If you’re considering a renovation or are just tired of the sad state of your floors, chances are you’ll need to make some flooring decisions sooner or later. As flooring is a major influence on the feel and mood of a room, it's important to spend some time selecting the right materials, colours, patterns, textures and even shapes for each room. Here are Nu-Look’s 7 key considerations when choosing the right flooring for your house.
1. CONSIDER THE TRAFFIC
While appearance is always important, selecting a practical option that meets the requirements of your lifestyle will ensure that the surface will continue to look good for years to come. After all, who wants to have new flooring installed in a room only to have it pulled up and replaced a couple of years later because it’s looking shabby? A high traffic area such as a foyer or a hallway, needs something durable and solid as well as being easy to clean. Very popular right now among homeowners is vinyl, which is nothing like the lino you’re familiar with from the 70s or 80s homes! With its robust surface it stands up well to heavy traffic. Thanks to advancements in technology, vinyl can be substituted for more expensive options and comes in many attractive designs and patterns making it a great option for many areas of the home. Look for a product with a thick wear layer of melamine resin, if your floor sees a lot of feet.
2. REMEMBER COMFORT IS IMPORTANT
The spaces in your home where you tend to seek comfort should have flooring to fit. Soft flooring works perfectly in a bedroom, like carpet or warm coloured timber which gives it a homely and relaxing feel. Carpet is quiet to walk on and helps insulate noise. Although good for older people, carpet is not as easy to keep clean as hardwood floors, and stains can spoil the look. Hardwood floors on the other hand are not as comfy as it’s padded counterpart, however by adding a sizable rug it can not only soften the surface underfoot but also help customise the look of your bedroom.
3. HOW OFTEN AND HOW LONG YOU STAND ON IT
While concrete or tiled floors can be aesthetically appealing, standing on hard floor surfaces for long periods of time in at home can take a terrible toll on your feet and knees. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, think about choosing a softer option like timber over polished concrete and tile. Today's flooring market offers a range of timber options to complement any interior décor from traditional woods like oak and pine to more exotic species. Refinished timber floor boards look great and give extra warmth to a room. Whatever your timber selection after choosing stain, gloss levels, widths, surface textures and edge details - you can create a truly unique space whatever the room.
4. DON’T FORGET TO THINK ABOUT SAFETY
If you have pets, older people or children in the house, you need to always factor in safety. Is the floor potentially too slippery? Is it going to hurt when people fall? Are scratches from the pets' paws going to show up on the surface? Make sure to factor those things into your decision for each room. Carpet is slip-resistant, comfortable and reduces the impact of a fall by small children and frail people however if you decide to choose this surface, a carpet that is stain resistant and durable is best for longevity.
5. THINK ABOUT THE OVERALL LOOK AND FEEL OF THE HOUSE
Another often overlooked consideration is making sure that the look the flooring achieves works with the rest of the features and style of the house so that it doesn’t look disjointed. As an example a country home with timber everywhere might not work particularly well with stark, sleek black tile everywhere in the home. Considering the whole home is particularly important if you live in a smaller home. In this situation, you should ideally avoid installing a different type of flooring in each living area of your home. By using the same type of flooring throughout you can create a ‘seamless’ look that ties one room into another, also giving the illusion of having more space.
6. TEMPERATURE MATTERS
The flooring in a home can affect its temperature and with significant changes to outdoor temperatures, it’s essential to select a climate friendly floor that means you don’t have to worry as much about swelling or cracking due to extreme weather conditions. Carpet is a common choice by homeowners as it keeps your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter but isn’t ideal for every situation or room. Tiles and brushed concrete also feel great underfoot when the temperature soars outside, but in the middle of winter it’s much less pleasant unless you invest in underfloor heating. If you are considering hardwood floors, keep in mind that these are tough to preserve in climates with high humidity and if you choose to use it, no matter where you live, underfloor insulation is always a great idea.
7. CONSIDER ALLERGIES
Many people suffer from allergies and homes are often filled with common allergens and asthma triggers like dust mites, mould, and pet dander. By carefully considering flooring choices, you may be able to eliminate a major source of the problem, allowing your family to breathe much easier. Reducing the places where allergens can settle and hide improves the air quality in your home and can reduce symptoms like watery, itchy eyes and many respiratory and sinus ailments. For example, even with regular vacuuming, carpeted floors tend to hold more dust, so if you have family members with allergies, it’s worth considering other options like hardwood floors that leave no room to hide dust mites and are also easy to clean. Other options for people sensitive to allergens, include porcelain and ceramic tiles as they are easy to care for and it’s easy to spot areas in need of a clean. For most effective allergy reduction, make sure it is installed with VOC-fee adhesives.
With so many choices available to homeowners, it’s easy to get confused about what surface to choose for what room. At Nu-Look we love to discuss with clients some of their flooring options and what works best for their lifestyle and the space they’re renovating. Contact us today and we are happy to organise a workshop and make sure you make a wise investment in your flooring.