The floors of our home take a beating: mud tracked in on boots, scratches from eager paws, the casualties of enthusiastic playdates and a myriad of other examples of wear and tear. If yours have one too many marks that can’t be scrubbed, polished or hoovered away, it might be time to consider installing new flooring.
However, this can bring up even more questions: what type of flooring should you pick, fitted carpets or vinyl tiles? Is there a type of flooring that’s best for a certain room? What about laminate flooring (like our Quickstep Impressive Ultra range, pictured)? How do you measure a room for carpet?
This guide will help you get started picking out the right flooring for your home and will give you a better idea of what to look for before you start shopping.
Step 1: Determine the room’s usage
Evaluate each room by its usage, since flooring materials have varying durability. Which rooms would you consider to be high traffic areas, like hallways or your kitchen? Which rooms would you consider to be low traffic areas, like bedrooms? Some materials – like laminate flooring and multi-level loop carpeting – are ideal for heavy usage, as their durability and texturing mean they’re more forgiving towards everyday marks and stains, while other materials – like plush carpeting, pictured here in Seduction Twist – are better suited for occasional rooms.
Step 2: Determine who’s going to be using those rooms most
Take into consideration who as well as how often these rooms are being used. For example, you might need something a bit cosier than hard flooring for your child’s room, but something equally as durable. Pets, especially ones that shed, are another factor – you’ll probably want a material that cleans easily, resists odours and is water-resistant. If rooms have more than one function – for example, if your spare bedroom doubles as a study – you might want something that reduces sound to help with concentration.
Step 3: Learn the differences
Here are some of the various options within each kind of flooring category and what they mean.
Vinyl flooring: Made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, vinyl flooring (like our Amtico model, pictured) comes as sheets or tiles, and is a way to re-create the natural appearance of ceramic, stone, mosaic or wood. It has the benefit of being water-proof, making it a smart option for kitchens or bathrooms.
Laminate flooring: A more affordable option than real wood, laminate floors are made of four layers: a backing layer to resist moisture, a layer of compressed wood fibres, a layer of pattern (basically a photo of whatever type of natural material the laminate is imitating), and a clear coat top layer. This type of floor is easily cleaned, making it ideal for homes with kids.
Engineered wood: This type of floor is comprised of multiple layers of wood bonded together, making it less prone to moisture damage and suitable for laying over under-floor heating.
Pile: this is the softer layer that you walk on, and refers to the density of the carpet’s fibres.
Tufted: the most common kind of carpet, tufted carpets are made by threading yarn through the primary backing fabric to create tufts, which are then trimmed or left as is. This is a sturdy, versatile type of carpet that comes in a wide variety of styles and textures.
Loop Pile: This is a type of woven carpet – usually made from a synthetic material – where loops of the same height create a flexible, natural-looking appearance (as seen on our Brecon carpet, pictured). The tighter the loop, the easier it is to hide subtle marks or stains.
Twist Pile: This type features yarn that’s been tightly twisted together to create a hard-wearing carpet, and is an ideal texture for plain carpets.
Velvet/Velour Pile: This type features a longer pile – between 5mm and 10mm high – that is sometimes sheared to give it a smoother, luxurious finish. This is more suited for low traffic areas of your home.
Step 4: Take measurements
When measuring your rooms for new floorings, keep these tips in mind:
- Always account for fixtured features: fireplaces, applications, windows, alcoves, doors, etc.
- Always measure to the outside of doorways, not inside.
- For stairs, it’s best to call in professionals, as this can be tricky to get just right. Check out our free estimate service for more information on how to measure carpet for stairs, so yours can look as beautiful with our Biscayne carpet (pictured).
Still have questions? Come visit us in store and chat to us about your project – we’d love to help. And make sure you browse the rest of our flooring options for inspiration!