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17 September 2014
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Living room


Flooring choices can have a huge effect on the overall look of a room, but it's often a neglected area of design.

Money-saving tips

Flooring can influence how a visitor sees the size, shape, function and atmosphere of a room. Changing the flooring is not as expensive as you might think. Here are a few flooring hints:

  • Foam-backed carpets, although less hard-wearing, are cheaper to replace as trends for colour and texture change.
  • Click-system, wood-effect laminate looks similar to real wood parquet, but it's cheaper.
  • Carpet off-cuts can be "edge-bound" to create inexpensive rugs.


Where a room is used for different purposes, a change in floor covering can help define the space eg in a lounge-diner the sofa area might be carpeted, while the dining area is laminated.

Function and safety

The function of a room should influence the choice of flooring.

  • Ceramic tiles are waterproof and easy-to-clean, but get slippery when they are wet so they may not be suitable for bathrooms.
  • In kitchens, crockery dropped on tiles would break and could even crack the tiles.
  • Woods and laminates are practical and stylish, but can react badly to the moisture in kitchens and bathrooms or the heat in conservatories.

Floors and furniture

Floors can be easily damaged by furniture, so:

  • Use castor cups to help protect carpets from pressure marks.
  • Always lift, don't drag, furniture when moving it.
  • Remember, vinyl flooring can be easily torn.
  • Scratch marks in wood and laminates can be difficult to repair.

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