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Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Property

19/06/2023
choosing flooring guide

Flooring selections are a broad topic, one where there are no absolutes. The right floor for your property will differ according to various factors, which are space, practicality, style, type, budget, installation, and maintenance. And the wrong floor can mean a shorter flooring lifespan, less aesthetic appeal, more maintenance, and higher costs!

Understanding this will help you enhance your property by buying the right flooring type to install and maintain.

What Is Residential Flooring?

Simply put, residential flooring is designed to fit the needs of homes and accommodate domestic use.

To illustrate, flooring for homes usually doesn't receive as much foot traffic as commercial floors. So, it tends to be thinner with less of a wear layer.

The popular materials for residential floors are vinyl, wood, and laminate flooring.

What Is Commercial Flooring?

Commercial floors are manufactured to accommodate the needs of commercial and industrial work sites, such as offices and warehouses.

As expected, such flooring tends to receive heavy foot traffic, which is why it’s relatively durable, featuring thick wear layers. It lasts for years and requires less frequent replacements than its counterparts.

Common industrial floor choices are vinyl, linoleum, and resilient (polymer flooring designed for comfort, flexibility, and aesthetics).

What Are the Different Flooring Types?

We’ll classify flooring products according to their materials. By choosing one, almost everything else falls into place, so understand each material, its features, its aesthetic appeal, and its drawbacks to get the right flooring for your property.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring has printed images that give you the impression of hardwood, stone, or tile without their drawbacks and for a lower price. It’s one of the most durable flooring options, thanks to its extremely sturdy wear layer.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is found in sheets, planks, and tiles, imitating the look of wood and stone. These options are the most popular, which is understandable considering how affordable, easy to install, durable, and waterproof they are.

Carpeting

Laying carpets on your floor is a good idea if you want to enhance your home’s comfort and cosiness. It gives you a luxurious touch and a soft underfoot, reduces noises, and is kid-friendly (minimising accidents for the little ones).

Lino Flooring

Linoleum flooring is an all-natural alternative to vinyl composed of linseed oil and wood products. You’ll love its retro charm, longevity, environmental friendliness, and durability, which allow it to withstand heavy traffic.

Found in tiles and sheets, linoleum designs feature borders and insets, vibrant designs, and neutrals.

Wood Flooring

Timber flooring has a classic and timeless charm, emanating warmth into your house. It’s fashioned from many species and has two types: solid wood and engineered wood.

Solid wood has great underfoot and versatile designs and cuts. However, engineered wood is more durable and cheap.

Stone Flooring

Stone tiles are cool to the touch, luxurious, and versatile. They’re divided into sedimentary stones, such as limestone and travertine; igneous stones, such as granite; and metamorphic stones, such as slate and marble.

Concrete Flooring

Concrete flooring has that polished and elegant look, which matches contemporary styles perfectly. You can choose between different finishes and different colours (classic institutional grey tiles or dyed ones).

Concrete is durable, easy to clean, and heat-conductive, but it’s relatively pricey.

Resin Flooring

Resin flooring is a plastic surface which features a hard-wearing layer and is easy to maintain, chemical-resistant, impact-resistant, and abrasion-resistant. You’ll find it suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic.

What Are the Different Flooring Styles?

Flooring styles differ across flooring types. If you’re thinking laminate or vinyl, you’ll find it in all the wood and stone styles. Speaking of which, the main styles in wood flooring are:

  • Chevron
  • Herringbone
  • 3D Parquet
  • Horizontal Stripes
  • Diagonal Stripes
  • Mixed-Width

As for stone patterns and styles, they include:

  • Limestone
  • Slate
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Flagstone
  • Sandstones
  • Original Stones

Otherwise, you might want carpeting, in which case you have a cut-twist pile, plush pile, textured pile, and loop-pile carpets.

Linoleum floors come in the following styles:

  • Chequered
  • Patterned (ornamental and customised designs)
  • Solid
  • Herringbone
  • Tiles
  • Wood-look
  • Marmoleum
  • Sheet

Last but not least, resin floors are available in the following plastics: PMMA, Polyurethane, and ebony.

What Are the Different Flooring Colours?

Home flooring products are available in more colours than we can count. Homeowners may opt for floors that feature several colours.

Grey is always popular. Other trendy hues are pale, espresso, and mid-toned brown in wood flooring.

For tiles, black and white, nearly black, green, and blue colours are in.

As for carpeting, you’ll find grey, cool tones, and pale beige trending.

