Underfoot style will greatly influence your room and final feel, so finding the right flooring for each space is crucial. Whether you opt for a streamline colour, an intricate geometric tiled pattern, rustic stone slabs or a luxurious soft pile carpet, you will find a range of professional floorers to help your design creations materialise.
Using tiles allows you to be flexible with patterns, creating one-of-a-kind designs often made up of geometric arrangements. Common in Edwardian and Victorian style-houses, tiled floors bring a classy touch of vintage into any room. Striking in entrance ways, such as in this photo, a monochrome design can be matched with a contrasting tiled border, or topped with a rug, adding a splash of colour and warmth.
If you are undecided about a colour scheme, a mis-match tiled floor can provide a unique talking point in a kitchen or alcove, ensuring you can pick from stock end tiles and shop around at markets. It is useful to remember to order a greater number of tiles than you will need, to allow for breakages.
Ideal for low-moisture rooms, wooden flooring is therefore less desirable in bathrooms where it has the tendency to swell and lose its shape. If you're in luck, you might be able to strip back to the original wooden boards, if they are still in good enough condition. Shabby-chic brings a splash of the countryside inside, also working well in cottages, and calls for the now popular 'distressed' wood, saving you time on sanding down and varnishing by leaving the boards in their weathered state.
Depending on the desired finished look, the boards can be painted or stencilled designs outlined wherever you fancy. White washing the wood would work well in a Scandinavian-style room where wider boards complete the contemporary Nordic feel. For an extremely robust solution, engineered wooden floors sport a top layer of hardwood veneer, making them eminently suitable for the luxurious option of underfloor heating, to keep your feet toasty warm.
Typical materials in this category include coir, sisal, jute and seagrass (pictured in the photo). Hard-wearing and neutral in their colour schemes, the woven flooring varies in terms of durability and softness, so the right one for the right room should be selected. Seagrass falls in the middle, making it well-suited to kitchens and living rooms, whereas the most robust coir and sisal create perfect coverings in entrance ways.
The plant-fibre rugs and carpets require vacuum cleaning and should not be cleaned with water.
Coming in various thicknesses, finishes and colours, carpets are sure to create a warm atmosphere, particularly in a bedroom. Swinging your feet out of bed in the early hours on to a soft and cosy surface will help even night owls find some morning cheer.
Acting as a good sound barrier, the insulating fibres in carpets muffle noises and help to keep in the heat, in the case of draughty floor boards. It's important to fit a good, solid underlay for your carpet, thus extending its sell by date. To find the right carpet for your home, check out Homify's advice.
A slightly more economic choice, vinyl and linoleum flooring comes in a huge range of colours and patterns, capable of reproducing tiling designs and imitating wood and stone. Complete with a waterproof finish, vinyl is ideal in bathrooms and kitchens as it can easily be washed down. Linoleum is a biodegradable material making it the perfect easy-to-keep flooring for eco-friendly homes.
Low maintenance and long-lasting are words which spring to mind where stone, marble and concrete flooring is concerned. In tile-form or in slabs, some country home owners might find a lovely stone or concrete floor already there, waiting to be restored to its full rustic glory.
Marble slabs add a lavish touch, notably in bathrooms, where the marble can be continued on the surfaces around all fittings. Underfloor heating can also be fitted for added opulence.
Any room can benefit from a rug underfoot and it sits well on all of the above flooring types. Allowing you to change its position, a rug can add a fetching splash of colour in the centre or side of any space. Especially in open-plan areas in the home, rugs can become definitive tools in dividing up the living areas, without encroaching on the spacious feel.