While the bare bones of your home are important, it’s the finishing touches that really make it come alive. One of the most important parts of finishing your home is the floor. Which type of flooring will you choose for each room?
You have plenty of wonderful choices that will give you a myriad of looks, so you can literally have any design you want. From tile to wood, there’s something for everyone when it comes to beautiful flooring.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING FLOORING
Before you look at the various types of flooring, you should consider a few things. Knowing more about what you need will help you narrow down your choices and help you make better decisions, rather than looking at flooring types that you later realise are not appropriate for space.
How much are you planning to put into your flooring? This will depend heavily on whether you will be flooring one room or the entire house. The amount of money you can spend on the flooring will affect your choices, but don’t forget that it’s not just the flooring material that you’ll be buying. You’ll need to pay for the removal of the previous floor, the underlay, and installation of the new floor. You may also need to varnish or stain a wood floor, or purchase grout for a tile floor.
What does your existing décor look like? If you are just building a brand-new house you can choose the style and build it up as a complete unit, with walls, floors, and countertops, and so on. However, if your home already has a full style and you don’t intend to remodel, you need to plan your flooring choices around this.
The colours you opt for will need to mesh with the existing décor but should also be chosen for their practicality. A white carpet, for example, may not be the best choice for a child’s bedroom. It will easily stain and become dirty, so a brighter pattern may be a better choice. Likewise, if you have a white dog and a dark carpet, it will tend to show hairs.
What do you do in each room? You’ve likely seen homes with poorly considered carpet in the dining room or bathroom, so you can avoid these mistakes by looking at how you use each space and then what type of floor would work best for that. Consider how easily you can clean the flooring in the space and determine if you have any special needs for the area. For example, if you cook a lot, you may want a softer floor than tile or stone, since those can be hard on the feet.
No matter what your needs, there’s a floor that is perfect for you. Now you just need to find it.
TYPES OF FLOORING
Very few homeowners choose the same flooring to use throughout the entire house. Even if you select tile for the kitchen, you may want carpet for the bedrooms. This means you need to consider how each type of flooring will work in your home.
To add softness to space, a carpet is the perfect flooring. You can choose from fairly thin carpets that don’t have many piles, to luxuriously long carpets. The denser the pile, the closer the fibres are in the carpet and this means the carpet will last longer. It’s worth investing in a high-quality carpet if you want it to last.
Carpets are made with one of five fibre types:
● Nylon: Durable, resistant to stains, but likely to cause static electricity.
● Polyester: Hypoallergenic, resistant to stains, can be crushed easily.
● Polypropylene or Olefin: Resists stains and UV light, but wears easily.
● Wool: Natural and clean, prevents mites from thriving and is antibacterial, but pricey.
● Acrylic: Feels like wool, doesn’t collect static and is stain resistant, but not long-wearing.
You’ll also need a carpet pad installed under the carpet to give you some cushioning. This makes it easier to stand on and will help your carpet last longer. It’s relatively easy to clean with a vacuum.
Carpet works best in bedrooms and living rooms, or spaces where spills and stains are not as common.
When it comes to choosing a floor that is resistant, good looking, yet affordable, vinyl is at the top of the list. It can look very much like wood or tile but is a vinyl and fibreglass material topped with a protective layer of urethane. Vinyl can be printed to look like just about anything and is available in tiles, sheets, or planks.
This type of flooring is quite resistant to wear and tear, but you should apply polish as needed for glossier types of vinyl. It’s also easy to clean, just needing to be swept frequently and mopped from time to time to pick up any extra mess. Stains are not an issue, so this type of flooring can be used in any space.
Vinyl flooring tends to be used mostly in the kitchen and bathroom, as well as highly trafficked areas like the entry and hallways. It’s quite simple to install and can be laid down on top of plywood.
Wood flooring comes in two types, hardwood and softwood. Most people opt for hardwood since it stands up to use better and tends to require less maintenance. Oak, cherry, and maple are the preferred hardwoods, while pine is often selected as a softwood floor.
You can choose from a wide range of designs for the wood you install on your floor. Some pieces come in tile-like shapes of squares or rectangles, while you can also select parquet squares. Perhaps the most popular choice is planks, which can be selected in a variety of widths to give you more of a rustic look or an elegant look, depending on what you want.
For an eco-friendlier option, consider choosing reclaimed wood, which comes from older buildings that have been renovated or torn down. This type of wood comes with some character and will look used and worn, which is exactly what many people enjoy. Distressed style wood is easier to maintain because it always looks loved and used and a few new scratches won’t cause any harm.
Wood flooring does need to be finished with a topcoat or varnish to protect it from ordinary wear and tear. You can refinish it from time to time, which will help prevent it from looking old. Choose engineered wood floors if you want a long-lasting option since this is designed to be lower cost and is finished with a very hard topcoat.
Wood flooring works well in most rooms in the house, with the exception of bathrooms, due to the high level of moisture.
Tile flooring can give a beautiful, natural feel to a room and a natural coolness. Tiles tend to be made from ceramic or porcelain, both man-made, or stone. Ceramic tiles are finished with protective glazes but are still likely to wear and crack more than porcelain. Porcelain is sturdier and while more difficult to install, tends to resist stains better.
Stone tiles may be created from limestone, granite, slate, or marble and are long-lasting, but costs more than man-made tiles.
When tiles are laid, they need to have grout between them, which gives you lines between the tiles. Grout may be made in different colours to suit your style, but this is part of a tile design. You’ll also need to select the size (larger tiles in larger spaces and vice versa) and shape.
If you dislike the coolness that tiles bring, as naturally cool elements, you may want to consider radiant heat in the floor. This is done with either pipe for hot water or electric maps under the tiles to keep them warm.
Tiles can be used in any room, but work particularly well in bathrooms and kitchens, as they’re easy to clean and disinfect.
INSTALLING YOUR FLOOR
While you can install your own flooring, it’s usually best to leave that to the professionals, particularly when it’s tile flooring or wood, which require more finesse. Hire a company to install your flooring for you and you’ll find it is faster and easier than doing it yourself. You’ll also like the end result better.
Often, the same company that sold you the flooring will install the floor for you. If you’re considering a new floor, contact Lewis Interiors today to find out what your options are. we’d be delighted to help with any enquiries you may have.