Whether you want carpet, parquet flooring, wooden flooring or vinyl floor tiles, our guide will help you to make the right choices for your home

There are more types of floor covering available today than ever before, which means that today’s discerning home-owners can find options that are functional and elegant whether they are timeless and traditional or chic and contemporary.

For most of us, the type of finish we want varies from room to room, depending on the style and function of the space. Kitchen flooring, for example, needs to be extremely practical to be able to cope with inevitable spills and wear, so ceramic floor tiles are an understandably popular choice.

Carpet and Carpet Tiles

The priority when it comes to living room flooring, in contrast, is likely to be on creating a comfortable and welcoming environment. Thus carpet tiles or carpet are firm favourites.

When it comes to choosing this flooring, there are thousands of different patterns available, and also a variety of pile lengths and finishes, which mean there is an option for every style of home. Pale, neutral tones can be used to make a room feel larger, while richer shades bring a more cosy, intimate feel. The blend of wool and man-made fibres is another key factor – with a mix of 80% wool to 20% nylon being an ideal balance of comfort and durability. In bedrooms and low-traffic areas, you can indulge in long pile carpets with an even higher wool content.

Don’t rule out carpets in higher traffic areas though. This is where carpet tiles come into their own. Not only are they easy to clean, if a single tile gets stained or worn, it is easily replaced. The same is true of vinyl floor tiles.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring has become increasingly popular over the last twenty years, as it is one of the easiest of all options to keep clean. It offers a versatile backdrop to a variety of different interior styles. Solid wood flooring and parquet flooring are wise investments that will last for many decades, and dark woods such as oak flooring are ideal for masculine areas of the home such as a study. Engineered wood flooring is a surprisingly inexpensive option that is lighter and more durable than sawn timber, which means it can even be used in bathrooms and other areas where linoleum or tiles were previously considered to be the only choices.

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Depending on the look you want to achieve, consider alternative flooring materials too. Bamboo flooring, for example, is a sustainable product that has much to recommend it. The better quality options are durable, low-maintenance and non-porous yet extremely comfortable to walk on, while being resistant to dents and scratches. This means it’s ideal for a range of uses, from bathroom flooring to dining room flooring.

Other types of hardwood flooring that are increasingly popular in recent years include ash, beech and birch, which are all pale and wear-resistant, making them ideal for conservatories, hallways and other rooms where you want a light, airy atmosphere. Darker hardwoods include walnut, jatoba and jarrah all of which are ideal in cosy spaces where the focus is on relaxation.

Laminate and Vinyl Flooring

Laminate flooring is a budget option which is ideal for giving rooms a quick makeover. Along with vinyl flooring, it is one of the fastest options to lay and can be used to transform a space in just a few hours. Both vinyl and laminate flooring can be laid by a keen DIYer and these options have improved significantly in recent years so they now offer a very stylish finish for a relatively modest outlay. They are great for children’s rooms and other areas where you may want to update the flooring from time to time.


Top Tips

  • When buying wood flooring, you can tell if it’s environmentally friendly by checking for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo. The FSC is a not for profit organisation that promotes responsible forestry.
  • Try to avoid buying wooden furniture which blends in too much with your wood flooring – go for wooden furniture with a different tone so that it doesn’t get lost! 


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Filed under: Interior Design

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