How to choose flooring for your home
- Credit: Archant
Choosing new flooring can be daunting, especially when you consider the groundwork that goes into crafting the perfect floor plan. Along with being practical, your flooring choice needs to suit your space and style – and there’s a wide array of contemporary design options, whether you opt for tiles, mosaics, stone, wood or carpet. All you have to do is step up and choose the right one for you...
On the tiles
“A hallway is used day in, day out, as a high footfall area, so hard-wearing materials work brilliantly, says Sian O’Neill, head of marketing at Topps Tiles. “For a contemporary look, modular patterns are a key trend, with geometric shapes laid in a linear format.”
Flooring in pale, soft shades will help create a bright, airy entrance. A good tip is to use grey grout, instead of conventional white, as it gives a modern look and stays looking fresh, even after lots of impact with muddy boots or wet paws!
In living rooms, the trend for indoor/outdoor living is huge, and growing in popularity. “The key to achieving this style of living space is keeping it seamless, to create one complete, unified living area,” say O’Neill.
“ Laying the same flooring through to your patio will extend your living room, bringing the indoors outside and creating an even bigger space.”
This look is perfect for any home, large or compact, and can completely change the way you view the spaces you live in. H exagons and geometric patterns on tiles tick all the current interior trends, and are perfect for use throughout.
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“Based on the striking patchworks and patterns of Mediterranean decor, Moroccan tile designs are a popular and refreshing option when it comes to tiling a floor space,” notes Callum Chester, spokesperson for Walls And Floors. “They create a statement focal point that instantly injects charm and character into any room.”
For a modern feel in a neutral scheme, natural stone floors are always desirable, especially when they’re highly polished to reflect light. This gives the illusion of more space and can be enriched by metal bar stools in a kitchen, or a free standing bath with traditional cast iron feet in bathrooms.
“Porcelain and stone flooring continue to be popular choices, as they offer both durability and a luxurious finish,” says Prity Rana, marketing manager at Marshalls Tile And Stone Interiors. “ The many finishes and colours mean there are options to complement any style of home or taste.”
Remember though; natural stone does require regular cleaning and specialist treatment to keep it in top condition, while hard-wearing porcelain and stone-effect tiles can withstand the daily trials of family living, and provide a forgiving backdrop without being as high-maintenance - worth considering in a well-used room.
Timeless in the style stakes, natural flooring materials like oak also contrast well with marble worktops, wooden cabinets and butcher’s blocks, to style up your culinary space. The amount of time we spend in the kitchen makes it a worthy investment, too.
“Oak flooring has become increasingly popular with consumers embracing the simplicity and natural beauty of rustic oak,” says Mike Richardson, managing director at Kersaint Cobb. “I ntroducing colours and soft tones, through greys and pale whites, adds a modern twist to classic materials, and the vintage feel continues to remain a popular trend.
“Dark woods are ideal for traditional schemes, adding warmth and depth to a room.”
If you’re on a budget but love the aged oak look, laminate flooring is a cost effect alternative to the real thing, along with being durable and hard-wearing.
“Most ranges incorporate authentic wood grains, which are perfectly reflected into the floor’s joints, creating a natural look and making laminate an ideal choice if real wood flooring isn’t an option,” says Heather Taylor, floor coverings buyer at John Lewis.
“ With an extensive array of colour choices, laminate can complement so many existing kitchen schemes, meaning a simple update of the floor can completely reinvigorate the space.”
Cue the carpet
Neutrals, throw rugs and bold stripes are great for laying in the living room and with the growing trend for introducing pattern on the floor, you can really go to town with designs and textures.
“Whether it’s bolder chevron patterns or more subtle stripes, introducing pattern can instantly change the shape and feel of a room,” says Emma Hopkins, marketing manager at Crucial Trading.
“Colourful stripes are great for elongating and widening an area, creating an illusion of a larger space, and lighter shades are perfect for brightening cramped spaces by reflecting the light - this makes them just as adaptable for living rooms as they are for hallways, stairs and studies.”
Kersaint Cobb’s Richardson agrees: “ We’re seeing the return of striped carpets as a popular choice for the home. Stripes are great for widening or lengthening a room, adding that extra dimension that some spaces are lacking. Using striped carpet is also an easy way to make the floor a focal point of a room.”
For the best of both worlds, those with wooden flooring can look to layer and experiment with texture.
“Rugs are easy updates and ideal for the design-savvy, looking to change the feel of the room and keep up to date with trends,” says Claire Jeffrey, floor coverings and rug buyer, John Lewis. “ Neutral lighter shades, such as grey, blues and off-whites, are particularly effective for opening up smaller spaces.
“However, bold colours and patterns are great for creating attention-grabbing designs to transform a room.”