When it comes to choosing flooring materials, there is a range of choices on the market. In today’s article, we’re talking about where we stand on various flooring materials. Whether you’re after hardwood floors or laminate flooring, or something in between, let’s take a look at the different types of flooring for your new home.
Carpeting is one of the most popular flooring materials for many reasons. The classic flooring material that conveys warmth, comfort and coziness, carpet is still a go-to choice for many home buyers. Here are some of the pros and cons of carpeting.
Pros of carpet for your new home build
Compared to other options, carpet is a much more affordable flooring option. This makes it a popular choice for home builders looking to save some money with their build.
The carpet is perfect for muffling footsteps, echoes and the noise of anything being dropped. It helps absorb noise, including music, voices, the TV and more.
Carpet offers a nice soft, warm, cosy feel to your home, which is ideal for places where you want to unwind, like your bedroom and living room. If you have little ones, their falls will be a little less dramatic with the cushioning of the carpet.
Whatever style, colour or design you’re after, there’s a carpet to suit it. Whether you’re looking to make a statement or want something with a little restraint, carpeting has an option for you.
Easy to install and cuts down on Installation Costs:
In most cases, carpet is quicker, cheaper and easier to install than other materials.
Cons of carpet for your new home build
Wear and Tear shows:
Carpet will wear down over time, especially in high-traffic areas like the entrances to living rooms or bedrooms. Moreso than other flooring materials, the wear and tear on the carpet will show in its appearance.
You’ll need to, at the very least, vacuum regularly using a quality cleaner that can pull dirt deep from your carpet. A professional cleaning every 6-12 months will help with cleanliness and make life easier for allergy sufferers. Spills and staining are also more of an issue with carpets.
Not Ideal for every room:
Carpet is a great material for cosy areas like bedrooms and living spaces. Kitchens and bathrooms? Not so much. You’ll need a second flooring option for your house for these rooms.
Will eventually need to be replaced:
No matter how well-maintained you keep your carpet, it won’t last as long as materials like hardwood flooring, tile or laminate. Eventually, everyday use will take its toll, and you’ll need to replace your carpet.
Best suited for:
Best suited for areas like bedrooms, living spaces and studies. When it comes to bathrooms or any wet areas, carpet is probably the worst choice you can make.
Solid Wood Flooring/ Solid Timber Flooring
Solid timber Flooring is pretty much as it sounds. It’s flooring made of wood that has been cut, milled and then coated with a protective sealant to create a durable and reliable floorboard. A classic flooring material that never really goes out of style, solid wood flooring still has its pros and cons, so let’s take a look.
Pros of Solid Wood Flooring
Durable and Longlasting:
During installation, your floor will be coated with a hard-wearing finish and can be sanded down and refinished multiple times during its life. The lifespan of a solid wood floor can be anywhere between 30-100 years, hence why there are still wood houses from the 19th century still standing.
Adds Value to House:
When done well, solid timber flooring can be a real asset. Research shows wood flooring can add up to 2.5% to the resale value of your property.
Great, elegant look:
Timber flooring adds a level of class that other materials can’t quite capture. Widely considered the premium type of flooring, hardwood is sure to impress with its natural beauty.
Timber flooring feels warm and soft underfoot, making it a great option for heavy foot traffic in your home.
Cons of Solid Wood Flooring
There’s no getting around it: Solid timber floorboards are pricey. Though it does increase your home’s value in the long run, in the short term you’ll be paying more for both the material and installation costs.
Unlike engineered wood flooring materials, solid timber floorboards aren’t water resistant. Spills and accidents can cause damage, and any major plumbing leak or flooding can be devasting to timber floors.
Hardwood flooring in particular requires a lot of upkeep to keep it looking its best. From using the right finish to regular sweeping and avoiding any water damage.
Not always stable:
Due to being a natural material, wood fibres will expand and contract depending on temperature, moisture and other environmental factors. Your floor will require expansion gaps between the floorboards, perimeters of the house, and the doorframes to account for this.
More difficult to install:
Due to the above and other factors, timber flooring is something that will require professional installation, unless you’ve got an intermediate level of skill.
Best Suited for:
Great for living spaces, and areas you need to withstand heavy foot traffic or larger areas you want to add some class to. Great for family homes or for anyone looking to add value to their home.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered timber floorboards can consist of a thinner timber layer glued to a plywood core and then coated with a protective finish. A popular, more affordable alternative to timber flooring. Installed as floating floors, they don’t require nails as timber does.
Pros of engineered wood flooring
Difficult to distinguish from Timber
To the average person, engineered wood flooring looks almost identical to solid wood flooring. Great way to cut costs while still having that timber look.
