Why laminate flooring is the most family friendly floor you can find

Deciding what material you want for your floor is not easy, even more so when you have to think about the younger members of your family. Having children means you need to think not only in the aesthetics but also in the practicality and durability. Here are some facts that could interest you if you are considering to install something a little more budget friendly, like cheap laminate flooring instead of an expensive real wood. Hopefully these pointers should give you a little insight as to why we think laminate is the most competent flooring for family life!


If well installed, the life expectancy of a laminate floor can be around 20 years. This high endurance is due to its construction. Laminate flooring is composed of four layers, the first one is known as the backing and this is what separates the subfloor from the rest of the layers and helps to prevent moisture seeping through. The next layer is the core, this is what helps the floor support the weight when people walk over it. The third layer is the image and it is as its names indicates, this is the layer that helps to recreate a particular material for the floor to imitate. Finally we have the wear layer, this is a protective layer that sits on the top of the floor.

Thanks to this construction, the floor is very hard wearing  and highly resistant to scuffs, dents and scratches. Laminate flooring is highly recommended for places with big temperature changes, because of its construction it doesn’t expand or contract, unlike real wood.


One of the most advantageous qualities of laminate flooring and one that is especially good when it comes to family life is that it doesn’t need much care and maintenance. Due to it being waterproof, laminate is highly resistant to spillages and will just need to be regularly mopped.  This is great if you you don’t have time to spend hours cleaning a floor and means that you don’t have to worry about your kids playing on it and causing any damage. Because of the low level of general maintenance required, laminate floor is perfectly practical and good value for money.


Because of its locking system and plastic wear layer, moisture can’t get in, as we said earlier, this makes the floor very hygienic. Again, as it is very easy to clean and doesn’t collect dust like with carpets, it is perfect for people who suffer from allergies, something very common among kids nowadays. This feature is very important especially if you have children of a young age, whose immune system is weaker and as a result tend to catching bacterias easier.


Laminate flooring is a very low cost floor, coming in much cheaper than solid or engineered wood. But it also doesn’t have any associated cost that other floors could have, this is due to its easy installation. This is another key advantage, you can install the floor by yourself.  Its versatility helps you also to save money.  Laminate floor is available in a wide range of styles, it can replicate different kinds of wood, and simulate the effect of tiles and stone.  This is very good if you are tight on budget, and you would like to renovate the floor of more than a room.

In our opinion, all of these features make the laminate floor the most family friendly floor on the market. It is the perfect compromise between good looks, low maintenance and practicality. You will be able to have a house that looks nice without having spent too much, as well as worrying about keeping it clean and looking fresh too!

In collaboration.

Pets — should they be in your bedrooms or not?

Do you have a cat or a dog? Do you let your dog or cat sleep in your bedroom or on your bed? You are certainly not alone, as a survey commissioned by leading pet insurer Animal Friends found that nearly half of owners sleep with their pets – is this something you do?

But is it a good idea to welcome your pet into your bedroom? Bespoke kitchens in Glasgow specialists DM Design has analysed the arguments both for and against this decision and you can see them below.

The case for pets being in the bedroom

A study carried out by the Mayo Sleep Clinic, a leading clinic based in Arizona, USA, supports the case for welcoming your pets into your bedroom – they don’t see a problem!

After surveying 150 patients — 49% of whom owned at least one pet — it was found that over half of those with animals in their let them sleep either in their bedroom or even on their bed.

However, the study also revealed that most of those who did felt safer, more secure, more relaxed and had a better night’s rest than those who didn’t, although just 20% of those with pets said that they experienced interrupted sleep due to their pets ‘snoring’, ‘wandering’ or ‘whimpering’ when they were in the bedroom.

The author of the study, Lois Krahn, commented that ‘Many pet owners view companion animals as family members that they wish to incorporate into as many aspects of their life as possible. Because humans spend considerable time sleeping, a pet owner’s desire to have animals close at night is understandable.”

She also pointed out from the study’s results that people who slept alone — whether because they were single or that their partner had to occasionally travel or work at night — “more often spoke of the beneficial companionship stemming from a pet in the bedroom or on the bed”.

This isn’t the only time where research carried out at the Mayo Sleep Clinic has revealed results in favour.

In a study of 40 healthy adults who had their sleep evaluated with a dog in the bedroom over a 5 month period — (with both the humans and dogs wearing activity trackers for the research) — it was found that people slept better when the pet was on their bed. Sleep quality was however sacrificed when people allowed their dogs to sleep under the covers with them.

In regard to this particular study Dr Krahn acknowledged: “The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom.

“Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”

The case against pets being in the bedroom

Although the clinic has released studies in favour of having pets in the bedroom, the institute — or more specifically their Sleep Disorders Center — believes that people who have difficulty sleeping should consider keeping their pets out of the room.

In a survey of 300 patients, of which over half had one or more pets, 53% of pet owners suggested that their sleep was disrupted to some extent on a daily basis. Snoring was also reported in 21% of those with dogs, as well as 7% of those with cats.

John Shepard, the medical director of the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, advised: “Every patient has to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping with pets and make a personal decision about the sleeping arrangements in the household. Some people are very attached to their pets and will tolerate poorer sleep in order to be near them at night.”

Derek Damin, of Kentuckiana Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Louisville, believes that people who have asthma or obviously pet allergies should definitely refrain from letting their animals on their bed or even in the bedroom. This is “to give your nose a few hours a day to recover”, Dr Damin explained. He did add “But if you’re not allergic, there’s really no big issue with having a dog in the bed. It’s fine as long as it doesn’t disturb your sleep.”

It appears then that so long as there aren’t any issues with allergies, personal preference takes precedence when deciding whether or not to allow pets into the bedroom.

