One of the first things we notice when we step into a home or a room is the floor. Most of the time, we don’t give two thoughts about it because there’s nothing special about it. Most homes either have white stone or wooden tiles that you won’t pay attention to.
However, when you are doing up your home, you NEED to pay close attention to your flooring. It is one of the larger surfaces in your home, safe for the walls and ceiling (and not everyone looks up at the ceiling much anyways). It creates part of the backdrop in which you design your new home.
When looking at flooring, you need to keep your lifestyle in mind. There is no such thing as perfect flooring, but there will be a suitable flooring that fits your way of life.
Let’s jump right in!
Hardwood or Engineered Wood Flooring
Not to be mistaken with vinyl flooring that comes in a hardwood design (and in many shades too), hardwood and engineered wood is made from real wood, not something made to look like it.
Hardwood flooring are planks made from a single piece of wood with tongue and groove edges. It can last a long time when you take good care of it. Engineered wood flooring is solid hardwood, but made from a relatively thin layer of hardwood and bonded over a premium-quality plywood layer, making the floor solid.
|Can last a long time if maintained well||Less moisture problems|
|Ages well||Low maintenance|
|Non-toxic (good for babies and toddlers)||More environmentally friendly|
|Good acoustics (good for musicians)||Good acoustics (good for musicians)|
|Easy to repair (sanding and repolishing)||Available in wider boards|
|May warp in humid, damp conditions||Cannot be refinished if top veneer is thin|
|Expensive||Just a little cheaper than hardwood, but still expensive|
|Vulnerable to scratches and needs polishing (high maintenance)||Vulnerable to scratches and needs polishing (high maintenance)|
At one time, the flooring was synonymous to tiles. It was the to-go flooring choice. Tiles come in many different colours, sizes and even textures. The small ones can be arranged in mosaic form, and the large ones look like stone. They are usually made from either ceramic or porcelain, and because it is non-porous, it is perfect for moist areas in the home.
The question remains, does it fit your home?
|Water resistant||Water resistant|
|Easy to clean and maintain||Easy to clean and maintain|
|Colour won’t fade||Stain resistant|
|More design options||Perfect for outdoor use|
|Very hard surface (be careful if you have a small child or baby)||Very hard surface (be careful if you have a small child or baby)|
|Grout maintenance||Grout maintenance|
|Hard and cold underfoot||Hard and cold underfoot|
|Installation takes a lot of time||More expensive than ceramic tiles|
|Not a very organic look||Installation takes a lot of time|
Vinyl and Laminate
Want your flooring to look expensive without spending too much? Vinyl flooring is a waterproof, affordable and durable option made from synthetic material that could be the answer to your flooring prayers (if there is one). It is available in planks, sheets or tiles.
The cousin of vinyl flooring is laminate flooring. Often mistaken to be one or another, laminate flooring contains wood fibreboard core beneath the protective layer. It is usually sold in planks and sometimes looks like hardwood flooring.
It will suit many pocket depths but will it suit your home?
|Waterproof||Less prone to fading|
|Easy to clean with mild cleaners||Comfortable underfoot|
|Available in many colours||Available in many colours|
|More prone to fading||Not waterproof (wet mops cannot be used)|
|Manufacturing process uses toxic chemicals||Not suitable for bathroom and kitchen|
|Not environmentally friendly||Needs to be replaced once damaged|
If you want your home to feel luxurious, there is only one type of flooring to consider, and that is natural stone flooring. There are three types of natural stone flooring: marble, slate and granite.
Marble usually comes in shades of white and makes any room look more spacious. Granite has a distinct pattern and is very durable. If you’d like a rustic, natural feel, go for slate.
These natural stones have distinctive traits. Before you decide on one, be sure to know what their pros and cons are!
|Beautiful and relatively soft||Slip-resistant (great for outdoors)||Does not stain easily, holds up against acidic substances|
|Easily polished||Durable||Scratch resistant (in most cases)|
|Adds real estate value||Adds real estate value||Adds real estate value|
|Illuminates the area||Fire resistant||Low maintenance|
|May discolour with long exposure to sun||Difficult to repair/replace||Difficult to repair/replace|
|Porous and stains easily||Requires sealing to prevent stains||Needs to be periodically resealed to protect it|
|Slippery when wet||Brittle||Slippery when wet|
|High maintenance||Hard and cold underfoot||Heavy (check if your floor can support it)|
With the comparisons above, we hope you will be able to make informed choices when speaking to your interior designers. The same thing applies if you are making flooring decisions for your BTO HDB unit.
For more tips and tricks to help you make better decisions for your home, read our many articles on Renodots after reading this!
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