Flooring is an important element in home construction which needs to be given thorough consideration and ideation time. Of course, in India the most popular choices of home flooring are the Vitrified Tiles, Ceramic TIles Marble, Granite, Natural Stone and sometimes even speciality clay tiles like the handmade Athangudi tiles from Tamil Nadu. However, there is one material that is rapidly growing in popularity among modern day homeowners – i.e. wooden flooring.
Wooden flooring is not just preferred by commercial buyers (hotels, spas, salons, restaurants, etc.) but also by individuals who are discovering the benefits and warmth, which a wooden flooring brings both into their home décor and lives. Here is why opting for a wooden flooring is not such a complicated decision and how one can actually install, maintain and flaunt the timeless look of a wooden flooring with relative ease.
A point to clarify here is that most people are unclear about wooden flooring (solid wood planks) vs ‘imitation wooden flooring’ (laminate). They look almost similar but there is a world of difference. Laminate is a substitute for solid wood or timber flooring, nothing but an image or texture of wood glued to fibreboard plank. These floors are naturally cost effective, easy to install and maintain. However they cannot be compared to the elegance of solid wood, are not suitable for all areas.
Wooden flooring is available in a wide range of styles and shades. You have the option of solid planks that slot together, parquetry designs and floating floors that can be installed on top of the existing floor.
Benefits of Wooden flooring: They provide insulation during winters and keep the room cool during summers. These are easy to install and uninstall without any cementing and grouting. These are ideal for renovation projects as it can be laid on existing flooring as the required levelled surface is already there. Wooden flooring is almost chip, scratch and fade resistant, easy to maintain, non-skid and the best part is they provide a classy and timeless look because of their durability. The highlight is that they are available in the every spectrum like grey-ish and natural bamboo to the deepest of rich ebony and mahogany. Sounds like a good deal? Given Indian climatic conditions which are diverse across regions, wooden flooring is a suitable option for most places.
Selection of wooden flooring for your home can be made keeping in mind these factors:
- The choice of opting for a wooden flooring depends on two key factors – the functional area in consideration and the traffic or amount of movement. The living, dining, bedroom, hallways and entertainment room can be safely considered for the wooden flooring option. However bathrooms, utility and kitchen areas are not suitable areas for this application. Also, keep in mind the level of traffic depending on usage and requirement, especially with kids and pets.
- Choose the wood and its shade based on the overall look you are aiming for, this also includes the furniture and decor you plan to have later. A contemporary living room looks great with flooring in lighter shades with geometric lines and grooves.
- Consult an expert to know the feasibility of the wooden flooring as per the base that is available to lay the flooring on – whether it is concrete, vitrified tiles, variations in thickness of the floor etc.
- Budget is the most important aspect to consider given the availability of several options and choices in the market to suit all budgets. Share your budgets with your contractor, interiors expert before you finalize on the design, type of wood and commission the project.
Given the basic quality of wood, there are a few maintenance aspects of wooden flooring as they are prone to expansion and contraction. Areas of frequent usage may pale slightly in shade in the due course which will warrant professional involvement at a later stage.
Finally, selecting a flooring option itself may be a huge decision. Following certain guidelines, keeping in mind your own décor taste, your usage and your budget will determine the best option for you. Having said that, wooden flooring is here to stay especially in India due to their elegance, durability, contemporary appeal and a certain warmth it exudes in a living space.
– Monisha Devaiah.