Get on the Floor: Shortcut to Flooring that Fits Your Lifestyle

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.

Pros:

HardwoodEngineered Wood
Can last a long time if maintained wellLess moisture problems
Ages wellLow 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

Cons:

HardwoodEngineered Wood
May warp in humid, damp conditionsCannot be refinished if top veneer is thin
ExpensiveJust a little cheaper than hardwood, but still expensive
Vulnerable to scratches and needs polishing (high maintenance)Vulnerable to scratches and needs polishing (high maintenance)

Tiles

Tiled living room
Image from eBuy7

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?

Pros:

CeramicPorcelain
Water resistantWater resistant
DurableDurable
Easy to clean and maintainEasy to clean and maintain
Colour won’t fadeStain resistant
More design optionsPerfect for outdoor use

Cons:

CeramicPorcelain
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 maintenanceGrout maintenance
Hard and cold underfootHard and cold underfoot
Installation takes a lot of timeMore expensive than ceramic tiles
Not a very organic lookInstallation takes a lot of time

Vinyl and Laminate

Vinyl flooring living room
Image from The Spruce

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?

Pros:

VinylLaminate
WaterproofLess prone to fading
Easy to clean with mild cleanersComfortable underfoot
Pet-friendlyPet-friendly
Available in many coloursAvailable in many colours
AffordableAffordable

Cons:

VinylLaminate
More prone to fadingNot waterproof (wet mops cannot be used)
Manufacturing process uses toxic chemicalsNot suitable for bathroom and kitchen
Not environmentally friendlyNeeds to be replaced once damaged

Natural Stone

Luxurious natural stone flooring kitchen
Image from DIY Network

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!

Pros:

MarbleSlateGranite
Beautiful and relatively softSlip-resistant (great for outdoors)Does not stain easily, holds up against acidic substances
Easily polishedDurableScratch resistant (in most cases)
Adds real estate valueAdds real estate valueAdds real estate value
Illuminates the areaFire resistantLow maintenance

Cons:

MarbleSlateGranite
May discolour with long exposure to sunDifficult to repair/replaceDifficult to repair/replace
Porous and stains easilyRequires sealing to prevent stainsNeeds to be periodically resealed to protect it
Slippery when wetBrittleSlippery when wet
ExpensiveExpensiveExpensive
High maintenanceHard and cold underfootHeavy (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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