Whilst your bedroom is the place where you go to get away from it all and recharge, a living room is the place you are most likely to bring guests to talk, relax and have fun. Depending on how many people live in your house, or how often you entertain visitors, your living room could quite possibly be the most used place in the house.
Your primary goal when choosing flooring for a living room should be to create an appealing and comforting space. You want comfortable seats and depending on your taste or interests, a big TV, but what about the flooring? In this article, we will be going over living room flooring ideas to discover the best option for you.
Everyone has different living conditions and needs. Some will be looking for the best flooring options for dogs, and others needing the most suitable flooring if you have small children. Some people utilise the living room for multiple different purposes, and for this reason there is no single best answer to this question.
In this article, we will be exploring the different types of floors you can lay down in the living room, as well as their effectiveness in this specified room. Read on to find out more.
What is the best flooring for a living room?
We will break down the following options:
Variety – Wood flooring comes in many different colours and wood grains. The grains each form patterns in the wood that are distinct from one another and bring about a different effect for the room. Furthermore, it gives off the feeling of really having been alive once, as no one plank is the same shade of colour.
Lifespan – Depending on the quality of the wood flooring, the lifespan of wooden flooring can be significant, so long as it is not exposed to prolonged moisture or condensation. A quality wooden floor is likely to outlast you if you look after it well and avoid doing anything that would degrade it.
High Costs – Wooden floors can be expensive. The cost for the average hardwood plank is about £60 per square metre. However, your outgoing capital doesn’t end there, as there’s also the question of installation. Installing a hardwood floor is a job for a professional, as failing to properly fit the floor will not only look unappealing but will affect the longevity of your flooring.
Absorbent – Liquid is the bane of wood’s existence, making this a poor choice when looking for the best flooring for dogs that may have ‘accidents’. Without the bark protecting it, wood can easily drink in moisture of any kind which will weaken the wood and lead to permanent staining. This may completely ruin the effect of your wooden flooring. If you’ve got children in the house, then frequent spills of drinks could result in a floor that detracts from the room rather than adds to it. This may be too much of a risk for the pricing.
High maintenance – Wood is not something you lay down and forget about. Over time, hardwood flooring can find itself clicking and creaking from years of joints being tested. Not to mention, they require sanding back and restaining to maintain their appearance.
Massively affordable – Carpets are potentially the cheapest flooring that you can purchase in the market. Lower budget carpets cost from £6-£14 per square metre. Of course, the pricing is usually indicative of the quality. Lower budget carpets will be weaker, look less appealing and will almost assuredly not be as comfortable as mid-range carpets between the £14-£35 per square metre price range. These carpets will be much more resistant to the wear that foot traffic brings, also. Any higher is in the luxury bracket, which can soar up into the hundreds and will promise the maximum protection and style carpets could have.
Softness – Carpets are the softest flooring you can opt for. They have many benefits, including heightened comfort, warmth and appealing aesthetics. This could potentially make this one of the best flooring for a living room. Carpets also tend to look uniform, as it has no sections to break up the design if there is one. As a plus, carpets are relatively easy to install. Simply clear the room and roll it across the floor, with a little bit of adjustment at the ends of the room. They’re affordable, and with the right design, can complement the furniture and walls of an appropriately coloured room. Scratching also isn’t as much of a problem due to its fibrous surface.
That being said, if your carpet is going to be in a high-traffic area, the range of materials that your carpet should be made from will reduce if you want it to last anywhere near its total lifespan. The softer the carpet, the higher the risk of flattening and worse case, reverse pile.
Weak Material – Its softness represents its weakness perfectly, as it’s highly vulnerable to damage. It’s also absorbent, which isn’t great if there’s going to drink or other things spilled on it. Even water, spilling on a carpet, can result in a damp smell that is more of a pain to clean up than anything else. But when there’s something more foul soaking into the floor you’re stepping on, then you’re going to have to go through a lot more effort to prevent stains and persistent smells. If there’s a lot of foot traffic in your living room from children, for example, you may find your carpet going threadbare in record time.
Hard to clean – To clean your carpet properly, you’ll need sprays, scrubs and a means of air drying your carpet. This is time-consuming and laborious. As a result, you need to consider what could possibly stain your carpet in your household. This isn’t the best flooring for dogs that are untrained, as urine soaking into your carpet has to be cleaned immediately, so isn’t the most practical.