Engineered timber is a popular alternative to timber flooring due to it having many of the same qualities without the same hefty price tag. Being a floating floor makes it cheaper to install.
An advantage of engineered timber over regular timber is that it can be waterproof. This means a lot less stress when there’s a spill.
Engineered flooring can withstand impact and, when well looked after, can last for decades.
Cons of engineered wood flooring
Won’t last as long as timber
Due to the thinner layer of timber, they can’t be sanded down or refinished as much timber as a solid timber floor can.
More Pricey than other materials
Though a cheaper option than solid timber flooring, engineered floors are still one of the most expensive choices on the market.
Best Suited For:
Best suited for similar areas you would use timber flooring. You have the benefit of a similar look, for a much lower price. Being waterproof, you can even use it in the bathroom.
Pros of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is one of the cheapest flooring options on the market, which is great when it comes to saving money on your build.
Extremely scratch-resistant so will be able to stand up to everyday wear and tear.
Laminate can have a wide range of designs printed onto them, providing you with plenty of decorative options.
Unlike timber, laminate flooring won’t expand or contract with the weather.
Cons of Laminate Flooring
Not as Comfortable Underfoot
Laminate flooring lacks the warmth and comfort of timber, hybrid flooring and other materials.
Can be damaged by leaks and spills
Though there are water-resistant options on the market, there’s no such thing as the waterproof laminate flooring.
As laminate flooring is artificially produced, sometimes the same pattern can appear on multiple boards, which can be a strange look to your floor.
Best Suited For:
Suitable for kitchens, dining rooms and laundry rooms. Great as a cost-saving measure or a temporary flooring solution.
Hybrid floors are a composite of various materials including PVC, Stone Plastic Composite and Wood Plastic Composite. Some of their advantages include being waterproof, and they’re designed to be floating floors, which cuts down on installation costs.
Pros of Hybrid Flooring
Hybrid flooring has a hard-wearing coating that helps protect the flooring against impacts and scratches.
Hybrid flooring can be designed to resemble wood, tile or other materials.
Hybrid flooring is waterproof, making it an easierstress-freeee option for upkeep.
An Affordable Option
Costs a lot less than solid timber and other materials. Costs a lot less to install.
Cons of Hybrid Flooring
Needs a very even subfloor
If your subfloor is uneven, it may require a sanding or levelling job to make hybrid flooring possible. The cost to do this could negate any savings you made choosing hybrid flooring in the first place.
More expensive than laminate flooring
Hybrid flooring costs more than laminate flooring, though still much cheaper than solid timber or engineered timber floors.
Can suffer from pattern repetition
Because hybrid flooring is artificially made, there is a risk of pattern repetition, which emphasises the fake nature of the material. This is less of an issue with modern hybrid flooring.
Best suited for:
Its flexibility makes it a luxurious look that can work in just about any room.
Another floating floor design, Bamboo is a sustainable yet durable flooring option. Made from pressed bamboo grass, it’s a unique look that’s becoming more popular.
Pros of Bamboo Floors
Bamboo flooring is usually coated with a scratch-resistant finish, while bamboo fibres are naturally strong against impact.
Costs less than solid timber flooring, both for the material and the installation process.
Bamboo is a renewable material and natural substance, and more sustainable than other options like laminate and hybrid floors.
Cons of Bamboo Floors
Not Water Resistant
Bamboo is vulnerable to water, so you’ll need to be careful with spills.
Design is polarising
There’s a unique look to bamboo flooring that isn’t for everybody. Be sure to see some examples of bamboo flooring before committing.
Best suited for:
A great option for the environmentally conscious home builder. Bamboo offers a contemporary feel for areas like the dining room or living room.
Natural Stone and Tile Floors
Pros of Tile and Stone Flooring
The big advantage of tile and stone flooring is that it’s waterproof, making it the go-to choice for kitchens and bathrooms.
Easy to Clean
One of the easiest floors to clean, with a quick wipe-down being all you need to take care of most spills. Floor tiles are more stain resistant than other floor materials on the market.
Tiles and stone come in a wide, varied range of styles, so there are plenty of options when it comes to what will best suit your home.
Cons of Tile and Stone
Can be uncomfortable
Tiles and stone floors provide a hard surface that isn’t comfortable to sit on.
Can get Cold
During winter months, tiles and stone flooring can become ice cold, leading to an unpleasant start to your morning shower
Though strong for the most part, when tiles do break, they can come off in shards and be a pain to replace.
Though being water-resistant has its benefits, the downside is that tiles can become slippery when wet.
Best suited for:
Best flooring for areas where there will be a lot of water, for example, laundry rooms, kitchen and bathroom and toilet rooms. For most other rooms, tiles are too hard to be comfortable or practical.