What do you think?


5 Ways To Save Money On Your Household Bills

Many homeowners want to enjoy more financial security, but are unsure how to amplify their savings. Yet, it really doesn’t have to be difficult. You simply need to reduce your monthly outgoings, and we are going to show you how. Find out five of the best ways to save money on your household bills.


  • Browse the Market


Unfortunately, homeowners make the big mistake of accepting the first offer they find for a product or service. However, browsing the market will allow you to make an informed decision, so you can discover the best item at the best price. So, don’t settle for the first website at the top of the search engines, and delve deeper into Google or Bing to view different competitors. You should also use a comparison website to gain an insight into the best offers on the market from the most reputable companies.


  • Compare Mobile Phones


A mobile phone contract is a big financial commitment. After all, you will be tied to the device and the contract for over a year; perhaps even longer. So, when you are shopping around, it is advisable to compare Mobile Phones so you can be sure you select the best device and provider for your needs and personal budget.


  • Unplug Devices


Did you know you could be unnecessarily pouring money down the drain every day? If you regularly leave electronic devices plugged in, you are constantly using a small amount of electricity, known as phantom power, which can result in one large energy bill. So, if you want to save money on your energy bills, unplug the items or apply power strips to devices you use rarely.


  • Cancel Memberships


It’s baffling how many people hold onto memberships they never use. Stop telling yourself that you will return to the gym or local country club, and cancel the membership. You’re throwing money away if you’re using the memberships less than once per month. It’s surprising how much money you can save over the course of the year, and the extra cash can be used towards a home renovation, holiday or a new wardrobe.


  • Skip Expensive Restaurants and Takeaways


After a busy day at work, the last thing many homeowners want to do is start cooking. As a result, they are more likely to book a table at a restaurant or order a takeaway. However, not only is this bad for your waistline, but it will also cost a considerable amount of money each time. Boost your savings by preparing and freezing meals, which you can simply throw into the oven after a busy day at work. This will allow you to enjoy an affordable, delicious dish that all the family will love.

As you can see, there are many ways you can save money each month. With a little forward thinking and thorough research, you could notice a big distance to your bank balance in no time at all.


What Would You Change About Your Property?

We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful little village with plenty of green space and a friendly community. We are also lucky to live on a private estate in the village where our neighbours are all very lovely and there is plenty of space for our children to play. Our house is a decent size compared to the cottage we used to live in but there are still a few things I would change.

Unfortunately we privately rent this property and since Olivia is growing up so quickly, are going to be looking for a new property soon. Whilst we wouldn’t mind Olivia and Jack sharing a bedroom, Jack’s room is actually too small to fit another bed in so we either need to look for a two bed with larger bedrooms or a three bed property.

However we were told when originally renting this property that they would be considering selling it in a few years time. Those few years have now gone past so if they were to consider selling, we would definitely consider purchasing it and doing it up ourselves – perhaps extending out so the kids could share a bedroom or making our kitchen and dining room open plan.

Something we would definitely consider is bringing more light into our home. We don’t seem to get much light on one side of our house and on the other, we have drab curtains that came with the house that even if open seem to soak up some of the light. We are lucky enough to live in a property with a flat roof so a roof window from Roof Windows would be a great addition to our house and bring plenty of light in. Our bedroom is large enough that a roof window would be perfect for letting some light in without impacting on our space.

I’d also consider sorting out our garden. We have quite a tiny garden and there’s nothing we can do about that – it’s always going to remain that small – but it is also very uneven. I’d level it out and either make it 100% grass or I’d completely pave it over. I’m still not sure which I’d choose but we’d have to do one or the other – at the moment, we are reluctant to let the kids out there.

There’s so many little things I would love to change around the house too – but doesn’t everyone want to do so to their property? What things would you change?

Our Autumn Room Makeover With TJ Hughes

We were sent a selection of items from the TJ Hughes Home Accessories range to create this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Now that it has turned rather autumnal, I’ve been planning to get our house looking a little more autumnal itself. When TJ Hughes got in contact asking if I would like to choose some items up to the value of £40 to create my post, I knew that I had to say yes and set about giving my living room a little makeover. However a little someone had other ideas…read on to find out why.

First of all I knew I needed to make our sofa a little more colourful. It is a black leather corner sofa and whilst we love it, it looked a little bare. Steve isn’t one for cushions but Jack and I love them and we opted for this gold sequin cushion to give our sofa a little bit of sparkle.

With our living room looking a little bit more sparkly, we wanted to give it a little more glitter so chose this sparkling styler rug in purple. We did have this by one end of our sofa and it looked great but someone (a certain little boy named Jack) loved the rug so much he has pinched it for his bedroom so I think I am going to have to grab another one for our living room as he doesn’t seem to be giving this one up anytime soon!

Lastly you need two things to make a room really autumnal. A table lamp (like this Hebden table lamp in black) which has been perfect for lighting up the evenings when they get dark so quickly and of course a scented candle. Is it really Autumn if you don’t have a variety of scented candles on the go?

We chose this Sparkling Sugar Yankee Candle and it smells absolutely delicious – the scent really fills the room and we have been lighting it every single evening as we love the scent so much.

The home accessories range from TJ Hughes is vast so you have plenty to choose from but I hope I have shown you that you don’t need too many items to give rooms in your house a refresh and that they can be quite versatile from room to room. I’m already going to be heading back for another purple rug as Jack has decided he loves it and I may need to give a matching black Hebden lamp for the bedroom too as it is the perfect size and shape for my bedside table.

With just a handful of items you can make a room look really different. What changes have you made to make your home look a little more autumnal?