A Guide to Assessing your Floor Needs
Choosing the right flooring can be a challenge, especially in a city like Bangalore -it has to be weather-appropriate for our temperate climate, complement your interiors, reflect your lifestyle and at the same time survive the occasional nicks of high heels, furniture legs and muddy boots. And all this, within a budget! When deciding what kind of flooring we needed, and where, we narrowed down on a few key questions to ask. Hereâ€™s the download – let us know if these worked for you as well. And if there are more youâ€™d like us to answer.
Whatâ€™s happening in the room?
The golden rule is to choose a surface that suits the function of the room. For example, itâ€™s a bad idea to have carpet flooring in the kitchen, dining room, or even living room for that matter â€“ thereâ€™s always the possibility of somebody dropping food or drinks on your carpet which can get cumbersome to clean. Easy to clean, durable options like laminate flooring, or marble tiles (Italian, if you can work it into a budget) are better. For high traffic areas like bathrooms and kitchens, using ceramic tiled flooring. These are cost effective, and easy to maintain.
Tip: To make your bathroom tiles sparkle, and kill mildew on them, sponge them with 1/4 cup ammonia in about 4 litres of water.
Howâ€™s the weather?
Your choice of flooring is very dependent on the weather as well. If the climate is too humid, then avoid wooden flooring; wood begins to wrap when thereâ€™s too much moisture. In such situations, tiles are always a good idea. Other options to consider are marble, and stone or mosaic. A wonderful choice for hotter climes is the gorgeous red oxide flooring, so typical of South Indian homes. This is a cost effective, requires no effort in manufacture (well, almost), and generates no waste. This is the choice for everyone who believes in a sustainable future.
Did you know: Bangalore actually levies a lesser tax (according to this article in The Hindu) on homes with red oxide flooring, indirectly implying they are of inferior quality (again, according to The Hindu). We are shocked at the assumption, and thrilled at the news!
Â Whatâ€™s the dÃ©cor style you are planning?
The dÃ©cor of the room also dictates the kind of flooring that will go with it. If itâ€™s the kidsâ€™ bedroom, it usually means a lot of wear and tear from running and playing with toys, and the bright and cheery colours need a suitable foil. So, wooden flooring (a stable, warm base colour) with a carpet (for mixing and matching colours) on top might be a good option. For living spaces, perhaps parquet flooring, or laminate flooring is a great option. The wood tones give the space a luxe feel, and unlike real wooden flooring, in Bangaloreâ€™s heat and dust, these are also cost-effective, long-term options.
Tip: Freshly brewed tea is great for cleaning wood furniture and floors. Just boil a couple of tea bags in a litre of water and let it cool. Dip a soft cloth in the tea, wring out the excess, and use it to wipe away dirt and grime. Buff dry with a clean, soft cloth. Remember; donâ€™t let water stay on your laminates for too long. Ideally, wash this with as little water as possible.
Wooden laminate flooring options, Bonito.in
Can you cope with the maintenance?
Given how the city earlier used to be â€“ a canopy of green, and very little dust, carpets were a wonderful dÃ©cor option in Bangalore. However, nowadays, carpet flooring requires regular maintenance and care so as to maintain their aesthetic appeal given the air borne pollutants. Carpets tend to hold in pollen and dust, and may not be a good idea if you have children/ elderly or people who have ailments living with you. Wooden flooring may look fancy and might go really well with your interiors, but it needs to be swept or vacuumed regularly, otherwise it loses its shine. If youâ€™re up for some extra work, they are really good ideas. Consider linoleum flooring as well. Made of reusable materials, these are colourful, cost effective and easy to maintain. Perfect for a kidsâ€™ room, kitchens and balconies, if you feel the need to.
Tip: Blot your carpet stains, instead of rubbing them. Rubbing causes the particles to get ground into the carpet fibers, while blotting puts a small amount of pressure on the stain to soak it up.
Linoleum floors are a great option for Bangalore homes as well. Picture from insidespacedesign.com