Finding the Right Flooring for Your Property: The Full Guide
Whether you’re remodelling your bedroom, sprucing up your kitchen, or transforming your office, choosing the right flooring is essential. You must determine which areas require waterproof variations, which require highly durable ones, and so on.
We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you learn about different types of flooring, where they fit best, price ranges, and much more!
Residential vs. Commercial Flooring: What’s the Difference?
Even though both might use the same materials, commercial and residential flooring are quite different.
When it comes to residential flooring, also known as domestic flooring, we usually prioritise convenience and aesthetics. This means we have more flexibility to incorporate different materials, styles, and colours that match the homeowner’s preferences.
Whereas with commercial flooring, we have to consider the bigger picture. That is, putting functionality above appearance.
Commercial spaces, like offices and hospitals, are high-traffic areas that require extremely durable flooring, able to withstand heavy foot traffic. Not to mention that sometimes the flooring must comply with certain regulations, such as being slip resistant so people can move around safely.
Since commercial flooring is usually requested for larger spaces and calls for more features, its price range is higher than the residential type.
Understanding the Different Types of Flooring
Now, we’ll walk you through the various types of flooring available on the market while providing a brief but detailed explanation of each:
Wooden flooring adds an unrivalled touch of warmth and elegance to any space. It’s long-lasting, easy to clean, and complements any room’s décor, which helps to explain why it’s relatively expensive.
You’ll come across two types of hardwood flooring: solid and engineered. The solid kind is made entirely of wood, whereas the engineered type is constructed of high-quality plywood with a thin layer of hardwood glued on top.
This makes the second option more versatile in certain situations. For example, unlike the solid type, engineered wood flooring can be installed in kitchens and basements because it’s more resistant to humidity changes.
The great thing about carpet flooring is that there’s something for everyone! There are numerous designs, colours, and materials to choose from that best suit your taste and intended use.
Carpets are unique in that they’re comfortable to walk on while muffling any accompanying noise. That’s why they’re ideal for bedrooms and living rooms. However, we’d avoid using this option in frequently damp areas such as bathrooms.
If you want the look of wood but not the cost, laminate flooring is a great option. This type is made similarly to engineered hardwood flooring, except that the top layer is a photograph of wood rather than actual wood.
Of course, it doesn’t take much to tell that it isn’t natural wood, but its low cost and ease of installation make up for it. There are also stone laminate flooring varieties available!
Stone flooring comes in a variety of forms, but they all add a posh touch to any room and come with a hefty price tag.
This flooring type is renowned for being incredibly hard-wearing and moisture/humidity resistant. Each of its varieties is best suited for a particular space; for instance, marble looks fantastic in bathrooms, while limestone is ideal for kitchens.
Concrete flooring is a timeless flooring option. It’s no longer limited to grey colours, as manufacturers now add dyes to it to create a plethora of hues to suit everyone’s preferences.
Concrete is a sturdy material that’s also easy to maintain; it’s no surprise that it’s used in street construction! But, like any other natural material, it’s not cheap.
You may have heard that concrete cracks over time, which is true because of temperature and moisture changes. There are, however, several techniques for protecting it; no need to worry.
Concrete can be sealed with a tough, chemically formulated plastic coating to boost its durability and improve its qualities. This is known as resin flooring, and it comes in three varieties:
- Methyl methacrylate (MMA)
- Polyurethane (PU)
All of these types are excellent for high-traffic areas due to their maximum hardness and high impact resistance. Besides, resin flooring is available in a wide range of patterns and finishes to choose from.
Vinyl flooring is a type of synthetic, waterproof flooring that’s made of multiple layers of different materials compressed together. This results in flooring that’s both durable and affordable!
Vinyl, like laminate, imitates the appearance of natural products such as wood and stone and can also be found resembling ceramic tiles.
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is one of the most popular types of vinyl flooring. It’s intended to be thicker and of higher quality to realistically resemble natural materials.
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, lino flooring isn’t the same as, or even a variety of, vinyl flooring.
Lino, an abbreviation for linoleum, is a type of flooring made of renewable natural materials such as linseed oil, tree resin, and cork powder. It’s a versatile and sustainable option that comes in a multitude of designs, which is its main selling point.
It’s important to highlight that lino flooring is water-resistant but not waterproof, so constant humidity exposure may cause damage.
What Are the Most Popular Flooring Brands?
With numerous flooring brands emerging in the industry, there are six that have consistently proven their dependability:
One of the brands that shine brightly in the luxury flooring department is Amtico. For over 50 years, this brand has provided high-quality options for both residential and commercial flooring.
Its collections primarily focus on LVT floorings with stone and hardwood effects. What makes its products appealing is that, despite their minimalistic design, they exude a strong sense of opulence.
This brand’s products are known for their natural, realistic appearance and water resistance. What’s great about them is that they provide a huge range of flooring selections in different price ranges to suit everyone’s tastes and budgets.
