Maybe Your Flooring Needs To Harden Up

January 13, 2016 - 3 min read

While some nations believe carpet is a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms, Australia isn’t one of them. Find the perfect hard flooring for every room in our guide to timber, tiled and concrete flooring.

Carpet has piles of good things going for it. But life can be hard on carpets. You can, with some lateral thinking, go harder with your flooring. We’re talking hardwood timber floors, tiles, and concrete. Read on to see what lies beneath.

Here’s Something You Can Do For Carpet Stains

Early in its life, carpet can be a thing of beauty. Ignore it for too long and it quickly descends into a losing battle against food crumbs, dust, red wine, pets, and sheer world weariness.

Understandably, not everyone has the time and energy to spend on keeping their carpets free from dirt and stains.

Hard flooring surfaces need considerably less attention. With all that free time, you can reward yourself with a paranoia-free glass of red.

Tiles — Flooring For Wet Areas

Tiles are great in wet areas.

While they are right at home playing second fiddle to other decorative features, the beauty of tiles is that they can just as easily play the starring role. You can source tiles from Europe and South America that are bursting with colour and character.

Most tiles are glazed and fired in an oven. With the exception perhaps of non-glazed examples with a natural finish, tiles will be impervious to all sorts of household abuse. It’s no surprise that tiled flooring is used extensively in commercial food areas and wet zones.

It’s always a good idea when purchasing tiles, to order a number of extras. That way, if a tile is damaged during installation or by accident (generally involving a mishap with a piece of heavy furniture or equipment), you’ll have replacements. Tiles are produced in runs that can vary noticeably from batch to batch. Matching a tile with one from a different batch is a risky business.

Vinyl Flooring — In So Many Looks

Vinyl is available in many styles

Vinyl flooring is available in many looks. It is a durable product that has improved markedly over the years.

Photographic imaging gives vinyl the capability of taking on the appearance of other flooring. It can look like timber floorboards, tiles, and anything else from the super realistic to the truly outlandish.

Perfect for wet areas, vinyl doesn’t care if you spill your wine on it. Wipe it right off.

Timber Floorboards — Classic

The classic look of timber floorboards

The poorer cousin of real floorboards, the floating timber floor doesn’t have what it takes to withstand spilt milk, or accidents involving liquids in general. From the perspective of durability, you’d be better off with vinyl flooring. If keeping your floor dry is not going to be a problem, floating timber floors are cheap as chips.

Spend more money and you can get real timber floorboards — the kind that are good enough to appear on stage.

Timber floorboards come from natural, sustainable and mostly renewable sources. They are current. They are durable. They can be finished as you like. A few throw rugs. A handsome piece of furniture or two, and voila!

Oils and waxes can be applied for beautiful, soft, natural finishes. Polyurethane finishes are made to last and will serve well in high traffic areas. Note: stomping in stilettoes is never recommended.

Installing floorboards is more complicated than laying decking. There are plenty of traps for the uninitiated. Rookie errors include boards that squeak when you walk on them to boards that warp and buckle. Experience in laying floorboards is valuable.

Concrete Flooring — Up-Market Results

Concrete floors can look amazing

Concrete makes a sensational floor. It takes colour well and scrubs up beautifully with a polish and seal. Elegance comes simply, with the addition of Oriental rugs and nice timber furniture.

Low in maintenance, concrete floors need only the occasional mopping with soapy water and a sweep or two in between.

What are you waiting for?

If your carpet is in need of help, this article might help:

Another article with insights on timber, tiles and laminate flooring:

Some more info about less expensive timber flooring: