Jonathan White, R&D executive at Gleeds, gives an overview of flooring costs
The choice of material for a floor covering should consider durability, sustainability, heat resistance, safety, hygiene and acoustic properties. Materials fit into five main categories.
Soft coverings: carpet, woven or felted from natural or man-made fibres. These are selected primarily for comfort and are the easiest covering to replace and upgrade.
Wood flooring: Hardwoods are more durable than softwoods. Laminate has either a plywood or fibreboard core with a plastic surface styled to match timber. Wood floors are wear resistant, durable and can be refinished, but vulnerable to moisture, may dent easily, shrink and expand and can wear unevenly.
Hard flooring: concrete/cement, ceramic tile, glass tiles and natural stone – hard versatile and extremely durable, heat and stain resistant and easy to maintain. This is difficult to repair and tends to be more expensive.
Resilient flooring: formed from materials with some elasticity, including linoleum, vinyl, cork and rubber. One of the most affordable floor coverings, durable and easy to maintain. It must be installed over a smooth substrate, is difficult to repair and vulnerable to moisture in tile form.
Seamless chemical flooring: Applied in liquid form to provide a completely seamless covering for wet areas such as laboratories. Added granular or rubberised particles can improve grip.