What Are the Different Flooring Finishes?

A flooring finish coats your flooring to give it an aesthetically pleasing look and add to its benefits, such as durability and water resistance. Flooring finishes are especially important if you have wood or concrete floors.

On the one hand, some people leave their solid wood floors unfinished; others choose matte or satin lacquer or natural oil.

On the other hand, concrete floor finish types are:

  • Sealers: Sealers give you a glossy or matte finish.
  • Stains: Stains change your floor’s colour.
  • Overlays: Overlays give you wood or tile looks.
  • Coatings: Coatings are functional, protecting your flooring from oils and other chemicals.

What Are the Different Flooring Brands?

Because we can’t cover each flooring brand, we’ve narrowed it down to the best of the best. This way, you’ll know the biggest names in the market for your preferred flooring type.

Karndean Flooring

Karndean is a UK-based company that has been offering luxury vinyl flooring products since 1973. It delivers in terms of style without sacrificing functionality. Its highly realistic tiles and planks are excellent for modern and contemporary design.

Amtico Flooring

Another luxury vinyl tile manufacturer is Amtico International. Amtico Flooring designs are distinct and contemporary with an authentic feel. The brand cultivates creativity and inspiration through the collaboration of designers with manufacturing specialists.

Quick-Step Flooring

Motivated by its goal of carefree living, Quick-Step employs innovative flooring methods and strives for top-notch quality. The company has an exclusive parquet flooring range that is affordable and high-quality! And we can say the same for its laminate, vinyl, and wood flooring collections.

Ted Todd

Ted Todd’s beginning was reclaiming wood from Britain’s industrial mills. For about thirty years now, it has provided customers with a premium hardwood flooring range and prioritised finding sustainable products that protect the planet. This makes it the ideal link between innovation and nature.

Moduleo

Check out Moduleo if you want luxury vinyl tiles. Their collection is extensive and diverse, offering you durability and aesthetics with natural-looking products. Lastly, we can’t forget its environmental excellence and certified safety underfoot.

Kahrs

Based in the heart of the Swedish countryside, Kahrs is one of the oldest, most popular, and most creative wood floor brands. This quality is the fruit of 150 years of labour. In fact, it has multi-layer boards and glue-less Woodloc locking joints.

What Is the Best Flooring?

Put simply, there’s no one-size-fits-all flooring for homeowners. The best flooring depends on several factors, which are:

  • Space
  • Practicality
  • Style
  • Type
  • Budget
  • Installation
  • Maintenance

The Best Flooring for Different Rooms and Spaces

Since space is the first factor in this decision, let’s discuss the suitable flooring options for various rooms.

Kitchens

Since it’s a hardworking room, vinyl tiles are a great option for kitchens. For one, tiles can make your kitchen look bigger. As for vinyl, it’s high-performance, waterproof, and has a hard but comfortable underfoot, which is important because you’ll probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Bedrooms

We love adding plush piles with a velvety look to the bedroom. It gives it warmth, comfort, soundproofing, and a luxurious touch!

Otherwise, hardwood is a way to give your bedroom character. It’s long-lasting and durable but expensive, LVT being the affordable alternative.

Living Rooms

Consider fitting your living room with a bold carpet! The plush pile is fancy, but it requires maintenance, so it won’t be a practical choice if you have kids. In that case, your best option is laminate, wood, or even high-end vinyl, as they’re easy to maintain and stain-resistant.

Bathrooms

For bathrooms, you want waterproof flooring. Tile flooring is great for that as it’s cool to the touch and easy to clean. Vinyl works, as well. Meanwhile, some sophisticated customers choose water-resistant linoleum for its sustainability and charm.

Hallways

Hallways are high-traffic areas requiring sturdy flooring. Solid stone, ceramic tiles, solid wood, and engineered wood all have the required durability for them.

We also recommend a cut-twist pile with its textured appearance and hard-wearing fibre if you want carpeting.

Stairs

Like hallways, stairs receive heavy foot traffic, so you’ll need a sturdy flooring material. You can lay carpeting, which reduces the risk of falls and slips and enhances the stairs’ comfort and soundproofing. It may attract dust and dirt, though, so ensure that it’s a dense, woollen carpet.

Other options include LVT, laminate, hardwood, and tile flooring.

Offices

Laminate flooring is excellent because of its soundproofing feature, easy installation, and high performance.

