both ends.

Once you have completed measuring your stairs, you can now start to choose your perfect stair runner and begin our simple ordering process. You also need to decide whether you will fit the stair runner yourself as a DIY project or if you would feel better handing over this job to a professional carpet fitter.

If you are planning to hire a fitter, make sure that you choose a reputable, local company that has excellent online reviews and that is willing to answer any questions you may have.

Here at A Flooring Boutique, we offer a wide range of stylish and affordable stair runners to suit all styles of homes and all types of interior design. We provide standard-size stair runners and ones that are made to order. Get in touch here for more information.

laminate flooring in living room

Carpet vs. Rugs – Which is Best for Your Home?

Whether you are moving into a new property or you want to update your current one, your choice of flooring will have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your home.

If you are currently unsure about whether to make a long-term investment in carpet or choose a selection of more versatile rugs, you have come to the right place. From size to shape, maintenance to cost, keep reading to find out the pros and cons of carpets vs. rugs. Plus, discover which one is best for your home.

1. Size

Easily the most obvious difference between a rug and a carpet is size. You can find rugs in a wide variety of different sizes, offering the ability to cover the majority of floor space in a room or just a small section. Carpets, on the other hand, cover the total surface area of a room and are installed firmly to the ground.

2. Shape

Rugs come in many different shapes, from circular to rectangular, square to runners. This makes them incredibly versatile for any room in your home. Carpets, however, typically come cut up in the shape of the room in question and can be easily customised to fit any room shape.

3. Purpose

As a general rule, carpets are seen as more a practical necessity in the home rather than a decorative item, although they do come in a wide variety of patterns, textures, and colours. Rugs, although they do also offer protection and insulation, are predominantly picked based on how they look and the added aesthetic appeal that they bring to a particular room.

4. Portability

One of the main advantages of rugs over carpet is that they can easily be moved from one room to another. They are compact and easily portable, meaning they can be stored away in the summer and easily cleaned.

Carpets, once laid down by professional Balham carpet fitters, are a long-term choice of floor covering that will last for many years to come.

5. Maintenance

As briefly mentioned above, as rugs are portable, they can be cleaned more easily than carpets. That being said, as long as you keep on top of your carpet cleaning routine, you can make sure that any carpet in your home stays in optimal condition for longer.

6. Price

As you would expect, rugs are usually cheaper than carpets but this is because they are typically smaller. However, this will be dependent on the type of material that you choose for your carpet, with real wool costing a considerable amount more than synthetic alternatives.

Furthermore, carpet should be seen as a long-term investment that will add value to your home, whereas rugs will not do this.

7. Durability

Although the exact durability of a rug or carpet will depend on the material they are made of, carpet is generally more long-lasting and durable than most rugs due to the way it is constructed.

Making Your Decision

Choosing between carpet or rugs for your home is not an easy decision to make. If you are still unsure after reading the above, it can be a good idea to think about the people living in your home. Rugs, although versatile, can pose a slipping hazard to young children and the elderly, whereas certain carpets can prove problematic for those with allergies.

What is the Best Type of Carpet for Allergy Sufferers?

If you suffer from an allergy or have asthma, you will know only too well how dust, pollen, and mould spores can wreak havoc with your health, all of which can be exacerbated by your choice of home furnishings.

Fortunately, you don’t have to forgo the warmth and comfort of carpet in your home, even if your allergies are severe. You need to know what type of carpet to pick that will not aggravate your condition.

Keep reading to discover what carpet materials are the most allergy-friendly. Plus, make the most of top tips on how to clean your carpet to minimise dust and other provoking particles.

Woollen carpet

Wool is one of the best choices in carpet materials for people with allergies, as well as asthma and eczema sufferers. This is because it has natural hypoallergenic properties and the ability to absorb common airborne contaminants such as smoke, cleaning chemicals, and deodorants, all of which contribute to better air quality within your home.

You should also know that wool is resistant to bacteria, mould, and mildew due to both its lack of natural moisture and the coil-like shape of its fibres. This, in turn, makes it more difficult for dust mites to survive on.

Nylon carpet

If woollen carpet is a bit out of your price range, there is a cheaper alternative for allergy sufferers that is equally as effective at keeping your allergies at bay. Nylon carpets are much more affordable than wool but still have the same dirt and mildew-resistant properties.

Furthermore, low pile nylon carpets are super easy to keep clean and free of any irritants, meaning even less likelihood of you succumbing to an allergic reaction caused by your carpet.

If you are looking for some top professional carpet fitters South London has to lay your new allergy-friendly carpet, you may want to ask them for further advice on laying and caring for carpet to minimise any issues with irritants in your home.

How to clean your carpet to control allergens

Even if you choose one of the above allergy-friendly carpet types, you still need to take action to keep your carpet free of any allergens such as dust and dust mites.

Aim to vacuum any carpeted areas daily if possible as this will prevent dust from settling and flaring up your allergies. It can also be a good idea to consider wet-vacuum cleaning when possible as this not only helps to remove allergens but also cleans the carpet at the same time.

Finally, try to steam clean your carpet at least once a month, as the heat of the steam will kill any present dust mites.

