Watch Your Step
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Although we might not always pay heed to it, having the right flooring can play a huge part in the aesthetic as well as the comfort of the home. And although Sri Lanka might not be spoilt for choices, given the current circumstances, here are a few ideas that you might consider for your own dream home when better times come. There are a variety of materials that you may use for your floors, each one with its own pros and cons as well asits unique properties.
For example, wood floors are a great way to add some class to your living room, but they may not be the best option when it comes to being used for the bathroom floor. It’s important to know their attributes and the best place they can be used in your home for the maximum benefit.
Nothing beats the classy look of a well-polished hardwood floor. Very few other materials can replicate the homely and calming aura it brings to the home atmosphere. Of course, you can select from a variety of woods to use on your floors. However, there are some large caveats to them, which are a major reason why you don’t see a lot of wood flooring in people’s homes in the modern days.
First of all, with the humid conditions of Sri Lanka, wood floors are certainly a questionable material option. Even though they do last longer when treated and cured, it simply isn’t a cost-effective option. It’s not the most environmentally friendly choice either. But fear not, for there is a better alternative.
Bamboo is grass (technically) and needs no special fertiliser, care, or water to grow. I t ’ s a l s o one of the fastest growing greenery there is, which makes the use of bamboo on flooring a far better alternative. You’ll be able to get the sophisticated finish, sans the guilt.
Not only that, bamboo is a lot cheaper to install, and in theory, should last longer than traditional wood given its unique properties. But the main con of both options is the fact that wood flooring is easy to damage, meaning it’s likely you will have to spend more money on maintenance.
This is why once again; you might have to question the practicality of such flooring in our country.
Natural stone tiles
Of course, if the price isn’t an issue, but you wanted a material that’s going to last over many lifetimes for your floor, why not consider good old stone flooring.
It’s expensive, but is long-lasting, and has a very luxurious finish if properly installed. Not only that, it helps bring an earthy feel to the floor. Using specially crafted stone tiles, modern builders can easily and effectively install a gorgeous stone floor made of granite, marble, limestone and many other Not only that, these floors can take a generous share of spills, meaning you wouldn’t have to worry about the humidity of the country. However, you will have to worry about extensive repairs, because if you don’t look after your floors well, they will scratch or chip away, leaving you with a heavy repair cost.
There’s a good reason why these are the most popular option when it comes to Sri Lankan homes. Ceramic tiles are affordable, have great designs, are durable and are worry-free. You can’t really go wrong with this option provided nothing goes wrong during installation and you don’t crash giant stone boulders on them to shatter.
A shattered tile could be an easy fix or lead to an expensive tile replacement job. But as far as things go, if you’re sensible, you won’t have much to worry about.
I’m not talking about the usual floors that have red polish on them. While an attractive design they may be, these polished floors can be somewhat boring.
Polished concrete is expensive, but can bring a unique, industrial look to your home. However, do keep in mind that the process is expensive and maintenance is high.
If you like to add some extra cosy vibes, then why not use fully carpeted floors? This can be a favourite for bedrooms because they are cosy, and won’t freeze your feet on a cold day. Not only that, the soft material absorbs sound, adding some extra soundproofing to reduce noise. Of course, using a broom on these surfaces might not be the best option, as well as the fact that stains and pet fur can be a
nightmare to clean up with these floors. However, stain resistant options do exist, and all you need is a little vacuuming if you want to clean everything up.