Your living room is a place where relaxation meets activity and entertaining. It’s a room for kicking off your shoes, cosying up on the couch, sitting on the floor with a cushion or sprawling out completely on it. And if you have kids, it’s a place for playing and jumping around.
Yep, it’s where the ‘living’ truly happens, and since it’s one of your home’s hardest working floors, it needs to not only look good but be durable too. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL flooring ideas for your living room.
MORE THAN JUST CARPET
Tactile and comforting, carpets have been a mainstay of living room floors since forever, and possess the unique ability to add texture, warmth and visual intrigue.
If your home gets cold in the winter, with that unmistakable feeling of a rising draught from below, then carpet is probably your best choice for living room flooring. A plush carpet, heavy on the pile, can insulate your home and is guaranteed to bring a cosy feeling to your living room. Now, where’s my pipe, hat and slippers?
What’s more, carpets are quieter underfoot than hard floors – great for relaxing and softening the volume of children’s excitable pitter-patter. Living room carpet needs to be hard wearing – 80% wool and 20% man made fibre is ideal – and a good level of soft yet able to stand up to everyday foot traffic.
Natural carpet in materials like sisal and coir are becoming increasingly popular. Perhaps our favourite natural carpet is seagrass, which is less susceptible to watermarking than other similar materials and ideal for those accidental spills that are bound to happen in your living room.
Polypropylene carpets have also seen a rise in prevalence across living rooms in the UK recently as it’s stain-resistant, fade-defiant and is an affordable option.
A beautiful, wooden floor can lend just the right balance of lightness and warmth to your living room, and make it feel bright and open. Moreover, they can be used as a backdrop to show off colourful furniture or a carefully chosen rug. That said, if you’re prone to causing spillages (hey, who isn’t?) then you’ll need a floor that is quick and easy to clean, or that wooden flooring of yours may start to look like a Jackson Pollock piece worryingly fast.
When considering the installation of wooden flooring, there’s a rather daunting spectrum of choice on the market, from old fashioned period reclaimed boards to modern vinyl, laminate, parquet, and solid and engineered hardwood flooring, to name but a few. That said, if you’re lucky enough to have original hardwood floors, then embrace them.
You also need to consider the wood species or variety, which determines the grain, colour and pattern. When it comes to choosing the right type of wood floor for your living room, the experts at Quick-step suggest sealed flooring surfaces or anti-static joints which not only prevent dust from sticking to your floor, but also allow for swift cleaning, allowing you to make the most out of your relaxation time.
There’s so much to consider when choosing wooden flooring, in fact, that we’ve written a whole other article on it here. Do check it out, and sorry we only just mentioned it!
GO CONTEMPORARY WITH CONCRETE
Concrete flooring has a reputation for being hard and cold, both physically and aesthetically, and as such, isn’t always the first choice that springs to mind when discussing living rooms. However, there are some benefits of concrete floors for the living room.
The most obvious is the unique, hip visual appeal such a floor can imbue, the industrial vibe bringing a trendy, industrial and modern edge to your home. Easy to maintain and beautifully nuanced, you also don’t have to worry about heavy sofas and other furniture damaging it as they are resilient and durable as anything.
However, one of the biggest drawbacks of concrete is that it’s going to be cold underfoot in winter (concrete is a conductor so can heat up in the summer quickly) which brings us to our next point…
Picture this – you’ve just cosied up under a blanket, but you’ve left your cup of tea in the kitchen or the remote is on the other side of the room. Sure, you could sashay over there barefoot and gather the goods you need for a snug and intimate evening. But those wooden floorboards or that concrete floor are absolutely freezing. Enter underfloor heating, which grants a radiant yet gentle heat.
The choice here is either electric or wet system, the former being easier to fit as it’s simply a network of wire elements on a mesh placed below the flooring, while the latter uses water pipes below the floor. Retrofitting an electric system is relatively straightforward, all the more so if you’re laying new flooring. Wet systems are a little more complex, and are more appropriate if your home is undergoing a more all-encompassing renovation.
Fortunately, both are appropriate for concrete or wooden floors, though wooden flooring isn’t the best heat conductor, so you might not get quite the bang for your buck you’d hope for.
ZONE WITH RUGS
Whether you have wooden floorboards or a carpet, rugs and living rooms go together like that tea and cake so often given to guests in the living room setting. Not only do they add some personality into the room, but they also add warmth and texture.
Placing a rug in the middle of the room can offer an obvious balance and symmetry to proceedings, however, zoning your living room into separate spaces with rugs can really impact its sense of space and are especially ideal for open-plan living rooms which require a little sense of order here and there.
Consider framing different furniture areas with rugs of different shapes and sizes, creating a multifunctional space and highlighting areas you wish to become a focal point. While patterned rugs can be the most forgiving, hiding those split teas and enthusiastically eaten TV dinners, the trick is to choose similar style rugs to create a more unified and cohesive space.
CREATE A FEATURE CENTREPIECE
Last but not least, for a unique living room floor, create a centrepiece in the middle of the floor with some patterned tiles, then surround it with hardwood floor or carpet. Think of it as a permanent rug in the middle of the floor, but made from gorgeous, hard tiles instead.