Picking your Perfect Flooring – The Pros and Cons

Building, Styling

Picking a flooring can be a really confusing experience. There are so many different options out there and your decision shouldn’t only be based around how it looks. How if feels, its durability and how easy it is to clean are all important factors to consider when selecting a flooring option that suits you best. And, like everything, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach…you really need to think about your lifestyle and your style preferences to get this right. THINK ABOUT YOUR VISION! I’m going to help you through what is available and the pros and cons of these choices. Come on boots, let’s get walking’!

Please excuse me while I wipe away my drool. This has got to be the ultimate in terms of looks when it comes to flooring. You can’t beat the feel and the sound of genuine timber flooring. And don’t even get me started if it is original timber flooring in a Reno project…..GOALS! But there are certainly some points to consider before hammering this one home.

ProsCons
Genuine beauty – you can’t beat the look! It brings so much warmth and character to your homeCost to install is higher than other flooring options, but once installed and with the proper maintenance, it can last a lifetime
Hugh variety of colours available and you can also stain later on down the track to change the lookCan be affected by humidity and fluctuations in temperature – may swell in cool, damp weather and shrink in warm and dry conditions
Relatively easy to clean by sweeping or vacuuming and mopping with the correct equipmentMore prone to termite attacks than other flooring options
Non-toxic, organic, allergy friendly and does not tend to trap unpleasant odours Can be damaged by excessive water and harsh detergents and therefore not recommended for all the areas in your home eg. kitchens and bathrooms
Adds value to your homeProne to dents, stains and scratches
Environmentally sustainableCan be noisy, especially when installing on multiple story homes

Vinyl planks have come a long way since they were first introduced to the market. It’s a great option due to its cost, versatility, durability and visual appearance. There are some really luxurious options available that can look and feel really high end…but without the price tag of hardwood timber flooring.

ProsCons
Cost effective and tends to be cheaper than many other flooring optionsEasily damaged by sharp or heavy furniture and objects or punctured by something like a falling knife
Comfortable due to it’s foam underlayTough to remove if renovating or replacing
Quieter than timberDoes not add value to your property like hardwood timber flooring
Easy to maintain through regular sweeping and moppingSome vinyls can dent if a heavy object is dropped on them
Waterproof and can be installed all over the house including the kitchen and bathroomNot environmentally sustainable
Visually appealing as it can easily mimic genuine timber flooringCan sometimes be difficult to install – highly recommended to have a professional install this type of flooring
Stain resistant as spills can be easily wiped with a cloth

Bamboo is extremely eco-friendly and cost effective as a flooring option. It can add warmth, character and beauty to your home.

ProsCons
Lots of colour varieties availableThinner than hardwood and therefore can be quite cold.
Much more cost effective than timber hardwood flooringSome bamboo flooring can be produced using toxic glues – be sure to check
Can be used in damp climates where hardwood floors would not be recommendedSusceptible to scratching and scuff marks over time. Can also be damaged and discoloured by sunlight – you may need to move your furniture to prevent discolouration
Highly environmentally sustainableBeing a natural material, too much moisture can cause warping, discolouration and growth of mould. Excessive and continued water can cause bamboo to swell and weaken
Easy maintenance and durable if sealed twice a yearSensitive to humidity and can swell and shrink

This is the product I get most excited about, because it is what we have chosen to install in our last two properties. Our flooring is the Quick Step Impressive Ultra and is BEYOND amazing. While our flooring is premium in both quality and cost (going top of the range always is), there are lots of different laminate options across the board that come with lots of different price tags. Timber laminate flooring is made from composite wood pressed together and can be more cost effective than hardwood flooring. It can also be quite easy to install if you have a little experience…Dave and I have installed our own flooring on the past two builds, however Dave is highly experienced in construction. You’ll need to discuss and research this yourself.

