If you don't have children or pets in your home, and your home's floors don't see much heavy or rough foot traffic, you can usually choose just about any flooring system you want, including delicate carpeting or soft timber slats. However, for homes that are very busy, with kids and pets or lots of foot traffic for any reason, you might want to be a bit choosier about the flooring you have installed. Note a few tips on how to select the right flooring for your home if you need something durable and strong, but still affordable and attractive.
Concrete floors are very affordable and much more attractive than you may realize. An epoxy can be added over the concrete along with an aggregate for texture and depth, as well as added traction, or the concrete can be stained in a swirl pattern to resemble stone. Concrete can often be placed right over the current tile or timber, with a flooring system that creates forms and an overlay to hold the concrete in place, making it a much faster installation than if you needed to remove the old flooring before installing something new.
As with concrete, you may not think that rubber flooring is very attractive, but rubber can be dyed and coloured a variety of shades, so it looks like stone or timber. Rubber is very soft underfoot, to cushion the impact of children running and playing, and it also works well in an exercise room. Rubber can also create more comfort for anyone standing in front of a stove for long periods of time. Interlocking tiles are very easy to install yourself, and many such tiles have a peel-and-stick backing, for a DIY flooring system that can be placed right over your current tiles or subfloor.
Vinyl flooring is very durable and comes in a wide range of styles and systems for installation. You can opt for vinyl tiles that resemble stone or vinyl slats that resemble timber flooring. Vinyl sheets are good for very large floors, as sheets will have fewer seams to make the space look cluttered and busy, although these sheets can be difficult to cut around sinks, toilets and other such obstacles. Opt for a thick vinyl that is very soft for added cushioning and to absorb footsteps overhead, and ensure you choose one with pits and grooves for floors that will get wet and where you'll need added traction, such as bathrooms and kitchens.