Which floor for my living room?

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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It's an age old question—what flooring should I select for my living room? Considering it is the room where we spend most of our free time, the floor should radiate comfort and warmth but also be easy to clean and maintain, as the living room is used for eating, drinking and celebration. Unfortunately, and it is an unavoidable situation, someone spills a drink, or your late night snack misses the plate which you'd planned to eat it from. In such cases, the right flooring is invaluable, so that traces of past parties and unfortunate events can be wiped away without a trace. These factors are, of course, much appreciated if children or animals are present in the home.

So, we now know why the type of floor we choose is important, but what are our options ? The best known materials are parquetry, laminate, carpet and of course, tiles. And, not to forget, a style that has come into fashion as of late is polished concrete. If the available choices feel overwhelming and scary, fear not. Today we have a wonderfully complied list of living room floor ideas that should help you settle on the flooring type that is right for you.

Parquetry or laminate?

 Walls & flooring by LIGNUM Möbelmanufaktur
LIGNUM Möbelmanufaktur

Dunkle Fussböden aus Nussbaum

LIGNUM Möbelmanufaktur

First thing first, which is better? Parquetry or laminate? A clear answer does not exist, but we will tell you the advantages and disadvantages of the aforementioned materials, so you can decide yourself. Nowadays, it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish visually which is which. Rather, the composition of the material plays a decisive role in the question of durability and price. 

Parquetry is usually made up from several layers of timber which have been tastefully interconnected. The colour can vary: from light maple, light brown oak to dark walnut. As can be seen in this example, the dark walnut stain looks very elegant, and is a great contrast to this bright and light filled environment. 

But even with laminate, there are various colours and patterns to choose from. Although laminate looks just like real wood, it is in fact made of pieces of wood chips or fibres that have been glued together. The top layer usually consists of a clamping plate on which a decorative paper has been adhered. In addition, grains and pores are nowadays incorporated into the decorative paper to make it look more vivid and realistic. Laminate is generally more robust and easier to maintain than the more delicate parquetry, especially when animals are kept in the house or apartment, because it is less susceptible to scratching and bruising. However, large flaws within the laminate can be difficult to repair.  Parquetry, on the other side of the coin, can be sanded down and reshaped to fix unsightly dents. 

When it comes to the price advantage, laminate is the clear winner. This is primarily due to the lower cost of materials used in the production process. Incidentally, both types are suitable for installation of underfloor heating. Our advice: think about effort, cost and durability of the materials and then choose the type that feels right for you and your budget constraints. 

Wooden floors

 Walls & flooring by V.I.P.Floors
V.I.P.Floors

Arte Coronal Oak Antik

V.I.P.Floors

​Wooden planks are among the classics of floor design. In an old apartment we sometimes wonder how many generations have walked around on these boards. It is this historical charm that adds a very special element to any room. Each individual grain, every crack and scratch seems to tell its own story. Not only this, but it adds a sense of uniqueness and individuality to the space. One of the most important factors of wooden flooring is its environmentally sustainable properties. A great insulator of heat, cold and sound, floor boards ensure that your home remains a more comfortable temperature all year round.

In order to enjoy your existing or new wooden floor boards for as long as possible, it is important that adequate maintenance take place. Avoid abrasive or rough sponges and mops; instead, use chemical free or products specifically marked for timber. The last thing you want to do is remove the beautiful stain! Furniture that is moved frequently, such as chairs or tables, should have felt pads added to their feet, so that when moved, they do not scratch or damage the floor.

Concrete ideas

Marcus Müller, homify expert, has used a mixture of cement and high quality elastic resins to create this matte finish concrete floor. This particular flooring material has a large variety of benefits: the lining can be applied seamlessly, making it water repellent and breathable at the same time. No wonder this has been a choice in our bathrooms and wet areas for decades past! In addition, cement floor offers space for creativity. The colour, shine and grain can be chosen in consultation with our experts.

Our tip: By choosing a rougher finish on the floors, you can achieve that highly sought after industrial style that graces magazines and design books today!

Designer screed

Screed was once used to even out concrete floors or slabs in the early construction and design stages of our homes. As with anything, designers have found another use for a previously overlooked material, and created screed flooring. Our experts use a base of cement and calcium sulphate and adapt these materials to the design wishes of the client. Given that it looks like it is somewhere between polished concrete and tiles, your artistic license can be employed when choosing the overall finish. It is also great for home owners who want to commit to style that doesn't limit their decorating possibilities. Of course, a neutral palette and canvas, such as the one pictured, means you can have a modern, classic or eclectic room simply by rearranging the furniture. 

Tiles in natural stone

modern Living room by Pientka - Faszination Naturstein
Pientka—Faszination Naturstein

Pientka—Faszination Naturstein www.adrianpientka.de

Pientka - Faszination Naturstein

We are well accustomed to seeing tile in the kitchen and bathroom, but what about the living room? Well, here at homify we say a big yes to this notion! Tiles are no longer a surface designed solely for repelling water. Rather, we can choose tiles made of natural stone or particles that ooze with charm and individuality. Whether your decorating style is Mediterranean luxe or minimalist chic, natural stone is the perfect interchangeable floor type for you. Choosing limestone, marble or granite is great because each tile will be different—no grain, vein or swirl will ever be the same as another.

Aside from its beauty, natural stone is relatively easy to keep clean. Since the material has already proved its worth and durability in nature, it is particularly robust and resistant. Do be mindful however, that natural stone, especially those varieties with a matte finish, is more porous that its shiny counterparts. This means a drop of red wine or orange juice could be a disastrous ending for you. Make sure you have the correct cleaning items on hand to ensure you can quickly mop up these stains before they do any damage! 

Carpet—yes or no?

The advantages of a carpet in the living room are obvious: it helps absorb sound and more than anything, provides a cosy and warm ambience. And here's the good news: carpet no longer requires being glued to the floor; in fact, the process has become much simpler. This is good news for those DIY savvy individuals who want to quickly and cost effectively spruce up their living rooms! There are many alternative options available, such as carpet tiles.

Carpet tiles have become extremely successful, and have gained a huge following on an international level. They have special adhesive technologies, allowing the tiles to be easily attached and removed without any residue left behind. And if you take a wish to add a little more variety or splash of colour, individual tiles can be replaced at your request. The best function of carpet tiles is that if a big stain is to appear, you need not replace the entire thing! Simply replace the faulty square of carpet, and voila! A big ugly stain on your beautiful carpet will no longer be the bane of your existence. This is also a great option for people with children or animals; those unsightly paint marks, or unfortunate accidents can be hygienically and economically removed. I bet you are all thinking—gee, I wish our poor mothers had a solution as easy as this!

Which is your favourite type of flooring? Let us know below!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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