There’s a lot to think about when making changes to your home, or indeed if you’re looking at designing a whole house, writes interior designer Catherine Watson, of Penrith-based Bert & Wills.
Flooring choices can make or break a scheme. I’ve put together a few of the most popular choices but this is just the tip of the iceberg as there are literally hundreds of options.
Carpet remains popular as it is warm under foot and creates a cosy feel to any room.
Carpets are normally made from wool and/or synthetic fibres such as nylon, polypropylene and polyester.
The majority of synthetic carpets are resistant to stains and generally have a good resistance to wear. In addition, they are cost effective.
Wool carpets are more expensive, however it is a natural, luxurious, long-lasting material and is the softest carpet you can find.
Unfortunately, wool is more susceptible to staining but in the past I’ve had my wool carpets treated with a guard that literally sees stains sit on the top of the carpet and then they are easily removed (you can tell I had young children!).
My advice would be to invest in the best underlay you can as underlay can really help make your carpet look, and feel sumptuous.
You’ve probably heard of loop carpets like Berber and Sisel and they tend to be highly durable, easy to clean, and resistant to stains, making them perfect for high-traffic rooms such as the lounge and stairs.
For areas that receive a lot of traffic, laminate, vinyl, ceramic tiling and hard wood floors are the most common options.
Laminate combines the authentic look of a natural floor with many practical advantages and it is a cost effective option.
It is made up of four layers – but I won’t bore you with the detail as google can help you with all of that! It is extremely strong, stable and moisture-proof.
Vinyl is best known for its waterproof credentials, which makes it ideal for wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
It is relatively reasonably priced compared to hardwood floors, and this makes it perfect for areas of your home that get a lot of footfall.
Meanwhile, laminate is preferable if you want a more stylish appearance, lower costs, and a comfortable feel underfoot.
Confused? I’m not going to help by adding in a couple more options!
Ceramic tiling is a convenient option for many rooms. I’ve used it in a show home as flooring for the whole of the downstairs (minus the lounge) and the effect was fabulous – especially good if you have pets.
Ceramic tiles have a hard, solid surface and is fairly easy to care for but as you move into the more ‘on -trend’ look, plus installation, it can become a bit pricey.
Hard wood floors are a bit of a minefield as there are so many options.
There are two main types of hard wood floors; solid and engineered. Solid wood is one of the most popular types of floors and fans would agree that nothing beats real, solid hardwood.
However, because of its popularity and quality, solid wooden flooring is often more expensive than engineered wood or laminate (both of which imitate hard wood flooring).
An engineered hard wood floor is comparable to a hard wood floor, but is still more expensive than laminate, tile, and carpet. The majority of my ground floor is made up of engineered hard wood.
I’ve been very happy with it except for in the main kitchen area where it sometimes marks, but a good quality wood floor cleaner resolves the issue pretty sharpish and it still looks good eight years in!
Lastly I’ll throw in ‘herringbone’ flooring, which draws on the elegant style of parquet flooring. It’s not cheap, but it looks fabulous and definitely worth adding to your list of options!