The floor is one of the most important – and also one of the most overlooked – aspects of a room. Where people often trip over themselves to perfect the decor of their space, furnishing the walls with artwork, the ceiling with interesting lighting, and the furniture with decorative artifacts, the floor is often seen as sufficient in a monotonous laminate.
Changing your flooring is also seen as a last resort, an onerous task that gets put of year after year – but it doesn't have to be! Whether you'd like to hire a professional flooring company or attempt a basic DIY, these flooring materials range in price, function, and ease of installation, with a material to fit every home owner's vision.
Laminate is also seen in straight strips that can easily be rolled out and cut to fit any size room. An alternative to the straight, strip-shaped laminate is pictured here, where you see an undulating, wood-toned laminate. The curved planks and the highly defined
growth rings of this false wooden boards give the illusion that these boards are cut directly from the tree. Wavy, organic, and irregular, this laminate design an excellent addition to a living room, sitting room, or bedroom where you'd like to add natural warmth.
A simple and effective way to bring visual interest to your floor is to apply a simple laminate that features a crisp geometric pattern. This laminate floor with a double grid pattern offers much more complexity than a conventional laminate floor, with interlocking lines and layered surfaces adding depth to the floor area. Although this may look ornate, patterned laminate is available in ready-to-go designer patterns like this one, giving the room a traditional and stately feel.
For those who want to get the most out of a laminate floor, a polished material is an excellent choice.This hair salon boasts an immaculately shiny floor comprised of thin slats of irregular lengths, ranging in colour from ochre to chocolate. To top it off, this laminate floor is perfectly planed, lacquered and polished. Ideal for a kitchen, a polished floor like this is easy to clean, as it will not absorb stains from spills.
As one of the more eco-friendly options, bamboo floors are gaining ground everywhere. The wood of this Asian grass species is particularly strong and durable. Moreover, bamboo is a good alternative to hardwood from the rainforest, as it grows quickly and releases less carbon when harvested. In practical applications, anything you can do with wood laminate, you can do with bamboo laminate. Most bamboo designs feature very narrow planks, like this sun deck, bringing a hint of East Asian influence into your home's design.
In Japan, Tatami floors have been used for covering floors for centuries. These mats are made of rice straw, and they're extremely light and flexible. At the same time, they're also quite solid. They are easy to lift, roll, and move, and are suitable for almost any surface. Traditionally, Tatami mats serve to cover the entire floor of the house (and still today, Japanese culture often speaks of a home's size by referring to the size of it's Tatami). Nowadays, tatami is commonly used for the main room of the house, or for martial arts halls where they serve to prevent injuries by padding the floor.
A rug like this is an excellent flooring upgrade for those not looking to undertake a complete re-flooring project. Likely tracing its roots back to the nomads of Central Asia who used carpets to soften the cold, hard ground, these carpets have become extensively decorated with geometric patterns and plant and animal motifs. An area rug like this works well for covering any worn spots in the floor where furniture has been scraping over the years, and it also adds a certain richness and antique elegance to the room's atmosphere.
A mosaic will turn your floor into its own work of art! The colors and design contribute to a decorative and expressive atmosphere, serving as a focal point for a foyer, hall, or indoor patio. Looking around, you can find mosaic inspiration in many Moroccan and Turkish buildings, as well as in villas, historic libraries and hotels, courthouses, and public halls. With the fast pace of life today, a floor mosaic will transport you back to times when every corner of a building was fashioned to be its very own piece of art, holding its own sense of symbolism and significance.
Tiles offer a good alternative to wood and laminate, and are often seen as very high-quality and durable. Most tiles are made of ceramics – terracotta is especially popular – but if you're searching for something different, you can also use natural stone, marble or granite tiles. Tile floors work to ground your home in a solid-feeling, weighted manner. This example shows stone tiles of different colors that offer up different minerals to be enjoyed, where the play of colour and size is reminiscent of a floor mosaic.
Marble has always been very popular in construction and sculpture. The material is relatively easy to work and, once polished, is highly reflective of light. Because of its beauty and rarity, marble has always been an upscale building material. Marble floors work especially well in villas, luxury hotels, and public buildings. Soothing, smooth, and fluid, a marble floor turns a quick walk through the halls into rare luxury experience.
For more home interior ideas, have a look at this ideabook: 7 Ways to Give Your Wall the WOW Factor