Things to Consider When Choosing a New FloorWritten by: Yarl Christie
Looking for a new floor to match your living space? There are a lot of things to consider before you purchase a new floor. With hundreds of designs, different levels of maintenance, and a plethora of finishes to choose from, it can be tough figuring out which type of floor is right for you.
Here, we’ll reveal some of the most important things to consider when choosing a new floor.
Where will the Floor be Installed?
One of the first things you need to think about is where the floor will be installed. Some of the key things to consider here include:
- How big is the room?
- How much light does it receive?
- Will the floor be exposed to a lot of moisture?
- How much traffic will the floor be exposed to?
The flooring you choose can have a significant impact on how the room looks. Did you know for example, the colour and size of the floor can help to make a space appear larger or smaller? If you have a smaller space, using a light-coloured floor and larger than average planks, can help to make it appear more spacious.
How much light the room receives should also influence your flooring choice. Be aware that engineered and solid wood floors can fade when exposed to a lot of natural sunlight. If the room doesn’t get much light, you’ll want to select a lighter coloured floor to help brighten up the space.
If the floor is likely to be exposed to a lot of moisture, you’ll need to invest in a waterproof product. Wooden floors should never be installed in areas such as the bathroom. While some floors are naturally water resistant such as LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), they are not typically waterproof. So, always look out for specific waterproof floors for high-moisture environments.
The final location-based factor to consider is how much traffic the floor will be exposed to. If you are installing it in a high-traffic area, you’ll need a floor that is highly durable. Pay attention to the wear layer of the floor. The thicker the wear layer, the more suited to high-traffic environments the floor will be. Another thing to focus on in busy areas, is slip resistance. Choose a floor with a minimum slip resistance rating of R9 in areas with high foot traffic.
How Easy is it to Maintain?
Some types of flooring are easier to maintain than others. Maintaining solid wood floors tend to require the most work. While they are built to be durable, high levels of traffic can cause damage over time if care isn’t taken.
If you want a floor that benefits from minimal maintenance, LVT tends to be the better option. Modern LVT floors also come with realistic wood and stone designs, giving you the best of both worlds. Laminate floors are also easy to maintain, though you will need to use specialist cleaners and avoid using a wet mop to prevent damage.
Do you have Pets or Children?
If you have pets and/or children, wear resistance is something you’ll need to think about. Both pets and children can easily scratch a wooden floor. Therefore, options such as LVT or laminate flooring will typically work best in family homes.
You’ll also want to consider investing in a waterproof or highly water-resistant floor covering. This will provide peace of mind when spills and accidents occur. We have further reading on the best kid-friendly flooring and the best flooring for pet owners.
Do You want to install the floor yourself or are you happy to bring in the professionals? You can choose from a variety of flooring installation methods these days, depending upon the type of floor you invest in.
The different installation methods you can choose from include:
- Glue/nail down
- Tongue and groove
- Click system
LVT is available in either glue-down or click fit installation. Standard vinyl flooring may require a glue-down installation method, whereas luxury vinyl tiles typically come with a click system. The glue-down method is messy and often best left to the professionals. Click system installation on the other hand is extremely easy to do yourself. The planks or tiles click together with ease for a fast, DIY-friendly fit.
Wooden flooring mostly features a tongue and groove system. However, some newer floors are starting to feature a click system. With the tongue and groove system, you can create a floating floor, or choose to nail it down. Like the glue-down method, nailing the floor down is better left to the professionals. The floating floor method on the other hand, can easily be done yourself.
Obviously, you want your new floor to last as long as possible. However, some floors are much more durable than others. LVT floors are especially renowned for their durability. LVT is easy to maintain and capable of withstanding a high level of traffic.
If durability is a concern, pay attention to the wear layer of the floor, alongside its finish. Engineered wood floors with a 6mm wear layer and a lacquered coating for example, can provide fantastic durability against wear and tear.
No matter what your budget, there is a floor to match it. If you are looking for the cheapest type of flooring, luxury vinyl does tend to come out on top. However, for long-term value, you might want to consider solid or engineered wood flooring. There are plenty of low cost engineered wood and some great budget solid wood floors available.
Don’t just take the cost of purchasing the floor into account. You should also consider the cost of maintaining it over its lifetime.
At Stories Flooring, we have a huge selection of floors to choose from. Consider the above when looking for the right floor to match your home. Browse our full flooring range now and benefit from up to 65% off RRP.