We ask inside designers for his or her greatest recommendations on the best flooring materials

Flooring is at all times one of many largest prices in any renovation challenge, however that price can differ tremendously. Likewise, some householders bemoan the price of repairing the ground each three years, whereas others go a decade with out doing it. In keeping with an inside designer we spoke to, the explanations come all the way down to the kind of flooring materials you employ:

Key issues for any kind of flooring

Earlier than selecting your flooring, the principle inquiries to reply are:

  • What’s the objective of the room? Softer flooring supplies akin to laminates could also be warranted for the bed room, whereas anti-slip tiling could also be required for the lavatory.

As a fast run-down, our inside designers advocate the next:

  • Kitchen and Service Yard Porcelain tiles
    • resistance to scratches and dents from gentle objects akin to falling containers; Low upkeep requires nothing greater than vacuuming and cleansing.

  • Loos Porcelain tiles
    • water resistance; Textured tiles are nice at stopping slippery flooring
  • Eating, dwelling and bedrooms Vinyl
    • Resilient and low upkeep stain, scratch, water and hearth resistant. Additionally immune to micro organism, so no want to scrub with harsh chemical substances.
    • Comfy delicate and extremely padded really feel underfoot.
    • Soundproofing Properties On account of its layered composition, vinyl helps cut back noise and echoes in any room.


  • How a lot funds per sq. foot? A reasonably low-cost vinyl flooring can go for lower than $3 psf, whereas marble can attain as much as $70 psf (relying on the kind of marble). Decide the funds earlier than selecting the kind of flooring.
  • How a lot are you keen to spend on upkeep? Vinyl and bigger tiles are simpler to keep up and vinyl specifically is cheaper to switch. However sprucing and re-sealing supplies like marble could be costly.
  • Do you have got pets at residence? You probably have canine or cats, it is best to keep away from laborious wooden, delicate wooden, or supplies that scratch simply. Laminates and vinyls are much less more likely to be chewed or spit up. Exhausting objects are additionally potential, however generally pets will scrape on the ground if they can not get a grip.
  • Are there kids or toddlers at residence? Smooth flooring is mostly extra snug for crawlers; However you must guarantee that the flooring just isn’t too textured, which won’t trigger abrasions.
  • What sort of furnishings can be on the ground? You probably have heavy furnishings or furnishings with metal ends on the legs, then supplies like cement screed or hardwood could be broken. Nevertheless, ceramic tiles have wonderful resistance.

Notice that though there are overlaps between inside designers and contractors in Singapore, recommending the best flooring supplies is technically the designer’s job. The contractor’s job is just to execute the challenge; So some contractors won’t advise you for or in opposition to sure gadgets. You select, they set up it.

(There are some skilled contractors, nevertheless, who will warn you in case your decisions are a nasty concept).

Abstract of widespread sorts of flooring

Our inside designer gave us a fast rundown of widespread flooring sorts. There are some exceptions to the next, for instance high quality can differ, not all manufacturers of vinyl flooring have the identical high quality and sturdiness. However you should use this as a basic guideline:

1. Marble flooring

Marble flooring is commonly acknowledged as a luxurious possibility, however the vary of high quality is kind of huge. For instance, marble can go for $15 to $20 psf or marble can go for over $70 psf. Carrara marble is mostly cheaper, whereas calacatta marble (particularly the range with gold-colored veins) is pricier.


Lately Spanish Imperial marble with its darkish brown tones has began to achieve reputation in Singapore.

Marble has a novel look as a result of patterns akin to veins can by no means be duplicated precisely. Our inside designers say that polished marble has higher scratch resistance and warmth dissipates quicker by means of marble. Whether it is laborious for the ft the flooring is chilly.

The obvious draw back to marble is price. It is by no means the most affordable flooring possibility and upkeep could be expensive. Marble might have to be polished each three to 5 years and costs could be north of $4 psf.

With out upkeep, marble is definitely rubbed and broken; And it isn’t very best for rooms just like the kitchen, as a result of marble can stain simply. As well as, polished marble may be very slippery on its mop, making it a harmful materials for older individuals with fall hazards.

2. Exhausting wooden

Hardwood flooring may be very sturdy and may age effectively over time. Nevertheless, you need to guarantee uniformity (ie, the wooden comes from the identical tree), as several types of wooden can age otherwise.

Hardwood presents one of many largest ranges of alternative, from mahogany to beech to maple and extra. In case you are utilizing different sorts of wooden furnishings, you might need to evaluate the colours carefully so there’s a match.


Our inside designer additionally means that hardwood is nice for householders with allergic reactions. Its floor collects much less mud and different allergens.

