Exciting news everyone – we are definitely going to rip up our carpet and get a new floor (ok, maybe this is just really exciting for me).
Anyhoo, as promised, I am going to guide you through my decision making process (remember, I’m making changes to five parts of my home – see previous post). In doing so, I hope this may help some of you who may be struggling to make your own interior decoration decisions. Here goes…
Phase one: Inspiration
The very first thing I am going to do to help me choose a new floor is find inspiration. This is where I find mine:
– I go and knock on two of my neighbours’ doors who have got new wood floors
– I visit my friends’ houses to check out their floors (and reassure them that I don’t just want to be their friend because of their beautiful floor….).
At this point I am thinking of nothing other than: “What do I really like the look of?”. This is definitely the most enjoyable part of the process and these are some of the millions of inspiring floors I have found (for more, see my flooring Pinterest board):
Phase two: Practicalities
It’s now about eliminating my inspirational floors based on the practicalities (this is the boring bit). I have to very clear about what those practicalities are and think through what I want from the floor:
– Durable (puppy proof): This eliminates the white floorboards as they will get scuffed and marked to hell and back. It also eliminates vinyl as this gets damaged easily too.
– Easy to clean (puppy poo proof): This eliminates the sisal.
– Not too ‘different’ as we will be selling the flat sooner rather than later so don’t want to alienate potential buyers: This eliminates any gorgeous designs like the beautiful vintage tiles or geometric tiles.
– Light and bright so as not to make the flat feel small: This eliminates the black and white painted floorboards (sob).
– Suitable for the sitting room, kitchen and hallway: This eliminates having a tiled floor as this is not suitable for a sitting room area.
So, I am left with the original pine floorboards, the herringbone floor and polished concrete as potential options.
Phase three: Ask your friends and family
This phase is invaluable. Try and find out first hand whether what you want will work for you. At this point, I asked friends about their herringbone floor and they said it was a nightmare! They said it was soft, no one could wear heels on it, the gaps between the blocks snagged things. They also said unless it is weathered and has had years worth of varnish applied to it it is not very durable. No herringbone floor for me then (sob, again). Don’t be tempted to go against people’s advice just because you love the floor – it won’t be worth it in the end.
Phase four: Does it match the interior?
It’s at this point that I begin to think about the rest of the interior and whether the potential options will work with the rest of the flat. If you find it difficult to visualise this phase, which I know a lot of people do, order some samples! This is the best way to get a sense of what the floor will look like. I have to eliminate the polished concrete option at this point because I don’t think it will work with the furniture I have.
Phase five: Budget
I always leave this till last as I always think there is a way around it. I start to look at prices by doing a quick google. I quickly realise that the option I am left with, which is original floorboards, will be quite expensive. I have to think about whether this is something I really want or could I go with a cheaper alternative that will actually serve me better. If I’m really practical about it, original floorboards, though beautiful, aren’t necessarily the best option in a new build flat; they probably won’t appeal to future buyers as the type of person who generally buys a new flat wants new floors. So, I think about alternatives:
1) Plywood floor
There are sheets of plywood underneath our carpet at present. I saw a house tour in Homes and Antiques magazine of a couple who had painted and varnisehed a plywood floor and I loved the effect. Plus, it is a very cheap option. However, it would take a huge amount of time and effort to get it right.
2. Engineered floor boards
This is the boring, easy, safe option and when we come to sell, a proper oak floor will be far more advantageous. Plus, it is durable and easy to clean. However, it is a lot more expensive than a plywood floor.
To make the final decision I have to go and see examples of these floors in real life, so I visit a friend who has an oak engineered floor and a shop that has a plywood floor. I actually like the aesthetic of the plywood floor a lot as it looks quite industrial, yet still warm. It’s also a bit more individual than an oak floor.
So, we’re going to take up a corner of the carpet, do some paint and varnish testing and see whether we can get a good effect. If not, we’ll resort to an oak floor. Watch this space…