The best flooring is that which suits your purpose. There are so many options that it’s really not a case of laying carpet and that’s it.
Unless you’re deep in thought, or in a state of deep shame, you probably don’t look at the floor or think about the best flooring. But just because you don’t look directly at it, shouldn’t denigrate its importance in your interior design scheme.
Maybe you’ve agonised so much over the walls, windows, and appliances that the floor gets all but forgotten. Your floor’s aesthetic and fabric are key components that tie all the other elements of a room together.
Misjudged decisions made on best flooring can compromise the integrity of a room’s design and obscure its function. You also spend more time being in direct contact with your floor than arguably any other surface in your home.
How To Choose The Best Flooring For Your Needs
What Does Your Floor Tell Visitors?
It’s a shame that many people consider flooring an afterthought, because how you dress your floors says quite a lot about you. Soft, fluffy carpet shows that you value comfort and luxury.
Polished hardwood conveys a sense of class and sophistication, whereas ceramic tiles lend bathrooms and kitchens a sleek, contemporary feel implying that you embrace the future. Perhaps rugs on a hardwood floor suggest your bohemian nature or polished concrete may hint at your modern industrial leanings.
Your floors should be a statement about who you are and what you value.
While the best flooring should be a stylistic consideration, there are also the practical considerations too. Floors, by their very nature, are subjected to wear, and perhaps tear, on a daily basis. Any flooring gets untold knocks, spills, droppages, human and animal traffic over many years.
As such, you need to treat your flooring as an investment. Skimp on flooring in a well-travelled area and you run the risk of your floor (and thereby your entire room) looking shabby before its time. For example, the Scandi ‘Hygge‘ or minimlaist look so popular these days favours simple wood flooring often painted white. It’s a great look, and fabulous for a beach house, but paint high traffic areas in patio paint to give maximum hardiness.
On the other hand, over spending in an area like the guest bedroom may not be the most prudent investment. Unless you’re prepared to throw a serious budget at your flooring considerations, it’s definitely worth asking yourself some searching questions about where you think it’s worth spending.
- how much traffic does the floor attract?
- do you live in a largely cool or hot climate?
- do you have pets that shed fur?
- will children be running around the area?
- which textures do you like? – wool, stone, ceramic, concrete, sisal, wood, slate, etc
- would you prefer a surafce you can quickly sweep day?
- or don’t you mind vacuming twice a week
Luxury vs Practicality
It appears, then, that we have a central dilemma; the compromise between luxury and practicality. While this may, at first glance, seem like the binary question of hard vs soft surfaces, there are further aesthetic and practical considerations. This is where the best flooring materials that you choose become vitally important.
For example, tiled flooring can look and feel especially luxurious in the bathroom (especially if combined with Speedheat heated flooring). However, it can also be slippery, so not the ideal choice if you have elderly relatives at home.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to redecorate regularly, then they can also cause frustration as floor tiles are hard to fit and even harder to remove.
It’s important to do your research, too, as your preconceptions on certain materials may just be subverted. Hardwood floors, for example, aren’t as cold and hard as you’d think. They’re usually made from softer woods and while this does make them vulnerable to damage, it also means that they may be warmer and more comfortable than you might expect. When ‘sprung’ they can also add bounce to your flooring and reduce noise.
Consider Bamboo flooring if you want to be more sustainable with a Japanese twist. And Cork is great in a kitchen as it’s soft to walk on and often items won’t break if they fall off the bench. But you have to be careful not to get cork wet so seal very effectively.
Concrete is an excellent retainer of heat from the sun and can warm an area well if open to direct sunlight. Terracotta will give a rustic feel for farmhouse country and Mediteranean decor. Black granite is ultra modern and Whitewashed floor boards will give a Scandi or beach look.
Depending on the substrate, you may have restrictions on flooring. For example, do you have solid concrete foundations or is your home built on wooden piles?
In reality, there is best flooring available for your specific needs and style. Consult and Interior Designer or a flooring specialist to discuss your individual needs.