With the number of nuclear families and working couples on the rise, time is the most precious commodity. Most families are opting for homes which require minimal effort to customize living spaces, catering to individual taste but with no compromise on style.
One dominant element in the decor which dictates style is the flooring. Apart from defining aesthetic value, flooring selection must be appropriate to the activity type in a given space. Different spaces in a home have diverse requirements. In kitchen and washrooms, maintenance may be the deciding factor whereas in living, family and entertaining zones, look and feel play the key role.
If your home already has the flooring done, the ambience need not be limited to the preset scheme. There are many easy to lay options on existing flooring with a wide range of finishes.
Hardwood and engineered wood
Hardwood flooring essentially consists of different species of wood, laid either as planks or parquet. Hardwoods give a warm appearance and feel. They complement both classic and contemporary interiors. Solid wood must be nailed to the existing floor. But hardwood flooring is susceptible to warping due to excess moisture and is one of the expensive options.
A more budget friendly option is engineered wood, which has a top veneer of expensive wood backed by layers of cheaper wood. Engineered wood can be nailed or glued on existing floors.
Laminate flooring consists of a plywood or medium density fibre board with a decorative plastic laminate. A durable inexpensive option, laminate flooring is a very popular choice due to the wide range of colors and patterns available, even resembling wood and tile finishes. It is stain resistant and easy to install over existing flooring.
Natural stone or tiles
Natural stone offers the flexibility of being cut to required size and shape. Finished stone is moisture resistant and offers variety in laying patterns and groove inlay details. Similar to hardwood, natural stones can be expensive. A good alternate is the use of tiles ceramic, porcelain or terracotta. Natural stone and tiles can be laid on existing flooring using adhesive.
Carpet or vinyl
Typically classified as soft floorings, carpet and vinyl are easy to install as wall to wall coverings on existing floors. Both these options are available as rolls or tiles and come in a variety of styles. Though vinyl is easy to clean, carpets need regular vacuuming and are not stain and spill resistant.
Other select options include trendy materials such as moulded acrylic, glass flooring and metal decking. Eco friendly flooring materials such as bamboo and cork are also gaining in reputation as exciting options.
Irrespective of the choice of flooring, certain precautions need to be taken while selecting and installing flooring in ready to move in homes. While experimenting with different flooring options for different rooms, especially in continuous spaces, level differences due to varied thickness of materials should be considered. Precise jointing is very critical to a sophisticated décor. The color, pattern and texture of the flooring must complement the overall design theme. With the right choice of flooring, exclusivity and sophistication can be redefined in any home.