Selecting the Right Flooring for your Home — dsgnWrld

Selecting the Right Flooring for your Home - dsgnWrld

Selecting the Right Flooring for your Home

When choosing an interior design look for your new home, flooring is a vital part of the decision process. Flooring should complement and match both walls and furnishings, whether one opts for hardwood, engineered wood types, carpeting or tiles.

Laying down a new floor is a troublesome task – far more so than buying a new sofa or even new kitchen appliances – so opting for whats cheapest may not always be the best option further down the road. You want a floor thats going to last: one that can live through the odd spilt drink, that your kids will crawl on, play on – perhaps learn to walk on – so its worth asking some questions about your lifestyle and your expectations before you even start shopping around.

What to consider before you buy

A number of factors play into the choice of flooring: budget (from relatively inexpensive laminates to top-of-the-range hardwoods), location (a bathroom floor is going to have to be far more water-resistant than a living room one, for example), lifestyle (how much traffic is this flooring going to see? What about pets? Are you more likely to entertain the under-fives crowd or host cocktail parties?), and your own personal tastes in design.

Not only is choosing the right floor about choosing a material – from wood and laminate to vinyl, cork, bamboo, ceramic, stone, linoleum and carpet – but also selecting the right texture, patterns and colors. Even if you know youre definitely going for hardwoods, there are still so many types to choose from – from pine and oak to more exotic tree types such as teak, walnut, cherry, maple and hickory.

All floors have their own pluses and minuses: ceramic tiling, for example, is extremely durable and provides a classic look that can be both sophisticated and rustic, depending on color and texture. Tiled flooring can be slippery though, so if you have small children, youre probably better opting for vinyl or laminate substitutes, which are safer and easier to maintain.

High vs. low maintenance

This brings us to another key aspect to consider: maintenance. If you want your flooring to require as little work as possible, for example, then engineered flooring or laminate is likely to be the right choice – its inexpensive and comes ready-to-use, requiring none of the special finishes other flooring needs to retain its original state.

These days, engineered wood types or laminates are harder and harder to distinguish from the real woods, and considerably cheaper, so if your budget is tight, you may want to consider the manufactured version: and remember that however great it may look in the store, parquet flooring requires a special finish to maintain its shine and protect the wood.

Dont skimp in the installation round, however, as it could cause more work later on. Check what should be laid under the flooring first (and in older houses, the subflooring might even need to be replaced); this is important not only in terms of sound absorption but to stop the flooring moving slightly and fracturing. Always consider a finish or varnish to make floors less susceptible to water damage and easier to clean: a properly finished floor is always going to look shinier for longer.

The kitchen and bathroom flooring

In almost all homes, the floor that gets the most beating is the kitchen. Not only does it see a lot of traffic, but it also sees more in the way of dirt, spills, grease, etc. This floor needs to be especially hard-wearing and easy to clean. Linoleum is the cheapest option, and one that requires very little maintenance – it can be simply wiped down with a mop. Higher up the range are ceramic tiles, which are extremely durable and come in a wide range of colors and designs. Bear in mind, however, that they can be slippery when they get wet and are prone to cracking if the subfloor is old and ought to be replaced.

Wood flooring also works well in a kitchen, especially if youre going for that homely, rustic feel – but you will need to apply a good protective finish to keep it looking great after all the moisture that makes its way down there.

Selecting the Right Flooring for your Home - dsgnWrld

Bathrooms are where most water damage can occur. Hardwood can buckle or warp in a bathroom, where it will be subjected to almost constant moisture. Ceramic tiling or vinyl sheeting, which can mimic both the look and feel of ceramic, are great options here that are far less affected by water: remember to waterproof around the seals and the edges of the room.

Considering carpets

In terms of comfort, nothing quite beats the feel of soft carpeting or rugs under ones bare feet, from first thing in the morning to late in the day after a hard shift at work. Its safe and comfortable for playing children and also helps to absorb sound and provide warmth.

A bad carpet, however, may fade or wear out rapidly, cause health problems for those with allergies, or simply refuse to be cleaned properly. Remember carpet padding (just as you would a sub layer for wood floors). Bear in mind too that a carpets installation is almost as important as the carpet itself – dont blow your budget on a fantastic carpet and then skimp on quality installation, so that unsightly lumps and bumps ruin the overall look.

Dont ruin floors to save money!

Ideally, both carpets and wood floors should be professionally handled to avoid being ruined. Those with asthma or allergies to dust mites or long-haired pets can benefit greatly from regular hypo-allergenic carpet cleaning.

Always consider calling a professional service such as Carpet Cleaning Toronto ; not only to get rid of stains you may have thought were impossible to remove, but because the innovative processes used mean that carpets dry faster and stay cleaner far longer. Find a professional service that uses only plant-based cleaners with no phosphates, that are safe and non-toxic for both children and pets.


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