On the draw back, hardwood is susceptible to termite harm, so you must act rapidly once you spot these. As a substitute high-maintenance hardwood is normally protected with a polyurethane clear coat that may have to be resealed with time and put on.

Singapore’s local weather is much less appropriate for wooden flooring (each laborious and delicate wooden). Our designer says:

Wooden flooring doesn’t deal with temperature fluctuations very effectively. Wooden expands with warmth, and mixed with moisture, floorboards can find yourself swelling, resulting in warping, lifting or cupping of the boards. Humidity ranges within the residence have to be monitored when the humidity ranges are too excessive, you might want to make use of an AC or dehumidifier to cut back it.

Wooden flooring usually must be refinished each 5 years.

3. Smooth wooden

Whereas softwood is extra budget-friendly than hardwood, the most affordable is mostly thought of pine wooden. These share many similarities with hardwood, the principle distinction being that they scratch or dent extra simply.

Nevertheless, softwood is favored for sustainable causes, as many softwood species regenerate extra rapidly. A semi-accurate instance is bamboo (as a result of technically bamboo is grass and never wooden, though most individuals contemplate it delicate wooden flooring). Bamboo grows rapidly, so your flooring will not contribute to deforestation.

Notice that softwood flooring should not fire-resistant until handled.

4. Margins

Other than the limitless design prospects, high quality tiles are very sturdy and lengthy lasting. They’re stain and water resistant, therefore their reputation for loos and kitchens. And like marble, most tiles dissipate warmth rapidly, retaining flooring cool to the contact.


The primary downside with tiles is grouting (gaps between tiles). Grout is cement primarily based, so it might probably gather moisture and grime. It’s tough to scrub as it’s a must to scrub deep between the sides. This is among the the explanation why smaller edges should not an issue, as bigger edges imply much less scrubbing between them.

Like marble, the tiles are laborious underfoot, which isn’t snug for everybody. You will get slip-resistant tiles, which have a greater grip than marble.

Tiles additionally do not muffle sound very effectively, so when you drop one thing it might probably get loud.

5. Vinyl flooring

A really budget-friendly possibility, vinyl flooring appears a lot better nowadays. You will discover textured vinyl flooring that mimics wooden, for instance, or tiling. Vinyl now not appears like hospital flooring within the 80s and 90s.

Vinyl is resilient and low upkeep that resists stains, scratches, water harm and even hearth. It is non-porous and tough for micro organism to set in (the entire purpose for its previous fame as hospital flooring within the first place!).


The layered high quality of vinyl flooring means it’s softer and extra snug underfoot, and it muffles sounds and echoes.

Maybe the most important benefit is the pace and ease of set up. If the situation of the present floor is appropriate, you’ll be able to even lay vinyl flooring over it with out hacking it. It is among the solely sorts of flooring that even a hobbyist can self-install.

That stated, vinyl flooring can’t be renewed. Whether it is broken, you will want to chop out the complete affected space and substitute it. It is usually not environmentally pleasant as its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) composition releases risky natural compounds (VOCs) into the air; No less than when it was nonetheless new.

6. Cement screed

It is for an unfinished, industrial/city look. It is as low-cost and easy as you may get. Polish the ground there and it is sturdy and simple to scrub.

Cement screed can crack when you relaxation heavy objects on it, and the porous floor can result in mould and mildew development if not correctly sealed. Cement screed, like marble, could be dangerously slippery when moist.

Cement screed additionally goes solely with sure design kinds; It doesn’t mix with extra conventional inside kinds akin to Victorian, French cottage, and so forth.

Cement screed must be re-sealed each two to 5 years relying on the severity of wear and tear and tear.

7. Micro cement

Micro cement is multipurpose and could be utilized to each flooring and partitions. It’s a high-strength materials, sturdy and immune to moisture; Good for a moist local weather like Singapore.

Micro cement is immune to excessive temperatures and reduces the danger of fireplace within the residence.

Nevertheless, the draw back is that labor prices could be excessive, as this materials can solely be utilized by hand. The coating on micro cement must be re-sealed once in a while relying on the frequency of its use.

How briskly will it take to finish the flooring?

If you must make an replace urgently, the best reply is to make use of vinyl. It is at all times faster to put in, particularly when you overlay an present ground as an alternative of hacking it away.

In any other case, some tough timelines:

  • Engineered wooden flooring 10 days on common for a 4-room flat, varnish and so forth
  • Tiling Common 10-12 days for 4-room HDB
  • Cement screed Three days for a 4-room HDB, however the ready time for drying takes an additional week.
  • Micro cement Two to a few weeks for a 4-room flat, as a consequence of a number of layers of software.

Additionally Learn: 7 House Decor Concepts To Match Your Character Sort

This text was first printed in Stockholm.

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