Choice of flooring (e.g wood, concrete, tile, brick etc)

Flooring can add significantly to the look and personality of a room. However, the sheer number of choices available as far as flooring options are concerned can baffle the most discerning buyer, so here is a look at the various flooring choices and their attributes so that you can make an informed decision about the type of flooring that pick for your home.

How to choose flooring:

The type of flooring that you choose for your entire home or for a particular area in house should depend on various factors such as:

The amount of foot fall that the room gets: This is one of the most important factors that should be considered when choosing the flooring option for a room; if it is a highly walked upon area, you will need to pick something that can stand the wear and tear.

Moisture: While some flooring options are suitable even in areas that are prone to water seepage and spillage others will deteriorate and turn into a breeding ground for pests, so it is imperative to choose wisely.

The Cost: This is another essential factor; flooring options are available in a variety of price ranges to suit the needs of almost all buyers. When buying a flooring option, you also need to consider the amount of time you intend to spend in the house. If you intend to move after two or three years, you may not want to invest as much.

Here is a look at some of the flooring options that you can choose from:

Carpet: This is one of the most versatile choices; there are innumerable colours, fabrics and a plethora of designs to choose from; also carpets suit a range of budgets and the installation time is fairly low which makes them ideal as a flooring option for people who want to revamp their house quickly. Besides, nothing looks as plush, feels as good under your feet or blends better than a carpet

How to pick a carpet: Besides the aesthetic appeal, you also need to consider factors such as the amount of traffic that the room will receive, how soon you intend to replace the carpet, the type of fibre used and the texture which will have a bearing on its performance

The disadvantages: Carpets need regular cleaning and get soiled and stained easily. Also depending on the type of fabric that you choose, you may need to enlist professional help to get the stains removed. Carpets are certainly not as durable as some of the other flooring options.

Hardwood Flooring: One of the primary advantages of choosing hardwood flooring is its sturdiness and the warm look that it imparts to almost every living space regardless of the specific decor. Hardwood is among the most durable flooring options and once installed, it can not only last you for years but also it augments the value of your home.

How to pick hardwood flooring: There are several options available in terms of the wood used, and each has its characteristic colour and pattern which can blend with a myriad of wall colours and textures. When choosing hardwood flooring, you will need to decide on unfinished, prefinished or solid wood flooring; apart from these obvious choices, you can also buy a cheaper hybrid of veneer and lumber known as engineered wood flooring

The disadvantages: Hardwood is one of the most expensive flooring options in the market today, also, it needs regular waxing and polishing and you will need to ensure that you keep the grit of your hardwood flooring. Acrylic impregnated wood flooring can withstand a lot of traffic without showing any signs of distress and needs low maintenance.

Vinyl Flooring: This has long been the flooring option of choice for kitchens, bathrooms and foyers; however, with technological advances in the industry; vinyl is now available in a range of options that suit just about any area of a home. This is one of ore affordable flooring options is the market and is fairly durable.

How to pick vinyl flooring: One of the first things that you need to consider when choosing vinyl flooring for a particular area of your house is the amount of moisture that it revives; this includes moisture seepage from underneath or spillage. If the area is prone to a lot of water spillage, you will need to choose mildew resistant vinyl while for an area that receives a lot of foot fall choose heavy vinyl that is scuff- mark resistant.

The disadvantages: Vinyl is not suitable for outdoor areas where it may be subject to direct sunlight and extreme heat or cold. You will need to ensure that the floor is kept clean and use mats at the door to ensure that the wear layer of the floor does not get damaged.

Laminate Flooring: This is one of the most easily maintained flooring options in the market. As a matter of fact, it is usually stain resistant and if it does chip, you can fix the defects with a simple pencil or with some easily available filling material. Laminate is more durable than vinyl and is available in a variety of colours and patterns. Among the popular designs are ones that emulate the look of hardwood and marble flooring.

How to choose: Apart from the colours and patterns, it is also imperative to pay close attention to the type of warranty offered by the manufacturer because the terms can vary widely and are often indicative of the product quality.

The disadvantages: Laminate is sold by square foot which makes it more expensive than vinyl flooring.

Ceramic tiles: These are fast turning into the most preferred flooring option is homes all across the country, given their durability, affordable price and ease of maintenance. Ceramic tiles are available in a range of shapes, designs and colours and are suitable for any living area.

How to choose: When choosing ceramic tiles, you need to look at the wear rating of the product; for instance, hand painted tiles will have the lowest wear rating while commercial grade ceramic tiles are the most durable and at the upper end of the rating spectrum.

The disadvantages: It is important to choose the texture appropriately; non abrasive tiles can be very slippery so it is essential to anticipate the water spillage in a room before choosing ceramic tiles.