When we think about how to make an impact in a room, most people think about re-arranging the furniture, buying new furniture, or changing the walls with a new color of paint. Few people consider the important role that flooring plays in setting the mood in a room. In fact, the visual impact of a floor is in many ways the same as the walls. Like walls, floors cover a broad area of flat surface upon which the elements of a room are arranged. Like walls, floors shift the light in a room – a dark floor will instantly darken the room, while a light floor will reflect light making a room brighter.
Why Flooring Choice is More Important than Choice of Wall Covering
Even though floors and walls a similar in terms of the visual impact they have in a room, flooring choice is arguably more important. After all, floors are subject to wear and tear that walls are not. Unlike walls, floors must be cleaned, so ease of cleaning is another factor in choosing a floor. Finally, while it is relatively easy to paint the walls when we want to shift the atmosphere in a room, it is more difficult and costly to replace floors.
Choosing a floor: some considerations
With all of this in mind, it’s important to give your flooring choice some careful consideration. One of the best ways to understand your choices and get some educated advice is to visit a flooring showroom. At the Floor Store at Thornebrook, we have experts on site at our showroom who will happily answer your questions and give you the advice you need to make the right choice. Here are some things to think about before deciding on a new floor:
- Dark colors – Just like walls, the lightness or darkness of a floor can dramatically affect the lightness/darkness of a room. A darker floor may darken a room, but it can also impart a beautiful warm glow and an elegance that is perfect for dining rooms and other more subdued spaces. Windows and wall color go a long way in balancing the “weight” a dark floor can impart. In fact, a dark floor can balance a bright room that feels too light.
- Light colors – A light floor, especially when paired with light colored walls, can help fill a room with light. For rooms that feel oppressive or lack natural light from windows, a light-colored flooring choice can make all the difference. Light floors and walls reflect light back into the room, rather than absorbing light the way dark colors do. One caveat to a light floor is that scuffs and stains will show up much easier.
- Ease of cleaning – Some floors are easier to clean than others. If this is important to you, make sure to understand the cleaning requirements of your flooring choice.
- Wear and tear – Some floors are more resistant to damage. It’s important to know how easily your floor will stain, scratch, warp, pile, or otherwise be altered by floor traffic. Choosing more resilient floors is wise in heavily trafficked areas like kitchens, play rooms, and bathrooms.
- Environmental impact – Sustainable flooring is made with a less damaging impact on the environment. It is important to make choices that protect our environment and ensure it will be a beautiful place to live in future generations. Today, there are many companies creating beautiful and affordable sustainable flooring – almost any preference can be met with a sustainable choice.
- Material – All materials have pros and cons. Talking to a flooring expert, you can learn the important differences between carpet, wood, engineered wood, ceramic tile, vinyl, and other choices.