Flooring is a major consideration in any home; it can set the tone of the room, inject personality and be a talking point, while all the time providing comfort underfoot.
Innovative designs, which include everything from reclaimed wood to jaw-dropping 3D-effect vinyl, mean that flooring no longer provides the backdrop to a room; it can now be the focal point.
We’ve hand-picked some of the most gorgeous designs and unique materials available in flooring which are guaranteed to give your interiors an inspiration twist.
Flooring choices have come a long way from simply choosing between carpet and floorboards. Now, there are a multitude of attractive and durable materials which will add the wow-factor and provide comfort.
Resin is made from a chemical interaction between two polymers which, when combined, ‘fuses’ with concrete, making one seamless layer. The result is an extremely tough floor which is also slip resistant.
Vinyl is rapidly overtaking linoleum as an attractive and practical flooring choice. Vinyl is also slip resistant and provides a warmer touch underfoot than stone or ceramic tile flooring.
· Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood is one of the hottest flooring trends as it fits the ever popular vintage brief perfectly. Reclaimed wood flooring can come from a range of sources such as old wine crates, gym floors, former retail flooring or even wooden pallets. One of the most popular types of reclaimed flooring is parquet which often comes from gyms or schools.
· Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic tiles are the classic flooring choice, having been a staple throughout history, especially during Victorian times when they were first mass produced. Tiles used to be used mainly in hallways, bathrooms and kitchens but in today's interior design, anything goes!
If you have or are installing bi-folding doors, then your flooring choice will help to create a sense of flow between the outside and inside space.
Even when the doors are closed, having similar flooring on your patio and your living room will help give the sense of the space being ‘projected’ through the glass and make the inside space feel much larger. How you do this will depend on the floor covering you choose. One easy trick to get this right when using decking and wooden floors is to make sure the wooden decking used on the patio is pointing in the same direction as the wooden boards inside the home. Even if different materials are used or different colours, the alignment of the boards will help create a sense of flow.
If you don't want wooden floors in your interior, there are ceramic tiles available which offer the look of wooden boards, but are available in different colours to add a pop of personality to the interiors.The Graffiti range from Topps Tiles is a great example of how cleverly designed ceramic tiles can be used in place of wood to create an ultra-modern finish.
Strategically placing plants inside the home is the obvious way to bring the outdoors indoors, but you can enhance this further with your flooring. Vinyl flooring inside the home, which has elements of the great outdoors can help create a seamless flow between outdoors and indoors. The Grass range from Harvey Maria brings the lawn into the home and the design is actually inspired by the grass at Kew Gardens, so be assured it won’t be any old lawn you are introducing into your home!
You can match other patterns of flooring as well as the elongated look of floorboards and decking. Parquet flooring inside the home, which has been laid in a square pattern, can be replicated outside the home with patio stones laid in a similar pattern. Even though the materials are different, the similar design will be enough to make a connection between the two spaces.
3D Royal Flooring have developed resin floors which feature mind-bending 3D designs, which add a whole new dimension to flooring. Many designs can be incorporated into 3D floors. We like the natural elements of this stone and leaf effect, which is perfect to tie in with a stone and gravel patio design.
1. Continue the style of materials from the inside outside. The materials don’t need to match, but the design should be similar and replicate any pattern.
2. Opt for bi-folds with even threshold designs. This will minimise accidents from people tripping, and prevents a barrier being created between the two spaces.
3. Make the most of the view by choosing bi-folding doors with slim profiles to maximise the glazing space. Origin’s aluminium bi-fold doors boast slim sight lines yet are extremely strong and secure, giving you the maximum amount of glazing and the ultimate sense of space without compromising on security.
4. Introduce low levels plants around the doorway both inside and out to draw the eyes between the spaces.
5. Light the way with floor spotlights to bring both spaces together with light.
Flooring is on the up in the style stakes and now demands as much attention as every other aspect of a home’s interior. Like all styles, flooring has its own trends and we spoke to the industry’s experts to get their take on what’s hot.
Mark Findlay, MD of vinyl flooring manufacturers Harvey Maria, recognises the trend for all things industrial, a theme which has been big in 2014, and how this can be transferred to flooring. Mark said, “The industrial trend has been a strong contender in interiors this year with concrete floors, furniture and accessories proving popular. Harvey Maria has three concrete-effect flooring options in a range of shades to complement your chosen colour scheme.”
The advantage of vinyl effect flooring over actual concrete flooringis that it’s much softer and warmer to the touch. If you were to opt for concrete flooring, then it’s important to have the surface properly sealed because if moisture is able to penetrate the surface, it can create mildew.Industrial style interiors actually bring together a number of popular trends including metallics and vintage chic. Vinyl flooring enables a multitude of designs, including concepts inspired by vintage 1950s kitchens. Bright colours and retro designs create the ideal backdrop for a truly quirky room. You can mix and match the flooring with neutral or contrasting walls and even tie in your bi-folding doors, which come in a range of colours – check out our Pop Art and Retro ranges for colour inspiration.