Vinyl flooring is also becoming a popular choice for offices because of its durability, cushioning, and easy maintenance.

Sports

Are you looking for a home gym flooring option? Rubber flooring is a good idea, and it comes in two main types. Firstly, vulcanised rubber has a soft underfoot and is durable, high-performance, and shock-absorbent. Secondly, recycled rubber is durable, easy to maintain, and water, stain, and shock resistant.

Vinyl and hardwood can work for home gyms, too.

Factories

Factories need industrial flooring to be wear-resistant, easy to maintain, and slip-resistant. Vacuum-dewatered flooring (VDF) is the most popular and cost-effective option. Another option is adding in-floor particle flooring to a concrete base.

The Best Flooring for Different Environments

To choose the perfect flooring product, you must consider the type of environment you want to install it in and find flooring that accommodates its particular needs. For instance, your environment might have the following:

Pets

If you’re a pet owner, you want floors that don't scratch easily. So, consider ceramic or porcelain tiling, plank vinyl flooring, laminate flooring, linoleum, or carpeting (synthetic and nylon carpets).

Vinyl is both wear-resistant and comfortable for your pets. Linoleum also possesses both of those features and resists allergens like pet dander.

Finally, front halls should have concrete floors because pets might step on them with their muddy paws.

Kids

You need flooring that withstands kids’ messes. Laminate floors are a favourite, as they’re highly stain-resistant and sturdy.

If you have young children, synthetic and nylon carpets are great. They’re stain-resistant and more comfortable than other flooring types.

Luxury vinyl could also come in handy, with its easy maintenance and scratch resistance.

Heavy Foot Traffic

Areas with relatively heavy foot traffic in your home, such as kitchens and entryways, require wear resistance and durability. So, consider stone, laminate, and vinyl surfaces.

Additionally, you can lay throw rugs and runners or cut-twist pile carpets to minimise the floor maintenance required.

Wet Areas

Bathrooms, kitchens, wet rooms, basements, and other areas exposed to water and moisture need waterproof flooring. Vinyl and luxury vinyl flooring are popular choices, and tile flooring is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Finally, rubber is a resilient, sleek, and interesting choice that resists water.

How Much Does Flooring Cost?

It’d be impossible to give a range since costs differ across flooring materials. You can buy carpeting as cheap as £5 or stone flooring as expensive as £500 per square metre! That’s a vastly different price point, which is indicative of the different tiers.

We can categorise flooring into three types.

Luxury Flooring

The first category is luxury flooring, which appeals to homeowners who don’t mind investing in their floors. The most expensive flooring option is timeless stone flooring and tiles, such as natural stone and designer ceramic tiles. So, if you want fancy stone floors, it’s £25 to £500 per square metre.

The most high-end options for stone are these highly individualistic tiles that you install in an otherwise basic wall to augment it. You can even install a row of them. Other expensive stone tiles are bespoke mosaics and Grespania tiles.

Wood floor prices range from £30 to £85 per square metre, depending on the subtype of wood.

Exotic hardwood flooring is a luxury choice. Extracted from diverse species around the world, you have:

  • Kempas
  • Tigerwood
  • Brazilian Cherry
  • Sapele mahogany
  • Australian cypress
  • Ipe (Brazilian walnut)

Other luxury wood options are bamboo flooring, reclaimed hardwood, and hand-scraped wood, which looks like it was cut with hand tools.

Finally, we can’t forget luxury vinyl tiles and luxury vinyl planks.

Quality Flooring

Quality flooring options include vinyl, some laminate products, linoleum, and engineered wood flooring.

You’ll find vinyl flooring options ranging from £5 to £60 per square metre and laminate flooring options ranging from £15 to £55 per square metre. As for engineered wood flooring, you can expect to pay £10-£40 per metre square for it. Then, you have linoleum flooring costing £10 to £30 per square metre.

Cheap Flooring

For cheap and low-budget flooring, you want to purchase some laminate products, sheet vinyl, resin, or polished concrete floors.

You may look for laminate flooring that’s closer to the low-end prices (£15). Sheet vinyl may range from £7 to £15, and carpeting costs £5 to £35 per square metre. As for concrete floors, they may be £50. Finally, resin is £7 to £15 per square metre.

Installation and Fitting Costs

On average, flooring installation costs range from £400 to £1,000, but they can go lower or higher. The factors determining their prices include room size, flooring type, the contractors you work with, and more.