ProsCons
Waterproof options make this suitable for every room in the home, including kitchens and bathrooms.Not all finishes are waterproof – discuss this with supplier
Click system prevents dust and dirt gathering between the boardsCan not be sanded and re-finnished to give a new appearance like timber hardwood flooring
Can be placed on top of underfloor heating systems when installed correctlyLike all products, they vary from one manufacturer to another. Do your research on product reviews
Solid, pleasant soundPattern repetition occurs, as there are generally 5-10 different patterns in the boards when manufactured
Extremely strong, hardwearing and durable and very difficult to scratchAs with other products, a small number of chemical sensitive individual may have reactions to the glues ad resins used in the flooring. Do your research!
Will not stain like other flooring options
Keeps original colour even when exposed to sunlight
Easy to maintain and clean
Allergy friendly
Quick and easy to install – no need for glue, mortar or nails
Huge variety of colours and finishes – from timber look to natural stone and concrete look finishes.
Warmer to the touch than other flooring such as bamboo and vinyl planks.
Variety of different thicknesses

Engineered flooring is a great alternative to timber hardwood flooring, because it basically IS timber flooring…it is just strategically manufactured to give optimal performance. It’s made up of three layers: a protected lacquered hardwood top, plantation grown core, and a pine back.

ProsCons
Authentic look and feel due to the fact that is is made of 100% timberWhile it is cheaper than hardwood flooring, it is more expensive than the other flooring choices
More stable in high-humidity environmentsDifferent manufactures have different quality standards. Do your research to get top quality!
More environmentally sustainable than hardwood flooringSome engineered planks can sound hollow – research different thicknesses for their sound and quality
More affordable than hardwood timber flooringEngineered wood is made with adhesives and resins, some of which can give off harmful gases. Research which is the best for you.

This products has been described as the best of both worlds. It is durable and strong like laminate, whilst also giving the soft and luxurious look of vinyl planks.

ProsCons
Superior scratch resistanceCan be dearer than some other floors
Easy maintenance and cleaningLooks like timber, but doesn’t feel like it
100% waterproof
Can handle huge difference in humidity

Tiling was the most poplar choice in flooring until technology came along and reinvented timber flooring and their look alike friends. However, because of the different features of tiles, they are still an excellent choice for flooring throughout the home and in particular in bathrooms, laundries and splash backs.

ProsCons
So easy to maintain and cleanBecause they are so hard, they often break whatever falls on them
Glazed tiles are 100% water resistantGrout can become discoloured and stand due to mildew
Extremely durable Ceramic, porcelain and mosaic are able to handle high amounts of traffic.In cooler months, tiles can be really cold
Temperature and chemical resistant so they do not corrode when exposed to chemicals or extreme weatherNeeds a professional to install
Hygienic and inhibit viruses, mould and fungi from growing
Environmentally friendly when made from clay and raw materials like ceramic tiles
Diverse and affordable so can suit anyone and everyone’s preferences

Such a statement, polished concrete is one of those products that you either love or loathe. They are suited beautifully to minimal, modern and industrial style homes. They are making a real come back onto the design market, so here is what you need to know about polished concrete…

ProsCons
Extremely durableCan be very, very cold in winter and can retain heat in summer
Flood and fire resistantNot suitable for homes that lack sunlight – sunlight is needed to heat the concrete slab
Ideal for high traffic areasExpensive – they sit at a similar price point to timber hardwood flooring
Easy to clean and super hygienicCreating an amazing aggregate, quarts and coloured polish can be very expensive
Can be rebuffed to reshine when it becomes a little dull from wear and tearCan be very hard, especially when standing on for periods of time eg. cooking in the kitchen or when little ones fall over
Can incorporate underfloor heating into polished concrete flooring (needs to be discussed and approved during planning stages)Cracks may appear due to the house settling over time
Can be installed to use for so many different surfaces eg. flooring, kitchen benches, vanities, stairs, etcWill show more dust due to the gloss effect
Can be poured on site, so is made to suit your space. For this reason, it is made to measure and will not show join lines like many other products willMay show scratches, however this depends on the sealer that is used. Different sealers have different pros and cons – so do your research on this too!
Ideal for those who suffer from allergies
Available in a wide variety of colours, aggregates and finishes
Can create a seamless finish from indoors to outdoors

Phew! So there you go…..there is so much information for you to digest! I tend to find that clients have a preference for a timber/timber look, tile or polished concrete depending on the style of home they are going for and the vision and mood they want to create when they step foot through the door.

Remember, do what works for you, weigh up all your options and enjoy sliding those feet out of bed in the morning and landing those tootsies on your floor of choice!

If you have any questions, I am always here to help! Contact me through the ‘Contact Us’ page, or alternatively, send me a DM on Instagram. Either way I will be sure to get back to you with whatever info I can offer.

Much love,

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