Flooring inside a home can make or break the usability of a space. Along with the furniture you choose, the paint colours and the accessories, your flooring will help to pull together interior decor easily. And, it’s arguably one of the most used features too. Every single day, it will be subjected to hundreds of steps, spills and impacts, meaning you’ll want to invest in something that lasts. There are a number of different options out there and each one has its own benefits. To best understand the right choice for you, it helps to get to know each choice in detail. And, that’s where this guide comes into play. We’ll cover the different floor types, their suitability to different rooms and the pros and cons of each.

Carpet

It’s no wonder that carpets remain a very popular choice for domestic settings. They help to retain warmth, feel cosy underfoot and can even help to control excessive noise. Carpets can also help to minimise slipping risks for both small children and animals. They offer a layer of protection against breakages when items are dropped and they can be used to disguise uneven floor surfaces much easier than other options.

Woven VS Tufted

In the UK, we have 2 main types of carpet available – woven and tufted. They are each manufactured differently and, as a result, have different price points.

Woven carpets have a longer and more intense manufacturing process and are more expensive as a result. They are generally of a higher quality and use traditional methods to ensure durability. You can find woven carpets in a wide variety of colours and styles, making them a popular choice for many homeowners. Additionally, their durability makes them popular for high traffic environments like hallways.

Tufted carpets are some of the most popular in the UK due to their affordable price tag. They are machine-made, making the process much quicker and cost-effective. Again, they come in a wide variety of colours and styles and can be either looped or cut pile to create different looks.

Materials

Carpets also come in two main categories when it comes to materials – synthetic and natural.

Synthetic carpets are generally manufactured from polypropylene or nylon. They are considerably cheaper than natural alternatives and have higher stain resistance. You also have a better mould resistance and they are easier to clean.

Natural carpets can be made from wool and other fibres. You’ll find a higher price tag associated with this type due to the material and many claim they are softer underfoot too. They are less stain-resistant than synthetic alternatives and can attract insects.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Often less expensive than other flooring options.
  • Excellent soundproofing properties.
  • Softer underfoot.
  • Available in a wide range of colours and styles.
  • Quicker and easier to install.

Cons:

  • Can visibly wear in high traffic areas.
  • Requires regular maintenance to keep it looking it’s best.
  • Doesn’t work in every single room.
  • Will need to be replaced more frequently.

Best rooms in the house for carpet

Depending on the type of carpet you’ve chosen, you can fit it in most rooms. We would advise avoiding those spaces with high moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. However, carpet is a brilliant option for bedrooms, hallways, living rooms and playrooms.

Vinyl Flooring

A popular choice for its durability and versatility, vinyl flooring continues to be the favoured option in many homes. It has a very high durability and low maintenance – the perfect blend for busy family homes. In addition, the long lifespan makes it cost-effective over time and reduces the need for excessive replacements. There are 3 main types of vinyl flooring – planks, tiles and sheets.

Vinyl planks

As the name suggests, these vinyl planks are engineered to give the same benefits as real hardwood. Technology has evolved to ensure they look near exactly the same too, allowing you to achieve the look you’re searching for without the excessive price tag. Additionally, these planks are easy to apply and have good water resistance to prevent damage to the underneath flooring surface.

Vinyl tiles

One of the easiest options to fit, vinyl tiles are designed for the avid DIY-er. They can be easily replaced individually, meaning you won’t need to finance an entire new floor. And, the variety of colours and patterns means you can create a unique floor design to make your home completely unique. More vinyl tiles have a self-adhesive backing and can be used with grout to give a fully authentic look.

Vinyl sheets

Vinyl sheets generally come in a large role and are designed to completely eliminate seams. They are perfect for high-moisture environments such as kitchens and bathrooms as there are no gaps for moisture to seep through. Vinyl sheet is also manufactured in a wide variety of colours, patterns and styles. It can be installed over most floor types, including concrete, tile and underlayment.

Pros and cons of vinyl flooring

Pros:

  • Relatively easy to install.
  • An affordable option, especially for larger floor spaces.
  • Very comfortable underfoot with a slightly softer walking surface.
  • Wide range of different choices when it comes to colour and style.
  • Hardwearing and durable.
  • Low maintenance.

Cons:

  • The soft surface makes it prone to scratches, cuts and gouges.
  • Very little impact on house value.
  • Not easily repaired (unless fitted in tiles).
  • Can be difficult to remove when no longer wanted.
  • Not eco-friendly.

Best rooms in the house for vinyl

With its waterproof properties, vinyl sheet is the perfect option for kitchens and bathrooms. It is also low maintenance enough to be used in high traffic settings, such as the living room and hallways.

