In times gone by deciding what to do with your floors was pretty straightforward. There was carpet, hideous lino or floorboards! But now we have a zillion choices, in a zillion colours! Here's a rough guide that might help:
If you walk into a shop and ask for carpet, prepare to be interrogated, in the nicest possible way! You'll be asked if you'd like twist, loop, plush or textured for starters. And then whether you'd prefer wool, nylon or, the increasingly popular Triexta.
If you have the budget, wool carpet should probably be your first choice as it's natural, durable, soft and great looking. It will also provide great insulation.
Nylon gives you an amazing array of colours to choose from, and is also soft to the touch, but of course, it's not as natural as pure wool.
Triexta is one of the newest materials in the flooring industry and is quite amazing. It offers softness, durability, great stain resistance, and it looks good. But its real claim to fame is that it is eco-friendly. It's made using biotechnology based on the fermentation of corn glucose, as opposed to the less sustainable petroleum.
It requires 30% less energy to produce and emits 63% less greenhouse gas than the production of nylon carpet. It also has less chemicals, making it better for those with allergies or asthma.
If you're lucky, you buy a lovely old home with original floorboards in good condition, and all you have to do is sand them back and seal them for beautiful wooden floors. But these days you can also cheat!
Natural timber brings a unique look to your home, with its knots and grains creating their own pattern. And there are a number of easy-to-install options, in a wide choice of woods/shades. Solid timber floors comprise of solid lengths of wood, connected by interlocking tongues and grooves. But they are better suited to bearers and joists than concrete slabs.
Floating floors, however, can be used just about anyway, as they sit on layers of insulation. Easy to install, with great soundproofing qualities - therefore ideal for apartments - they also settle much quicker than solid timber.
Increasing popular, bamboo flooring ticks all the boxes - it comes in dozens of colours, it's attractive, durable, and it’s grown and harvested in an environmentally responsible manner.
If you’re looking for a timber floor, but your budget won’t stretch for it, consider a laminate floor with a timber look. Laminate has come a long way from its early days and can now look like exactly like real timber, with the same stain, graining and even texture.
Get the image of Granny's kitchen floor out of your mind! Today's luxury vinyl flooring replicates timber and stone looks by using advances photographic technologies. Whether you like the distressed or whitewashed timber look, or a stone or marble effect, this is how you'll get it.