Choosing flooring should be a fun process. Flooring is a big decision to make, as it not only completes the look of the room, but you’ll need to think about other details like what it will feel like to walk on (texture, temperature etc), how easy it is to clean and its long-term durability, to name a few. The right flooring for your home will also depend upon your individual home and lifestyle. Each flooring option has its pros and cons, which we will outline in order to help you decide what will work for your home. With so many options and qualities on the market, how do you know where to start? Well what better place to start than right here – Lofty’s guide to choosing the right flooring for your home.
Laminate is one of, if not the most affordable and durable flooring options on the market. It is essentially an artificial substitute for hardwood and is made from wood fibreboard. Laminate comes in a variety of different colours and wood patterns to suit most home styles. To install, simply peel off the protective layer and stick the laminate tiles over any solid surface. It’s so simple that it is often done as a DIY project.
- Inexpensive and easy to install, you can even lay it yourself
- Durable and resistant to scratches and dents from furniture and foot traffic
- Water resistant
- Easy to clean and stain resistant
- Eco friendly
- Have been known to occasionally warp from heat and collect moisture (therefore not suitable for bathrooms and laundries), however it’s easy to remove and replace individual tiles as needed
- Little to no soundproofing
- Vinyl (lino) Flooring
Often confused with laminate flooring is vinyl flooring. Unlike laminate, vinyl is made completely of synthetic materials. It comes in many different textures and styles, giving the flexibility to work in just about any room. Unlike the laminate flooring, vinyl is a good option for bathrooms or laundry rooms as it doesn’t collect moisture from humidity.
- Variety of colours, patterns and textures
- Easy to install yourself
- Water resistant and withstands humidity well
- Not noisy when walked on
- Can look somewhat ‘fake’ and difficult to achieve a real feel of wood
- Manufacturing uses toxic chemicals
- Laid in one large sheet
- If damaged, the entire floor of a room must be replaced
- Solid Timber Flooring
Solid timber flooring is just that; solid timber planks that have been laid individually, plank by plank. There are a wide range of timber flooring options and hardwood on the market, each with their own unique tone and grain pattern. Some of these include; Parquetry, Jarrah, European Oak and Chestnut.
- Sound Proof
- Easy to care for
- Natural looking
- Ideal for all spaces of a home
- Creates a warm, stylish and inviting atmosphere
- Easily scratched
- Prone to wear and tear from pets and children playing
- Maintenance can be expensive
- Certainly NOT waterproof
- Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo flooring is becoming an increasingly popular flooring option. Made from renewable material, bamboo is a tough timber making it perfect for families with children and pets. It’s able to withstand kids’ toys and furniture. Plus, it’s stylish! WIth its distinctive texture and overall look, bamboo flooring can add warmth, character and natural beauty into your home. Bamboo flooring is good for high foot traffic areas and does a great job reflecting dust and dirt particles.
- Durable, it won’t scuff or scratch
- Eco-friendly, bamboo is a renewable material
- Cost-effective option compared to solid timber flooring
- Natural looking
- Harder than most timber floors
- Does not collect dust and dirt
- Thinner compared to other timbers
- Provides less insulation
Moving on from the wood style flooring, let’s delve into the world of carpet. Carpets are a fantastic way to give your home a luxurious, soft, comfortable and warm feel. What’s better? Carpets are an absolute pleasure to walk on – talk about plush under your feet. With anything, there are many options to choose from; synthetic, wool, sisal, coir, jute, marmoleum and even paper. What’s important to keep in mind is your individual lifestyle and which carpet option would suit this best. Carpet will also go a long way to minimising the cold during winter months.
- Affordable options
- Absorbs more noise throughout the home
- Soft to touch
- Warmer in cold months
- Shows wear and tear
- Can show footprints
- Requires regular cleaning – can stain more easily
Although most commonly used in bathrooms, tiles are also a great option for other areas of a home. Due to their durability, they are great for high-traffic areas such as hallways, entryways, kitchens and dining areas. Tiles come in an abundance of shapes, sizes, colours and textures so the possibilities really are endless. There are tiles for all budgets, from the simplest of designs to extravagant and sizeable.
Handy hint – Stone tiles have an organic feel, while porcelain tiles give a more sophisticated look.
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Keeps the home cool in summer
- Can make an area appear more spacious
- Items can break when dropped onto tiles, or tiles may break
- Grout lines can pick up dirt
- Can be slippery when wet
- Quite cold in winter months
Last but not least is concrete flooring; an increasingly popular flooring choice for contemporary homes. Available in a range of grey shades, concrete can be adjusted to suit the exact style and colour palette of your home. Plus you can choose either a matte or glossy finish, the choice is yours.
Tip – Like the look of terrazzo but not the price tag? Concrete can be mixed with aggregate stone to create a striking terrazzo-like look.
- Cost effective
- Extremely durable, as solid as it gets
- Cool to the touch, keeps the home cool in summer
- Easy to maintain
- Can make the home cold during winter
- Adding a heating system underneath concrete will be reasonably expensive
The truth is, only you can be the judge of which flooring option is right for you. Our suggestion? Take this guide, apply it to your lifestyle, ask yourself the necessary questions and you’ll find the flooring option that suits you best. Whether you have a home full of children, pets, or just adults, make a plan for each room and what makes sense for you in that part of the home.
Some questions to ask yourself
- What is your square footage budget? Before jumping in and going for the best looking option, make sure you are within budget, remembering to factor in installation costs as well as material costs.
- Do you need a child- friendly floor? Kids toys, some furniture, even high heeled shoes can dent, scratch or damage some floors. Think about it practically as well as visually.
- Do you need a pet friendly floor? We all know pets have a habit of scratching, clawing and potentially rolling around in the dirt! Perhaps choose options that are easy to clean and are more durable if you have pets around the home.
- Do you need low maintenance flooring? The old saying of ‘beauty is pain’ is true for some flooring options. You may love the look of it, but if you aren’t prepared to give the floor some attention, perhaps go for an easier to maintain option.
For a professional opinion, Lofty has a selections team that will help you sift through all the options and come up with flooring that is practical, stylish and within your budget.