Floors are unique. Nobody really stops to think about what’s beneath our feet, but where would we be without floors? Falling into a groundless stratosphere, no doubt. The only time we do actually note the floor is when it’s an eye-catching surface. And shouldn’t every home have one of those?
No doubt you know what accentuates your personal taste. Your style might extend to a charming, traditional cottage feel, an arresting streamline of modern contemporary, or an eccentric array of shabby chic, art deco. All styles just beg to be accompanied by wood, don’t they?
But before you add the icing to the cake-tray, here’s a few tips on what you should know before laying down your cash.
Hardwood floors are warm. Decorator experts, premium floors have described them as an opulent asset to light any room. They are rich in colour, sleek in texture, regal in personality. They resonate with images of stately homes, beach havens, fireplaces, chandeliers and timeless elegance.
They come in hardwoods such as oak, maple, ash, and pine. They also shimmy around a little, but most wooden style floors do. This is due to the colder months, when heating is used. Moisture evaporates from the wood, causing it to contract. This can leave small gaps between the planks. But generally, during the summer months, the humidity expands wood, and the gaps disappear over again. It’s not really recommended to install hardwood below ground level, or directly onto concrete for the above reason. The great news is, there are modern methods in acquiring a wooden floor that take environment into account. Engineered floors are contracted from various wood piles that are glued together. These don’t lose sheen, colour, or require an Amazonian rainforest to create.
Bamboo is durable, strong, and harvested in an environmentally responsible manner. Predominantly from Asia, this type of unique floor is made from split bamboo, which is sliced along the vertical side, then flattened to a narrow sheet in order to be laminated. Bamboo’s popularity has exponentially grown thanks to both its conservational value, and as it is much denser than hardwood, bamboo is an ideal substance for flooring.
Laminate happens to be the consumer friendly option for the pocket, but no less effective in practicality, longevity and aesthetics. Laminate-covered wood pieces are cut into planks, then notched together for easier-than-you-can-imagine installation. Selecting this style of floor can open up a whole new spectrum, as laminate comes in more colours and textures as hardwood. From black beech to gold, pine, to honey hues. The choices are limitless as to how you can transform a room with this surface. Quick note though, be sure to invest in some moisture underlay before installation.
And Cork… The amazing thing about cork s that it connects seamlessly from room to room, so it’s a wonderfully attractive covering for the entire house. There are even cork tiles for the bathroom. It’s ideal for those with allergies, as it is an antimicrobial – an agent that kills microorganisms. It’s also less likely to be affected by mold or mildew, nor does it absorb dust and pollens. Another benefit is the way cork instigates sound control – it’s absorbs noise and footfalls. Perfect for a home full of children. Once again, its edge over hardwood floors is the countless plethora of alternatives available. Cork inspires visions of homeliness and comfort, of art-deco extravagance, of enviable decorator chic.