Floors are one of those property features that nobody really notices unless it’s terribly old or terribly ugly. But when it’s done right, it feels right in that way that enhances the overall look and feel of a space in the most seamless way.
Redoing the floors is neither cheap nor easy, which is why it is essential to know what you’re letting yourself in for before you start pulling up the carpets or chopping away at the floor tiles, Ilanga Lovell, Principal at Leapfrog Roodeplaat cautions.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing flooring for your property.
Naturally, you want to go for something you like, that’s current and that suits your particular needs, but you also need to consider the usage and the amount of foot traffic the space gets.
“Practicality is always important. A timber floor in a space that leads directly to a swimming pool is bound to have to endure lots of (little!) wet feet so you might want to opt for something that can handle that, such as tiles,” Lovell advises. Similarly, if you have pets and/or children opting for something that hardwearing is the safest bet.
Pets, children and foot traffic all contribute to the wear and tear of your floors in some way
Some flooring options, like tiles and polished concrete, are simply more durable than something like vinyl or laminate flooring.
Consider the utility of the space, as well as your lifestyle, and choose accordingly. “Another consideration is to think about how it feels and sounds underfoot. Some materials are better at absorbing sound than others, and that sound of your puppy’s little paws is cute for a while but the novelty certainly wears off, particularly in the middle of the night,” Lovell says.
“As with most property improvements you want to go for the best quality that you can afford, whether that’s tiles, timber or the trendy terrazzo,” Lovell advises.
She adds that it’s important to bear in mind that floors are something that only really needs to be replaced or improved once every 15 to 20 years, so it’s definitely worth opting or something, though perhaps more expense, hardwearing, attractive and that meets your particular needs.
Flooring tends to be expensive and a rather involved process. Unless your home is newly built, new flooring invariably means that whatever is already on the floor needs to be removed, which adds to the expense, so make sure to budget accordingly.
Whichever option you go for, there will be some maintenance involved and that should form part of the initial consideration in terms of suitability for your space.
“All floors need to be cleaned, whether it’s carpets that need to vacuumed or wooden floors that need intermittent waxing. Even ceramic tiles, which is arguably the hardest wearing of the lot, need to be grout-sealed and deep cleaned occasionally,” Lovell explains.
As such, the cleaning and maintenance the floors require should be taken into account when selecting the one most suitable for the property.
Look and feel
Ultimately you want something that you find appealing and like the look of. It needs to suit your personal taste and the style of the pieces in your home.
If the furniture in your home is full of family antiques, a beautiful wooden floor is likely to better complement the pieces than sleek, modern tiles. Similarly, if industrial chic is your style wall-to- wall carpets probably won’t do as much to enhance the look as exposed concrete will.
“As far as you can, opt for a balance between versatility, functionality and aesthetic appeal and you’re likely to enjoy the floors for years to come,” Lovell concludes.