When we received the keys to our new place, the first thing we noticed was that the living/dining floor was not in as good condition as we'd initially thought. The granite had many deep cracks and looked worse for the wear.
Needing a quick solution and not wanting to go through the hassle of hacking the floor tiles, we decided on laminate flooring. Since it's laid over existing flooring, it's clean and easy to install. We also love the wooden slate floor look and ok, we know it's not really wood but it's much more affordable.
After some research on the Internet, we found that many recommended Inovar for its quality and lifetime warranty. It's a made-in-Malaysia brand and it even supplies to other recognised brands like Pergo and Supreme.
As luck would have it, there was a home decor exhibition at the Singapore Expo at the time and Inovar was offering their laminate wood flooring at the special price of $2.60 psf. It's truly a great deal, the regular price is $4 psf and Pergo's would probably go for at least $4.50 psf.
We wanted a light floor to make the room look bigger and we also didn't want anything too patterned in case it turned out too Little House on the Prairie (our furniture follows a contemporary theme). So in the end, we settled for Pearl Teak, a white stained shade.
Some preparation goes into the installation. First, you need to remove the skirting, then patch and paint it. This is a separate charge if you engage Inovar. We got our contractor to do it.
Next, since the floor panels are laid on top of existing flooring, the gap between the door and the floor needs to be widened. Inovar removed the entire door and sanded it down.
Finally, the installation! The floor panels come flat packed.
Polythene sheets are first underlaid as a moisture barrier.
Then the laying of floor boards begin. This is an amazingly quick process, the three Malaysian boys who did the job for us are seriously pros! Lay, align, hammer into place - speedy and with meticulous precision.
After that, they install the new skirting, which comes free of charge with the flooring. They select the skirting that's closest to the colour of your laminate floor.
Finally, they install the capping along floor edges.
The whole process took just half a day. Unfortunately, we discovered that one plank was chipped and changing that took more than an hour. It's complicated to change one plank, especially if it's right in the centre of your floor, because they'll need to remove all the interlocking planks from one side of your wall. It's something like a Lego system - you can't remove one middle brick without removing the surrounding ones.
This is before:
I love my Inovar floor!