Just imagine the interiors of a sprawling, ultra-luxurious home. Now think again! Invariably, you would recollect a captivating floor that complements the opulence of the décor of the home. Like the wall and roof, the floor stretches across the entire interior of a structure. The only difference is that the floor will never be missed right from the moment a person enters the building from the front door.
The floor is more than just a surface to tread on! It’s a core component of every residential structure, no matter how big or small it is. It’s the most-used area that is prone to maximum wear and tear. Ironically, the most-noticed areas of the floor are the ones that are most abused. There are numerous types of floors. So, it is important to choose the type that suits your requirements and budget since it is usually a long-term investment. Seldom do we hear about a homeowner changing the floor from wood to marble or tiles to granite within just a few years of construction. In fact, the right floor (installed and maintained properly) should last for decades.
When constructing a new house, buying a used one or renovating an existing one, homeowners are spoiled for choice. Though the flooring choices are aplenty, the task of making a choice is not as difficult as zeroing in on other elements that transform a house into a cozy home. The following is a bird’s eye view of some of the most common types of floors.
This natural and omnipresent material has always adorned every home in some form or the other. Ideal for floors, wood is a fusion of luxury, practicality, and versatility. Wooden floors are available in different patterns and textures. They are also easier to maintain since all it takes is a bit of sweeping and polishing! Water damage and scratches are common, so periodic maintenance and proper care are required.
Wooden floors can be used anywhere since the right style can blend seamlessly with any decor. But the challenge lies in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens. It’s better to avoid hardwood flooring where there’s a higher possibility of liquids spilling. Natural hardwood can fade in areas of prolonged sunlight exposure, so it may not be fit for open places. Laminate with UV coating would be a better option in this case.
Versatility and simplicity are two of the main reasons why homeowners opt for tiled floors. Available in different sizes, textures, patterns, and materials, tiles are easy to fix. Also, the reflective property makes the floor look magnificent. Tiled floors are easy to maintain, and are scratch and heat-resistant. But they could crack if heavy objects are dropped on them. Also, tiles can get cold during the winter season.
Tiles are usually used in kitchens and bathrooms because they are easier to clean, and are much more water-resistant, so they are used in places where water spills are frequent. Colorful handmade tiles can be used to augment the beauty of the floor in some smaller areas in the home. But tiles may not be suitable for high-traffic areas since they cannot muffle the sound.
Undeniably a luxury, marble is seen on floors of celebrity homes, upscale hotels, and historical structures. A natural stone, marble is eco-friendly, and also lends an aesthetic touch to the floor it creates. Endowed with a translucent property, marble comes in different shades and shapes. Although it is susceptible to scratches and stains, marble can be polished easily and made to look classy.
Since polished marble can be slippery, it’s good to think twice when installing the same in wet places like kitchens, bathrooms, and pool-side areas. Since marble is preferred for its decorative quality, some homeowners prefer to have it only in noticeable areas. Its high density makes it suitable for places with high traffic. However, if you are thinking of creating a space for rough use, the marble floor may not be the best choice due to increased maintenance efforts.
Available in a wide variety of finishes and colors, granite is a hard natural stone that marries luxury and durability. It’s also moisture-resistant and hypoallergenic. The complexity in installation and the need for periodic maintenance are some of its shortcomings. If maintained well, it can last a lifetime! Granite is also heavier than other tiles and stones, so it can add to the cost of shipping and installation.
Since granite is water-resistant, it’s suitable for areas where the possibility of water usage and liquid spills is higher. It’s also a good pick for outdoor areas, thanks to the durability. Granite can absorb the coolness from air-conditioned rooms, and keep the floors cool even during the hottest of summers.
Visual appeal, durability, and cost-efficiency are the main factors usually considered before deciding the type of floor to be installed in a home. Geographic location and climatic conditions also play an even bigger part in influencing the homeowner’s choice of the material for the floor. It’s a no-brainer that homeowners in colder regions would invariably compare different types of wooden flooring and not disparate flooring materials.
Design enthusiasts also mix and match different types of flooring materials for different rooms inside the same home. It’s not uncommon to see art lovers create their masterpieces on their beloved floors. Some prefer eco-friendly bamboo floors, while others pick pebble-stone floors that are outlandishly creative. There are also floors that are made of glass, PVC, and mosaic, among others. When it comes to juxtaposing the myriad of materials and making the most of what’s available in the market, the possibilities are endless. What matters most is the necessity to balance the bells and whistles with the need to create a home that’s practical for family life.
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*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with members of Design Everest.