Floors that complement your home

Floors that complement your home

For any home, flooring is an important aspect that can add to its aesthetic ambience. It’s important to choose the flooring material with care though, writes D B N Murthy.

Flooring can enliven the home instead of making it look drab. As a result, it makes living a pleasant experience. For instance, stone flooring could last forever with little care and maintenance and gives an impression of timelessness. On the contrary, wood could be the ideal material for flooring to make it look elegant and classy. Flooring in a house should be pleasing, safe and easy to clean and maintain.

With globalisation, a house builder has a wide choice of flooring materials including Italian marble and the latest styling and materials on the market, though with a hefty price tag attached. It is not just the traditional materials like stone, marble or ceramic tile flooring that is finding favour, but even innovative flooring materials like bamboo and wood are being sought after by eco-conscious house owners. We have come a long way from a simple red-oxide floor. When a house is being designed and built, the owner needs to have a discussion with the builder and contractor on the choice of materials that can be used for different sections of the house like the bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms. 

Choose wisely
To understand and see how different flooring looks like, one could visit a showroom where various flooring materials are displayed. It would also be better if the owner has a first-hand look at some of the houses where designer tiles have been used, to get a feel of how it would like when actually laid out throughout the length and breadth of a room.
The experience of those who have actually used it and lived in such a dwelling would be an important feedback too. Some tiles could look great but the builder could have a problem of laying these, due to various problems like brittleness and warping. It should be appreciated that floor materials come in a variety of styles, colour, shade and textures from reputed brands. It would be better for the home owner to check on the net for the latest in floor decor and adapt something novel which could also be easy to maintain and replace, provided these are available in our country.

Another important aspect is the ease of maintenance. Some of the ceramic tiles variety tend to crack or dent when a heavy object is dropped making it look ugly and to replace such a tile is costly and time consuming. Ease of cleaning too should be kept in mind. Every tile comes with a price tag and those who want to have the ‘best’ material should think seriously whether it is needed or not. This is vital not only because of the cost but also due to the fact that the latest invention of a certain tile has not got sufficient field experience yet. Some of these could prove costly to repair and maintain. Some new fangled designer tiles, for instance, have been withdrawn from the market due to various problems. While some consumers would like to stick to time-tested traditional materials like stone, ceramic and marble, others would like to try out the latest state-of-the-art materials which give the house a glamorous look.

Bathrooms and toilets should have floors that are skid-proof and easy to clean and maintain. Some designer tiles give the bathroom a pleasing look that serves the purpose of protecting the wall from wetness too. Such well-designed floors and sidewalls with durable and pleasing tiles are easier to clean. That applies to kitchen too where the flooring should be good, easy to maintain and clean regularly. It should be possible to remove black and oily patches on the floor as well as sidewalls near the gas/electric cooking range and stoves.

Expert hand
Timber floors also find favour, especially in colder climate due to their natural warmth. They are low on maintenance, can be polished nicely and have a longer life. The only disadvantage is that it is not damage-proof. Some homeowners prefer bamboo flooring for its natural and warm feeling. Carpets from budget and luxury categories, could be put up either on the floor of the bedroom or living room, or it could be hung on the wall to give an exotic touch. Vinyl flooring could also be tried for specific locations.

Nowadays, tiles come in various designs, styles, sizes and shades that enliven the floor. Needless to emphasise that tile laying is an expert job and the money spent in getting trained and trusted tile layers could prove useful in the long run, despite the higher cost.

Repairing the broken, loose or damaged tiles is a costly task that consumes time too. While using custom-made designer tiles, it is a good idea to stock a few of them as spares that could be used as replacements in case of damages. During earlier times, before the advent of ceramic tiles, in-situ tiling with various coloured chips of varying sizes embedded in cement flooring was a novelty. After laying of such chips in cement, the surface would be polished as a finishing operation. A few such floors still look good and strong even after many years, with occasional gentle polishing.

With a variety of flooring that is available today, one is spoilt for choice for the perfect one. If one’s imagination could run riot, then even a drab looking floor could transform itself into an extraordinary one.

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