What type of flooring is right for you?
Deciding what type of flooring you want in your home is not a decision to be taken lightly. Unlike your walls, you can’t just ‘paint them over’ if you don’t like the colour, or strip it off like wallpaper if you grow tired of the pattern. Apart from the hassle of changing your mind, there’s the cost – a new wooden floor costs a great deal more than a couple of tins of magnolia paint! So it’s important to make the right decision first time – for your sanity and your wallet’s sake.
Flooring is no longer just a mundane essential – it’s become an essential design feature and, in certain cases, a style statement. Just as the colour you choose to put on your walls can reflect your personality and disposition, so too can the type of flooring you choose. Are you soft and fluffy like a deep-pile carpet? Or is there a more sophisticated edge to you that loves the clean, minimalist look of polished blonde pine?
Your check list
But choosing the right flooring isn’t just about ethereal style considerations – there are some practicalities involved too. So before you plump for polished wooden floors, shag-pile carpets or laminates, ask yourself a few fundamental questions:
#1 – How big is the room? Size matters, and while polished wooden flooring can bring an element of sophistication and style to even the tiniest space or natural warmth to a real chasm of a room, you will need to look at the size of the space. A very large expanse of polished wood could overwhelm a smaller room, unless the remaining décor is considered very carefully.
#2 – What is the room used for? Having a polished wooden floor changes the acoustics of a space, so for example a large, open space may produce a greater level of echo if you install a wooden floor, whereas carpets may mute sound produced by footfall. However, polished wooden floors do offer a greater level of resilience than carpets, so for a children’s play area where there’s a distinct possibility of spillage, wooden floors may be an ideal choice. You can always add ‘softer’ areas by using scatter rugs, but do ensure that they are non-slip to prevent accidents.
#3 – What’s your budget? How much you have to spend will determine what options you go for. However, don’t think that just because you’re on a limited budget that a hardwood floor is out of reach. Instead of going for the ‘real McCoy’, you can achieve a very similar (in fact almost indistinguishable) look with laminate flooring or ‘engineered’ hardwood at a fraction of the cost.
#4 – What’s your colour scheme? While polished wooden floors will go with just about any type of décor – from classic ‘cottage’ stylings to uber-chic modernist lines – you still need to consider how your floors will work with your existing colour scheme and, should you change your mind down the road, whether it will be ‘generic’ enough to blend in with any changes you make later. Vivid staining in bright, vibrant colours may work well now, but if you go for a more subtle décor styling later on you may have to take your floor right back to basics too, and that could cost you. So talk to a professional floor sanding company who will be able to give you some advice on choosing the right floor colouring.
#5 – How hectic is your lifestyle? By that we mean how much time do you have to look after your flooring? If you’re constantly on the go with a young family or a busy life, then a wooden floor is one of the best options to go for. Low maintenance and easy to keep clean with just a quick wipe, polished wooden floors take the minimum of effort to look gorgeous, whereas a deep pile cream carpet could become very labour intensive to keep truly clean.