An elegant floor will enhance and set the tone for the whole room. The floor is the area that is most used in a home and therefore it has to be carefully chosen.
When choosing your floor consider practicality as well as durability. For example, whilst carpet is warm and comforting in a bedroom, it may be less suitable for a bathroom and in the same-way if you have pets you may find a wood or stone floor can be far more practical than having carpet.
There is a wide choice of floor coverings in a variety of colours and materials, suitable for all areas of your home. Whichever flooring you choose: carpet, wood or karndean flooring, visit your local showrooms and have your rooms professionally measured and the flooring installed by an expert. They will help you find the perfect flooring for every room.
Carpets make your home more comfortable and luxurious adding warmth and softness underfoot. They also act as insulation for floors against cold and drafts, whilst muffling sound on stairs. Carpet has been part of our interiors for more than two hundred years. It was the Turkish and Oriental designs that gave inspiration to the British carpet industries in the 1700s and this influence is still apparent in today’s carpet design.
Today carpets come in an extensive range of colours and patterns. Although patterned carpets seem to have gone out of fashion a few years ago, we are now beginning to embrace patterned flooring; pattern, colour and texture have taken on a new dimension. There is a tendency for pattern and colour to transfer from fashion towards interiors and this is happening to carpet too. Many top interior designers are working closely with carpet manufacturers to produce some great looking designs.
The new patterned carpets can make rooms feel much more interesting and cosy. There are bold and dramatic designs on carpet as well as pretty floral designs. Striped carpets are becoming hugely popular; stripes can have the power to expand a narrow room or lengthen a corridor, depending on the way it is laid. Stripes are particularly suited to hallways and stairs.
Other larger-scale geometric designs are also a popular choice; this type of design can look dramatic in bigger rooms. Generally a large patterned carpet needs a large room to get the full effect, whilst a smaller print looks good in a smaller room. In bedrooms the pretty floral design carpets can look especially nice.
Plain carpets have also been transformed; these now come in vibrant tones, such as burnt orange, teal and lime green. These bold colour carpets are designed to attract attention and they help create an intimate, sophisticated atmosphere in a room. Other more demure colours like pretty pink, powder blue and lemon offer a subtle hint of colour in the room.
Finally, the fibre of the carpet affects its appearance as well as its durability. Wool is still the traditional choice, as it is a natural and sustainable fibre offering softness, warmth and luxury. However a wool-mix carpet blended with other fibres to improve durability is a better option.
Beautiful, warm and versatile, wood has an unmistakable quality. A classically good looking wooden floor is the ideal investment to enhance your home. Wood has a natural patina; it has an ability to blend with any decorating scheme, anywhere in the home. It is also hard wearing and ages gracefully, and what makes wood so appealing is the vast range of colours and textures available.
A deciding factor when selecting your wooden flooring is whether to choose solid wood or engineered boards. Solid timber is more durable as it can be sanded and re-sealed, however, it is susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity. Engineered boards have a top layer of hard wood bonded onto timber layers with grains running in different directions, this minimises the effect of expansion and contraction.
Using engineered boards makes the floor more solid than using pure timber boards. These types of boards are particularly suitable for the moist conditions of a bathroom.
In terms of wear and tear, soft woods like pine will show signs of wear quickly. More solid hardwoods including maple, cherry, ash or oak will be far more suitable for busier areas in your home.
Oak flooring remains a current and popular choice in today’s interiors as it suits virtually any scheme. An oak floor will never date and will remain effortlessly stylish. Oak also offers good value, longevity and is available in a variety of widths and lengths. This timber can be lacquered in various tones either dark, pale or the latest silver or lime-washed tones. There are a great many finishes on the market that will bring a distinctive look to flooring.
You can buy your wood flooring pre-sealed or treated but buying unfinished boards gives you the freedom to stain or paint them to the exact colour you want, for your interior scheme.
If you can buy timber sourced from managed forests, preferably carrying the FSC logo (Forest Stewardship Council), this will ensure sustainability.