Published On: Fri, Dec 21st, 2018

Choosing the Right Floor Type

The world of flooring can be extremely confusing to navigate and work out which option is going to work out best, given the needs of your house, your requirements for looks, and of course, your budget. Within every different option, like carpets or timber flooring, trying to keep up with the technical stuff regarding its make up can leave many exhausted before they even get anything home to lay down. Having a few basic bits of knowledge prior to looking at the store can help provide at least some sense of order to the process.

photo/ NWFA

Considerations For the Room

While carpet might be good for the bedroom, it is obviously not appropriate everywhere. The first consideration should be to think about the potential in a room for moisture. For places like the bathroom, flooring that is highly resistant to water is probably the best choice, so ceramic, porcelain or vinyl tiles will probably be the best option. Similarly the kitchen which is prone to spills and stains requires a surface that is going to be easy to clean, so carpet isn’t a good idea, even if the manufacturer is offering stain proof guarantees.

Who Uses The Room

Pets and children can be particularly tough on surfaces, meaning you should be looking for something that has a very high resistance to scratching and wear and tear. Ceramic or porcelain tiles fit the bill, as does a good laminate, plank vinyl or real timber. While timber may take a little damage over a period of time, it does have the saving grace of being able to be sanded to remove scratches and be resurfaced. Carpet is an option, though smaller children are more likely to spill things and stain it, so choose carefully.

Who is Installing the Floor

You can probably cut the cost of your new floor by around half if you decide to lay it yourself. Floating floors, like laminate and plank vinyl are certainly the easiest for the DIY enthusiast, with each board connecting to the adjacent board, rather than the subfloor. Ceramic and porcelain can be quite a challenge, so a smart move might be to start your flooring exploits somewhere out of the way and little used to start with, while you gain confidence and experience.

Your Budget

Flooring and carpet stores have options to meet everybody’s budget, from the bargain prices for laminate, some of which actually looks pretty good, to exotic timber at the top. Ceramics and porcelain are also at the lower end of the price range, but remember that installation is time consuming. In mid-range you find better quality laminates, engineered flooring which is made from multiple layers of wood and is almost entirely immune to humidity, and some domestic hardwoods. At the top end you have the exotic hardwoods like cherry and mahogany, and superior laminate and engineered flooring with premium finishes.


Vinyl floors top the ease of maintenance list, followed by engineered and good laminates. If you want wood, then there is going to be some maintenance required, though this can be reduced by using rugs or runners on top in high trafficked areas.

While there are numerous options in every product category to select from, knowing which type of floor is going to work best for your needs before going shopping, will make that task at least a little simpler.

Author: Sophie Fenns

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