If you have ever been faced with the task of selecting floors for your house, you know that it is no small duty!
Whether you are building a new house or revamping your existing house, flooring plays an important role in the end product.
We take a look at some of the most important factors to consider when choosing flooring.
Should you go for tiles? Carpets? What about laminate floors? Will concrete floors work?
Different floor finishes are better suited for certain applications. While tiles and laminate flooring might be durable and practical for a child’s room, it might leave the room feeling cold and hard.
Bathrooms present their own challenges when it comes to flooring because of the amount of water present, but it doesn’t mean you cannot have a wood look floor in your bathroom.
It’s all about making the correct choice for the right end-use.
We take a look at some of the most important factors to consider when deciding on a floor finish.
It all comes down to price
The first and most important factor to consider is always price. Flooring can easily be one of the most costly items when building your new home or renovating, so be sure to do your homework!
Make sure that your builder is informed about the type of floor finish you are considering before he quotes you for the building work.
Contractors make allowances for flooring in the form of an estimated prime cost (PC) amount in the quote. If they know beforehand that you want to install a floor finish that costs R500/m², they can allow for it and give you a better estimate of the cost.
Flooring can start from as little as R70/m² and reach astronomical amounts of more that R1000/m², so it is important to do your research.
If you already have a specific floor finish in mind, speak to a supplier to find out prices or seek the advice of your interior designer, who can suggest different suppliers or alternatives.
Looks are everything
You will most likely have a style and look in mind when selecting flooring. Research the latest trends and products before making a choice.
If you are considering wooden floors, look at the different options that can achieve the look you want. You can go the route of engineered wood, laminated floors, vinyls that looks like wood or wood-look tiles. The look you want, can be accomplished through different means.
There are even carpets nowadays that gives you a concrete look!
Polished cement floors can be achieved with different additives and processes.
In short – there are many ways to skin a cat! Make sure you find the one that works best for you.
Area of use
Not all floors are created equal
Where you are planning to use specific flooring, will have a big influence on the choice you make.
Areas like the kitchen and lounge get a lot more foot traffic than, for instance, bedrooms.
Flooring in bathrooms need to be able to withstand high levels of moisture and regular cleaning with harsh chemicals.
Outdoor areas that are subject to rain, will benefit from having an anti-slip floor finish.
I always find it interesting and annoying how malls seem to have the most slippery tile on the market! It makes for uncomfortable walking, and visible wear in high traffic areas.
It should last for a lifetime
Floors are a long-term commitment. You won’t be changing your floors every five years!
Therefore it is important to buy the best quality flooring that you can afford.
Make sure to ask the suppliers about their warranties which is the suppliers’ guarantee of the integrity of a product and their willingness to replace it if there is a problem.
Also be sure to buy some extra stock of the floor finish you choose, in case you have to replace a tile or small piece of damaged flooring.
You need an expert!
Most flooring products will require a specialist installer to fit the product.
Be sure to get a recommended installer from your supplier, especially if you are going for large format tiles, vinyl, laminate or wood flooring.
Unfortunately, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to the installation of flooring.
Tilers are often not familiar with laminate flooring and vice versa.
Also make sure of any extra’s that might be required when choosing a specific product.
For example, with laminate flooring, you need to use an underlay. Carpets require an underfelt and vinyl flooring requires a self-levelling screed to be applied before it can be installed.
These extra’s can also add to the cost of your flooring.
Maintenance and cleaning
Scrub, scrub, scrub!
You don’t want to spend all day on your hands and knees cleaning your newly installed floor finish. Consider your lifestyle when selecting flooring. Do you have pets? Kids? All of these factors will influence your choice.
Some flooring products require special cleaning agents and cleaning equipment.
Laminate flooring for instance, does not like water and needs to be cleaned with laminate floor cleaner and a microfibre mop only.
Take into account the maintenance your floors will require. Cement floors need to be resealed often and solid wood floors will need to be sanded down and refinished every few years.
Tiles offer a low maintenance and easy cleaning solution.
Weigh up the options
When it comes to selecting floors for your house, the options are numerous. Tiles, laminate flooring, vinyl, or carpets all present different qualities.
Tiles come in various designs, colours, and sizes.
This timeless floor finish will give you the greatest variety when it comes to choice.
It is a low maintenance and easy-to-clean option that will last for a very long time!
Nothing comes close to carpets to create a cosy, warm, and luxurious feel.
However, it is not a great option for people with dust allergies, pets, and respiratory illnesses as it traps dust and dirt.
Solid wood flooring is a real luxury now a days. However, many flooring products exist that can give you the look and feel of a real wood floor, without breaking the bank.
Laminate flooring is by far the most cost effective options. Read more abour the advantages of laminate flooring here
Vinyl (no, not the type your Grandmother had in her house 50 years ago) is a extremely durable option that resembles wood.
Ever increasing in popularity, cement floors are very practical, but will show hairline cracks, wear, and dirt easily.
Consider your options
Choosing a floor finish, is a monumental task. Make sure to weigh up the different options, research each product carefully and get the best floors that you can afford.
Flooring is something that quite often goes unnoticed in interior design, except when it is badly done. Then, it will be all that everyone notices!
Flooring can set the mood, change the atmosphere and bring together interior design elements in a room.