Floored by Variety
Choosing the right kind of flooring for your house can be a daunting task. You have to match your personal tastes with the practical aspects of flooring. In a house, it is the floor that takes the most beating as it is subject to a whole lot of treading and dragging upon. It is subjected to constant movement of people, of machinery and furniture and is subjected to dirt stains and spills - all of which contribute to the wear and tear of the flooring. The flooring material has not only to withstand these pressures, but also has to keep shining and glinting all the time. Hence, it is critical to make a good choice.
Types of flooring
Flooring is normally made of tiles of diverse materials such as marble, slate, granite, limestone, bricks and cork tiles. A mosaic of materials like clay, glass and marble also makes for a tiling option. Other options for flooring include wooden flooring and wall-to-wall carpeting.
The importance of choosing tough flooring cannot be underscored more. There is a wide variety of flooring available in the market but it can be very confusing. One small mistake can prove counterproductive. When you go to choose the flooring, ask yourself a few questions:
Which flooring will enhance the dècor of my house?
Will it blend with the furniture?
How durable is the tile?
Does it fit into my budget?
What is the style or shape of the tiles?
Factors you need to consider
Visual appeal is considered to be the most important aspect while selecting a flooring material. Since floors are spread on a large area, it captures the attention of a person immediately. Flooring should look pleasant, neat and attractive. When a person walks into your house the floor should mesmerize the guest.
You must check the durability of the flooring, the extent of wear and tear it can take on rough usage. Movement of people and furniture, dust particles from shoes and from windows, insects and dampness - all these - test the strength of the floor. But durability must not be measured in terms of number of years the floor sustains, alone. It should also take into account how well the floor maintains its appearance. For instance, marble is long lasting but it gets stained very fast. Similarly, wooden floors are warm and easy to clean but are not water-resistant.
Colour of the floor should be soothing to the eyes. It should be in harmony with the furniture present in the room. The wall should always complement the floor in colour and design. Light colour flooring is not advisable for families with small kids and pets. Light flooring gets soiled easily and it becomes very evident. Dark colours are easy to maintain. Dark-colored flooring can make a large room seem more intimate.
Flooring should provide you warmth and comfort. You should feel good to walk barefoot in the house. Most importantly, the flooring should not be slippery; this can be particularly hazardous for old disabled people and small children. Marble and granite are very attractive and can be comfortable but at the same time they are very slippery. Avoid using them, particularly in the bathroom.
Design and Texture
Countless designs are available in tiles. There are plain tiles, tiles with simple patterns, wooden panels, intricately patterned and so on. Many prefer dark tiles because they hide dirt and don't look as soiled as the lighter ones. Natural material like wood has its own texture and finish and look very attractive.
A pale or highly polished floor will reflect more light compared to a dark floor. Harsh direct sunlight for long period of time can discolour the exposed surface of the floor.
Budget is the main factor around which you should build your choice. The flooring costs include not just the cost of the material that is obvious, but other hidden factors, too. The hidden costs include installation cost, material durability and maintenance expense. First, get a few estimates from various retailers depending upon the area of your house. Ensure that the product you select has some form of guarantee. You can select different kind of tiles for different rooms depending upon the usage. For instance, marble or granite can be used for a drawing room, whereas ceramic flooring can be used for kitchen and bathroom. This way you can economise on your flooring expenditure.
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