Everyone covets the warm, rich and sophisticated finish emitted by natural hardwood floors, but not everyone can afford it. While putting a sizeable dent into your renovation budget, its long-term maintenance can be rather complicated as well. Fret not as there are affordable alternatives that can mimic its appearance well enough that you can’t tell the difference.
Engineered wood flooring
The closest you can get to hardwood flooring, engineered wood flooring is quite simply a piece of hardwood flooring stacked on top of several plywood layers. Says Luke Shawn Guna, Senior Sales Manager from Wood Culture: “As the surface of engineered wood is made of real wood, it is difficult to differentiate it from hardwood when installed.” He adds that it is also more budget-friendly as “you can get wider, longer planks at a lower price compared to narrower, shorter lengths of solid timber”.
Comprising a synthetic material that can simulate various natural textures from wood to stone, laminate flooring is both easy on the eye and on your wallet. You will be impressed by its realistic distressed surfaces, bevelled edges and the colours that vary widely from light clean-cut woodgrain tones to darker, richer finishes. Another great advantage is installation: overlay can be done on most sub-floors; even those not perfectly level. Says Victor Lee, Manager from Vohringer Flooring: “Our laminate wood flooring engages a click system process which does not require glue in the installation. On floors that aren’t very level, it can still be overlaid though the feeling might be a bit hollow when you walk on them.”
There’s been plenty of buzz about this cost-effective flooring which ticks most of the criteria for practical-minded homeowners. From shiny, plastic-looking floors, it has progressed to matte finishes with hundreds of hues and plenty of patterns. Take EVORICH Flooring Group’s High End Resilient Flooring (HERF) for instance, it is made from pure virgin vinyl and has slip-resistance, waterproof and good sound insulation attributes. While vinyl flooring has suffered a bad rap in the past for emitting off-putting toxic gases leading to respiratory health issues, HERF minimises this risk significantly by undergoing stringent tests to ensure good indoor quality.
White, nondescript-looking floor tiles might come to mind but the design selection of tiles have actually become more exciting now with digital and high-tech manufacturing processes. It can replicate the organic flow of woodgrains to a tee and the same grain and knots are never repeated on each tile. Tiles are also one of the most hygienic flooring types available. Says flooring retailer RICE: “Some tiles come with Microban technology, which means they are treated with titanium dioxide and can eliminate bacteria growth up to 99.9 per cent.”
This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the April 2016 issue of SquareRooms.