Flooring choices for your renovation project
Tiles are extremely common in both new home builds, as well as renovations or extensions. Tiles can be used as both floor and wall coverings and are ideal in bathrooms, kitchens and throughout the home.
The two main types of tiles are ceramic and porcelain, however there are also natural stone/rock tiles such as slate or marble. Depending on the quality, they are relatively durable and stain-resistant, and can withstand high foot traffic.
Tiles can be applied to almost any area and this is done by using tile adhesive and carefully laying the tiles, once this is completed the tiles are then grouted with your choice of colour ranging from white to black. We recommend carefully considering your grout colour choice as this can easily stain, which can later be cleaned.
Tiles also vary in shape and size from square to circle, penny tiles to full sheets of marble and can be installed in different patterns such as herringbone, or brick pattern. Your builder can provide you with more information regarding tile patterns for you to choose between.
Hardwood timber floors are timeless and can last generations when cared for and well maintained. This is a natural building material and can be installed in most areas – with the exception of wet areas such as bathrooms.
Hardwood timber floors do need to be maintained with a full sand, and seal and can be damaged and scratched easily. This may not be the ideal option for you if you have inside pets or are more likely to scratch the flooring.
Hardwood timber floors are installed plank by plank, on top of subflooring. The timber planks are nailed to joists and once the entire area is completed, the timber is then sanded back, stained (depending on your colour choice) and sealed to ensure it is more durable.
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Engineered timber floorings are relatively new to the market and can be a better option compared to hardwood timber, it is prefinished and easy to install. It is generally composed of two layers – a thin hardwood as a surface layer and a thick plywood as the core at the bottom.
Engineered timber flooring comes in multiple thicknesses which can allow for you to sand back and reseal. They combine the style of natural hardwood with the convenience of installation and maintenance and do not need to be glued or nailed to a subfloor, so they can easily ‘float’ over the of tiles, concrete or any hard surface.
This flooring option can vary greatly in quality, it is important to understand that this flooring is different to laminate timber flooring. Your builder can help you to understand the difference in quality and to make an informed choice when it comes to engineered hardwood flooring
Vinyl floorboards are becoming an extremely popular flooring choice, and the modern ‘vinyl’ floor is very different to what it used to be a decade ago.
Vinyl floorboards are easy to lay and replace, soft underfoot (as they can have an underlay attached) and depending on the quality are extremely durable (there are even commercial grade vinyl floorboard options).
Vinyl floorboards are visually appealing and are installed by simply laying onto any hard existing flooring with 1 of 3 systems: gluing down, a ‘click and lock’ system or there is a grip strip system. This can be an ideal option if you are not wanting to ‘rip’ existing tiles up as it can generally be laid straight over the top, which can also reduce costs.
One of the downfalls of vinyl flooring is that it is made from ‘poly vinyl chloride’ which is a synthetic material that can off-gas high amounts of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which can be harmful to human health.
Laminate ‘timber’ floorboards are becoming extremely popular and are usually made from two layers – the top being a thin decorative printed sheeting and the base being synthetic or particleboard.
Laminate timber flooring is laid by a simple click and lock system and usually has an underlay to ensure it is softer under the foot. This particular flooring can be susceptible to water damage (where the floorboards can warp and misshape) as it is not resistant to water spills or pools, so is best used in ‘dry’ only areas such as bedrooms or loungerooms. If this does become water damaged (which happens easily) it will warp and become misshaped. Laminate flooring varies drastically in quality and price.
Bamboo flooring is a natural building material which is durable, environmentally sustainable and ecofriendly. It is very similar in its features and drawbacks to hardwood timber flooring – it can easily be scratched and damaged and can be susceptible to humidity (swell/plum and shrink) which can cause the bamboo to crack. Bamboo flooring is also susceptible to water damage (although it is more durable in this way compared to hardwood).
It can be installed via a click and lock system as a floating floor, or direct adhesion with glue or nails to the subfloor. If it does become scratched and damaged it can be sanded back and resealed (depending on the thickness of the bamboo). There are some concerns that the adhesives used to make this flooring will also off-gas VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which can be harmful to human health.
Carpet is an extremely common choice in bedrooms, and lounge rooms as it is soft underfoot, adds warmth and comfort to a room.
Carpet is installed by first laying a soft underlay, and then covering with your choice of carpet, there are so many different colour and texture options available when it comes to carpet selection.
One of the major drawbacks of carpet is that it is a synthetic material and does house and ‘store’ pet dander, dead skin and dust mites. Carpet is not the right choice if you or any of your family members are sensitive or allergic to pets or dust. Carpet can also hide water damage and easily have mould growth underneath, potentially causing negative health implications.