Picking the right floors is key to enjoying them.
Flooring is one of the main design elements in a room; it can complete a look or inspire one. But with all the flooring materials and styles on the market, choosing the right flooring for your space can be overwhelming. You want your floor to be aesthetically pleasing while fitting your lifestyle. Consider the following factors when making your decision:
- Your personal style.
- What the room will be used for.
- The location of the room.
- The amount of care and maintenance you’re willing to perform.
- Your budget.
Although floors aren’t a permanent fixture, they aren’t a temporary fix either—at least, not most of them—so you want your floor to suit your needs. No matter what your lifestyle, there is a floor that best suits it.
While it’s important that a floor suit your lifestyle, it’s also important that a floor suit your style. Do you like the neutral tones of hardwood or the boldness of patterned carpet? Are you going for a vintage, modern, or rustic atmosphere? Once you know the types of flooring you prefer, you can work your way down using the process of elimination.
Use of the Room
A high-traffic room needs flooring that will withstand constant use and be easy to clean. Tile is ideal, but if you’ll be standing on it for long periods of time, you’ll want something softer under your feet, such as wood or cork, to prevent discomfort. If budget is a main deciding factor, laminate is a good alternative. Laminate is versatile, durable, and easily maintained—great for a rental suite or a temporary fix. Carpet is soft underfoot, but if placed in a room with a lot of foot traffic, it will need to be shampooed more often.
If you have children, consider getting flooring that is hypoallergenic and easy to clean and maintain, such as cork, tile, or laminate. But if you have pets, especially larger ones, stay away from hardwood and cork, as these floors scratch easily.
When it comes to the location of the room, you want to consider things like light exposure and humidity, and where the room is located. Solid wood expands and contracts with humidity changes, while tile holds its structure. For mud rooms or entryways, a floor that’s easy to clean is what you want. Placing rugs at doors helps keep dirt off the floor. This simple solution prevents scratches—something to be vigilant about with natural flooring.
In a sunny location, cork and wood will fade, especially in direct sunlight. If you can’t avoid sunlight, invest in window coverings to stop or filter direct sunlight.
Rooms that have fluctuating humidity levels are prone to dampness and mildew, so in these rooms you want to stay away from flooring that traps (and grows) bacteria, such as carpet. You also don’t want hardwood because it expands and contracts with humidity changes; engineered wood is a lot more forgiving. In bathrooms and laundry rooms, tile works well, with one consideration: choose a textured or unglazed tile to prevent slipping.
Care and Maintenance
Each type of flooring requires a certain amount of care and maintenance. Carpet needs to be vacuumed regularly and shampooed yearly to prevent stains and bacterial growth. Tile, though an easier floor to maintain daily, requires grout cleaning and resealing to prevent grout discolouration. Wood and cork floors need regular sweeping or vacuuming and are prone to fading and scratches from debris carried into the house. Laminate is versatile, durable, and easily maintained, but it isn’t necessarily the best long-term solution.
Some floors are cheaper in price, and quality, than others. If you’re looking at your new flooring as an investment, it’s worth it to go the natural route: wood, stone, or cork. Although these materials cost more, they add to your house appeal and value, and won’t need to be replaced anytime soon. If you’re looking for a simpler, less costly solution, laminate or carpet are the way to go. Having a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for a floor you don’t like. Talk to the experts at Siena Flooring to help you find the best floor for you.