For lots of people choosing the best flooring option for their space is simple – hardwood or carpet. But today there are many more alternatives. Here we will look at three DIY options that can transform the look of your home.
While in the past most people with a concrete sub-floor wouldn’t hesitate to cover it with wall-to-wall carpet, hardwood, or some alternative flooring material, today concrete flooring is becoming increasingly popular and is considered by some to be highly fashionable. With concrete, you can create a variety of looks including highly polished surfaces, a full range of alternative colors and textures, and sculptured finishes to mimic the look of ceramic tiles.
Concrete floors are highly durable, which is why they are so popular in industrial settings, they also require very little maintenance, and are easy to keep clean. You might think they are cold, but if you are creating one by pouring new concrete over a subfloor, you can install under-floor water or electrical heating to keep your toes and living space comfortably warm. If you are worried they are a little hard on the feet, you can always add some area rugs in critical areas.
DIY tip: While you might need a little help pouring the concrete, you can do all the preparatory work yourself. Staining an existing concrete floor is easy; you can use either a pump sprayer or brush, but make sure you remove all the dust before you start.
Natural bamboo flooring is not only the most environmentally sustainable flooring option, it looks great and is highly durable. While having a beautiful appearance comparable to hardwood, it is considerably less expensive and can be readily laid by anybody with reasonable DIY skills.
Although bamboo flooring is often mistaken for hardwood, it isn’t wood at all; in fact, it’s a grass that has undergone various processes to produce the flooring panels. Bamboo grows much faster than wood, typically taking five years to achieve maturity. Bamboo floors are easy to maintain and highly durable.
DIY tip: Ensure that you fully condition your bamboo panels by leaving them in their opened containers in the area where you intend to lay them for at least three days. This will ensure they won’t subsequently warp or buckle. Depending on the subfloor, nailing down a bamboo floor is a recommended option though alternatively it may be glued down or simply floated.
The antithesis of our first option, rubber flooring is gaining a strong foothold in the interior design fashion stakes and is an easy option for the average DIY enthusiast. You might think it is best reserved for industrial settings and home gyms, but in Europe, it is increasingly used in rooms of every kind. Here we show a stylish open plan living space with a rubber floor.
One of the major reasons rubber has gained in popularity is that today’s modern rubber flooring is easy to install and almost maintenance free. Back in the day rubber flooring required repeated application of protective coatings, but advanced technology has eliminated that requirement. All it needs to keep it looking as good as new is a vacuum clean and occasional application of a damp mop or cloth.
Other advantages of rubber flooring are noise reduction, anti-slip properties, and durability. It is also environmentally friendly as it is a natural resource produced by the rubber tree and doesn’t contain PVC or other toxins.
DIY tip: To get the best from your rubber floor you should ensure that the sub-floor is perfectly smooth, flat, and free from dust or grease. If the underfloor is uneven in any way, use a self-leveling latex to achieve a perfect surface.
Polished concrete floor
Open plan living space with rubber floor