28 June 2022
Top 10 considerations when choosing a new floor
There are hundreds of thousands of flooring options on the market, so how on earth do you choose the right floor for your home or business?
Luckily, there are some ways you can narrow down the options to make choosing your new floor a little less daunting.
Here are ten things you should consider when choosing your new floor.
Where is your new floor going to live? Is it for your family home, a rental property or a commercial premises?
This will narrow down your choices significantly because, let’s face it, a plush pile carpet might look fab in your master bedroom, but it’s completely impractical for a factory floor.
And it’s unlikely you’ll want to spend a fortune fitting out a rental property unless you’re marketing it as luxury accommodation.
Location within your property will also influence your decision. Some flooring types deal better with moisture than others, so if your floor is for the bathroom, you’ll probably want to opt for tile or LVT over wood or carpet.
Meanwhile, entranceways are subject to wet and muddy shoes, so a white carpet at your front door won’t stay white for very long.
2. Cleaning and maintenance
It’s hard to imagine anyone would want to spend hours cleaning and maintaining their floor, but some flooring types require more care than others.
Laminate, vinyl and LVT are easy to clean and require very little maintenance. A red wine spillage can easily be wiped up without leaving a stain.
Carpet can be a bit less forgiving when it comes to spills. Even products with stain-resistant properties will need a bit of scrubbing to keep stains at bay. Hair, dust and dirt can also get stuck between carpet fibres and are easier to sweep up from a hard surface.
Real wood flooring and parquet look amazing, but they must be properly treated and maintained to keep them looking their best.
3. Durability and longevity
Another factor you’ll want to consider is the durability of your new floor. Are you looking for something that will last a lifetime, or is your floor a stop-gap?
If you’re replacing the floor to get a property ready for sale, it’s unlikely durability will be a priority.
However, if your new floor is for a high-traffic area, you’ll probably want something that can withstand wear and tear.
While real wood or stone floors can be more expensive than other options, they are extremely durable and can last a lifetime. Ideal if you have just moved into your forever home and want to get it looking perfect.
LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) is also an extremely durable option and doesn’t come with the high price tag of wood or stone. It’s scratch and stain resistant, hardwearing, and can handle large volumes of foot traffic.
If you’re set on carpet, but need something that can withstand high footfall, opt for nylon or polyester.
If your budget is limited, real wood, parquet and stone will probably be off the table. But you can still achieve a natural wood or stone effect with LVT, which is more affordable.
Carpet, vinyl and laminate range wildly in cost, so there’s a product for every budget. At one end, you have your luxury handwoven wool carpets; at the other, you have your basic sheet vinyl.
Cheap doesn’t have to mean inferior, so watch out for poor quality products – opt for reputable brands or get expert recommendations if you are unsure.
When considering your budget, don’t forget to account for the cost of any subfloor preparation, underlay and installation.
Thinking about replacing your new flooring might seem like an odd thing to do before you even choose it, but it’s worth considering.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to redecorate regularly, choose a floor covering that comes up easily.
The likelihood of damage may also influence your decision. Is your floor going to be well looked after, or is it likely to take a hammering?
Bad tenants in a rental property or clumsy customers in a commercial setting could easily cause irreparable damage to a floor.
Stone and ceramic tiles don’t come up easily, and real wooden planks can be tricky to replace.
Carpet, vinyl and laminate, however, can all be replaced relatively easily. And with LVT, it’s possible to replace individual tiles rather than the whole floor.
If you’re investing in a new floor, it makes sense to have it professionally fitted, especially if it requires specialist skills like parquetry. The last thing you want is to fork out on lovely new flooring only for it to be badly fitted.
If you do decide to take care of installation yourself, some products are more DIY-friendly than others.
Click flooring (sometimes called floating flooring or loose lay) is designed for easy installation. The planks, quite literally, click together. You might want to use glue between planks to give more stability, but you won’t need to glue the flooring to the subfloor.
Glue-down products, vinyl, laminate and carpet can be a little trickier, but if you’re a confident DIY-er, they are manageable.
Make sure you prepare the subfloor correctly, take care cutting around corners or into alcoves, and be patient if you want to avoid lumpy, humpy floors.
7. Foot (or paw) traffic
When choosing your new floor, you need to consider what kind of traffic your floor will have.
In a commercial property, most people will be walking around with shoes on. High heels clicking on your floor every five minutes could cause a distraction, while the unpredictable British weather is likely to mean your floors are subject to wet shoes and dripping umbrellas.
In the home, you’ll need to consider children and pets. Children can be very good at traipsing dirt across freshly cleaned floors, and food spills aren’t uncommon. If you have young children who love to run around, you might want to avoid slippery surfaces to reduce the likelihood of an accident.
Pets bring the added bonus of pet hair, which can be tricky to get out of carpets. If your pet enjoys jumping in lakes or rolling in mud, you might find yourself constantly wiping away paw prints. And then, of course, there are those occasional toilet accidents to watch out for.
Most of us want to do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint, and with energy costs on the rise, energy-efficient flooring has an added benefit.
Carpet is a great insulator, and engineered wood with an insulating underlay will keep the warmth in a room longer.
You might also want to consider how your flooring is made – does it comes from sustainable sources. And what about at the end of its life? Can it be recycled, or will it end up in a landfill?
If sustainability is a priority, cork flooring is a fantastic option. It’s made from tree bark, has natural insulating properties and can be recycled repeatedly.
9. Time constraints
Need your new floor in a hurry with minimum disruption? Then you’ll probably want to opt for something easy to install. Something that doesn’t require days of subfloor preparation, fiddly installation and long drying times.
Fortunately, plenty of options fit the bill. Most carpets, vinyls and laminates can be laid relatively quickly and walked on within hours. Click and lock LVT doesn’t use glue, so again can be walked on relatively quickly.
In contrast, parquet flooring is time-consuming to lay. And although it looks fantastic when finished, it’s not ideal if you want to avoid disruption.
Once you’ve narrowed down your flooring type, considering all of the above, you have the tough task of picking the right colour, pattern or finish.
You’ll have a range of choices in all flooring types, so you’ll need to consider your décor, furniture and personal tastes.
The size of the room can also influence your decision. Certain shades and patterns can make a room look larger or smaller than it really is.
Get flooring samples where possible so you can test different shades against your walls, furniture, and in different lights.
And don’t rush your decision – you don’t want to spend a fortune on something you’ll hate in a month.
Need a little inspiration?
There are hundreds of flooring manufacturers, suppliers and installers, so it can be hard to know where to turn.
At Beyond Flooring, our mission is to enhance your home or business with expertly fitted flooring. We only use quality products and offer a two year warranty on all domestic projects.
If you need a little inspiration, check out our customer gallery, or visit our showroom. Our friendly team are always happy to help you select the perfect flooring for your home.