The best flooring options for your home

Some floors are certainly more appropriate in one room than another; carpet in the bedroom, tiles in the bathroom, we've covered them all. Check out our flooring guide now

Carpet bedroom

With the variety of flooring so vast, choosing the right type can be daunting. Ideally you want a floor to look good, be easy to clean and to last. To help you make the right choice, we take a look at what each room requires from a floor and discover the best options on the market.

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Kitchen

In most households, the kitchen has to withstand a substantial amount of wear and tear – with water and high temperatures to endure as well as food, drink, pots and pans all likely hitting the deck. With this in mind the ideal flooring will be durable, easy to clean and made from a material that doesn’t hold odour.

Top pick – rubber flooring because…

It’s durable, bouncy by nature, and should last around 20 years, making it good value for money. It’s also easy to lay, just stick the tiles down using adhesive suitable for rubber flooring and cut with a Stanley knife. On top of all this, it’s comfortable underfoot and looks good too!

Care and maintenance?

Simply wash and buff using a mild household detergent.

Expert tip

Rubber Flooring Online‘s Marketing Executive, Emma Clout says: ‘Rubber flooring comes in a wide range of colours and finishes enabling it to complement most existing schemes. If you have a large space, consider using two or more colours to draw attention to a focal point.’

Other options: vinyl, stone or ceramic tiles

Bathroom

No matter how hard you may try, bathroom floors will always get wet. So flooring must be waterproof and slip-resistant. Warm floors are always a plus in the bathroom, so if you go for flooring that can be cold to the touch, such as ceramic tiles, consider investing in under floor heating.

Top pick – vinyl because…

Most importantly, it’s waterproof! There is a huge selection of colours and patterns to choose from, so you’re bound to find a design that suits your taste and it also offers great value for money.

Care and maintenance?

Vinyl is easy to clean, simply sweep to remove large particles and mop to clean.

Expert tip

Laura Cohen, www.yourfloors.co.uk, says: ‘The best way to clean vinyl is to mix two cups of water with a squirt of liquid soap and 20 drops of tea tree oil. The soap lifts dirt, while the tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that kills germs, so your floors end up clean, disinfected and fragrant.’

Other options: rubber flooring or waterproof laminate, such as the Lagune range from Quick-Step.

Hallway

Tiled hallway
© phototropic

Hallways see a lot of foot traffic, so flooring needs to be tough, stain-resistant and easy to clean. Place a mat at the door to catch the majority of dirt that will be brought in from outside. A good way to disguise the inevitable marks in the hall is to choose flooring with a pattern.

Top pick – tiles because…

Tiles lend themselves perfectly to creating a stylish, timeless look. Whether you are after a classic look to fit with a period property or a contemporary feel for a modern home you will find a wide range designs and colourways to suit you. Unlike other materials, tiles don’t hold dust, mites and other allergens, making them ideal for households with allergy sufferers.

Care and maintenance?

Once you have swept or vacuumed the floor, to remove dust and particles, use a soft cotton mop that has been dampened with diluted floor cleaner – take care not to soak tiles. Try to clean regularly to prevent any dirt becoming ground in. Avoid using any products that will leave a slippery residue as this could be hazardous.

Expert tip

The Tile Association advise: ‘There are companies who offer specialist cleaning products, maintenance and repair services. You can find these and more information about fixing and caring for floor tiles on The Tile Association website www.tiles.org.uk.

Other options: wooden floor, carpet or laminate

Living room

Wooden floor living room
© Westend61

The living room is where the flooring choice is at its widest. To narrow down the best option for your home there are a few factors you need to consider such as how regularly is the room used, do you have young children, what do you use the room for, do you have pets? Also, if it’s open-plan, the flooring will ideally need to complement the adjoining rooms, at least in colour if not material.

Top pick – wooden floor because…

If cared for correctly it can be extremely durable, it’s also easy to clean and timeless. Wood has the advantage of complementing most colour schemes and can be suited to modern or traditional looks. Depending on your budget you can go top end with solid wood flooring or create an effective wooden look with laminate at a more affordable price. Add a softer dimension to the floor with a rug that can be updated at relatively little cost when trends change.

Care and maintenance?

Sweep regularly and follow manufacturers instructions for how often you need to polish the floor. Use fabric pads on the base of any furniture to avoid scratches. If any liquid is spilt on the floor mop up straight away to avoid watermarks appearing.

Expert tip

Terry Miller John Lewis Central Buyer, Carpets/Hard flooring says: ‘Ensure your wood flooring is vacuumed or swept regularly and only ever cleaned with a well-wrung mop when necessary. Be aware that some woods are more sensitive to moisture than others – especially Beech and Hard Maple.’

Other options: carpet

Bedroom

The bedroom can be a space where you let the flooring steal the show. Keep in mind you will be padding around in bare feet so make sure flooring is tactile and warm – there’s nothing worse than ice cold flooring first thing in the morning.

Top pick – carpet because…

Carpet has come a long way in recent years with a whole host of new textures, materials, colours and patterns to choose from. Plus nothing quite compares to soft carpet between your toes! With such a wide range of carpet available you are bound to find one that fits your budget and style.

Care and maintenance?

Vacuum regularly, as this will keep your carpet looking its best. When carpets start to look a bit tired give them a thorough clean either by getting the professionals in or by using a carpet cleaner, if you don’t want to buy one they can be hired at reasonable cost.

Expert tip

Steve Upperton, Sales Director, Axminster Carpets says: ‘Bedroom carpet can really let you explore texture and remember that the deeper the pile, the more comforting it is around the toes. Unlike other rooms in the home where dirt and spills are ever present, the bedroom offers the chance to exploit the purest of shades, so go for cream or off-white to create a light and warming room.’

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Other options: wooden floors