Laminate Flooring

Another popular and durable option when it comes to flooring is laminate. Perfect for anyone looking for a wooden look but at a lower cost. Laminate is extremely hard wearing and can be fitted in most rooms of the house. If you’re searching for something that promises to withstand the demands of busy family homes or high foot traffic in specific areas, it is a very practical option.

AC Ratings

In order to understand how strong laminate flooring is, you need to look at the AC rating. This refers to its abrasion class and is the floor’s durability against a number of factors. In short, the higher the AC rating, the more hardwearing the floor will be. You can use this rating to determine whether a specific floor option would suit the room in question.

To get it’s AC rating, laminate flooring undergoes a Taber test. Depending on how well the floor deals with a number of different stress points, including abrasion, impact, stains and moisture, will determine it’s rating. There are 5 different AC ratings; the first 3 are suitable for residential settings and the final 2 are ideal for commercial environments.

  • AC1 – Suitable for moderate traffic. Use in bedrooms.
  • AC2 – Ideal for general traffic. Dining rooms and living rooms.
  • AC3 – Heavy traffic. Ideal for hallways or entrance ways.
  • AC4 – Commercial grade suitable for offices, cafes or smaller retail outlets
  • AC5 – Commercial grade suitable for large department stores and offices.

Thickness

Laminate flooring also comes in a range of different thicknesses. If you’re looking to create a wood floor-style design, opt for something thicker to give the same feel underfoot. Thicker laminate also has better soundproofing benefits but will carry a heavier price tag.

Pros and Cons of laminate flooring

Pros:

  • Easy to install – even for an amateur.
  • Cost-effective.
  • High stain resistance.
  • Non-allergenic.

Cons:

  • Can be damaged by high moisture.
  • May emit some unpleasant chemicals.

Best rooms in the house for laminate flooring

Similar to vinyl, you have free reign on which rooms are fitted with laminate flooring. It is an ideal choice for kitchens and bathrooms but can also be used in living rooms and bedrooms alike.

LVT

LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tiles are the modern-day alternatives to standard vinyl. Renowned for their exceptional durability, these tiles are made from a number of different layers and finishes with an enhanced protective coating layer to heighten durability. They are easy to fit, exceptionally long-lasting and perfect for the busiest areas in your home. There are two main types – Click and Glue Down.

Click LVT

As the name suggests, Click LVT flooring clicks into place. Each individual plank is manufactured with a lock mechanism on the side which holds them each in place. This eliminates the need for an adhesive and makes the entire installation process considerably easier. When paired with LVT underlay, they are highly effective at controlling lost heat and soundproofing.

Glue Down LVT

Again, as the name suggests, these LVT tiles need to be fixed with a special adhesive. This gives added strength to the flooring but will make the process slightly more specialist and longer too.

Pros and Cons of LVT flooring

Pros:

  • Very easy to maintain due to the upper protective layer.
  • Wide range of design options to choose from.
  • Hardwearing.
  • Easy-to-fit.
  • Good sound and heat retention.

Cons:

  • Not as cosy as carpet.
  • Cannot be sanded or refurbished like wooden flooring.

Wooden flooring

Wooden flooring gives an entirely unique and warm feel to a room. It is a significant investment but adds value to your property and helps to create a timeless look in any room. For this reason, it is a very popular choice for many households and comes in a range of styles to fit every single need. You’ll find 3 main types of wooden flooring on the market – engineered, solid and reclaimed.

Engineered wood flooring

Here, up to 4 layers of wood are glued together to create each flooring plank. They are finished with a real-wood veneer on the top which can be sanded and treated as normal. Engineered flooring is more stable than solid wood and will change less under temperature and humidity fluctuations. It is also a cheaper option than solid wood.

Solid wood flooring

These solid planks are generally between 18 – 20mm thick. They are installed using a tongue-and-groove system and come with a hardness score. Using this will help you to determine how suitable a particular pack of wood will be for different areas in the home. One of the main benefits of solid wood flooring is the ability to sand them back to their original beauty when needed.

Reclaimed wood flooring

Here, timber is salvaged from an older property or project and used to create floorboards. These can either be brought or taken from your own home, if available. This is a more eco-friendly option and has a unique, vintage aesthetic that many people adore. However, there is an increased risk of existing woodworms which affects each plank’s stability and it can be considerably more expensive.

Pros and cons of wooden flooring

Pros:

  • Very durable.
  • Add value to the overall price of your property.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Can be sanded down when they become scratched or marked.
  • Can be varnished or stained to suit your home.

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other options.
  • Can be noisy when walking on.

Understanding the wide variation of flooring options on the market allows you to make an informed choice in your home. If you would like more information about any of the floors above or simply want to speak to one of our experts, get in touch with the team at Virtuoso Flooring here today on 01225972715.