When it comes to aspects of a property, few take as much of a daily beating as your floors. Choosing the right materials and colours can do wonders to your property’s overall look and feel. So, what do you look for?
As with most things in life, price plays a major role. Depending on your budget, there are several options. More budget-friendly options are typically tiles, carpets, or laminate wood. On the pricier side of the scale, you get beauties like hardwood and porcelain.
It’s important to take long-term costs into consideration when making your choice. While that cheap carpet is a bargain for now, think about the cost of replacing or cleaning it over the next few years. Hardwood, while beautiful, requires more upkeep than tiles would. In the same way, large porcelain tiles aren’t as hardy as materials like concrete, so chips and cracks are factors to keep in mind.
While floors are the workhorse of the home, it’s also an opportunity to elevate its overall style. Look for products that are within your price range and offer the best overall value and quality. If your budget is holding you back, as it sometimes does, consider starting with a smaller room first. You’ll be better off with high quality floors that take a little longer to fully integrate, than a bargain-bin score that leaves you in tears (and with a hefty replacement cost) five years down the line.
Top questions to ask when choosing flooring
- How easy will it be to replace or repair?
- How expensive and labour-intensive is maintenance?
- Does this tie in with the rest of the home’s structural details?
- Is this a trend, or will it be appealing to buyers and tenants for a long time?
- How durable do I need it to be?
- Will this need to be water resistant, or not?
- Am I concerned about allergies?
- How important is sustainability and energy-efficiency?
- How much am I looking to spend?
- Will this add or detract value from the property?
It’s probably not the best idea to lay carpets in a bathroom or kitchen, no matter what retro decor tips would have us believe. But tiles throughout a house can be cold and seem sterile, so that’s not necessarily what you want either.
If you’re reflooring an open plan area, do us all a favour and stick to one type of flooring throughout. No one wants a patched-up living/dining room. When in doubt, and overcome with indecisiveness, opt for a simple tile. Then add a bunch of rugs to cheer the place up.
Another thing to keep in mind here, is the level of traffic the floors will have to endure. If we’re talking about a kitchen or hallway, you’re probably going to want to go for something that’s easy to clean – and won’t show the slightest hint of dust. If you decide on full floor carpets, your most practical bet would be short pile. While this won’t give you that luxurious ’70s flashback, it will save you the hassle of constantly having to clean it. Low pile carpets are less likely to stain or trap dust, making it a better choice for those suffering from allergies, too.
Neutral tones are usually best. Lighter colours will help to brighten the space, while darker woods can add warmth and coziness. Choosing a style or colour of flooring should always tie in with the overall style of the home. You can add your own touches with accents and accessories, but in most cases it’s best to stick to flooring that will complement existing features like windows.
Depending on your choice, you’re going to need to look into the steps you’ll need to take to keep your new floors looking good. If you opt for hardwood, you’ll need to keep in mind that the floors will need to be sanded, coated and polished every few years. If you chose tiles, it’s a good idea to have a few spares in the garage in case you need to replace a cracked or chipped one down the line. Carpets (low or high pile) will require a deep clean once a year. This can be done by a professional cleaning company, or by using a specialised machine.
We’ve covered the mainstream options when it comes to flooring. But what other options are out there? Concrete floors have become increasingly popular over the last decade. Durability and options for customisation make these a good choice for versatile spaces. They also pack the added benefit of being cooler in summertime, and retaining heat for longer during the winter months.
Bamboo floors are making a splash for all the right reasons. Beautiful to look at, durable, and comfortable under your feet, bamboo offers all the benefits of hardwood. It’s also a lot more environmentally conscious, so you won’t need to feel too guilty.