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To wood or not to wood: 3 useful questions to ask when deciding on flooring for your new place

First, figure out your long term needs, says Caroline Foran.

A showhome at Glenveagh Homes' Taylor Hill in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.
A showhome at Glenveagh Homes' Taylor Hill in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

Caroline Foran of GAFF Interiors is well versed in helping new homeowners make their new property feel like home. Each week in our series, My New Place, she’s working through some of the biggest decisions you’ll tackle on the house hunting and buying journey.

This week: choosing the flooring.

YOU’VE FOUND THE new build of your dreams, you’ve chosen the kitchen and the paint colours, and now you’ll likely face another decor choice – one that’s deceptively tough. 

Choosing the flooring for your new home might seem like a simple “yes or no” decision, but as something you’ll stick with for a very long time, it’s one that deserves consideration.

Getting tired of your current sofa? Not the end of the world. Want to change up the colours on your walls? Easy peasy.

But regretting your floor choice… well, that’s a scenario you don’t want to find yourself in for quite a while. As well as the upheaval (literally) of replacing your floors throughout your home, changing up your flooring can incur a significant cost.

So how can you safeguard your flooring choices now, to ensure you pick the right styles and materials for each part of your house? Here’s are three questions to keep in mind as you make this important decision…

1. Is that beautiful hardwood flooring going to work long term?

There is an overwhelming range of floor options available for different parts of the home, from engineered hardwood to tiles to laminate and linoleum and everything in between. Hardwood flooring looks great but has its downsides: it’s a delicate material, and is more expensive per square foot than other common flooring options.

For areas with a lot of traffic and spills you might consider hardwood’s engineered alternative: more durable but with the same earthy and elegant look. Ceramic tiles are popular in kitchens but will look and feel cooler than wood, unless you go for tiles that have a wood effect. Laminate is on the more affordable end of the scale but doesn’t have the top layer of real wood that you’ll find in engineered hardwood. Think about your needs in each space in the long term, and try to match those up with a flooring solution that’ll suit.

2. Do I want to continue the same floor throughout?

Continuing the same flooring type throughout your ground floor and opting for carpet upstairs is a popular choice for most new build owners. Not only is it less hassle but it also adds to the flow of the house, making it look and feel even bigger. Visually, there is no interruption. On the downside, it can feel a bit “samey” to some people, and you might find that different rooms suit different textures and styles.

If you prefer to divide things up, think about each room’s function and footfall. In the kitchen and hallway, for example, durability should be high on your list of criteria, while it might not be so important in a spare bedroom or office space.

download (10) A showhome bedroom at Glenveagh Homes' Knightsgate in Rush, Co Dublin. Source: Glenveagh Homes

3. What colours and tones do I want?

Now you need to give some thought to colour, as not all flooring is created equal. Greys are incredibly popular at the moment and work well if you want to introduce lots of natural wood tones in furniture, without running the risk of brown wood overload. However, it can also be colder on the eye.

If you’re all about the warmth, stick within the oak and walnut palette. For a more classic aesthetic, I’d suggest mahogany tones. Then consider the style you’re after. Large wide floorboards? A chevron pattern? Neat and narrow? You’ll come upon certain styles again and again on Instagram or Pinterest, but be sure to choose a style you genuinely love, rather than one that’s driven by trends.

Glenveagh Homes understands that buying a home is possibly the biggest decision you will ever make in your life – but we want to make it your easiest. That’s why we produce high-quality homes in great areas at competitive prices. Click here to learn more and discover the Glenveagh home that’s right for you.

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