Floor: design ideas, inspiration and pictures

The floors of a house take the brunt of our everyday activities and are usually the first surfaces to reflect wear and tear. As such, it’s important to invest in floors which will keep pace with your daily life and add value while simultaneously infusing your home with a touch of class.

Floors bring the whole room together. Without the right flooring, your room can have design elements in all the right places and still not look right. When choosing the ideal flooring for your room or home, there are many things to consider. Here’s a helpful guide about the basic facts that you should be knowledgeable of when it comes to flooring.

1. Factors to consider before installing your floors

Choosing your floors requires a lot of thinking and decision-making to do. The flooring you choose should be well-suited to your needs and the style of your home. It should also be within your budget. Keep in mind that the flooring of your house will be a lifetime asset to your property, so reflect on some factors before installing.

When choosing a floor for your home, always consider its durability. You will not change your flooring again for quite some time so make sure your choice is worth the effort and money that’s spent on it.

If you are keen on cleanliness, choose flooring that will not get dirty easily and that can easily be maintained, like tiles or laminates.

While selecting your floors, make sure your choices do not conflict with the style of your furnishings. If you have modern furniture, you can select carpets or tiles but if you have more classical furniture, choosing stone or marble might be a better option.

Renovating your floors can be pretty costly. Make sure you make an estimate of the cost and search for your floorings accordingly. If you are looking for floorings on a very small budget, you might prefer to buy laminate flooring rather than marble or natural stone floorings. Choose the flooring that fits your budget as well as your home.

Make sure your flooring is in accordance to your lifestyle. For instance, if you have little kids and are afraid that they might hurt themselves on the hard tiles or marble, then carpeting the house might lessen the chances of their getting hurt. Whereas, if you have pets in the house, then carpeting the entire place might not be an appropriate option as carpet gathers a lot of dust and fur and can lead to unhygienic conditions.

Climate has a big effect on the flooring of any house. Weather changes can makes floors hot or cold accordingly. Living in a warm climate like the Philippines, needs a floor that will feel cool to your feet, like tiles or marble.

2. Selecting the right flooring

Picking new flooring can be daunting task. There are many materials to choose from and each type has a scope of options to go along with it. Here are popular types of flooring materials, where they're best used and their advantages.

For starters, let's take a look at a traditional favorite: hardwood. Thanks to hardwood's durability and warm, natural feel, it continues to be the flooring of choice for many homeowners. Hardwood floors come in a variety of styles such as plank, parquet and prefinished boards that you can install yourself.

Concrete is also one of the top choices in the Philippines. With the wide range of sealers and specialty stains currently on the market, plain and gray concrete can be stamped and stained to resemble polished marble, tumbled stone, brick pavers or really anything you wish. Plus, concrete floors are durable and long-lasting. It's also the perfect flooring for radiant heat.

Porcelain is a popular choice for tile flooring. When selecting tile on a budget, porcelain is the most cost-effective. It combines the beauty and hardness of stone, but costs considerably less and is much easier to maintain than marble, which is porous and must periodically be resealed. Glazed porcelain tile is durable enough to handle heavy traffic areas and is available in a wide range of hues, textures and finishes. Unleash your creativity and combine tiles of various sizes, colors and textures to create a one-of-a-kind floor.

One of the most value-conscious flooring options today is vinyl. It's an especially popular choice for rooms that are prone to moisture problems, such as basements, bathrooms and kitchens. Vinyl is also easy to clean and softer underfoot than tile. Vinyl is available as sheets and self-stick tiles, and it is sold in a variety of widths and thicknesses. One rule to remember when selecting vinyl is the thicker it is, the more traffic it can bear.

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular flooring choices around. It's easier to install than solid-wood hardwood floors and is much less expensive. Laminate floors get their name because they're composed of different wood-based materials that are layered, or laminated, together then topped with a wood grain photographic imprint on the face of each board.

3. How much is square footage flooring?

As much as the durability and the long-lasting characteristic of material are important when choosing floors, considering your budget is vital to keep in mind.

You will find bargain laminate flooring hovering around P100 or less per square footage; nothing gorgeous but it has a general wood-like appearance. Sheet and tile resilient flooring can also be found in this price range. Lots of gorgeous ceramic and porcelain tile can be found in this range--but tile is truly a labor-intensive installation.

Around P150-250 per square footage is the sweet spot price range for some domestic solid hardwood and engineered wood flooring, but do not expect any exotic woods. The more attractive laminates fall in this range, as well as higher quality luxury vinyl tile.

Increasing your price range to around P250 and above means you can explore some of the harder, more exotic hardwood and engineered wood options--kempas, ipe, brazilian cherry, mahogany. The highest quality, premium laminate and luxury vinyl flooring products will be found here.

4. Maintenance of floors

Maintaining the cleanliness of floors is a daily necessity that every homeowner must be obliged with. Regular maintenance includes sweeping with a soft bristle broom or dusting with a dry microfiber mop. If the floor has beveled edges, vacuum with the beater bar turned off to remove dust from between the floorboards. Clean the floors periodically with a floor cleaning product recommended by a flooring professional.

Bear in mind that self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly. Do not over-wax a wood floor. If a wax floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session. A better tip is purchasing an all-purpose cleaner to polish whichever kind of flooring you have at home.

Invest in high-quality floor mats and protective pads under heavy furniture for an extra layer of protection to your tile floors. Place floor mats at entrances and exits—they collect and trap corrosive substances that can be tracked in, like dirt, sand, oil, grit, asphalt, or even driveway sealer. Placing mats in high-traffic areas, like in front of vanities, kitchen sinks, and stoves, is an effective way to reduce tile wear.