In the recent past, the floors of our apartments did not differ in variety. Receiving housing in a typical high-rise building, the happy newcomer was forced to walk in all rooms of his apartment on linoleum. Rarely, mainly in the apartments of cooperative houses, one could see parquet on the floor, and even then of very low quality. True, the parquet flooring began right from the front door, which is also, to put it mildly, inconvenient. Only in the kitchen in such apartments was the same linoleum.
Before giving a few tips on what the floor can be in a comfortable apartment, I will explain why the above types of floor coverings, traditional until recently, are inconvenient. It is difficult to overestimate the advantages of parquet. This is a natural material, it is beautiful. If you use wood of different species, the pattern of the parquet can be infinitely varied. That is why it has long been used in palaces, ballrooms of nobility and officers’ meetings. When coated with modern imported varnishes, the parquet will be quite durable. But it is completely impractical for work and walk-through areas of an apartment: an entrance hall, a corridor, the same kitchen, etc. No, even the most durable varnishes can withstand the street dirt and water brought on shoes for a long time, heavy objects falling and other frequent mechanical and chemical impact.
And linoleum is inconvenient for all premises. It is not suitable for residential premises, as it is a man-made material and, among other things, it accumulates electrostatic voltage. And in office premises, it is undesirable due to its extreme fragility. Almost any, even the weakest, impact will leave its mark on it..
Now let’s move on to the main thing..
Let’s try to find out: what kind of floor coverings are better suited for this or that room? According to its functional purpose, any house can be divided into three zones: work rooms and walkway zones, a living room and rest rooms. Let’s start with work areas and walkway areas.
Hallway. On the one hand, all the dirt that we bring from the street settles here, all the objects brought into the apartment rush through it, including bicycles, children’s sledges, skateboards, etc. In the end, the hallway is the area of the apartment through which people go more everything, and in shoes with a much rougher soles than house slippers, which means that the floor in the hallway should be strong enough, resistant to damage and easy to clean. On the other hand, the entrance hall is a kind of visiting card of the house, it is here that your guests get the first idea about the apartment and, indirectly, about its owner. This means that the floor in the hallway should be beautiful enough..
So what is the best coverage for the hallway?
Laminated parquet (or laminate), despite the fact that it has recently appeared on the Russian building materials market, it is gaining more and more sympathy from consumers. And this is quite justified. Laminate parquet is one of the most durable floor coverings: it is not afraid of impacts, falling of heavy objects, resistant to heat, does not deteriorate from water and even solvents. It is also important that laminate is an environmentally friendly material. The variety of colors (all wood species, granite and marble of various shades) allows it to organically fit into any interior. It seems to me that laminated parquet is the best flooring option for a hallway, corridor or hallway..
The same can be said for the kitchen. Here the floor is occasionally exposed to knives and forks falling, sometimes it falls to the floor and glass and porcelain dishes are broken. Drops of red-hot fat from a frying pan are falling onto the kitchen floor. Again, in the kitchen, due to the fact that this is a working area, they walk more than in other areas of the apartment. All this the kitchen floor has to withstand. Again, laminate meets these requirements more than any other material..
Popular as a floor covering for work and walkway areas and ceramic tile. It provides more room for the designer’s imagination than laminate flooring due to the almost endless variety of shades and patterns. But it is more fragile, which means less resistant to mechanical stress. If you still opt for it, then choose a tile with a rough surface. If water gets on the smooth tile, which is not uncommon in the hallway and in the kitchen, then walking on it will be almost as difficult for you as on ice. This must be especially taken into account when choosing bathroom tiles, where they remain, and deservedly, the most popular flooring. If the bathroom is already mentioned, then I note that there will be no excess underfloor heating (water or electric). As a covering for it, you can use not only ceramic tiles, but also sealed cork panels and waterproof carpets..
