Your choice of flooring will undoubtedly affect how your home looks and feels like. Therefore, choosing your flooring surfaces is a major design decision. Here in Superdraft, we help our clients choose the most suitable flooring material to use in their new home or renovation projects. It’s not enough to rely on what you see in magazines and websites. What you need are honest inputs from design and construction professionals. To help you in your research, here are the most popular flooring materials used by Australian homeowners — and the pros and cons of using each one.
Let’s with the most popular choice of Aussie homeowners:
Timber floors are classic and will stand the test of time. Because of that timeless appeal, about 82% of the homeowners we talk to want timber floors in their new homes.
Today, homeowners have a choice to install solid hardwood floors or engineered timber counterparts. Engineered timber offers the look and feel of real wood minus the maintenance. It is available in various options like walnut, pine, oak, cherry, and more.
Pros: Hardwood is a flexible flooring material. It complements just about any style — modern, contemporary, Scandinavian, minimalist, rustic, industrial, beach, and many more. Wood also possesses incredible insulation properties, which is beneficial if you want a sustainable, eco-friendly home. Hardwood floors increase home value too. If you are planning to sell in the future, consider installing solid hardwood floors and keep them in pristine condition.
Cons: We’re not going to lie; solid hardwood floors are costly to install and high-maintenance. If you want beautiful timber floors but can’t commit to regular maintenance, consider engineered wood instead.
The mixture of clay, sand, and water, when moulded and baked at a super high temperature, produces beautiful ceramic tiles. These tiles are available in beautiful glossy and matte finishes. Here's one with a dark wood design:
Pros: Ceramic tiles are extremely durable and easy to clean, so these are best installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and entryways. These tiles are also available in a wide variety of colours and designs.
Cons: The colours of the ceramic tiles might fade because of too much exposure to the sun for a long period of time. These tiles are also slippery when wet and cold during the winter months, so you might want to wear non-slip footwear instead of walking barefoot on them.
Concrete floors are very popular in modern Australian homes and are commonly used for living rooms, kitchens, socialising, and other entertainment areas in the house.
Pros: Concrete is one of the easiest to maintain and the most durable flooring materials. It lasts for decades. Concrete floors possess insulation properties which helps reduce heating and cooling costs. It is also non-combustible, which ups the house fire’s protection.
Cons: Repairing a concrete floor is expensive. Patching the cracks with concrete is not going to cut it. Also, big rooms with concrete floors tend to get loud because sound bounces off the floor surfaces.
Perfectly water-resistant, vinyl flooring is perfect for bathrooms and kitchens. These are available in both sheet and tile form, and comes in a wide variety of designs.
Pros: Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and doesn’t damage easily. Clean them with soapy water or a vinyl cleaner.
Cons: Vinyl flooring releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful to your lungs and eyes.
If you are looking for a more affordable substitute to wooden floors, laminate is the way to go. It resembles real wood, thanks to the high-resolution image of wood printed onto laminate and glued into the fiberboard underneath.
Pros: Installing laminate flooring is easy and inexpensive because the sheets fit together perfectly without glue or nails. It is also easy to clean; simply sweep and mop the laminate floors every now and then.
Cons: Laminate floors break due to water damage, so it’s not ideal to use these in bathrooms and laundry rooms. And, even if the laminate looks like real wood, it doesn’t have the same resale value as solid hardwood. It must be replaced completely when damaged.