I looked on the web for some possible brands, i had 2 friends lay Karndean flooring and PolyFlor Explona flooring and were really happy with the results, suggesting they would never consider anything else as a flooring option for their homes. Reading through forums and talking to carpet retailers i quickly realised that there wasn't really anything too bad about the vinyl. They look fantastic, are supposed to be easy to clean and are defiantly durable. They are of commerical standard too which is great. The only downside i can see is that being a wood look i think they will show the dirt and dust a bit more just as a standard wooden floor would. And the vinyl doesn't have any thermal properties unlike tiles that soak up the heat and help to warm a place up in winter. This could also be a plus though as the vinyl isn't as cold and as hard to walk on in winter, yet still cool underfoot in summer.
The past week i have visited all the local carpet and flooring places in the area. I checked the harvey Norman Allure, Karndean, Polyfor, Allura and Inovar.
The Invoar "Spotted Gum" is a beautiful plank but i think a little bit too orange for the look that im after. And after taking samples home from harvey Norman we didn't like their texture in the planks although the colour was right. For karndean i first loved the walnut a gorgeous grain, and it looks so real you would think it was wood. I borrowed the walnut and Lancewood but when i got them home in natural light relaised they were nt the colours for us. Then after a 3rd visit i borrowed the Melbourne Larch, Tasmanian Wattle and the Antique Kari. At the moment we love the Melbourne Larch. Im amazed we both agree on the plank. I thought we would be having battles over which colour to go with. Its a nice warm yellow tone, with a bautiful grain thorugh it, but not to dark. I think this colour will hide the dust well and the dirt too.
The look we are trying to achieve is something like this. A light, Bright and airy home that has a really warm cozy feel about it. I know this sample is real wood, but the planks do look real so if we can get close enough to this ill be happy. Certainly feeling a lot more at ease about this decision than trying to choose tiles for the home. The planks can easily be laid. and then if we want to replace them in years to come once the kids are older we have that option. its a huge thing to change if you put the wrong tiles down. And i really dont like how the ceramic tiles chip so easily either. I would be devasted if something was dropped and it chipped a new tile in our home.
Here are some of the samples of the Planks that i have viewed over the past week
This is a sample of the Melbourne Larch | Karndean Plank
Image on the left shows the tone better
Bottom - Inovar "Spotted Gum"
Right - Allure "Vintage Oak"
Left - Karndean "Walnut"
Starting from Far Left of screen
Spotted Gum - Inovar
Tasmanian Wattle LL - Karndean
Melbourne Larch - Karndean
Antique Kari - Karndean