Laura Cartledge meets a Haywards Heath company that puts a different spin on vinyl.
If ‘vinyl flooring’ conjures up images of the checkerboard 1960s diner, a Haywards Heath business will make you think again.
Perfectly Floored was launched in 2005 by a husband and wife team with a passion for the product.
“It’s a vinyl made to look like wood or tile,” explains Jane Clarke. “Karndean and Amtico are the leaders of the market and I think those two companies have made it more successful to be honest, they have been around for years.”
As hard flooring has become more fashionable in recent years, the popularity has grown for its vinyl counterpart, something Jane puts down to a couple of reasons.
“It’s a lot warmer because there is no air gap underneath and it is a lot more forgiving if you drop something on it,” she says. “It’s good to look at, with a bit more durability and comfort.
“You can decide the width of the grout lines with the tiles, or tramlines with the wood to make it look like decking.
“You can have it fitted straight or horizontally, we can curve around things like shower trays or the nose of stairs – it’s quite unique,” she adds. “You can really design your own floor.”
While the pair have run their business for nearly a decade, husband Rob was fitting Karndean before that and then the pair saw a gap in the market for a showroom.
Now Perfectly Floored is the south coast’s only Karndean Design Flooring specialist.
“People think vinyl comes in a sheet but this comes in tiles or planks,” says Jane. “I would say the most popular is the oak.
“The most important part is the sub flooring, as it is flexible you will see if it is uneven,” she reveals. “But once that is done it is great, it doesn’t dint or mark from heavy furniture or shoes. The companies guarantee the flooring for 12 to 20 year and we’ll guarantee that if we fit it.”
That’s the practical side, but what about the appearance? With flooring taking up such a large element of a room getting it right is vital.
“We find it’s definitely considered along with the whole room, we have people bring in doors or a piece of worktop or a tile just to see how they look together,” Jane agrees.
“I would say half our customers come in and know exactly what they want and the other half find it a nightmare to decide – that is where we come in because we can help.
“The first question is wood or tile,” she says, “then colours – there are so many different colours and textures and looks.
“Rob is very good with advice, he has fitted millions of floors so he knows what will look right,” she smiles. “Every job to him is a great job.”
The couple split the workload, with Jane fronting the shop and sorting ‘all the behind the scenes stuff’ while Rob does all the measuring and fitting.
“We don’t subcontract out,” says Jane. “For customers to know it is the same faces from measuring to quotes and fitting – I think that works.
“We are both very passionate about the products and business, it’s our baby. We have been known to have board meetings at three in the morning,” she admits.
“We like to give the service that we would like to receive if not more.”
Extending what the company offers has seen a range of carpets introduced in the last few years in addition to the underfloor heating they fit.
“The benefit of offering it all is being able to offer it all,” says Jane. “We often have customers who have had one room fitted, loved it, and come back to us for more.”
To contact Perfectly Floored, 4 Park Parade, Haywards Heath, call 01444 415522 or please visit the website www.perfectlyfloored.com