The Idealist

Flooring choices for open plan living

Having a home with an elegant floor throughout may be the desire of most individuals but the choice of the best floor variety depends on the need to be served and your personal taste. Once you are clear on the floor variety you need it becomes easier to choose from the various options available.

47256424 - living room in luxury home with view of kitchen, entryfoyer, front door, stairs, and loft area
Living room in home with range of wooden floors in kitchen, hall, front door, stairs, and loft area
Factors to consider

When choosing the flooring to install in your house, you need to consider several factors and these become the basis of what floor variety you will choose to have for your house

1. Cost – this is a major factor to consider because different floor varieties have a different cost attached on them. Hence, you need to choose that which is pocket friendly to you.

2. Durability – you need a floor variety that will last for a reasonable period and therefore, the durability of a particular floor depends on whether you installed the right flooring to serve a particular purpose.

3. Installation – it is important to note that the process it takes to install a particular flooring variety is not similar across the board for all floor varieties available in the market. Ensure that you have insight from a knowledgeable individual about what to expect by choosing to install a particular floor

4. Cleaning – maintaining hygiene is a requirement for every house hence you need to choose some flooring material that will give you some easy time cleaning it. You also need to consider the best way to clean a particular floor surface for it to last long enough.

Once you have all of these facts in mind, and what each of them entails, then you need to go to the next step of choosing the flooring that suits your life best. By gaining such insight, your choice will be influenced by more than just tastes, preferences or even the appeal that a particular floor variety carries but rather, what will serve its purpose best. Here are some of the flooring choices available right now and what they have going for them:

Tiles come in an amazing range of designs
Tiles come in an amazing range of designs
Ceramic or porcelain tiles

this floor variety is made from porcelain or ceramic and it works best for those who need a surface that is easy to clean, durable and that which maintains the highest standards of hygiene. This flooring variety is suitable for both indoors and outdoors.

Pros

  • It is easy to clean and sterilize for maintenance of hygiene.
  • It is not easy to notice imperfections on the surface of this floor variety.
  • It is strong, durable and resists stains.
  • Chipped sections are easy to replace and it comes in a variety of colours and designs.
  • Available in an amazing range of styles from traditional to modern

Cons

  • Most brittle items break when they fall on this floor.
  • Not suitable for living rooms because it is hard and rigid underfoot.
pexels-photo-172292Hardwood/solid wood

– it is what many consider to be the ‘real deal’ in wooden floors, as it is solid wood designed to last and to age naturally.

Pros

  • It is durable, warm and can be resanded and revarnished to keep it looking fresh
  • As well as new oak, it comes in a variety of other woods and can also be reclaimed from other buildings to bring character and age to your space
  • It comes in a range of widths and lengths including parquet style and narrow and wide planks

Cons

  • It it more expensive than engineered or laminate finishes
  • It is susceptible to scratching, can get damaged from excessive moisture and will show wear, especially in heavily trafficked areas
pexels-photo-131667Engineered wood

– it is in pre-laminated form and is composed of several layers of real wood covered with a veneer of hardwood on top.

Pros

  • It is easily installed over most subflooring types such as concrete and padding.
  • Moisture resistant and installation is fast.

Cons

  • It does not last long as hardwood.
  • The edges can allow water to soak in and it varies in quality and durability.
texture-floor-carpet-fabricCarpet

– there are two varieties of these; wool and synthetic. The synthetic variety may be made of nylon, polypropylene or polyester while the other variety is made of wool.

Pros

  • It maintains warmth in cold seasons.
  • Improves indoor air quality.
  • Dampens noise.

Cons

  • Easily stained.
  • Not suitable for high traffic area.
  • It is costly and difficult to clean.
pexels-photo
Natural stone

– some examples of this flooring variety include marble, limestone, slate and granite. These are natural rocks from a quarry that are cut for flooring purposes.

Pros

  • It has the best durability qualities.
  • Adds an earthly aesthetic to your surroundings.
  • Its appeal improves with time.

Cons

  • Can easily cause slipping when wet.
  • Expensive and costly to install.
  • Some stones may absorb dirt and stains.
pexels-photo-218535Floating wood/laminate

– the main material is synthetic and may be in the form of wood or stone, which is laminated.

Pros

  • Easy to clean and maintain hygiene.
  • It resists stains and is easy to replace.
  • Installation is easy especially for laminate tiles with tongue and groove (T&G).

Cons

  • Laminate can sometimes look a little fake
  • The feel under foot is cold compared to wood and carpet
  • They are noisy to walk on, so your downstairs neighbours might not thank you!
Conclusion

These options give you the best insight into what flooring variety best serves your interests and the appropriate room for installing a particular variety. For example, if engineered wood is best for kids’ spaces, for the cooking area you can opt for laminate or ceramic, carpet for living rooms, natural stone for luxury and porcelain for loft style.

Let us know what you think in Comments below: have you found a great flooring look throughout your open-plan space?

Images: Living room image (c) breadmaker, Ceramic tiles (c) Surachai1/123 RF Stock.

  • Joan is an interior design project planner and freelance writer from Boston Massachusetts who lives with her husband and two bulldog terriers outside Wellfleet on Cape Cod.

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