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How Much Should Your Spend on Flooring?

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 14 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Expensive Flooring Quality High Traffic

Whether it is due to budget constraints or a determination to get value for money, many of us would like to know if it is worth choosing the more expensive option when considering flooring. Is more expensive really better? Will a bigger investment pay off the long run? Or are you simply succumbing to powerful marketing and extravagant whims and paying unnecessary money for a luxury product that you will never really appreciate?

Think about Function

Without doubt, location and use are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing any kind of flooring. Flooring for areas of high traffic have to cope with daily wear and tear, high impact and heavy soiling, whilst flooring for specialised areas of the house such as kitchens and bathrooms need properties such as stain- and water-resistance as well as satisfying other requirements such as providing cushioning and traction. Commercial Flooring has many specific requirements depending on the sector and industry involved as well as any public safety protocols.

Thus, in general, it is advised that flooring for areas of high traffic should be the best possible. This means that you should buy the best that you can afford, even if it means that you skimp on other areas such as bedrooms and guestrooms, which do not have to cope with so much wear and tear. When you consider the hassles and costs of repair and replacement, it is well worth spending more to ensure durability. This also applies to Flooring for Kitchens and bathrooms where the flooring has to meet the many demands of daily life and replacement or re-installation may be particularly disruptive.

However, be aware that expensive does not always mean more durable and in some cases, it may actually be better to opt for the cheaper but more hard-wearing option as the more expensive flooring may not be able to cope with the demands and its luxury properties would be wasted. An example would be Installing Laminate Flooring in the living room of a family with many children and pets, as opposed to natural hardwood, as the former would be easier to maintain and would likely cope better with the high impact, traffic and soiling. Similarly, cheaper synthetic carpets may actually suit better than expensive wool in many family situations.

Think about Investment

It is important also to consider the house (or retail premise) as a whole when selecting flooring and keeping in mind the overall effect you are trying to achieve. There is nothing worse than an interior finished with expensive upholstery, fine furniture, sophisticated wall coverings and then to be let down by a cheap floor. In particular, if you are trying to project a certain image in business or enhance the value of your home (especially in preparation for sale) then it is worth investing in good quality flooring. Natural hardwood is one of the few flooring types which will actually add to the value of your home and if maintained correctly, last the lifetime of the building so it is well worth investing in. Similarly, expensive natural stones like marble and granite can give a feeling of class and prestige which may be hard to achieve with a cheaper alternative. While many natural materials may be an expensive initial choice, their longevity and timeless beauty mean that they remain good investments in the long run.

Think about the Environment

For many environmentally-conscious people nowadays, it is worth spending more to buy from renewable sources and remain eco-friendly. Ultimately, you are investing in the long-term health of the Earth and in preserving the planet for future generations. Many eco-friendly options also tend to be more energy-friendly, helping to save costs in the long run.

Finally, Installation

Here is one area where it is almost always worth spending more. Unless you are an experienced DIY enthusiast with specific knowledge of this particular type of flooring, it is generally a better idea to hire a professional installer which will help to increase the longevity of your investment. The best flooring materials in the world will be useless if the installation is poor and the costs of repairing or re-installing the flooring can be substantial.

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