Karndean is another market leader in the UK for selling first-rate LVT. It has a large selection of stone and wood-inspired flooring collections. Because its products are waterproof, stain resistant, and highly durable, they’re ideal for any space.
With its products being designed and made in-house in Belgium, Moduleo succeeded in maintaining its position among premium LVT manufacturers. It’s amazing how dedicated this company is to creating sustainable innovations that mimic the natural beauty of wood and stone.
Although Moduleo offers a diverse selection of designs, they all combine strength, style, and ease of maintenance.
Polyflor, founded in 1915, is a British trademark for both residential and commercial flooring. That’s primarily because its LVT products are the definition of great value for money; they’re both long-lasting and affordable.
This brand has a wide variety of designs inspired by wood, stone, and abstract patterns.
Tarkett is a French multinational corporation known for producing top-notch flooring solutions. It offers a multitude of flooring options for both domestic and commercial use.
This brand stands out from the crowd as it produces different flooring types and excels in each one. Its popular product lines include vinyl, carpet, wood, laminate, and linoleum.
What Is the Best Flooring Type for Your Property?
We can’t say there’s a single best option for flooring as it depends on several factors, the most important of which are:
- Property type (domestic or commercial)
- Space type (basement, bedroom, etc.)
- Installation feasibility
- Environmental factors
- Style and aesthetics
- Requirements for upkeep
Flooring Recommendations for Different Rooms/Areas
To help you narrow down your options, we’ve compiled a list of the top flooring suggestions for various rooms and areas:
When shopping for bedroom flooring, look for options that provide adequate insulation to keep you warm in colder climates. You should also opt for types that reduce sound transmission so that you’re not easily disturbed by someone’s presence while sleeping.
It’s important that the flooring is soft and comfortable to walk on. Our top choice in this regard has to be carpeting because it possesses all of the qualities we mentioned and is also available in plenty of styles that suit all tastes.
If you don’t mind splurging a little, hardwood is another excellent choice!
Certain types of flooring perform better than others when used in kitchens. The main things you need to look for are sturdy materials that are stain- and water-resistant, if not waterproof.
Since there’s a lot of potential for scrubbing and cleaning in kitchens, the flooring type should also be easy to maintain.
Engineered hardwood, natural stone, laminate, and vinyl are some flooring options that tick all these boxes.
If you live in a busy household, we recommend buying low-maintenance flooring that can withstand constant impact. In this case, stone, wood, or LVT flooring would be ideal.
Whereas, if there isn’t much activity in the house, the likelihood of spills and stains is lower, so you can go ahead with carpet flooring as it looks stunning in living rooms!
Bathrooms are the most susceptible to moisture exposure and changes in humidity levels. This is why you should stick to waterproof flooring; otherwise, the flooring will absorb moisture and deteriorate over time.
Stone flooring is perfect for such conditions, and its elegant appearance is definitely a bonus. However, if you want a more affordable yet effective flooring option, vinyl is the way to go.
We prefer to install hard-wearing flooring, such as vinyl and wood, in hallways. This is mainly because this area is designed to serve as a pathway between multiple rooms and thus receives a high volume of foot traffic.
While practicality is crucial, you should also consider the visual appeal of hallways, especially if the flooring is for your home. Guests will most likely pass through it if it’s not the first thing they see, so it should blend nicely with the rest of the space.
Similar to hallways, the staircase frequently receives high foot traffic, so resilience is a crucial consideration.
But it doesn’t end there; the staircase also needs to be slip-resistant for safety, especially if there are children in the house. Besides, footsteps are usually audible on the stairs, so it’ll be a good idea to have flooring that dampens this sound. That’s why we’d have to go with carpeting!
The key here is to choose the right carpet type, which in this case has to be one with short fibres and compact loops of fabric, also known as low pile carpets. That way, it can withstand foot traffic for a long time without showing signs of wear, unlike types with long fibres.
Because offices are designed to hold a large number of individuals, their flooring is subjected to a high volume of footfall daily. In this case, you should look for long-lasting types with optimal sturdiness.
Laminate and vinyl flooring are a perfect match for offices. Both are also easy to clean and maintain, which is an essential feature in such a setting.
There are plenty of flooring options available to meet the various needs of different sports facilities.
For example, in gyms, it’s essential to have soft flooring with high impact resistance, which is why rubber is the best choice. In contrast, indoor basketball courts call for a super sleek, hard surface with shock absorption qualities, which is where maple hardwood flooring comes in.
Not only does the flooring in manufacturing facilities have to withstand a lot of foot traffic but also heavy machinery and even vehicles.
Resin flooring, especially the epoxy variety, is a type of flooring that can easily handle this kind of extreme pressure. Pure concrete is prone to cracking, which is why we must use its coated versions in this scenario.
What Is the Best Flooring for Different Conditions?
There are three common contexts or conditions in a household that necessitate specific types of flooring:
Wet areas or rooms prone to moisture accumulation can pose a few hazards if you don’t install proper flooring. The risks range from mould or rot growing in the space to severe damage to the flooring material.
