Laying a Floor: Coverings, Costs and the Right Craftsmen

October 7, 2021
  1. Costs: How much does a new floor covering cost?
  2. Do you really need a floorer?
  3. Cork floors
  4. Laminate floors
  5. Linoleum floors
  6. Parquet floors
  7. PVC and vinyl floors
  8. Carpets
  9. Laying the floor correctly

Flooring can completely change a room. The children's room with the expired carpet becomes a cosy home cinema, modern home office or inviting guest room with a parquet floor or laminate flooring. Depending on the covering, a new floor is due after 10 to 50 years:

  • Cork after plus/minus 15 years
  • Laminate after 15 to 25 years
  • Linoleum after plus/minus 20 years
  • Parquet after 25 to 50 years
  • PVC and vinyl after plus/minus 20 years
  • Carpet after 10 to 15 years

Costs: How much does a new floor covering cost?

You can buy floor coverings made of a wide range of materials in many variations in DIY or hobby markets. If you are handy and have time, you can actually lay any floor covering yourself. At least at first glance, this is cheaper than hiring a professional. However, if you don't have time or the floor plan is more demanding than a simple rectangle, you should hire a professional floor layer. The cost will depend on the flooring, the layout of the rooms and the amount of work involved (including travel time). With these guide prices you can roughly estimate the costs:

  • Cork: 120 to 150 francs per square metre
  • Laminate: 80 to 110 francs per square metre
  • Linoleum: 120 to 150 francs per square metre
  • Parquet: 80 to 120 francs per square metre
  • PVC and vinyl: 80 to 100 francs per square metre
  • Carpet: 100 to 150 francs per square metre

Do you really need a floorer?

Different coverings require different skills. Laminate, for example, is laid without adhesive, while parquet needs to be glued down. In addition, any damage to the subfloor may have to be repaired before the new floor is laid. And it often makes sense to lay an insulating mat under the new flooring. Without specialist knowledge and the right tools, this is more difficult than some people might think. That's why it pays to leave the work to professionals. In the Houzy network, you will find certified floorers from your region who will give you competent advice and lay the floor professionally for you. If you are looking for ceramic tiles, artificial stone or natural stone, you will also find the right tiler.

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Cork floors

Cork is a natural and renewable raw material. One cubic centimetre of cork contains 30 to 42 million cork cells and consists of nine tenths air. That is why cork is very elastic, compresses when the pressure increases and expands again as soon as the pressure decreases. Furthermore, thanks to its honeycomb structure, cork is an excellent insulator of footfall sound and heat. Cork is laid as a swinging cork parquet or glued down as cork boards over the entire surface and is suitable for bedrooms and living rooms because cork flooring is warm underfoot, easy on the joints and easy to clean.

Laminate floors

Laminate is built up layer by layer from wood fibre boards, paper as well as melamine adhesive and is very popular thanks to its good price-performance ratio. Laminate floors are hygienic, easy to clean and hard-wearing. Thanks to their low installation height, they are well suited for renovations and can be easily laid on almost any subfloor, but should not be glued over large areas. Laminate flooring is mainly used in hallways, bedrooms or living rooms. For the bathroom or kitchen, the moisture-sensitive floor covering must be specially sealed.

Linoleum floors

Linoleum is produced from 80 % renewable raw materials such as linseed oil, cork flour or jute and is biodegradable. The natural material is antistatic, antibacterial, hygienic, easy to clean and hard-wearing. Linoleum flooring is installed as tiles that are joined together and laid as a floating floor or fully glued down as yard goods. Each joint must then be sealed to prevent moisture from penetrating. Linoleum is particularly suitable for bathrooms or kitchens because it is very easy to clean, but it is also increasingly being laid in living rooms.

Laying the floor: Kitchen with linoleum floor.
Linoleum is antibacterial, hygienic, easy to clean and hard-wearing. That is why it is often installed in kitchens.

