Are you considering installing new flooring around your home? There are many choices on the market from laminate, wood, tiles, stone, bamboo and concrete to carpet. You can make a choice on a room-by-room basis or consider a uniform solution across your home. What you choose should take into account the amount of foot traffic - whether you have children or pets and what climate you live in.
If you expect to have a lot of traffic, you should look for something durable. Hardwood, concrete are perfect for this, but if style, comfort is what you are focused on then carpet or tiles might be the way to go. If your home is exposed to flooding, stay away from wood based products as water can easily cause boards to warp and buckle.
Here are some tips to consider when choosing flooring for your home:
Carpet is a nice, traditional and comfy choice that has been a favourite for centuries. It certainly keeps you feeling warm and comes in a wide array of colours and materials. The downside is they tend to get worn more easily with lots of traffic and spills can be harder to clean up.
- Wool is one of the classics, and has a nice fiber density. The only drawback is that that woollen carpets tend to be more expensive and vulnerable to moths.
- Nylon happens to be another sturdy material that works with similar qualities, but it also has a drawback in the form of static electricity generation due to friction with some objects.
- Polypropylene is also another excellent solution – it has excellent resistance to water damage, mildew and mould as it was intended for use in outdoor areas.
- Polyester is also a wonderful, stain-resistant material used in such products, allowing for easier carpet cleaning, but it does have a drawback in the form of potential shedding of fibers.
- Acrylic carpets are made of synthetic wool that allows for easy carpet cleaning and less static electricity generation due to friction, coming in wide variety of colors.
Floorboards are the natural option and again there are a huge variety of options from engineered boards to spotted gum, to recycled boards. Floorboards are sound proof, durable if sealed properly and a renewable material source. Timber flooring retains its heat in cold climates and will keep your home feeling warmer. On the downside, high traffic might lead to the floorboards needing to be sanded and stripped frequently.
- Hardwood flooring looks great and feels warm under your feet, but moisture will kill this product.
- Engineered floorboards are cheaper and better for the environment. Highly durable with natural grains that can come in a wide variety of colours. New products on the market today, can allow you to install this type of flooring yourself. They are a perfect option in active homes with high volume of traffic. This product also holds up well against water.
- Parquetry flooring is a mosaic style design of smaller pieces of timber.
Polished concrete is certainly one of the most popular flooring options these days. Its a mixture of aggregate, water and cement and polished by hand to give it a shiny finish. There is a huge range of choices now and the aggregate can even include stones, glass and trinkets.
Although a very hard floor to walk on, it can be heated to give comfort and warmth.
This is a synthetic flooring material that is designed to imitate wood. Its sold in tile or plank form.
Timber laminate is more economical than solid flooring and these days it is very difficult to tell the difference between the two. It is water resistant, comes in a variety of designs, easy to self-lay and simple to remove and replace.
Tiled flooring typically comes in ceramic or porcelain styles and is laid on a concrete slab. Tiles are one of the flooring products that will stay warm in winter and cool in summer due to the thermal massing which occurs when a concrete slab sits directly on the ground.
Cork, bamboo flooring, stone are other options to consider.
- Cork is probably one of the cheapest options around. It is great for kids as its warm and soft and will protect most glasses and plates from breaking.
- Bamboo is a sustainable product and cost effective alternative to timber. It expands and contracts with temperature changes, so ideal in areas that are humid. It is also a hard flooring material that won't scuff.
- Products like sandstone will look amazing, but are very porous.
- Marble, granite and limestone are more expensive and tend to be slippery unless you get it sandblasted.
So in terms of your home, various flooring options can be used for different rooms.
- Kitchens tend to be high traffic areas and need to have water-resistant and easy to clean surfaces. Floor cleaning and kitchen cleaning needs to be considered. Since you are standing in your kitchen most of the time, soft flooring is desirable and will stop breakages when cups and plates are dropped.
- Bathrooms tend to be a place where even the smallest slippery surface can be a very dangerous thing, so you should choose flooring that is both mildew and mould resistant and one that sheds water efficiently. Ceramic tiles are a great traditional choice, but they happen to be a bit harder to clean due to their structure. More recent laminate floors are water resistant so they can also be used in bathrooms if they were designed for that purpose.
- The dining room is also a location used on a regular basis and should be stain resistant. Laminate, tiles and wooden floors are all a valid solution due to their resistance. You should avoid placing carpets since they are more vulnerable to staining.
- With Bedrooms seeing less traffic, carpets are a wonderful soft solution but you can still use hardwood or laminate floors underneath for added effect. Keep a balance between aesthetics and practicality and you will be just fine.