Choosing the right type of flooring for your house is far more complicated than you imagine. It’s not just about picking the most beautiful tile. Among the factors to be considered are the durability of the flooring tile, its cost, ease of installation and maintenance as well as its resistance to moisture. Additionally, the ideal type of flooring will depend upon the area where it is being used. For example, exterior spaces will need flooring tiles that are anti-skid and resistant to natural elements such as the harsh sun or heavy rain. The climate in the area where you live should also be considered before choosing flooring tiles.
Today, we have shortlisted a few crucial factors that you should evaluate while choosing the flooring material for your house.
Most Indian houses, except those that are in the hills, need to deal with very high temperatures during the summer months. Therefore, when you decide on the flooring for your house, don’t forget to keep this in mind. Many modern houses opt for wood flooring as it gives a sophisticated appearance to the interiors. However, wood is a warm material that is best suited for houses in cooler regions. When you are choosing flooring tiles for your house, it might be a good idea to feel them under your bare feet as this will help to assess whether the tile will keep your floor cool in summer.
Natural stones such as marble and granite are ideal for the floors in warm weather as they are cool to touch, but they are expensive. Ceramic or porcelain tiles are a cheaper alternative to natural stone. For homeowners on a tight budget concrete or vinyl flooring tiles are good choices for floors that are cool in summer.
Consult an interior designer for help with choosing the right type of material for your house.
When it comes to luxury, flooring in wood or marble is hard to beat. Both these materials don’t come cheap. Of the two, stone is costlier than wood. Additionally, the two materials are natural and bring a comforting vibe to any space. The best way to decide between the two is to consider the climate of the place where you live. A house in the mountains, where the weather is cold in winter and pleasant in summer will benefit from wooden flooring, whereas one in the plains, where the summers are harsh will do better with marble flooring.
Besides this, there are factors such as cost and maintenance to be considered. Marble is usually more expensive than wooden flooring, but if it is maintained well, it can last a lifetime. In terms of maintenance, natural stone needs to be polished and sealed every five to six years. As it is a porous material, the periodic sealing helps to create a coating that prevents dust and moisture from penetrating the surface.
Wood needs to be treated to prevent insects such as termites or borers from damaging the material. Additionally, it must be kept safe from water as the material can rot if it absorbs moisture over a period. Like marble, wooden flooring needs to be polished every four to five years to create a waterproof coating on the surface.
Don’t forget to match the flooring material with the design style of your house. Wood has an unmatched warmth, which makes it perfect for classic, country or rustic houses. On the other hand, marble has a cool and sophisticated look that suits modern and minimalist houses.
When you want to use visual trickery to make an area look more spacious, marble is the best solution as the light colour and glossy surface amplify the amount of natural light in the room. However, the same effect can also be achieved by using a lighter shade of wood. Moreover, there’s a lot more to making a room look spacious than just using light colours. For instance, a darker wood on the floor can add a sense of depth to the space, especially when it is combined with lighter shades on the walls and ceiling.
Larger format flooring tiles can make the room look bigger, so if you are using wood, choose the widest plank you can find. Another tip for using the flooring to enhance the spaciousness of your house is to lay the tiles diagonally.
Work with a professional tiler to get the perfect finish for your flooring.
Bathrooms are prone to moisture. Therefore, the type of flooring that is best suited for the bathroom should be moisture-resistant and anti-skid so that it keeps you safe from slipping on the wet surface and injuring yourself. For the bathroom, ceramic tiles are the cheapest option, and they are resistant to moisture and relatively easy to clean. However, one of the challenges of using ceramic flooring tiles is that the grout in between attracts dust and grime, adding to the maintenance.
Although the porosity of the material makes natural stone seem a poor choice for bathroom flooring, it can prove to be an excellent material so long as the protective coating on the surface is reapplied periodically to prevent the material from absorbing moisture and stains. In fact, if maintained regularly, it can last much longer than ceramic tiles. In recent years, it’s not uncommon to see natural stone used not only for the flooring but also to clad the walls in bathrooms. Marble can be slippery in wet bathrooms, but you can solve this problem by opting for a tumbled or brushed finish, which offers better resistance against skidding.
Get ideas for bathroom floor options for Indian homes.
As a material, marble conducts heat fast. If you place your warm hands on a marble counter, the heat from your hands is transferred to the stone, after which it dissipates quickly through the material without affecting its temperature. This makes it ideal for the flooring in a warm place as the surface remains cool always.
Flooring for the terrace and other outdoor areas such as balconies and patios needs to be chosen with care as it should be strong and durable to withstand the constant exposure to the dust, sunlight and rain. While wood as a material is not considered suitable for the outdoors, nowadays, it’s quite common to see terraces with wooden decks. If treated to make it moisture-resistant, wood can serve well as a flooring option for the terrace, but it will require regular maintenance. An easier to maintain alternative is wood composite plastic (WPC), which looks exactly like the original material, but is resistant to heat and moisture.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are also suitable for the terrace as they are hardy, easy to clean and resistant to moisture. Remember to choose tiles with an anti-skid finish to minimize the risk of slipping when the surface is wet from the rain or dew. A disadvantage of ceramic and porcelain is that the surface of the tile can develop cracks over a period on time due to the expansion and contraction of the material since it is exposed to extreme temperatures in the outdoors.
For those who want a sustainable, economical and durable alternative for the terrace flooring, concrete is an excellent solution. These days, with the advances in technology, the material can be stained and stamped with decorative finishes to add to the visual appeal of the space.
Get inspired by these rooftop terrace ideas.