Parquet floors

Parquet is a natural product and is produced from wood. That is why visible colour differences are normal and contribute to the lively character of the floors. Basically, there are three types of parquet:

  • Solid wood planks consist of one piece of real wood, usually from a deciduous or coniferous tree, and are available untreated or with a refined surface. They are nailed, screwed to the substructure or laid floating with click clamps. Depending on the humidity in the room, solid wood planks expand or contract. Hardwood is harder, softwood is softer.
  • Ready-made parquet or three-layer parquet is also produced from real wood, consists of a sealed wear layer, a middle layer and the backing and is laid without glue using click clamps. Like laminate or chipboard, prefabricated parquet is made of wood materials and is therefore more dimensionally stable than solid wood, but it also works depending on the humidity in the room. Parquet can be sanded.
  • Wooden floors are less expensive than solid wood planks or prefabricated parquet and are particularly suitable for renovations thanks to their low installation height. They are coated with precious wood veneer, are laid as floating floors and can be walked on immediately because their surface is UV-sealed.

Laying the floor: Parquet flooring
Colour differences are normal with parquet. These contribute to the lively character of the floors.

Houzy Advice

Good to know

Parquet is available in many variants. The types of wood differ in appearance, hardness and moisture absorption. Their colour nuances are natural and visible quality features.

Houzy Hint

Tip

If you want to protect your parquet floor effectively and safely, you should keep the humidity between 40 and 60 %. The easiest way to do this is with a permanently installed humidifier. Read our article «Too dry and too warm: heating until the parquet bends».


PVC and vinyl floors

There are hardly any differences between PVC and vinyl flooring. That is why the terms are used synonymously. Most people talk about PVC floors for the sake of simplicity. PVC or polyvinyl chloride is produced from vinyl and enriched with elastic binders to make the floors resilient and soft. PVC is available by the metre or as carpeting with or without a backing or as tiles. PVC floors are mainly installed in bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms because they are hygienic, easy to clean, hard-wearing, resistant to water stains and UV light. They can be laid loosely or glued down, most easily on flat floors.

Houzy Advice

Good to know

PVC floors are better than their reputation. The basic material vinyl does not contain any heavy metals, solvent-based printing inks, carcinogenic substances, formaldehyde or pentachlorophenols as it used to. PVC is 100 percent recycled, and floors are produced again from the waste.

Carpets

The carpet selection is almost inexhaustible. Basically, a distinction is made between tufted and woven carpets. Many carpets are tufted, i.e. their wear and backing layer is linked with sewing or pile yarn. Experts speak of loop pile when the yarn loops remain closed, cut pile when the loops are cut open, or cut loop when loop pile and cut pile are combined. Higher quality and more durable, but more expensive, are woven carpets. All carpets insulate well and absorb sound. They are mainly installed in living areas because they are warm and soft underfoot, but not in kitchens or bathrooms because they are sensitive to stains. They can be laid loosely or glued or fixed over the entire surface.

Laying the floor: Carpeting in a bedroom.
Carpet is warm and cosy. That is why carpets are mainly installed in living rooms and bedrooms.

Laying the floor correctly

Floor coverings are installed in three ways:

  • Loose: The easiest way is to lay the covering loosely, i.e. only fix it to the subfloor with double-sided adhesive tape and secure it.
  • Floating: The elements are laid loosely and connected with click clamps. The floor is always slightly in motion and works depending on the load, temperature or weather. This is why bumps, gaps or waves can occur. Floating installation is not suitable for rooms with underfloor heating because the layer of air between the floor and the floor covering impedes the flow of heat.
  • Bonding: Flooring that is glued over the entire surface adheres permanently and firmly directly to the subfloor. This makes the floor covering much more resilient than a floating floor covering and it also lasts longer. Gluing is suitable for all rooms, even with underfloor heating, because the heat can be distributed in the room without restrictions or loss of performance. Linoleum must be glued down.

Houzy Advice

Good to know

With underfloor heating, you have to glue the covering. But gluing has other advantages as well: The covering does not develop bumps, gaps or waves, is more resilient, lasts longer and does not slip. However, gluing requires experience, know-how and special tools.

In the Houzy network you will find certified floor layers from your region who will give you expert advice on choosing the right covering for any room or floor and who will carry out all the work professionally. With just a few clicks, contact up to three floor layers who we recommend to you with a clear conscience.

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