If your home has more than one floor, then it is worth thinking about how to decorate the stairs. An important condition: the coating of the steps in color and pattern should be combined with the flooring in those rooms into which this staircase goes. Otherwise, the choice is wide enough. If there is parquet in the room, then it would be logical to lay parquet on the steps. But if the design of the room allows, then you can make a carpet on the stairs with a short hard pile: it will not allow your foot to slip. If the staircase starts right from the hallway, then it is quite suitable for finishing steps and laminate.
If it is appropriate to compare the hallway with the hallmark of the apartment, then the living room is the real face of your home. Here you receive guests, all the celebrations of your family take place here. Here, like in no other room, parquet will be appropriate. Block parquet flooring can become a work of art. The use of different types of wood: from birch to bamboo and mahogany, components of various shapes – can make the pattern of your parquet floor in your living room unique. If you have ever been to the royal palaces of the suburbs of St. Petersburg, then you could be convinced that parquet can be a real work of art. And modern technologies, in particular – laser cutting, make it possible to give the surface of the inlaid parquet floor an almost monolithic look: without protrusions and noticeable joints. It is also very important what kind of varnish the parquet will be covered with. Unfortunately, our domestic industry does not yet produce sufficiently durable varnishes, and even often our varnishes make the color of the parquet darker. Therefore, I advise you to use Finnish varnishes: they are more transparent and more reliably protect wood from moisture, mechanical damage and chemical influences.
Can be installed in living room and parquet floor. Of course, it will not allow you to create a single and unique floor pattern, but its shades are also quite varied: Parquet boards are laid much faster than block parquet, and the varnish coating has already been applied to it by the manufacturer. The best consumer qualities are distinguished by parquet boards made in Sweden and Finland..
Until now, in many apartments you can see a carpet on the floor in the living room.. Most likely, this tradition came from the desire to hide the wretched flooring of serial houses. But if you decide to lay parquet in the living room, then the carpet will be clearly superfluous: it will hide the parquet pattern. In addition, a carpet made of natural wool in the living room is quickly trampled, and synthetic carpet is not at all suitable for the most elegant room of your house..
The rest rooms are bedrooms and a nursery. If you have a servant or you yourself are not too lazy to vacuum every day, then a quite good solution for the bedroom floor can be a carpet. They are very comfortable for bare feet: soft and warm. They are varied in pile height and density, color and pattern. All this allows them to harmoniously fit into any interior. In addition, the pile of the carpeting dampens sounds, which is also important for the bedroom. But if practicality is important to you, then put parquet in the bedroom. Since this is not a front room, his drawing can be less whimsical and more relaxed. And for the comfort of bare feet, you can lay small soft rugs near the bed..
For a nursery, perhaps, there is no better material than laminated parquet. The child spends a considerable amount of time on the floor, and the resistance to temperature influences allows laying the laminate on a warm water or electric floor. Again, the floor of the nursery must be resistant to various influences. A child can spill water and paints on the floor, test it for impact resistance, roll cars on it, ride these cars himself, if their size allows it. The nursery floor must withstand all these experiments. You can, of course, lay a carpet in the nursery – it will be pleasant and comfortable for the child to play on it, but again there is the problem of cleaning them from dust and dirt and spilled paint.
Another important point is the joints between different floor coverings.. How should, say, the laminate of the hallway with parquet, adjoining the living room be connected? For this purpose, special docking thresholds are intended. They are a tape that resembles the letter “T” in cross section. The “leg” of this letter is inserted into the gap between the coatings, and the “head” covers their edges. The most common now are plastic and metal thresholds. Both of them have a wide range of colors and shades, so it will not be difficult for you to choose the most harmonious combination with the color of both floor coverings. The height of the leaf at the plastic thresholds is 3 mm, so you are not in danger of stumbling when passing from one room to another. And for metal thresholds, it is even smaller – 1 mm.
In this article, I have considered only general points that must be considered when choosing a floor covering for a particular room. But when making the final decision, you should consult with the designer. A professional designer will be able to choose not only the type of flooring, but also the color and pattern, taking into account the general design of the room, the composition of the family and the wishes of each of its members. The coating selected by a professional will harmoniously fit into the interior, will be durable, create maximum comfort and coziness.