Floored by flooring? There’s an abundance of options on the market, so to select the right one for your purposes, keep a few simple points in mind.
If you want your flooring to last, neutral tones will never go out of style, while natural colours and textures remain popular in most flooring types. However, if you’re a soft touch, carpets are increasingly varied in colour, pattern and texture and can be used to make a bold statement. Improvements in fibre technology and construction techniques also mean less expensive carpets will wear well, although it pays to invest in high quality products for busy areas
Arguably in warmer climates, cooler flooring will serve you well for most of the year. Floorboards remain a strong favourite and, especially if they’re solid, will add value to your property. Few are brave enough to try laying wood floors themselves, so it pays to opt for professional installation. Wooden floors should not be laid on concrete slab as the moisture rising from beneath the building can cause boards to warp.
A good alternative to timber is laminate, growing in popularity due to its relatively attainable price, waterproof qualities and resistance to wear and tear. It’s also easier than timber to install and can be laid over any flat surface.
A hit in the 1970s, cork is also returning to favour as environmentally-friendly flooring with a natural look, often in tile form. Tiles in general come in a wide range of materials, including ceramic, terracotta, mosaic, marble, granite, porcelain and limestone. They also carry different ratings; use lower rated tiles in areas where there is not much foot traffic and higher rated tiles in heavily used areas such as entrances.
Vinyl is durable, attractive, and a great option if you are on a budget. It is available in tile or sheet form, and has good noise insulation. Linoleum is slightly more expensive than vinyl but it will last longer – up to 40 years if properly cared for.
If you’re in search of something with more impact, the vogue for polished concrete continues apace, as it not only lends a contemporary edge and is available in a wide array of colours and finishes, it is also energy efficient. Glass flooring is the ultimate statement; don’t be put off by the idea of your floor in smithereens – good glass floors are made of layered panels laminated together. They’re sturdy, and with imaginative lighting, can be stunning.