Top flooring styles for your property in 2020
If it’s time to update the flooring in your home, the latest trends bring variety in materials, finishes, colours and textures.
Good flooring isn’t only about aesthetics. Your choice of flooring defines space, makes small rooms feel bigger and can blur the line between inside and out. Flooring styles also improve health and safety and can hinder the home’s efficiency, with hardwood, cork and luxury vinyl planks being top insulators.
To help you narrow down the options, here are the top flooring styles for your home.
Concrete floors may be associated with cold, industrial and prison-like facilities but there’s an undeniable modern charm that comes with these surfaces.
Like wood, concrete can be stained to add warmth to traditional or transitional spaces. Its strength and versatility make it popular in residential homes. Subtle cracks, textures and aggregates resemble a natural stone-feel, proving concrete material is anything but mundane.
Concrete floors are best in wet areas and kitchen, living and dining rooms. Use in modern renovations, new homes or if you’re remodelling the kitchen. The material balances well with natural materials, for example; rich timber cabinets with grey concrete floors and black/stainless steel appliances, or exposed brick and black cabinets with dark grey concrete.
- If it’s been sealed and polished, it won’t need much upkeep
- Durable enough to handle wear and tear, pets, children and sharp heels
- Resistant to fire, water, bacteria and stains
- Sustainable flooring (if you use existing concrete slabs to avoid the consumption of new materials)
- Refined finish makes it look sleek and classy
- Adaptable to different looks, for example finish with a coat of resin for a gloss effect or dye the material different colours
- Raw or stained concrete finishes are cost-effective
- It doesn’t insulate heat, but because concrete has good thermal mass naturally, loss of heat should be minimum. Layer with rugs to soften the space or consider underfloor heating
- Refined and glossy finishes may be costly
- If you’re using in wet areas, add an anti-slip finish or surface treatment
Flooring options like bamboo, cork and rubber use renewable materials to cater to green-conscious buyers.
Bamboo is a sustainable and lightweight material with varied grains, colours and characteristics, giving it an edge over traditional hardwood flooring. Cork flooring is sourced from the bark of oak trees, which regenerate after each harvest, and is chosen due to its stability and comfort.
Bamboo, cork and rubber are smart choices for homeowners hoping to reduce their environmental impact. Use in kitchen, living and dining areas.
- Cork and rubber come in different finishes, colours and pattern options
- Rubber is a water-resistant flooring material made from recycled tyres; ideal for kitchens, sunrooms and wet area like bathrooms or the laundry
- Bamboo is versatile and durable
- Cork is suitable for wet and dry areas as its unaffected by humidity and won’t expand or contract
- Cork doesn’t absorb dust making it beneficial for allergy sufferers
- Bamboo is scratch-resistant and more moisture-resistant than traditional hardwoods
- Rubber and cork and both comfortable to walk on and springy, reducing risk of injury and making them a good choice in high-traffic areas, kitchens, bedrooms, playrooms and gyms
- Rubber absorbs sound
- Pet scratches may be a problem with cork flooring
- Bamboo is susceptible to water damage and excessive humidity
- Rubber tiles are heavy and can be challenging to install
- Cork is prone to discoloration from direct sunlight
- Rubber flooring may contain lead from the use of older tires
- Harsh cleaners will discolour rubber and the material can be prone to stains
Vinyl plank and tile
Luxury vinyl planks and tiles (LVP or LVT) are engineered to look like authentic hardwood. Whilst they did look cheap in the 1930s, the material’s evolution has given it distinct advantages over traditional hardwoods like timber.
The planks or tiles are made with wood and polymers for stability and strength. Cork backing is layered with it to soften the flooring and deaden sound. If you have an active home with kids, pets, high-traffic areas or heavy furniture, use 20mm or higher of wear layer. If your home won’t be exposed to a lot of activity opt for 12mm.
Use in living and dining rooms, but avoid stairs or surfaces that aren’t level or flat. It may also be used in bathrooms.
- Durable and affordable
- Choice of colours, textures and sizes
- If the vinyl is exposed to water, it won’t swell, buckle or lose integrity
- Cost-effective to purchase and install
- Resistant to water, scratches, mould and rot
- Great insulator
- Doesn’t last as long as hardwood
- May emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – choose floating floors over glue-down installation to avoid
- May contain toxic chemicals such as Benzyl Butul Phthalate (BBP) which have been linked to respiratory and reproductive diseases, and skin allergies
- Styles change every 5 years and cannot be refurbished like hardwood floors to keep up-to-date