Choosing flooring for your home is a big commitment, so careful consideration of the pros and cons of different options is a must. Lifestyle, pets, young kids, high traffic, exposure to sunlight and temperature variations are all deciding factors. Importantly, experts warn not to make a decision based on a small sample in a showroom because an entire floor of a product is sometimes very different from how it appears as a small sample.
Consider the pros and cons of the more popular flooring options:
Carpeting: Wall-to-wall carpeting provides an unrivalled warmth and cosiness to a room but, while a good choice for bedrooms, wall to wall carpeting in high-traffic areas is not practical as it soaks up spills, retains odours, is not easy to clean, and is prone to staining. If you’re set on carpeting you can have a carpet cut and bound to the exact size needed for a room which can then be removed and cleaned. Alternatively, you can scatter rugs to instil warmth in a space.
Concrete: Concrete flooring is popular in indoor living spaces nowadays, especially in homes with a minimalist and industrial-chic look. These floors are durable, practical, cost-effective and easy to maintain – generally requiring only a damp mop to clean. However, concrete floors reflect sound so the placement of rugs and sound-absorbing materials such as curtaining and furniture should be considered.
Hardwood: In general, hardwood flooring is more expensive than other flooring options to both buy and install and unfortunately hardwood is susceptible to scratching, can get damaged from excessive moisture and will show wear especially in high traffic areas. It can, however, be easily repaired with sanding and refinishing, and so will last for years.
Laminate: Laminate wood flooring is cheaper than hardwood and is easier to install. It is also more durable than hardwood and resists scratches, moisture and wear and tear. However, it is difficult to repair, and even if you are able to replace an individual board, the new piece may not match properly due to the age of the flooring and its exposure to sunlight.
Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is cost-effective, easy to clean and provides good insulation. It is also softer and more flexible than laminate and, being completely waterproof, is especially brilliant for kitchens and bathrooms.