Spanning every single room in the house, floor coverings are a really important element when it comes to creating a stylish and ambient home.
There are so many options and with trends coming and going, choosing the right one can be a difficult proposition. A few new products have taken off recently, offering new home builders and renovators even more choice.
Making a good decision often comes down to research and a process of elimination. Here, we look at some of the main options, including some exciting new materials.
Open the door into hundreds of thousands of West Australian homes and you will find polished timber gracing the floor.
Many older homes feature jarrah floors because at one point in time this beautiful timber was affordable and locally abundant.
A range of other imported woods are now available and these also look spectacular. One of the reasons timber flooring is so popular is because it suits our climate and lifestyle. Timber is warm underfoot during winter and in summer it feels cool to the touch.
Cindy Wang, from West Lake Flooring, says bamboo is fast becoming a popular alternative to traditional jarrah floors.
“Bamboo is steadily becoming more popular for a variety of reasons but mainly because it is versatile, environmentally friendly and it grows fast,” she says.
“Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world and this means it can be harvested and used after only seven years, whereas other timbers traditionally used for flooring take several decades to grow.”
Cindy says bamboo can be processed to look like almost any wood and when aged and properly treated, it has comparable durability.
Cindy says tiles are a good choice for flooring in bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, laundries and outdoor areas where durability and water resistance is needed.
“The durability of tiles is one of their major advantages,” she says. “They are easy to clean, maintenance free, slip resistant and there are so many colours and styles to choose from.”
Porcelain tiles are available in an endless array of styles and colours. “Italian design white body porcelain creates sleek, stylish bathrooms, kitchens and wet areas,” she says.
“Porcelain cement tiles are extremely popular at the moment too. They come in many rich, earthy colours in both traditional and modern patterns.”
Cindy says those wanting a timber look without the maintenance issues should look no further than wood-look tiles.
“These are so on-trend right now and it is easy to see why people love them, they look amazing,” she says.
“They also offer a warmer, softer look than stark white or coloured bathroom tiles and we have seen this product used for feature walls, in shower tiles and practically in every room of the house.”
Cindy says one of the advantages of timber-look tiles is that they require minimal grouting. “Anything that cuts cleaning has our tick of approval, that is for sure,” she says.
People who love the look of timber but don’t have a big budget often choose laminate flooring. Cindy says it is a durable flooring that can replicate the look of timber or even stone surfaces.
“Good laminate is easy to maintain, economical and environmentally friendly, so you can see why that is a popular choice for many people,” she says.
When performance and durability is as important as looks, many people say you can’t go past polished concrete. Kara Armitt from Holcim says Geostone makes a spectacular statement in any home and it can be used in many different applications, including outside on the driveway.
“A Geostone polished floor is pure luxury and has a range of benefits including being easy to clean, requiring less maintenance, it is hypoallergenic and it has a high thermal mass,” she says.
But internal Geostone flooring is only suitable for new builds and it needs to be installed after the slab is poured.
Other companies can polish concrete retrospectively but there are limited finishes available. Polished concrete can withstand wear and tear and its neutral look provides the perfect backdrop for many decor styles.
If you are keen on the look and feel of concrete but your slab is not in good condition or you have to do too much preparation to restore the surface, an option is a poured surface.
James Lewis from Artisan Finishes says people are often surprised at what can be achieved by pouring a product over existing floors.
“Imagine being able to remodel any solid surface without having to demolish the current finish,” he says. “Artisan Finishes can help you do this without the cost, inconvenience and potential environmental damage associated with the removal of the existing surfaces.
“Our engineers have perfected this method through the use of X-Bond Seamless Stone, which chemically adheres to any existing surface. The system saves clients time and money while offering significant benefits including being anti-slip, stain resistant and durable.”
He says Quartz Carpet combines natural quartz granules with an epoxy resin and can be finished in a variety of different ways to create different textures.
“Quartz Carpet can be applied directly over almost any existing substrate, including concrete, tiles, cement sheeting and MDF.”
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