Ceramic tiles can also be used to embrace the industrial trend and the ever-popular retro trend. Retro patterns work fantastically well with industrial style furniture which incorporates metals and luxurious fabrics such as leather.
Tara Rees, Brand Manager at Fired Earth, believes that patterned ceramic tiles can work in every room in the house and retro inspired patterns would certainly make an impact in the living room. Tara said, “Tiles are playing a starring role in interiors, with a definite trend towards using them throughout the home rather than just in kitchens, bathrooms and hallways as we've traditionally tended to use them in Britain. With such an exciting array of colours, patterns and shapes to choose from, there are tiles for every style of home. There's endless potential for getting creative, and bold geometric designs such as Fired Earth's Trellis porcelain tiles are particularly popular at the moment."
The versatility of tiles mean that they can be used in any part of the home as the designs available are limitless. You can even mix up a couple of different bold patterns to create a truly unique retro inspired design in your home.
Tiles lend themselves particularly well to traditionally styled interiors, which brings us onto another hot trend of the season – the classics. Classically styled interior design take its influence from Europe’s grand homes, which match eclectic dark wood furniture covered in opulent fabrics with traditional heritage paints and patterned ceramic tile floors.
Patterns in monochrome are an ideal choice if you want a very traditional look with influences from the Victorian era. Black and white (or grey and cream) are a popular choice for kitchens and lend themselves very well to modern interiors as well.
Coloured tiles can also be used to inject a Mediterranean twist to a room with classic patterns and shades inspired by the country kitchens of Italy and Spain.
Anuraag Parashar, Tile Buyer at Topps Tiles said, “Decorative tiles in striking colours such as blues, greens and reds, make a statement in any room, and offer an immediate uplift for a tired room. Francisco Segarra tiles offer a nod to the Mediterranean with intricate detail and an encaustic effect. Produced using advanced digital printing techniques, the latest patterned tiles also benefit from being affordable and easy to fix.”
Keeping with the more traditional look, wooden floors have always been popular and with good reason, as they are attractive and add a real feeling of warmth to the home. The current trend in wooden floors is to use reclaimed wood which can come from a range of sources. This is obviously beneficial for the environment, but reclaimed flooring can also add a truly unique look to the home as no two floors will ever be alike. For a beautiful Shaker-style look, reclaimed wood with a driftwood inspired finish. The Cabana range from The Reclaimed Flooring Co creates a real feeling of romance as the wood features natural textures which look as though they have been carved by the sea.
If you don’t want to change your entire floor, then you can transform floorboards the easy way with a lick of paint and still embrace the Shaker style. Plain white floorboards can instantly lift a room and if these seems like it might be a little dull, then simply add a touch of different colours to highlight certain areas such as fireplaces or even paint a rug effect onto the floor. Farrow and Ball paint is specially designed for floors and as it’s hard-wearing, it can last for many years, or you can update your design whenever you like to keep your interiors fresh.
· Anything goes
Flooring really can be the talking point of any space, and what better way to make the most of your bi-folding doors than installing equally impressive flooring?
Reclaimed flooring doesn’t have to be simple floorboards, and the more unusual the place the wood is reclaimed from, the more unique the design. Junckers manufacture sports and dance flooring, which Glasgow based flooring specialists McKay Flooring stock as reclaimed wooden flooring, complete with the original court marks. When this wood is relayed, it creates a colourful, distinctive pattern. If you want a look which brings even more colour into your flooring, then try coloured parquet flooring, either with colour throughout the room or with little touches here and there. McKay Flooring also stock parquet flooring which has been reclaimed from Selfridges department store, and the bright yellow trademark Selfridges shade will really bring the sunshine to any room.
Vinyl flooring really comes into its own when it comes to unusual designs as pretty much any image you can think up can be transferred onto your floors. Murafloor specialise in patterned vinyl flooring and their design ranges from maps of the world to Lichtenstein inspired pop art. Richard Wilde, Murfloor MD, comments on the endless design possibilities of vinyl. Richard said, “Traditionally, the flooring industry has been about mass volume production, where you just select a product from the list of existing designs. I find that incredibly dull, and I think these days people want customisation and the ability to personalise their interiors. Printed flooring opens up a new opportunity to with flooring which was a previously untouched space.”
· Do it yourself
Looking for a truly one-off look? Then it's time to roll your sleeves up and dig out your toolbox. The trend for customisation has spread to flooring and personalising your floors with a little DIY is a guaranteed way to create the wow factor in your home. There is a multitude of ideas and tutorials online to inspire you. We've picked a couple of our favourites below.
Give your room the glamorous make over with a glittery gold concrete floor. Want to try yourself? Head over to Crafty Chica for a full tutorial.
Unique and recycled flooring made from bottle caps. Photo by Miro Dvorscak
Do you have some amazing flooring you'd like to show off? Share it with us via @originbifolds