Choice Can Be A Fine Thing
But design decisions about flooring benefit from professional advice.
By Aisan Ahmadi | creativegroupinteriors.com
Choice is a wonderful thing. But too much of it can be overwhelming. That’s especially true when it comes to flooring, as new technologies and digital printing processes have resulted in a myriad of looks, finishes and materials. That can be confusing for homeowners.
As a designer, I know how important it is to get the flooring right. Not only does it anchor the look of the room and affect its functionality, but the wrong choice can quickly give the room a dated, tired look.
- Clients of my firm frequently need help determining which flooring works best for a space, based on aesthetics, affordability, ease of maintenance, and durability.
- I love sharing exciting new options, of which there are now so many.
- Cork, for example, is an ancient material enjoying renewed popularity. That’s because it comes in a multitude of designs, is warm and soft underfoot, has sound-dampening qualities and is made from a sustainable, renewable resource.
- Many manufactures also offer it now with an under layer treated to resist mould and bacteria, which makes it suitable for kitchen applications. Because it can absorb impact, it has the added benefit of softening the fall of a plate or glass.
- I always enjoy working with clients to find ways of personalizing and customizing their space to reflect a signature style. Carpet tiles are a wonderful way to do just that. Companies like the Chicago-based Flor (www.flor.com) makes eco-friendly carpet tiles that come in an astonishing array of colours and patterns.
- The 50-centrimetre squares work for any clean, hard surface, although when laid on raw concrete, it must first be treated with a non-solvent sealer. Spills are easy to deal with, as individual tiles can be easily lifted and cleaned with soap and water.
- While there’s nothing like the beauty of real hardwood, our firm often advises clients to consider other options for spaces in which it may not be suitable or affordable.
- One alternative is to install luxury vinyl flooring, which replicates the look and feel of the natural product without many of the drawbacks. It is, by the way, light years away from your grandmother’s vinyl tiles. Companies such as Karndean (www.karndean.com) offer designs in a huge range of handsome finishes, which can be tailored to suit your personal style by adding decorative strips and borders.
- One of the newest advances is random plank vinyl flooring, which mimics the look of hardwood planks, and can even be made with “distressed” surface or with the grain of exotic species.
- Another option is engineered wood, which is made by layering sheets of real wood to a composite surface. That makes for a stable, durable surface that handles moisture better than real hardwood does.
Form, function and fashion — they all need to be taken into account when choosing flooring. With a little help from a design professional, homeowners can choose an option that will work well, and look beautiful, for years to come.