4 Apr 2024
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Choosing the best flooring options for your space

Few features in your home have as much impact on the character of a space as your floors do. Whether you’re transforming your entire home from the ground up or dreaming up designs for a particular room, the types of flooring materials you choose will help set the right tone. But with so many options, how do you choose?

Our complete guide will walk you through the popular flooring material options and help you weigh up the benefits of each. Then, you can compare and craft the perfect foundation for your space that suits your style and budget. 

 

Exploring the different types of flooring materials

From the warmth of wood to the resilience of hybrid materials, each type of flooring brings its own unique set of strengths. Here’s how the different flooring types’ pros and cons measure up against one another.

 

A vibrant kitchen and dining space featuring charming cork flooring.

Cork flooring: For eco-friendly comfort

Composition: Cork flooring is made from the bark of cork oak trees. Because the bark is regenerative, cork is a sustainable option that’s both renewable and recyclable.

Why you’ll love it: With its natural insulating properties, cork flooring is perfect for those looking to enhance their home’s energy efficiency. Its soft, cushiony surface offers unparalleled comfort, making it ideal for areas where you spend a lot of time on your feet. 

Beyond comfort, cork’s sound-dampening qualities ensure a quieter, more serene home environment. Then there are its hypoallergenic properties, which contribute to healthier indoor air quality. This means that it’s a smart choice for allergy or asthma sufferers.

What to keep in mind: While cork’s durability is commendable, it’s not immune to the damage of sharp objects or heavy furniture. These can leave dents and scratches. The sun can also fade its rich colours over time, so it’s better suited to spaces that aren’t as exposed to direct sunlight.

When to use it: Cork flooring shines in spaces where comfort and acoustics are paramount. Think bedrooms, home offices, or cosy living rooms where its warmth and quiet can be fully appreciated. It’s also the top pick for eco-conscious home designs, marrying sustainability with functional beauty.

 

A generously lit kitchen showcasing beautiful solid timber flooring.

Solid timber flooring: The timeless classic

Composition: Crafted from single pieces of hardwood, solid timber flooring is the epitome of durability and natural beauty.

Why you’ll love it: The allure of solid timber flooring lies in its timeless aesthetic and the unique character it brings to your space. Its strength and longevity mean that, with proper care, it can last for generations, often improving with age. 

These floors are not only a statement of elegance but also an investment that increases your home’s value. The variety of woods, finishes, and stains available means there’s a perfect match for every interior design scheme.

What to keep in mind: Solid timber comes with a higher price tag. It’s more expensive in terms of both initial costs and maintenance over time. It’s also susceptible to moisture and temperature changes, making it less ideal for areas prone to dampness or fluctuations in humidity.

When to use it: Timber is ideal for living areas, dining rooms, and bedrooms where its beauty can be a focal point. It’s perfect for those willing to invest in its upkeep, appreciating its natural ageing process as part of its charm. 

 

 A spacious dining area that has light European Oak engineered timber flooring.

Engineered timber flooring: A modern twist on tradition

Composition: Engineered timber flooring combines a real hardwood layer with multiple layers of plywood or fiberboard underneath for enhanced stability.

Why you’ll love it: This flooring option has that authentic wood look but with the added resilience of an engineered core. Its construction allows for installation over various types of subfloors, including concrete and underfloor heating. It’s also easier to install, making it less invasive and more cost-effective. For everything you need to know, check out this blog.

What to keep in mind: While engineered timber provides a durable surface, its lifespan is much shorter than solid timber. This is especially true for planks with thinner veneer layers that can’t be sanded and refinished multiple times.

When to use it: If you want the beauty of solid timber at a more affordable price, this is the flooring option for you. Because of its stable construction, it’s well suited to environments that experience significant humidity changes or higher moisture levels. That means even your basements or bathrooms can have wood flooring.

 

Vinyl flooring: The low-maintenance lookalike

Composition: Vinyl flooring is made from synthetic materials and offers a practical and versatile solution. It’s available in tiles, sheets, and planks.

Why you’ll love it: For households that are bustling with activity, vinyl flooring is up for the challenge. It’s water-resistant, making spills a non-issue, and its durability means it can withstand lots of foot traffic without showing signs of wear. 

The ease of maintenance is also a significant plus. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping are all you’ll need to keep vinyl looking as good as new. The variety of designs available can also mimic more expensive materials like hardwood and stone.

What to keep in mind: Despite its practicality, vinyl is a synthetic product, which means it’s not the most eco-friendly choice. That’s because of its petroleum-based components and difficulty in recycling. Some may also find that vinyl doesn’t add as much to a home’s resale value as natural materials do.

 

When you’re comparing flooring materials, discover your dream flooring with Market Timbers

Whether you’re leaning towards the eco-friendly charm of cork, the timeless elegance of timber, or the practicality of vinyl, explore our collections and find the ideal match for your space. Then, reach out to our team for personalised guidance and expert advice.

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