Whether you prefer geometric tiles, industrial concrete or natural wood, there’s an ideal hard flooring solution for your project.
Image: Turgon (020 8343 3463; turgon ooring.co.uk)
The type of flooring you choose for your home will very much depend on what you’re using the space for.
Hard flooring is a great solution for busy areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens and open-plan kitchens, living and dining zones as it’s robust and can withstand heavy traffic and regular cleaning.
Natural stone, such as limestone or marble, can be expensive and will require regular sealing, but it features veining and detailing that give it a unique character. Porcelain is more practical, lightweight and low-maintenance, so it’s a great way to achieve the look of stone without the drawbacks.
‘For smaller, darker rooms, a pale-coloured porcelain will help to reflect the light, while a large-format tile will create the illusion of space,’ explains Stuart Wisbey, director at Stone & Ceramic Warehouse (020 8993 5545; stoneandceramicwarehouse.co.uk). Prices range from £25 to £100 per sqm.
Porcelain is under floor-heating compatible, too, as are stone, ceramic and terracotta. Timber flooring has a warmer, more tactile feel, but it’s a good idea to opt for engineered wood (over solid) because it’s more resistant to changes in heat and humidity. Chevron and parquet designs are on trend, plus there’s a good choice of colours, such as crisp whites and smoky greys. Timber will need oiling or waxing to seal it once it’s installed, or it can be supplied pre-sealed. Prices range from £30-£250 per sqm.
Man-made flooring (such as vinyl tiles and planks, and good-quality laminate) suits high-traffic areas, comes in a range of designs and is comfortable underfoot. Vinyl and laminate are both affordable at between £35 and £70 per sqm.
1. Bespoke option
(Top Image) Each of the 3,000 pieces of oak in this eye-catching floor has been hand-planed and sanded, then stained and finished with natural hardwax oil for added durability and easy maintenance.
2. Reflective choice
Image: Lazenby (01935 700 306; lazenby.co.uk)
If maximising light is key to the success of your space, choose hard flooring with a polished finish to help to bounce natural light around the room. In this scheme by architects Paper House Project (020 7923 1595; paperhouseproject.co.uk), the polished concrete flooring is enhanced by light from the glazing overhead. It has also been continued externally.
3. Modern monochrome
Image: The Baked Tile Company (029 2035 8409; bakedtiles.co.uk)
Contemporary hexagon-shaped tiles are the perfect way to add geometric flair to a wide range of spaces, from bathrooms to hallways. Choose a single colour with a contrasting shade of grout for a uniform effect or create a unique pattern using different coloured tiles.
4. Renewable style
Image: Granorte (01785 711 131; granorte.co.uk)
Boasting great eco credentials, these multicoloured floor tiles are made from a combination of sustainable cork and linoleum – a composite of natural and renewable raw materials such as linseed oil, cork powder, and ground limestone. Mix and match a pattern of your choice.
5. Focal point
Image: Walls and Floors (01536 314 730; wallsandfloors.co.uk)
Create zones within an open-plan space by combining a neutral tone with a bold feature design. Here, Moroccan-inspired tiles create the effect of a statement rug, drawing the eye to the centre of the room.
6. Striking effect
Image: Quick-Step (028 3025 0477; quick-step.co.uk)
Hard-wearing, easy to install and ideal for busy, spill-prone spaces, luxury vinyl flooring (LVT) offers a realistic looking alternative to natural materials. With a range of colours and effects available, it’s easy to combine shades in interesting ways, such as this striped plank design.
7. Urban edge
Image: Scenario Architecture (020 7686 3445; scenarioarchitecture.com)
Replicating the same polished concrete used for the flooring on the staircase gives this London home an industrial aesthetic. Created off site before being fixed in place on the timber-frame staircase, the cast concrete steps were made in shuttering moulds and have an edge of stainless steel as the riser face.
Words: Beth Murton