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Lifestyle : The Ultimate Flooring Guide 2011
1HERSA1 C026 SPECIAL REPORT If you’re a dab hand at DIY, laying your own flooring is possible — just heed the advice of experts, writes Margie Sheedy. Tips on getting down and dirty Choices . . . some materials are easier for DIY than others. Photo: Gerry Angelos R enovating your own home can save you thousands of dollars. But when it comes to flooring, one small mistake by a DIY handyperson can cost time and money. So make your experience with flooring foolproof by following our guide to all floor types. Floating timber Floating timber is a good do-it- yourself product, says David Copping, of All Style Flooring, because it comes in planks so it’s easy to handle. ‘‘There are tricky bits, like undercutting the edges, and at the door jambs in units,’’ he says. ‘‘And you must leave expansion gaps around the edges of the boards. ‘‘It’s most important that the floor is level and that there are no dips or high spots.’’ Top tip: When cleaning your laid timber floor, don’t use too much water – wring out the mop. Laminate flooring Bunnings flooring buyer Brad Lawrence says laminate flooring is suitable in most areas of the house, apart from wet areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. ‘‘It simply clicks together like Lego but for any first-time DIY job, it’s essential that you plan the entire project prior to commencing,’’ he says. ‘‘It can give a hollow sound, [so] make sure that you purchase a quality underlay with a moisture barrier to reduce this.’’ Top tip: Leave expansion gaps around the edges of the laminate to allow for any movement. Carpet ‘‘Most people don’t change their carpet because it’s worn out; they change it because it’s ‘uglied’ out,’’ Copping says. He and Lawrence recommend only highly experienced DIYers lay carpet as the joins provide the biggest challenge. Top tip: Call in the professionals. Vinyl tiles Vinyl is one of the cheapest forms of flooring available and it’s easy to install: the tiles are simply stuck to the floor. But preparation is vital. ‘‘Make sure there are no lumps or small pebbles on the subfloor,’’ Copping says. ‘‘Once the tiles are laid, these will look like mountains under the vinyl tiles.’’ People also trip up when cutting in. ‘‘Start in the middle of the room and have even cuts on either side.’’ Top tip: Take your time, don’t rush. Sheet vinyl Sheet vinyl comes in four- or three- metre sheets, which can be harder to manage, Copping says. ‘‘And there’s no option of stretching it. Once it’s cut, it’s cut.’’ In bathrooms and laundries, the sheet will need to be cut around fixtures and waste holes. Copping uses a template for this. ‘‘When you’re marking out the template, have the vinyl pattern- side up so it goes in the right way.’’ Top tip: Most vinyls expand and contract so don’t cut it in too much, Copping says. Tiles Many DIY renovators launch into tiling but Lawrence says planning is essential. For Copping, this comes down to *Terms and Conditions Apply. Fuel Promotion minimum spend $500. See instore for details 18 Forthorn Place, ST MARYS Ph: (02) 9623 0591 www.abltilecentre.com.au $1850SUPPLYONLY With over 25 years experience, ABL Tile Centre is able to offer 1st class service, design and prices. With 100’s of tiles on display. Ceramic, Porcelain, Indoor and Outdoor its all here at ABL Tile Centre. As well as floor tiles, we also sell Bathroom, Kitchen and Laundry products and deal with major brands such as Caroma-Stylus-Methven- Dorf plus many more. See ABL Tile Centre. Only 5 minutes from the M4 “When Quality Matters” The Inspiration $50 Complete Bathroom Package Save $849 Over A Hundred Choices Of Tiles! • 1525 Stylus Maxton bath • Full China link toilet suite • 900 Full Gloss vanity (over 20 to choose from) • Bevel edge mirror • Wall tiles - 15m2 of 20x20/20x30 Gloss White, 20x30 Gloss Alabaster or 20x40 Gloss White • Floor tiles 5m2 of 200x200 • Border - 8 sheets of glass or marble mosaic • Taps - basin, bath, shower set - chrome (5 yr warranty) • 2 x chrome plug & waste • 2 x chrome floor waste • 6 piece accessory set - chrome ABL TILE CENTRE OPEN 7 DAYS: Mon - Fri 7.30am - 5pm Sat 8.30am - 4pm Sun 9am - 3pm 26 July 16- 17, 2011 smh.com.au The Sydney Morning Herald
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