Flooring choices for your renovation project

Flooring choices for your renovation project

Flooring choices for your renovation project

30th January 2020
Renovare-flooring-choices---polished-concrete-honed-concrete

Polished or ‘honed’ concrete is relatively new to the market and becoming increasingly popular. This would be an ideal option if you are after something low maintenance that doesn’t easily show dirt, is not easily damaged and is extremely durable. Honed concrete is also ‘cool’ in warm climates.

Honed concrete is created by first pouring concrete (with many colour choices of both concrete and rock), allowing it to cure and then honing or ‘grinding’ it back until the aggregate shows through and a smooth surface has been created. Once the concrete has been honed, any gaps/holes are filled, and it is sealed with a thick polyurethane coating that gives it a high gloss look and improved durability.

Honed concrete is ideal if you are doing an extension and there is a new concrete area that needs to be poured. It may not be possible with all renovations depending on current floor coverings and the state of the concrete underneath (if this is the current foundation). Your builder will be able to provide you with more information regarding the possibility of honed concrete for your project!

Renovare-flooring-choices---polished-concrete-honed-concrete-in-kitchen

Polished Concrete – At a glance

  • Price – Starting at $80/square meter fully installed
  • Durability – Extremely durable
  • Maintenance – Very low – may need to be resealed in 10-15 years depending on wear. Easy to clean
  • Use – Best for extensions, it is possible that previous concrete can be honed depending on the state it is in and the colour of the rock (if you are happy with it)
  • To walk on – Hard under feet
  • Noise – Generally, not noisy. Can create an ‘echo’ in a large open space (soft furnishings can help to reduce this)

Like to know more about polished concrete?

Ask us!
Renovare-flooring-choices---tiles-in-bathroom

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.

Renovare-flooring-choices---tiles

Tiles – At a glance

  • Price: $40-160/square meter fully installed
  • Durability: Relatively durable, can crack and become damaged if hard heavy items are dropped onto tiles
  • Maintenance: low – tile grout may need cleaning regularly; grout sealers can be used to reduce grout staining. Cleaning is relatively easy, if done weekly and well maintained
  • Use: Can be used in most places including on floor and walls
  • To walk on: Hard under feet
  • Noise: Generally, not noisy. Can create and ‘echo’ in large open spaces (soft furnishings can help to reduce this)
Renovare-flooring-choices---hardwood-flooring-2

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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Hardwood Flooring – At a glance

  • Price: $100-130/square meter fully installed
  • Durability: Low durability, long lifespan – easily scratched and damaged, however can be restored. Floor needs to be sanded and sealed every 5 years
  • Maintenance: High, depending on foot traffic, pets and scratches timber flooring will generally need to be sanded, stained and sealed every 5-10 years. The benefit of this is that if you change your style or furnishings, you can change the colour of the timber stain to suit. Easy to clean, chemicals should not be used
  • Use: Can be used in most places, except wet areas
  • To walk on: Medium firm under feet
  • Noise: Can be noisy and squeak depending on installation

Talk to a flooring expert!

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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

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Engineered timber flooring – At a glance

  • Price: $100-130/square meter fully installed
  • Durability: Low durability, low life span – engineered hardwood flooring can easily be chipped (depending on the thickness of the solid timber layer) and lifespan is expected to be around 10 years
  • Maintenance: Moderate, if the floorboard chip, they can easily be replaced. The thick plywood core layer can help engineered hardwood timber floors to be a little more resistant (as it is harder to penetrate through) compared to hardwood timber flooring. Easy to clean
  • Use; Can be used in most places, except wet areas
  • To walk on: Medium firm under feet
  • Noise: Generally, not noisy
Renovare-flooring-choices---vinyl-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.

Renovare-flooring-choices---vinyl-flooring-installation

Vinyl floorboards – At a glance

  • Price: $60-100/square meter fully installed
  • Durability: high durability – depending on the quality they generally will not easily
    become damaged; however, they can gouge by sharp items as it is a ‘soft’ product
  • Maintenance: Low – if boards become damaged, they are easy to replace. Easy to clean.
  • Use: Can be used in most places, some vinyl flooring can be installed in bathrooms and kitchens if it is durable enough – however we do not recommend this
  • To walk on: Medium firm under feet
  • Noise: Not noisy
Renovare-flooring-choices---hardwood-flooring-2

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.

Renovare-flooring-choices---vinyl-flooring-installation

Laminate ‘timber’ floorboards – At a glance

  • Price: $60-150/square meter fully installed
  • Durability: Low durability – easily chipped and scratched and can become water damaged meaning the boards can warp and become misshaped, should only be cleaned with a damp microfiber cloth to avoid moisture issues
  • Maintenance: High – cannot get wet, however damaged boards are relatively easy to replace
  • Use: Can be used in most places, except wet areas – would not recommend use in kitchen unless they are great quality
  • To walk on: Medium firm under feet – underlays are commonly used
  • Noise: Depending on quality, can squeak.
Renovare-flooring-choices---bamboo-flooring

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.

Renovare-flooring-choices---bamboo-flooring-source

Bamboo flooring – At a glance

  • Price: $90-120/square meter fully installed
  • Durability: medium durability – can scratch easily and can be susceptible to water damage
  • Maintenance: Low – vacuum and mop with a damp microfiber mop head
  • Use: Can be used in all places, however we would not recommend using in wet areas
  • To walk on: Hard under feet
  • Noise: Generally not noisy
Renovare-flooring-choices---carpet

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.

Renovare-flooring-choices---carpet-samples

Carpet – At a glance

  • Price: $40-80/square meter fully installed
  • Durability: medium durability – easy to stain, and can become water damaged if water/liquid is spilt
  • Maintenance: High – vacuuming each square meter for 1 minute is recommended and steam cleaning is only recommended on warm days where the relative humidity is low (to ensure it dries properly and does not lead to mould growth)
  • Use: Best to be used in areas where food and drink is not consumed, and where there is no water activity.
  • To walk on: Soft under feet
  • Noise: Generally, zero noise

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