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8 factors to consider before upgrading your floors

Upgrading your floor can feel like a minefield – but fear not, if you’re in the market for a new one, consider these factors first.

  1. Budget
  2. Figure out your budget and if it’s restricted don’t let that hinder you. I’ve gotten some seriously cool old floorboards from salvage yards, rugs from auction houses and tiles from eBay. The more constrained the budget, often times the more creative I actually am!

  3. Location
  4. By this I mean where is the flooring going: in a wet location, semi wet location, or a high traffic area, like a hallway. Considering these factors will help narrow down your selection

  5. Maintenance
  6. Any type of flooring (almost no matter what) will last years so this decision is more personality driven really than anything else. Hard floors are easy to clean but cold underfoot unless you install underfloor heating, of course. Carpets are soft underfoot but take longer to hover and less easy to clean up.

  7. Aesthetics
  8. As the floor is the largest surface in a room what you put down on it will tend to dictate the overall aesthetic.

    When I first moved into my house we were faced with dingy scratched floors, a bit of beaten up lino and horrible carpet, so I know only too well from experience that cracking the code for flooring is a daunting task. Not only that, but these are big scary decisions.

    Once you’ve sorted out the practicalities; high traffic v low traffic areas, durable v luxurious, it’s then all about committing and taking a leap.The below is a low down on materials to help make that choice just that little bit easier.

  9. Floorboards
  10. Shiny floor boards

     Check out how reflective these floorboards are, dancing the light around and super cool when painted out in the same colour as the walls.

    Floorboards are perhaps the simplest of treatments, if you are lucky, like we were, under layers of carpet or lino you will find some pretty cool boards. Once sanded they look as good as new. Whether you varnish or paint them the light that reflects off of them lends a beautiful glow to the room. Timeless and classic, any knocks and scuffs add to the character.

    If you’re in the market for new boards go to one of the DIY stores. I get mine for many projects from B&Q or Wickes. My top tip would be to source the widest planks possible as it makes floors look way more expensive.

    Another tip is to paint out the boards exactly the same shade as your walls, because what you put on them will look instantly more expensive.

  11. Laminate flooring
  12. Laminate has been given a bit of a bad rep in the past (too many orange tinged panels out there) so the key is opting for boards that look as realistic as possible. The whole point of laminate is that it’s supposed to mimic the look of hardwood so it should look and feel exactly like the real thing. This flooring is fab in high traffic areas and is literally resistant to scuffing, scratching and burns.

  13. Carpets and rugs
  14. Rug remanants

     I love the idea of finding old scraps of rugs from flea markets and auction houses and then stapling to the risers. If you restrict the colour palate so you are working with the same few hues it means you can mix far more easily.

    This is personal (as decorating always is) but I prefer rugs to carpets. There is something quite magical about how they transform a room. I guess it’s because they don’t go from wall to wall and in so doing, provide the room with a unique dialogue. Opt for wool wherever possible, as it outlasts all the synthetic counterparts. I have gotten many of my rugs from flea markets and auction houses. I’ve picked up a Moroccan 60s huge rug for £140, numerous rugs for the hallway for a little over £50 and bargain of all bargains, a massive one for the bedroom at £120.

    Rugs layered over rugs

    The Americans do this often – layer rugs over rugs. I didn’t get hooked until I lived out there and saw it first hand. When you layer it vamps up the coziness in a room – especially great if you layer pattern over solid like here.

  15. Stone Floors
  16. Stone floors are durable, practical and beautiful all at the same time. They will push your budget big time but on the plus side they last a lifetime. I should also point out that stone is cold to the touch so it’s worth figuring out if you can add underfloor heating. It’s amazing in the winter – I have to say.
    Stone floors

     The stone in this bathroom (my bathroom actually) is limestone. We brought it 12 years ago and it doesn’t look a day older. Easy to maintain, warm underfoot (underfloor heating) I am the hugest fan.

    The best thing about interiors right now is that anything goes, so any one of these choices will work. Not just that, but the hottest trend in interiors right now is eclecticism so whether you want a uniform flooring scheme throughout or a medley of styles it’s entirely up to you. Liberating stuff, hey!

    No matter the flooring job we have the right flooring specialist near you. Post your projects for free today.

Abigail Ahern

Interior designer and author Abigail Ahern has been hailed as ‘style spotter extraordinaire’, by The Times. Her style is as unique as it is affordable and is characterised by glamour, wit and show-stopping colours.

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