Ask the experts
PUBLISHED: 06:22 04 August 2014
We've carpet in our bathroom which I want to replace. I'd like wooden floors but I'm worried about water marks. What do you suggest and what are the alternatives?
You are right to worry about putting wooden floors in a bathroom. Installing a solid hardwood would not be the best idea as moisture kills solid hardwood, and unless installed perfectly with no gaps for moisture to penetrate it then chances are the moisture will get into the timber causing water marks and expansion thus leading to the floor lifting. A slightly better alternative would be a laminate or engineered board as these tend to have a wear layer which would resist a certain amount of water and is manufactured on either a plywood or MDF backing, which means it is more stable than a solid timber.
A far better solution – if it is a timber effect which you are trying to achieve – would be to consider a Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) which are available in all shapes, sizes and colours from various manufacturers such as Amtico, Karndean and Polyflor. If installed properly, these look and feel fantastic without the worry of having expansion gaps or the risk of any water marks and best of all are a little easier on the pocket.
Robin Eglen, Reform Flooring, Shepherds Business Park, Lenwade; 01603 879359; www.reformflooring.co.uk
I fear I may need to replace my washing machine, tumble dryer, freezer and dishwasher during the next 12 months. I am not sure whether to invest in well known brands for longevity or far cheaper models. What’s the most cost effective?
With a washing machine think, about the value of the clothes put in a single wash – a 7KG drum will hold 25 men’s shirts, so a lot of the time the value of clothes is greater than the machine. You could buy a machine for £300 which might last you four years or maybe more, but if you spent £600 you could get a machine that might last you 20 years.
Think of the value of food in a freezer; if that breaks down you could be several hundred pounds out of pocket. Plus, unlike other appliances, the freezer is on 24/7.
For dishwashers, it’s about wash results and ease of use, well known brands will perform much better and be quieter.
Mark Gook, Gerald Giles, Ber Street, Norwich; 01603 621772; www.geraldgiles.co.uk
My framed photographs have been hanging on a north facing wall and several seem to be stuck to the glass. What can I do and how can I prevent this from happening?
This problem occurs when photographs have been framed without a mount, also called a mat or a passe-partout. A mount is usually made from a type of cardboard sheet with a cut-out, which is placed under the glass in the picture frame. The photograph is placed beneath it, with the cut-out framing it, preventing the photograph from touching, and sticking, to the glass. The mount cut-out should be bevelled to avoid casting shadows on the photograph.
Do not try to remove stuck photographs from glass, they will tear. Instead, have them scanned and remove unwanted marks with a suitable computer software programme.
Mark Whatling, Orchard Frames, Chapel Street, Diss; 01379 644968; www.orchardframes.com
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