Deciding on what type of flooring to have in your house depends greatly on your lifestyle.
Do you have children or pets? Do you love entertaining?
Carpet is usually more comfortable for small children, especially if they are babies or toddlers. Claws and paws can catch on loop pile carpet – cut pile is a better choice. But toilet training for both children and pets are easier to mop up on hard flooring than carpet.
If you host plenty of parties, solid timber floors look great but are not ideal as they are easily marked from high heels. There are plenty of options that give the timber look without the upkeep.
Other factors to consider is your location, budget and the design of your new home.
If you live near the beach, constantly vacuuming sand out of the carpet may get tedious.
A traditional patterned carpet wouldn’t suit an ultra-modern minimalist house design and a retro-styled traditional new house design would look great with timber floors, rather than polished concrete.
Budget is another important consideration –timber floors and polished concrete can cost up to three times more than laminate, with bamboo flooring and tiles in between the two.
If carpet is your choice of flooring, you then need to decide between wool or synthetic carpet. Much of the carpet sold today is solution-dyed nylon. It is durable and can handle high traffic, so is suitable for family homes and rentals alike. It is also fade and stain resistant. On the downside, tracking marks can be seen on deeper pile synthetic carpet, and it will melt when exposed to heat, rather than just singe like wool carpet. Nylon does burn slower than other types of synthetic carpet however.
Wool carpet regulates humidity, is a natural insulator and has excellent acoustic properties.
It is the best choice if you want a textured carpet. But wool carpet is more expensive than synthetic.
Hard floors are well suited to the Australian climate, as they keep cool in the summer, and can be warmed with underfloor heating during winter.
Timber, bamboo and laminate floors have a good feel underfoot and give warmth and texture to a room.
Berstan Homes director, Mark Bryson, believes bamboo flooring is “sensational”.
“It’s eco-friendly, comes in a stunning range and is extremely hard-wearing.”
“Bamboo looks very similar to conventional timber flooring but costs around $150 a metre compared to $260 a metre for timber,” he says.
Plantation bamboo is also a sustainable product and is fast growing with low impact harvesting.
Tiles and polished concrete can be used both inside and outside the home, offering a seamless continuity once the bi-fold doors are thrown open for that indoor/outdoor flow.
Concrete flooring can be polished, tinted or even acid washed to create a soft mottled look. Decorative elements can also be introduced such as stones and marble dust.
Slate, terrazzo and stone are popular choices for hard flooring, and offers a great choice of colours but care must be taken when installing and sealing as it can be very porous.
New to the market are tiles that look like timber, but are maintenance free and very durable. Available from National Tiles, the product is available in 1200 by 200mm planks and comes in a range of colours.