Choosing the right floor coverings for your home is a big decision. Sure they can be changed down the track, but it is a big expense and a lot of messing around. When we built our townhouse recently we were provided with a cost per square metre for our flooring in which we could choose from our builder’s suppliers. Most the time, builders will give you the choice from their standard inclusions or builders range. This is usually carpet to living areas and tiles to wet areas. But what if you want a different floor covering.
This is where your extra costs will come into it. You will be able to upgrade or maybe even choose your own contractor, but it will cost you extra and you may find the “allocation” for this isn’t very generous. You may also find out that the builder will not guarantee that contractor under the home warranty if they have not used them before.
I really wanted concrete flooring but it was something that our builder did not offer so it meant we had to use a different supplier. Also I did get feedback that if the concrete cracked there was not much you could do. So we ended up choosing off- white 600 x 600 porcelain tiles high gloss. I know what you are thinking OMG they must be so hard to clean but surprisingly enough I am really happy with them. We brought a Dyson stick vacuum and within 10 minutes a day they are clean. We use a steam cleaner once a week to give them a really great clean. We also had a tile sealer put on to protect the grout which was a extra variance we forgot in our budget. But I think it is well worth it.
This is our townhouse before we moved in it doesn’t look this clean now mind you.
We were lucky enough to live close by to a display home village and as soon as I saw the white tiles in a number of the homes I was in love. We had timber before and having a child and now a dog it was forever scratching. If you live regionally and don’t have anywhere to visit then there some great online tools available to help you visualise what flooring you like. I have also put together a list of flooring you can purchase online.
Online Flooring tools
The Carpet Call room visualiser allows you to choose a certain floor and visualise it in a room. This is a great online tool for those that are renovating as well as you can upload your own image and choose the type of flooring. Having a visual image makes choosing things especially online so amazing. Here is a little demo I did below on how to use it.
If you can’t visit the flooring company then there are so many online companies available that will send you out samples as well.
Below I have put together just some of the different flooring options you have available to purchase online.
1. Carpet Flooring online
You may think this is an easy decision, but have you seen all the carpet types on the market now. Buying carpet online can save your $$$ but you must make sure that you keep in mind these tips.
- You will want to ensure that you have measured your room correctly. Here is a handy little online calculator that can assist. My advice is measure, measure and measure. You don’t want to order the wrong size. If in doubt ask your professional carpet installer to do it for you.
- Ask for samples of your top 3 carpets to be sent to you. Putting carpet next to your chosen tiles and matching it with other samples in your room is important. Colours and textures can feel and look different in really life
- You can always check out the carpet at another physical store and look online for a better price.
- Make sure you speak with a professional carpet installer and get some tips on the type of underlay and carpet to choose.
- Find out what warranties are available and if there is a return policy
If you are going to put carpet in your new home, consider going for the most hard-wearing and expensive your budget can afford. Replacing carpet is a painful exercise as you have to clear out each room, so you are basically moving out of your home just to replace the carpet. So pick a carpet that is guaranteed to last at least 7-10 years and try not to put it down in high traffic areas. If you do, consider a wool blend carpet as it is more hard wearing, yet still plush and soft. A polypropylene carpet will be hard wearing, but it is not very forgiving when it comes to spills and don’t even think about doing the ironing on your carpet as it will very easily singe. If budget is a factor, go for a Stain master Nylon blend in a neutral colour.
I am a bit disappointed in our carpet. This is a photo of our bedroom carpet and it is so annoying as you can see the brush marks in it and it looks really untidy.
2. Choosing tiles for your home online
If you live regionally or you just don’t have time to visit multiple tile places then check out this awesome company Tile Cloud who deliver for $70 Australia wide. They also have a great how to section on their website that provides you with information on how to measure, to choosing the right tile that will suit you. They also send out samples which are important when choosing tiles.
Below are our porcelain tiles. They are a bit more expensive but I think they look amazing. Tiles come in a variety of styles and colours, why wouldn’t you go with this option. Floor tiles are a must in all your wet areas, as they are sealed and the most waterproof floor covering you can lay if laid properly. They are also very popular in living areas as they wear unconditionally and unless you crack a tile, you won’t need to replace them any time soon, if at all. Tiles are perfect if you have children as spills can be easily mopped up, but consider scattering a couple of floor rugs around for some warmth and cushioning. Another great tip, make sure you keep a spare box of tiles handy in case any crack or chip over time. Colours change or discontinue and getting a match in 4 years time will be near on impossible. Even if you do find the same tile, the colour will more than likely be a few shades different.
3. Timber Floors
Timber floors have become a popular choice for floor coverings over the past few years. They look great, give a sense of warmth to a room and can even give the allure of luxury. But did you know there are several types of timber flooring you can choose such as:
- Floating Timber Floors – Usually laid over a concrete slab and made from a thinner, stained timber than standard old style polished floorboards.
- Bamboo Flooring – Becoming very popular for it’s sustainability and hard wearing qualities.
- Timber Look – Vinyl flooring can now be made to look like timber floors and they even lay it in strips!
- Hardwood Floors – The closest thing to the real deal, the most genuine and the most costly but you will get a certain wow factor.
- Laminate Timber Floors – Extremely hard wearing and generally scratch resistant.
If you are purchasing timber flooring online. Check out these great tips.
4. Concrete Flooring
This is by far my favourite flooring of all. Polished concrete is all the rage in ultra modern homes where clean lines and warehouse styling are prominent. But one thing you need to consider if going for a polished concrete look is concrete is very unforgiving. It can be cold in winter, so if you are building a home in Canberra or Melbourne, you may want to consider this. It is also unforgiving should you drop something on it or fall on it. If you have kids, this is something to consider as the landing will be a hard one. Unfortunately this can’t be brought online. Itt is best to look for a qualified concrete flooring professional to install this.
So there you have it, some of the more popular options for you to consider. If you would like to know more or ask for some advice on what you should put down in your new home, go to our House to Home Hub where you can ask the advice of our members for free!