When it comes to flooring – within reason – function should always take precedence over the aesthetic appeal. After all, flooring puts up with a lot! Children and pets can quickly ruin carpets while it also takes quite a bit of work to keep them clean in the first place. For this reason, vinyl flooring, laminate or even genuine wooden flooring are often far better options (although faux wood laminate is much easier to keep clean).
The location of flooring is important too. Most people prefer softer flooring in bedrooms, for instance, and if there is going to be a carpet or fluffy rug, more often than not it will be for here. Kitchens tend to get a lot of traffic so it’s always a good idea to have something durable and hard there such as hardwood or stone tiles (the latter also work well in the bathroom).
Tiles – these come in a huge variety of materials from the popular travertine to ceramic, marble and even granite, slate or mother of pearl.
Most tiles are hard wearing and extremely durable. They’re also waterproof which is why they’re used so regularly in bathrooms and kitchens. The downside is they can be slippery when wet and also noisy if walked on with shoes.
Wooden flooring – softer than tiles and warmer on bare or stocking feet, wooden flooring can provide a room with a lovely warm look, especially when varnished. Boards tend to dent easily though (especially from high heels) and as such is better in rooms that don’t receive a lot of traffic such as bedrooms.
Carpets – these can feel positively luxurious when walked on with bare feet and they can also be a lot warmer than tiles and floorboards. They’re also far more insulating so will cut down on utility bills. Heavily patterned carpets hide stains best but can make a room feel smaller.