Things to Consider for Your Flooring
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Published by TOP4 Team
What goes on the floor is one of the most important elements in a room. the decision requires major soul-searching because it’s expensive, it must be hard-wearing, glamorous, or at least easy on the eye, and it will be with you for a long time to come.
Floor Comes First
When you’re planning a room’s decor, start from the floor up. It’s easier to alter paint, wallpaper, curtains, blinds and furniture than it is to change the floor. Flooring should be the first thing you choose and the last thing you put down. It covers a large area so it’s best to get the colour and texture right before you do anything else. Children and dogs? Life would be more relaxed without a pale and expensive carpet in the family room.
These days the range goes from painted, polished or stencilled boards to painted or polished concrete, parquetry, cork, coir, glazed ceramic and terracotta tiles, vinyl, carpet and scatter rugs.
A Stable Base
For a particularly stable base, timber can be nailed on top of particle board. As long as there is adequate ground clearance so the board won’t get damp and warp, it provides a firm base in cases where secret nails are used and the boards are polished.
Check Floor Levels
In an older house, if you’re knocking out a wall between two rooms, measure to make sure the floors are the same level.
It is particularly important to watch this if you’re taking out a passage wall. In bad cases, floors have to be ripped up or new flooring laid over the old. Check, too, that the board widths are with the same from room to room. Incidentally, if you’re knocking out a double brick wall it’s best to have timber professionally sewn. It makes more mess, but it’s quicker and the edge is neater than if you do it by hand.
Seal Particle Board
If money is a problem, and your floors are particle board, don’t despair. Sand and finish them with a gloss or semi-gloss sealer, and you’ll be surprised how good they’ll look. Scatter some rugs to tone with the walls, furniture or curtains for warmth and colour.
Stencil The Edges
One way to stop budget blow-out is to hire a machine and sand and polish boards yourselves. If you don't get the machine into the corners and they look unfinished, don’t despair, paint a border around each room. Time-consuming it might be, but long term you will be happier than if you get a wave of annoyance about those badly sanded edges every time you look at them.
Black looks smart for a border and goes with pretty well anything, including the cottage look. Stencilling the border design on the floor is another option to draw the eyes from the edges.
Parquetry is making a big return in some wonderful new and traditional patterns. And do-it-yourself tiles are available to make laying easier. Parquetry also looks effective with a dark border, or one in a contrasting design. For added touch of glamour, a narrow brass insert can be included with the border.
Timber Outline Tiles
Introduce a touch of old England by outlining terracotta tiles with timber. It can be done with large, square sections of tile, strips or timber can be used as a border. Certainly it will involve increased labour cost, but it’s one way of linking tiled and timber inserts could also match kitchen cupboards or a special piece of furniture.
Choose the Right Carpet
The Australian carpet institute grades and labels carpet according to what is right for what area. Always buy for the area that gets the heaviest use. Carpet tends to wear quickly on stairs and it goes without saying, in constantly use family rooms.