How to choose the perfect flooring

Deciding on new flooring for your home means addressing the practicalities of your options and weighing them up against your lifestyle. Hard flooring is a more practical option for a home with lots of children and pets than thick and hard-to-clean shag pile carpets, for example.

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Consider the area and its use

Most people tend to opt for luxurious carpets in low-traffic areas such as the living room and bedrooms, where you can easily institute a ‘shoes off’ policy. But for the rest of the house, your decisions will be governed by use and practicality.

Gone are the days of installing carpets in bathrooms and kitchens, as even the most innovative designers now acknowledge that the potential for water spillage and moisture make it impractical. Nowadays it’s all about hard flooring options, which are durable and easy to maintain and clean.

Solid wood flooring

It looks beautiful and it’s expensive, but a solid wood floor looks good in any room of the home. Crafted from lengths of hardwood that are around 20mm thick, solid wood flooring comes in a wide choice of colours and finishes to suit most decorating styles, but it can be difficult to maintain in peak condition, particularly where a room is exposed to extremes of temperature, which could cause it to warp or crack.

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Engineered wood flooring

Engineered wood uses sandwiched layers of glued wood, topped with a real wood veneer that is about 4mm thick. It can be sanded a limited number of times during its lifespan, but many people find that it is difficult to work with, and very fiddly, particularly when trying to accommodate unusual shapes.

Laminate Flooring

A cheap and affordable option for any room in the home, according to Which, laminate flooring is hardwearing, cheap and easy to install. It’s available in a huge choice of styles and colours – just take a look at the range of options at – and even encompasses tile and ceramic options too. Compressed fibreboard is topped with a photo-realistic image of the wood or tile effect, then covered with laminate for protection, for an enduring finish.

Ultimately, your choice of flooring will be governed by your circumstances. High-quality real wood flooring may be the goal, but engineered wood and laminate options offer budget-friendly solutions that most families will find ideal for their needs.