Time to get floored

Last Updated 30 May 2013, 14:10 IST

False flooring can give a new look to the interiors of your home and comes in a variety of options. Ruth D’souza Prabhu lists out the kinds of flooring available.

The concept of false flooring is not a new one. It’s been around for ages, especially in the case of commercial buildings. False floors are installed in places where there is a lot of wiring to be passed around. While the wires are safely ensconced between the false floor and the actual one, you have a surface that is clear and not a potential disaster zone. False flooring is also used in residential spaces for two primary reasons — to manage the acoustics of the room or give your space a whole new look.

As with most other interior designing concepts, false floors too come in a range of options. Preeti Venugopal, a City-based interior designer elaborates on the various kinds of flooring and how they are best used.

Options galore

Laminated flooring: If you are looking for a cost-effective, easy-to-apply flooring, then there is nothing to beat the laminated floor. It is a budget-friendly synthetic option with the appearance of hardwood flooring. It can easily be applied to your existing floor with foam. It comes in a massive range of patterns, finishes and colours and is primarily used in bedrooms and common areas, depending on the theme and ambience of the room. It keeps a room cool in summer and warm in winter. It is a stain and scratch-resistant flooring and does not fade easily. Maintenance is easy enough. It has a lifespan of a decade and, if looked after the right way, can even last up to 25 years. It is important, however, that it remain free of moisture. It, therefore, should not be used in any damp spaces such as the outdoors and even the bathrooms. Branded flooring of this nature has a price range between Rs 105 – Rs 220 per sq.ft 

Vinyl flooring: A resilient flooring made primarily of PVC. It comes in a vast range of colours and patterns. They are flexible in the sense that they are available in sheets and tiles. These can be used in wet areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms as they are water-proof. They are great for acoustics as they reduce the sound emitted from machinery. They are resistant to stains, scratches and chemicals, making them easy to handle. The only negative is that they cannot be recycled easily and the seams are visible when you lay them. They last you up to five years when maintained well. Good branded flooring costs between Rs 90 – Rs 120/sq.ft

Carpet flooring: This is a soft flooring option that is available in rolls and tiles. Carpeting offers warmth and softness to a room. It prevents echo and can be used in rooms like the home theatre. Its advantages lie in the fact that it can easily be applied for a low cost. Should a single tile of carpet be spoilt for any reason, it can easily be replaced.

 These can also be applied to uneven floors. Since it absorbs moisture, it cannot be used in rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom. It requires regular cleaning or it tends to accumulate dust, making it a bad option for those with allergies. It is prone to staining as well. Most carpet flooring comes with a warranty of five years. A good quality carpet ranges between Rs 35 and Rs 150/sq.ft.  

Linoleum flooring: For the environmentally conscious, this is a natural ingredient-based flooring and is relatively nascent in the Indian market. It is available in sheets. It has to be chosen carefully as it does not go with all kinds of interior decor. It is largely used to create a statement of sorts in offices, homes or commercial spaces. These low-maintenance floors, are eco-friendly and come in a range of colours and textures. They are also water-proof.

The downside is that they are quite expensive to install and cannot be recycled because of the installation glue that is used. They are not suited to all decor themes and as of now there are not many dealers for the same in India. They are durable if looked after properly. Good quality linoleum flooring will cost you somewhere around Rs 150/sq.ft.Other choices 

Preeti says that there are a few other options available that you can consider:

Glass flooring: This has a number of options. In fact, a bit of creativity is all that is needed to create customised flooring. Give it a back light or use an underlay of pebbles. Such floors never fail to create an impression. You can place this in the common area of your office. You can define your home office by raising the floor with glass in a wooden frame in one corner. It works beautifully on the stairs as well.  

Duraquartz flooring: This is a seamless wall-to-wall flooring option which is mainly used in commercial projects for its versatility. It has good clarity, is chemical-resistant, nonporous and easy to maintain. It is also available in numerous colours and textures.

When it comes to choosing a flooring for your space, it is best to consult the experts who will be able to evaluate the area you wish to cover and let you know of the different options that are suited to it. The decision will be based on what the room is being used for, the decor it has to match and your budget. 

(Published 30 May 2013, 14:10 IST)

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