5 considerations for choosing the right floor finishes

Apr 19, 2018
5 considerations for choosing the right floor finishes
When changing up your existing home or planning on furnishing your dream property, it helps to understand the pros and cons of your different options for flooring. Whether considering wall and floor tiles to match, carpet throughout or a traditional stone floor, it’s important to run through these five considerations.

1. Durability

Make sure you choose flooring that is durable and hardwearing, especially in those high traffic areas in the home such as the stairs, entrance ways and busy rooms. The following are all great options for durable flooring:
  • Ceramic or porcelain tiles in the kitchen or bathroom
  • Hardwood flooring throughout the home
  • Engineered wood
  • Stone – especially in the kitchen
Laminate flooring for example can scuff easily, vinyl is likely to rip, and carpet can wear out especially in areas of frequent use and if not installed with a good quality underlay. Opting for a carpet designed specifically for areas of high traffic may be a more durable choice.

2. Installation  

How easy or hard your favourite flooring is to install will have an impact on both your time and budget. Some options you may be able to do yourself, others you’ll need the experts and their time to get the right finish. The following are all easier to install:
  • Laminate flooring
  • Engineered wood
  • Vinyl
  • Carpet
It’s advisable to have your flooring professionally fitted to ensure the optimal look is achieved, wastage is limited, and it’s installed to last. Good fitters should install the above quickly and simply. Hardwood and stone are especially difficult to fit and will always require you to plan for a more time consuming professional fitting. The cost of the materials will also likely impact on your budget too.

3. Cleaning

How much cleaning is required and how easily marks will show up on your preferred flooring should always have a bearing on your final decision. Here’s some essential things to consider:
  • Carpet can stain easily – try and look for good quality carpet with a warranty and stain guarantee
  • Certain stone floors can actually absorb stains and dirt making them extremely difficult to clean and maintain
  • The grout between ceramic tiles can become dirty quickly and is hard to clean – this can be especially problematic when fitted in the kitchen
Wood and laminate floors are quick and easy to clean, and will minimise the appearance of any dust or dirt, with darker shades

4. Practicality

This will depend on the look and feel you want for your home, as well as the specific room. For example, carpet is especially good at retaining the heat and keeping it warm underfoot. You can also achieve a feeling of luxury with good quality carpets in the bedroom and living room. Hardwood flooring doesn’t retain the heat well, while tiles may also feel cold underfoot.
When looking at the practicality of any flooring options you may want to consider the suitability to be fitted alongside underfloor heating. When choosing a carpet, you’ll need to ensure the combined tog rating of the carpet and underlay doesn’t exceed 2.5. Tiles, and hardwood flooring also won’t be particularly forgiving if you drop anything on them – glasses for example will almost certainly break.

5. Cost

You’ll need to weigh up the cost per square metre of your chosen flooring, any requirements for underlay, as well as the fitting. Running through each of these considerations in turn and weighing up all your options should assist with making the right decision.