When thinking of living room flooring ideas, you need to take these things into account. But full-grown adults can be just as bad, so if there’s alcohol being passed around the living room, then it’s inevitable that half-filled cans or red wine will be spilled onto the carpet, and who knows if anybody will be focused enough to soak it up before it stains.
Highly Affordable – Vinyl sheet flooring is a highly economical option for those who want to mimic the cosy look and feeling of a wooden floor. Probably the most heavily praised aspect of vinyl is its affordability. The cheapest vinyl sheet flooring usually starts at around £10 per square metre, making it an option for most budget conscious.
Easy to Install – The most common method of installing vinyl is to glue it down. After scrubbing the sub-floor clean and making sure it’s level, you roll out the sheet across the surface of the floor and then secure the floor by applying a sealant to act as a skirting board. Compared to hardwood, which requires a professional to install the flooring, this not only adds a great deal of convenience but saves you the additional cost of having to hire a fitter.
Resistant – Vinyl also protects perfectly against liquid, making it the best flooring for a living room when you add kids and other mess-making sources to the equation. When spilled on vinyl, it simply gathers on the surface rather than sinking in. Furthermore, the wear layer on the surface of vinyl is a coating that resists stains. This makes cleaning as simple as grabbing a paper towel, making it the best flooring for households with dogs. It also comes in a large variety of appearance options that you can use to create a cosy atmosphere fitting a living room. Variety – Vinyl is a highly versatile flooring to go with, as it does a fantastic job at mimicking other materials such as wood and stone in looks if not in touch. If you want to promote a certain mood in the room, then the versatility in patterns, shapes and graphics is incredibly wide-ranging. This gives you more than enough to fuel your living room flooring ideas.
Prone to discolouration – Standard vinyl has weaknesses, however. One is discolouration, which can happen when a vinyl sheet comes into direct contact with sunlight. Rubber also can damage the coating through friction, which also causes discolouration. Due to these two factors, the low-maintenance nature of vinyl comes with some caveats, as you have to create protections against these factors.
Hard repair – Whilst installation is easy, there are some vital tasks you have to do beforehand to ensure the vinyl’s ten-year lifespan isn’t cut short. For one, you have to make sure to do an intensive cleaning of the subfloor, as well as ensure it’s smooth and flat. If not, the grains and debris underneath the vinyl will cause ugly, uncomfortable lumps that will damage it over time.
Another consideration to make is the potential difficulties of replacing a damaged section. Coming in sheet form, you have two choices: cut out a patch to replace or replace the entire sheet. This turns the low-maintenance sheet into a potential nightmare.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles
Strong Material – Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) have some similarities to standard vinyl, which usually comes in sheet form, but there are some essential differences that completely change the pros and cons of having it. LVT is made with multiple layers of flexible PVC. This not only makes it far more stable but also warmer and softer underfoot. This makes it a comfortable flooring option and therefore more than suited for a living room.
Increased Lifespan – Its enhanced strength can also be seen in the lifespan of LVT when compared to standard sheet vinyl, from as low as 5 years to 25. This means whatever you have installed could stay for longer than you live at the actual premises, statistically speaking.
Resistances – Its reinforced layers make for a much better defence against wear, scratches and scuffs. Just like with standard sheet vinyl, LVT can resist spills by not absorbing them and allowing them to rest on the surface so they can easily be cleaned up.
Luvanto’s LVT Endure Pro comes with even greater tolerance to direct sunlight and reduces the affect on the product.
Easy replacement – If the section regarding the difficulty of replacing damaged vinyl sheets is still bothering you, you’d be glad to know that LVT has made that process easy and simple. Whereas standard vinyl in sheet form would require complete replacement or replacement through cutting and replacing affected areas, damaged tiles can be individually replaced. Take a look at our floor care cleaning and maintence guide for information on how to get the most out of your LVT flooring, as well as access to our effective cleaning product.
Realistic looking flooring option – LVT can be used to mimic stone to a much more realistic degree than sheets, as tile is the form in which stone flooring traditionally comes. If realistic appearance is your biggest concern, then we believe LVT should be at the top of your living room flooring ideas. Also, LVT won’t have the extreme hardness and cold touch that true stone does in the home. The enhanced materials of LVT can also make the floor in general stand out and impress far more than standard and often inferior quality vinyl sheets.
The flexibility of LVT and the ease with which it’s able to be cleaned make it one of the most effective flooring options in the market and perfectly suited to living rooms, as well as the majority of other rooms in the home. If you are looking for a living room flooring option that combines the features or durability and affordability, luxury vinyl tile is a brilliant option.