How To Choose The Right Flooring For Your Home
In our everyday life, we don’t think about flooring but when building your new house it is an integral part of making it a home. The right flooring not only adds to the practicality of a room but also can tie a room together and make you feel more comfortable. When choosing flooring it can all depend on the use of the room, your budget and your lifestyle. If you have children or pets for example, you may wish to go for floors that are easier to clean than others.
Some floors don’t need to be so expensive while others are worth investing in for quality. Investing in a quality floor will save you money in the long run as it will be more hardwearing and stays looking nicer for longer.
If the design of your house is open plan, you will have to consider the fact that the flooring will have to be multipurpose. In this case, investing in some good rugs could be beneficial for distinguishing the different areas of the house. Always do your research to find a well trusted reputable company by checking reviews and looking at their previous work.
Before you make your final decision about flooring, buy a small sample to take home with you. Even if a product looks great in the showroom, you have no way of knowing how it will look with your decor and lighting until you see it in your space. Spending a few pounds on a sample ahead of time could save you from spending hundreds or thousands on flooring you may not be happy with.
Hallways have the most footfall out of any room in the house and therefore require the most hardwearing floor in the house. If you are not someone with a lot of time on their hands for cleaning then you may wish to consider putting down hard floors that are simple and easy to clean.
The stairs is a spot most people tend to forget about but can often be a great feature to inject personality and depth into your home. Wooden staircases can look very grand or quite sparse depending on the rest of the house. This is where a runner can look very chic and elegant so your stairs become a decorative feature of the house and not just for practical use.
The main benefits of wooden flooring are that it’s long-lasting and can be resurfaced to remove scratches, looks great with all different styles and are easy to clean. However, they are not suitable to use in rooms with lots of moisture and water because they can easily warp and are vulnerable to scratches. If you wish to have underfloor heating, make sure you select engineered wood to avoid warping and damage.
Wood flooring is a practical choice for areas that don’t get the most foot traffic such as living and dining rooms. You can find many options with a huge variety of textures, finishes and dimensions available. This tends to be the more expensive option to install but is often worth it as it’s durable and versatile. The more processes the wood goes through the more it is likely to cost. On average, for fitting a solid wood flooring the cost is around £35-£50 per square metre. If you choose to work with a tradesman, labour costs can be expected to be around £100-£200 a day but with this, you are paying for the expertise and design of your installation. Prices can of course vary depending on the type of floor you want for example parquet flooring tends to be more expensive but it can look more luxurious.
There are so many different types of stone flooring available for your home such as limestone, sandstone, slate, granite and even marble. Natural stone is very beautiful and works great with underfloor heating. It is hardwearing and easy to clean however there’s always a rare chance you could chip a tile. Sealant will also need to be reapplied from time to time to maintain the floor’s stain resistance. The frequency depends on the wear the floor gets, but on average it’s done every few years but if you look after it well, stone should last a lifetime.
Prices vary wildly depending on the stone you choose, its source, availability, its thickness and size. Because of this, stone flooring could cost you anywhere between £15 per m2 to well over £100 per m2 but this does mean there are options to fit all budgets.
Laminate flooring is constructed with a thin veneer over layers of plywood or compressed fibre. The top layer is a photograph under a clear plastic coating meaning that laminate can look like wood, stone, tile, or just about any other material. Laminate comes in either planks or tiles. Most of them are floating floor systems, which you can install right over your old flooring with no glue or nails.
Laminate is low maintenance, easy to clean and scratch-resistant however it can be very slippery when wet. It’s best to avoid this material in wet rooms, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. It can be a cheaper option in the short term but unlike real wood, it cannot be refinished and has to be replaced so it’s not always cost-effective.
The style of the house and use of the room will obviously play a big factor in the type of flooring you choose but carpet tends to be a popular option in many rooms because the texture adds another dimension to a room as well as adding comfort for that cosy feeling and being a great insulator to help reduce energy bills. It’s also quiet, slip-resistant, and fairly easy to install. Natural wool is easily recyclable and biodegradable, plus shearing is essential for the welfare of sheep, making it a fantastic sustainable choice for flooring.
Underlay can often be overlooked when considering carpet costs but it can make a huge difference to the finish, feeling and longevity of the flooring. Underlay can also help reduce your energy bills by providing extra insulation, can reduce noise and feels comfier underfoot too.
Carpet is the hardest to clean out of all the options and staining could leave the carpet not looking its best. It’s also not the best option for allergy sufferers as it can harbour pollen, pet hair and bacteria that regular vacuuming can’t always remove.