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April 19, 2017

Choosing the Right Flooring

Choosing the Right Flooring

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Choosing the right flooring for your home is one of the trickier decisions you’ll have to make when it comes to designing your interiors.

It’s a considerable financial commitment and you’ll need to carefully balance your personal preferences and tastes with practical considerations. Here, Property & Home takes a look at the different types of flooring available to you. 

Hardwood

One of the most desirable types of flooring, usually comprised of woods such as oak, maple or walnut. They vary in colour—walnut is dark while maple, for example, is much lighter.

The pros: it’s durable, longwearing and adds considerable aesthetic appeal to a room. Having hardwood floors in a home can increase a property’s value.

The cons: hardwood floors are expensive to install and can scratch and blemish over time. However they can be refinished, so any damage                isn’t permanent.

One more factor to consider is that hardwood floors can be noisy for downstairs neighbours if you live in a flat—although this can be resolved by placing rugs across the floor to muffle sound.

Cork

A versatile, environmentally friendly material that suits rooms that receive a lot of use—such as kitchens or playrooms.

The pros: cork has a honeycomb-like structure that traps air within it. This gives it a ‘soft’ feel underfoot, making it comfortable to walk on. It also absorbs sound and is an effective insulator. Cork is self-healing so small slits and cuts will repair themselves.

The cons: aesthetically, cork has a distinct look that may not marry with what you’ve planned for your home décor. It can also dent and damage more easily because it’s so soft.

See also: Tips for Hanging Wall Decor 

Bamboo

Another durable flooring that’s a sound option for high-traffic rooms.

The pros: bamboo is longwearing and strong—it has more tensile strength than steel. It’s also environmentally friendly as it’s made from a highly renewable resource: bamboo typically takes just five years to reach full maturity.

The cons: it can discolour when exposed to sunlight or get scratched and dented. Bamboo can, however, be refinished.

Tiles

Rooms that receive a lot of foot traffic or that need to be waterproof—such as kitchens and bathrooms—would benefit from tiled flooring. Popular materials include porcelain, slate, marble, granite and travertine.

The pros: they’re durable and very versatile—you can use tiling not just on the floor but also on counter tops and splash backs, and they come in a variety of colours and designs, so it’s easy for you to be creative.

The cons: grouting can be hard to clean and low quality tiles can chip. Unless you have under floor heating, tiles will be very cold to walk on—particularly in winter.

Concrete

Hard, strong and versatile, consider concrete if you’re looking for a low-maintenance choice for your flooring.

The pros: if well sealed, concrete is easy to care for as stains and spills can be cleaned easily. It also offers an interesting aesthetic choice as concrete can be dyed different colours and various stains and paints can be used to create eye-catching finishes.

The cons: concrete is very hard, so it may not be suitable for those with children or if you’re elderly and more at risk of falling. Issues such as changes in temperature and moisture can also lead to cracks.

Laminate

One of the more popular choices for flooring, laminate is made up of different substances layered together, with a photographic imprint of wood grain on the top layer of each board. Engineered wood is similar to laminate but the layers are made of plywood and always topped with a layer of real wood.

The pros: it’s relatively inexpensive, durable, easy to install and is also available in many different colours and designs.

The cons: you can’t refinish laminate so any damage that does occur is permanent.

If you have enjoyed this article on choosing the right flooring, click here to read more on Celebrity Angels about the wonders of underfloor heating.