Damp spaces include bathrooms and indoor pool areas, whereas basements and laundry rooms are examples of spaces susceptible to moisture buildup.
In such cases, synthetic products are usually preferable to organic (plant-based) materials. This makes vinyl, certain types of linoleum, and laminate better and safer options than solid hardwood.
Households With Pets
Living with a furry friend necessitates some special flooring requirements. First off, the material you choose should have a texture your pet can grip. Because of this, laminate, for example, isn’t a good choice; its surface is too slippery.
The flooring should also be stain- and water-resistant so that it can be forgiving to your troublemaker’s messes and tolerate frequent cleaning. This rules out carpeting!
Plus, you should keep in mind that your pet’s nails can easily scratch the surface of the flooring, which is why we don’t advise installing hardwood types.
These and other factors make LVT, natural stone, and resin concrete excellent flooring choices for pet-friendly homes.
Homes With Children
Multiple flooring options possess great qualities for homes with children. For instance, even though it isn’t spill-proof, carpeting is one of the safest choices for infants who are still learning to crawl because it offers an additional layer of padding underneath them.
While materials like engineered hardwood, laminate, and vinyl can handle spills and stains better, they’re tougher to hit in the event of an accident.
To child-proof your home, we usually recommend installing various flooring types in different locations. For example, using carpets in the play area and on the stairs while using a material that’s easy to clean in the bedroom and kitchen.
How Much Does Flooring Cost?
The cost of flooring is influenced by several factors, including the size of the space and the materials used. However, we can give you an estimate for flooring categories and the installation process:
If you want to buy luxurious flooring, expect to pay between £40 and £150/m2, give or take.
To have a better idea of the cost of premium materials, we’ve included an average price range for a few of them:
- Natural Stone: £40-120/m2
- Hardwood: £30-120/m2
- LVT: £40-60/m2
You could pay between £5 and £30/m2 for more affordable flooring materials. Here are some average price ranges for budget-friendly types:
- Carpet: £5-30/m2
- Vinyl: £6-14/m2
- Laminate: £7-25/m2
Flooring Installation Costs
There’s no set price for flooring installation, but it can range anywhere from £90 to £100/10m2.
Additional Expenses to Consider
Along with the cost of materials and installation, flooring comes with additional expenses that you should be aware of, the three major ones being:
- Underlayment: An additional layer placed beneath the flooring for added support and comfort; it improves the floor’s overall performance.
- Skirting Boards: Decorative structures covering the joints between the floor and the walls, giving the room a finished look.
- Maintenance and Care: Cleaning products, sealants, and occasional refinishing or repairs are required to maintain the flooring quality.
What Is the Process of Installing Flooring?
The installation process varies depending on the flooring material. That said, there are three fundamental steps that they all have in common:
Step 1: Preparing the Subfloor
The first step is to make sure the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. Any damaged areas should also be repaired. This layer serves as the flooring’s foundation, so any flaws in it will have a direct impact on the floor’s performance and lifespan.
Step 2: Measuring and Cutting
Then, we carefully measure the room and calculate how much flooring material is required. Afterwards, we start drawing our layout on the subfloor and then proceed to cut out the flooring material to fit it perfectly.
Step 3: Installing and Finishing
After the flooring material has been prepared, we fix it in place. The technique used depends on the material; for instance, we can use adhesive or nails. For a seamless finish, we trim the edges and then allow the flooring to acclimate and settle before using the space.
How Do You Take Care of Flooring?
You should take good care of your flooring to preserve its qualities and extend its lifespan. This is primarily accomplished through cleaning and, when necessary, restoration; take a closer look at both processes:
How to Properly Clean Flooring
Here are five effective cleaning tips for all types of flooring:
- Clean up spills and stains promptly before they worsen or cause permanent damage.
- Sweep or hoover the flooring regularly to remove loose dirt and debris to prevent buildup and scuffing.
- Avoid using excessive water or harsh chemicals, as these can cause serious damage to the flooring; sometimes, a damp mop or microfibre cloth will do the trick.
- Use felt protectors on the legs of chairs, tables, and other heavy furniture to protect the flooring from scratches and dents.
- Place mats in high-traffic areas or entryways to trap dirt and keep it from spreading throughout the floor.
What Does Flooring Restoration Involve?
Flooring restoration entails repairing and refinishing worn or damaged areas to restore the flooring to its original, pristine condition. Treatment for flooring wear and tear varies depending on the material, but restoration may involve processes like sanding, polishing, and varnishing.
What Is the Typical Lifespan of Flooring?
The material has a significant impact on the life expectancy of the flooring. But, generally, it can range from 5 to 100 years. Carpets, for example, should be replaced every 5 to 15 years, whereas solid hardwood can last anywhere from 30 to 100 years.
Taking note of your preferences, living situation, and budget is the first step in choosing the right flooring for your property. Also, knowing which types perform best in each room and context will greatly help you in making a decision.
Contact us now to receive expert advice and have the flooring professionally installed!