CHOOSING FLOORING MATERIAL
THINGS TO CONSIDER

Did you know that your flooring finish is multi-functional? Read below and learn about some of the functions, pros & cons, and looks your new flooring can provide for your home or public space!

Warmth and Sound

  • The temperature of a floor depends on the insulating property of the material and the extent to which it conducts heat.
  • Temperature is also affected by the orientation of the room: Floors can act as heat stores; when exposed to long hours of sunshine through a south-facing window they collect heat during the day, and remain warm at night.
  • Two different sound types to consider: internal reverberation and the transmission of noise to rooms below.
  • Sound bounces off hard, flat surfaces. But is absorbed by soft finishes.
  • Leasehold clauses often insist on carpet. Hard surface flooring (example: tile), may be laid on a "floating floor" which is an absorbent layer separating the surface finish from the structural floor.

Durability and Traffic

  • Durability is a matter not only of wear, but of susceptibility to damage and loss of appearance over time.
  • Use is normally defined as heavy, medium, or light.
  • Most materials used for flooring will be suitable for all areas in the home, providing they are given the appropriate finish and protection.
  • Carpet is specifically graded.

Maintenance and Cleaning

  • Either select a type of flooring which does not show dirt, or accept the necessity of cleaning.
  • Consider areas of the home that are prone to dirt.
  • Consider the amount of time that will be needed to clean the floor.

Safety

  • Floor surfaces are a crucial factor in preventing falls and need very careful consideration in relation to anticipated users and patterns of use of behaviour.
  • "Slip Resistant" or not, once a foot is separated from the surface by a liquid or grease, NO FLOORING will prevent slipping!
  • The best approach to safety is to make the surface rough enough to ensure that some part of it protrudes above any liquid likely to be spilled and thus remains in contact with the floor.
  • Changes of level or uneven surfaces are also dangerous because we naturally assumes the surface ahead is the same as the one we have just crossed. Be sure that the unevenness is made visually prominent (colour and lighting).

Pattern, Design, and Colour

  • Because the eye is attracted by visual density or towards break in our overall visual field, it is possible to draw attention in particular directions by using pattern and line in a variety of ways on the floor.
  • To make a passage way seem shorter, for example, you can lay bandings of colour across it, make diagonal joins in a plain material or combine contrasting colours.
  • Longitudinal stripes and borders increase the sense of perspective.
  • Larger spaces that include a central pattern will provide a focal point
  • Our built-in sense of balance and our consciousness of horizontal and vertical mean that the same flooring pattern will take on different qualities according to its relationship with the walls.
  • It is important to achieve the correct balance between repetition and strong individual accents (remember to consider the pattern in the finished product). If the pattern is repetitive does it read as continuous? If the pattern is more sporadic, does it read as a distraction?
  • The colour of your floor is among the most important factors in creating the feeling in a room.
  • The colour which creates the most repose in the eye is the mid-grey.
  • Primary colours in their diluted form will create the opposite effect of repose: this is why grey is often chosen when neutral floors are needed in working environments.
  • Experiments have shown that people perceive a temperature difference of as much as 7 degrees between so-called hot and cold colours.
  • Hot colours generate feelings of excitement.
  • Cooler colours induce a sense of repose.
  • Bluer tones appear to recede.
  • Reds appear to advance.
  • Any two colours separated by black will seem sharper, brighter and more luminous than those separated by white.

Scale

  • Scale needs to be taken into consideration.
  • Large rooms will appear grander with large scale patterns, a small pattern in a large space will read as continuous.


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