Speaking of flooring types, you may pay £90 to £450 for vinyl floor installation, £90 to £900 for carpet fitting, £170 to £800 for laminate floor installation, £400 to £1,380 for tiling installation, or £550 to £1,750 for hardwood floor installation.

Additional Costs

To accurately calculate your flooring costs, you can’t simply consider the cost of flooring materials and labour. You may need additional services, such as:

  • Old Flooring Removal: If you need to remove old flooring, the costs for that will vary depending on your flooring material. For instance, it costs £1 to £4 per square metre to remove carpeting and £2 per square metre to remove wood flooring.
  • Skip Hire: Where will the debris from your old floor removal go? Hire an appropriately-sized skip to haul it for £70 to £450.
  • Underfloor Heating: This advanced heating system goes under the floor level, so it precedes floor installation. It comes in wet and dry varieties, which cost £90 to £190 and £40 to £80 per square metre, respectively.
  • Underlay: Underlay gives your flooring support, and it’s installed between the subfloor and main floor for £5 to £15 per square metre.
  • Screeding: If your floor is in bad condition or your subfloor isn’t intact, screeding may be necessary, which is £10 to £16 per square metre.
  • Skirting Boards: When you remove old flooring, you might want new skirting boards (wooden boards that line the base of your walls). That’s typically £6 to £15 per square metre.

How Do You Install Flooring?

The installation process vastly differs across types of flooring, but here’s a general idea of how that process might unfold.

Firstly, you prepare the area for installation. So, remove the baseboards and ensure the subfloor is level and intact. If it isn’t level or even installed, you’ll need to install it. The same goes for underlayment, which protects your floor from moisture damage and provides a soft underfoot and some sound absorption. Then, sweeping and vacuuming are needed.

Secondly, start laying your flooring row by row. Your flooring may simply click together or require nails, glue, or other techniques (depending on its type). Also, you might need to install it horizontally, at 45-degree angles, or according to your flooring cut and layout. So, you must follow its installation manual.

When you reach the last rows, you’ll probably need to cut some flooring tiles, planks, or sheets to size. Then, you can cut any excess underlayment.

Thirdly, put the baseboards back, lining their lower edge with the flooring. And nail them in place.

The fourth and final step is installing threshold or transition strips. Look for areas where the flooring edge is exposed, and cover them with transition strips.

How Do You Maintain Flooring?

Flooring maintenance is crucial to its longevity, but how do you maintain your floor?

Floor Cleaning

Follow these measures to clean your floor:

  • Clean spills immediately to avoid staining. Remove the non-solid part, and blot its area before removing any residue with water.
  • Sweep or dust mop your floor regularly (preferably every day) to prevent scratching and staining and remove dirt and debris. Only use a wet mop on waterproof surfaces like luxury vinyl and porcelain tile.
  • Vacuum high-traffic areas daily. This way, dirt and dust won’t accumulate. If you have a hard surface (vinyl, laminate, or hardwood), vacuum it using the bare floor setting to avoid damage.
  • Deep clean your floor when needed. Use product-specific cleaning solutions rather than harsh chemicals that can cause damage and discolouration.

Flooring Restoration

Floor restoration is an extensive rejuvenation process that improves the appearance of old wood flooring. This process includes sanding, evening out your subfloor, fixing damaged floorboards, replacing missing ones, filling large gaps, and staining your wood flooring.

Flooring Renovation

Floor renovation is a way to update your flooring. Renovations are less costly and leave your floor in a better state of repair.

Flooring Lifespan

Your flooring may last anything from five to over 80 years (depending on your flooring material and maintenance measures).

To elaborate, carpet may live five to eight years or more. Laminate can last 10 to 30 years, whereas LVT can last 10 to 25 years. Tile has a lifespan of 20 to 50 years and more. Finally, wood can live 20 to 80 years or even longer.

What Are Some Ideas for Flooring?

We’ll mention some of our favourite flooring ideas for residential and commercial settings.

You can consider these for your home or office:

  • Use patterned tiles to make a room lively.
  • Give it character with reclaimed wood.
  • Add visual interest with parquet.
  • Install natural stone in the kitchen and porcelain tiles in the bathroom because they’re both practical and stylish.

Conclusion

There are no absolutes as to which flooring is best, but the wrong flooring choice can mean a shortened lifespan, undermined aesthetics, and more repercussions!

That’s why you must choose the right product for your space, environment, budget, and style.

If you need help doing that, contact us at The Ultimate Flooring. Our experts will be happy to help!

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