How to Choose the Right Floor

Getting your flooring right the first time around is crucial to the overall look and feel of your home. Flooring covers large areas of your space and interconnects different zones via the use of a continued finish so it can be expensive and challenging to retrofit if you make a mistake.  

When choosing flooring, there are many factors to consider, including performance, durability, cleaning, maintenance, sustainability, thermal mass, noise, aesthetics, and comfort. Follow our guide below to help you make an informed decision on your flooring:  

  1. Performance – Consider the lifestyle requirements of your family. Are you big entertainers or do you prefer not to wear shoes inside? Do you have children, teenagers or pets who are more likely to wear down the flooring? These are important factors to consider when determining the performance needs of your flooring. 
  2. Thickness – The thickness of flooring affects how it will perform with other flooring and design elements, such as skirting boardsand door levels. Tiles typically range from 10-15mm in thickness, while engineered timber and solid timber typically range from 15-20mm. When choosing flooring for a new build, the type of flooring and its thickness will also affect the slab pour.  
  3. Durability – Durability is a key factor to consider when choosing flooring. How durable does the flooring need to be, and does it need to be scratch and slip resistant? Additionally, consider factors such as UV resistance to ensure the flooring won’t discolor over time when exposed to sunlight. 
  4. Cleaning Consider how easy the flooring is to clean and if any special cleaning products are needed to maintain it. Textured flooring may be more difficult to clean compared to smooth surfaces, while engineered timber and solid timber typically require special cleaning products to keep them in premium condition. 
  5. Maintenance What type of maintenance is required for the flooring? For example, solid timber flooring may require sanding and oiling, while others may require polishing. Consider the time and effort required to maintain the flooring to ensure it remains in good condition.
  6. Environmental and Sustainability CriteriaConsider the material composition of the flooring and whether it contains any toxic components, such as VOCs or plastics. Choose flooring made from recycled components, renewable resources, or with a green tag certification. Flooring options like cork, timber, bamboo, and tiles are good choices for their sustainability criteria. 
  7. Thermal Mass Thermal mass is an important attribute to consider if you want your home to be warm in the winter. Tile flooring is a great consideration for thermal mass as it transfers warmth from the slab to the surface of the floor. However, timber flooring does not perform well in this regard, as it retains heat
  8. Noise and Noise MitigationConsider how sound travels between the levels of your home and whether it will impact your flooring choice. Carpeting is good at absorbing noise and sounds, while tiles and hard surfaces can cause noise to bounce around. Consider using carpeting in high-traffic areas, such as the stairs, home office, and retreat areas, to mitigate noise. (Learn more about minimising noise in your home here.
  9. AestheticsHow will the flooring look in your home? Will it be consistent with the other rooms and spaces in your home? Flooring sets the tone for the space and other design elements so choose a flooring that meets your aesthetic needs. 
  10. ComfortConsider how the flooring feels underfoot, including its temperature and softness. Do you wear shoes inside, or are you often barefoot? Will you have children playing on the floor, and do they have a soft, comfortable space to do so? 

Many people make mistakes when choosing their flooring: not doing enough research, choosing a cost-effective option, not future-proofing the flooring, and not creating zones within the home can result in a flooring choice that’s not fit for purpose. Here are some tips to help you avoid these common mistakes and make the best choice for your home: 

  1. Do Your Research: It’s important to research the options available on the market and not just rely on what you already know or what friends have in their homes. There are always new products available, and interior designers can help you choose the right flooring that suits your needs. 
  2. Consider Sustainability: When choosing your floor, consider the sustainability criteria, such as the material composition of the product, toxic components in the materials, and the ability to be recycled. Opt for flooring made of recycled components and renewable resources for the health of the planet, your children and you! 
  3. Don’t Choose Based on Cost Alone: Flooring is a large investment in your home and is worth the investment. It sets the foundation for everything else. Flooring is expensive to retrofit, so it’s better to invest more in the flooring and save on other areas of the home that are easier to replace down the track. 
  4. Future-Proof Your Flooring: Choose flooring that will serve you and your family long-term, rather than choosing a soft floor because your kids are babies now. You can use rugs and mats as an easy and cost-effective solution to adapt to young kids. 
  5. Create Zones Within Your Home: Creating zones in your home through different flooring is good design and creates a different feeling appropriate for each space.  
  6. Watch Out for Toxins: Hybrid flooring is highly marketed as a waterproof ideal flooring solution, but it may contain toxic VOCs that you’re not aware of. Be sure to research the products and their composition before making a decision. 

Choosing the right floor for your home requires careful consideration and research. By avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure that you make the best choice for your home that serves you and your family well into the future. 


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