FLOORING – the first thing people encounter when entering a home. This is especially true for us Malaysians that do not remove their footwear before they step in to their houses.
Flooring acts as a backdrop to the furniture, serve in functionality and can even dramatically make or break the design and overall look and feel of a space.
The use of different flooring materials in a house, instead of just one monotonic and uniform floor type, serves to segregate the various spaces and areas within a house. Naturally bathroom floor tiles differ from kitchen stone slabs, but bedroom hardwood floors can also differ from that of living room flooring to evoke a calming sensation.
This is a useful substitute to constructing partitions in smaller apartments or open-concept studios because these partitions or walls take up space, making an already small space more cramped.
To help select from the surplus of flooring options available in the market, here is a round up of popular flooring materials in terms of price, upkeep, and durability, and reasons to opt for it.
It only makes sense that homeowners should choose flooring material that can withstand accidental threats in a kitchen environment i.e. food spills, liquid splashes, heat and falling pots and pans, etc. since this will affect the deterioration of the flooring.
For the kitchen, go for flooring material that can withstand both the bumps and spills and the heavy duty cleaning that follows suit.
- Slate Tile
Slate tile flooring adds texture and gives an earthy, natural look to a room. They are easy to clean, heat resistant and fireproof, making them an ideal choice for your kitchen. It is also extremely tough and will not be easily damaged by falling pots and pans. Visually, slate tile flooring will complement the look of existing stone features within a kitchen like marble or granite back-splashes or counter tops.
Not a fan of modernist stainless steel kitchens? Brick flooring gives a rustic, cozier ambience to a cold-looking kitchen. It is anti-slip, stain resistant, easy to clean, and will last for many years without the need for regular maintenance. Brick flooring can also be stained into different colors to complement different décors. If you do decide to go with brick flooring for your kitchen, make sure that it is treated with a sealing agent that covers the porous openings found on the brick’s surface.
There are lots of things to consider when choosing bathroom flooring. Considerations include wet surfaces, bacteria, soap scum, and other elements. Also, the last thing you need is a slippery accident in the bathroom, so ensure that your flooring is slip-resistant and can withstand the chemicals and soaps used when cleaning and scrubbing.
If you have a separate shower area (if you shower in your bathtub for example), then vinyl flooring will suit your needs for the rest of the bathroom. It is affordable and tough and is as beautiful (different designs are available!). They can last anywhere between 5 to 20 years before needing a replacement. With a layer of urethane and protective clear film, the floor will be easy to clean, maintain, and protected from rip and tears. For bathroom purposes, ensure that you add a non-slip coating to the floor to make it anti-slippage.
- Glazed ceramic tile
Glazed ceramic tile flooring comes with a hard protective layer, is slip-resistant and can withstand the moisture, wetness and humidity present in a bathroom. Also, it is scratch and fade-resistant, and should staining occur, the tiles can withstand heavy duty washing. Glazed ceramic tiles come in different shapes, textures (shiny or textured), and colors (they can even be custom printed to look like stone or hardwood flooring). You’ll be spoiled for choice to say the least!
The flooring in your bedroom needs to be comfortable. Period. Comfortable to both your feet and your sight. I mean, it’s always up to you if you decide to go with an M.C. Escher-esque interior design but your boss will not take too kindly of your excuse that you cannot get out of bed because your flooring is making your head spin. Naturally, it needs to be easy to clean, upkeep, and does not easily stain or capture dirt and dust.
A cheaper substitute to real wood, laminate flooring comes in different wood grains and finishes to choose from. Plus, it is comfortable to walk on and is free of allergens. It is manufactured with a thin invisible wear layer, that helps resist stains and liquids. It is easy to clean and it can be fixed with an underlayment padding for added comfort and insulation. If your bedroom comes with cold tiles, your sleep-induced brain will be jolted wide-awake when you stumble to the bathroom at night.
Cork floorings are mostly used in the bedroom because it is plush to feel and gentle on your feet. Cork has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to help keep the room clean. It is also sound absorbent, ideal if you have kids thundering about the room or throwing toys around for no apparent reason. Basically, they are like carpets, but better. Cork flooring typically comes in their natural neutral color tone or stained. To protect against stains and moisture, a sealing agent needs to be applied to seal the holes during the installation, otherwise the porous cork will absorb water and make the flooring appear darker in color.
Stay tuned for a flooring breakdown in your LIVING and DINING room (Part II). Remember, Kaodim’s pros in flooring installation will give you a more detailed consultation on your flooring needs.