Although it will take a bit of effort, if you really want carpets in your home, you shouldn’t let your allergies hold you back. As well as choosing the right type of carpet to minimise your risk of aggravating your allergies, you will also need to implement a consistent cleaning routine and be vigilant of any dust, mould, and mildew on your new carpet.

Do’s & Don’t of Choosing Carpet

You may think that choosing carpet for your home is a fairly stress-free and straightforward process. That is until you start looking into all the different carpeting fabrics and styles, not to mention the varying manufacturer’s warranties.

Fortunately, if you are already feeling more than a little overwhelmed when it comes to picking the perfect carpet, the below do’s and don’ts are exactly what you need.

DO Learn About Different Types of Carpets

There are many different types of carpets for you to choose from, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. When determining what type of carpet you need for your home, you will want to consider the below factors:

  • How long will it last
  • How resilient it is
  • How it reacts to staining
  • How much it costs

Don’t forget to also think about where the carpet is going in your home. For example, is it going in a high footfall area such as the stairs or hallway? If you are not sure which type of carpet is best for each room in your home, pop into our local carpet shop Balham for further advice.

DON’T Go to Your Nearest Big Brand Retailer

Although you may be tempted to head to your nearest big brand carpet retailer with the belief that these offer the best deals and the most convenience, you should know that smaller, local retailers often provide a far more superior service.

Keep your focus on the quality of the carpet in question and how your questions are answered during the buying process rather than over-the-top advertisements and promotions.

DO Understand the Manufacturer’s Warranty

The warranty of your chosen carpet is nearly as important as the carpet itself, providing peace of mind that your purchase is protected. Make sure that you check the warranty thoroughly and that it fits with the application for the carpet to avoid any issues further down the road.

If a particular warranty seems too good to be true, don’t be afraid to ask the retailer more about it. A trustworthy retailer will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

DON’T Compare Quotes on Different Products

If you are getting quotes from several different retailers, make sure that they are providing them for the same carpet or at least the same quality of carpet. This will help prevent you from getting drawn in by a cheap but inferior choice of carpet.

DO Take Samples Home

Trying to choose the right colour carpet in-store can be a challenge as you are not able to compare it with other colours in your home. Plus, the colour of carpet can appear different under various lighting conditions, so the way it looks at the store may differ from how it looks in your home.

Avoid choosing the wrong shade by asking for samples to take home. Even a small off-cut will do the job.

DON’T Make an Impulse Buy

Standing in a carpet shop surrounded by hundreds of different carpeting options, many of which look very similar, can result in you making a rash decision if only to get out of the shop sooner rather than later.

However, more likely than not, you will regret this impulse buy. Instead, if you are still unsure about what carpet you want or you have more questions that need to be answered, take a few days to think things over and come back when you are in a fresh frame of mind.

How to Find a Reliable Carpet Fitter

If you want your brand new carpet to look its best in your home, then you need to make sure you find the right carpet fitter. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done.

As with most trades, there are a lot of cowboys circling the internet, and it can be extremely difficult to separate the good from the bad. Unless you know what to look out for, that is. Our latest blog will help you know how to find a reliable carpet fitter in your area.

Opt for a dedicated carpet fitter

When you start looking for carpet fitters online, you will find that there are a lot of general builders and handymen that offer carpet fitting services. These may be cheaper than dedicated carpet fitters, but they will not have the same level of experience and expertise.

Therefore, it is always best to opt for someone who is a carpet fitter by trade rather than someone who lays carpet as an additional service.

Check their experience

If you are searching for carpet fitters South London based, you will be given many different companies for you to choose from. So, how do you weed out the bad apples from the true gems?

The simplest way is to look at a company’s experience. You can check out pictures of their work on their website, read any online reviews, and reach out with any questions you may have about their services.

Determine their qualifications

As well as experience, it can be a good idea to also find out about what qualifications a carpet fitter has. There are several trade associations and accreditation schemes that carpet fitters may belong to, including:

  • The Contract Flooring Association (CFA)
  • The National Institute of Carpet and Floor layers (NICF)
  • The Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA)

It is worth noting that although being a member of these bodies indicates that a tradesman is competent and working to industry standards, you can find high-quality, experienced carpet fitters who do not belong to any of the above.

Go with your gut

You want to pick a carpet fitter that you feel comfortable working with and allowing into your home. Even if someone has all the relevant experience and qualifications, if you do not have a good feeling about them, then go with your gut and don’t hire them for the job.

Warning signs that you may want to look out for include:

  • Not being polite on the phone
  • Not showing up to scheduled meetings
  • Not asking enough questions about the project
  • Being evasive when it comes to the total cost of the project

Work out a payment plan

Most reliable and trustworthy carpet fitters will not ask or expect you to pay for their services upfront. Furthermore, not many will ask for a deposit either, although this can be dependent on how big the project is.

Once you have agreed to a price, you then need to put a payment plan in place that you feel comfortable with. You will find that most carpet fitters are happy to be paid in cash upon completion of the job, but the vast majority will also accept cheques or bank transfers.