How To Choose Floor Covering: 3 Methods

Choosing the right floor covering can greatly influence the ambiance and functionality of a room. Here's how to pick wisely based on room type and interior style.

Flooring Selection by Room Type: Kitchen, Hallway, Vestibule, Entryway, Living Room, Bedroom, Kids' Room, Office

  1. Kitchen: Natural stone, porcelain tile, ceramic tile, click-lock vinyl flooring, and self-leveling floor are optimal choices.
  2. Hallway, Vestibule, Entryway: Natural stone, porcelain tile, ceramic tile, click-lock vinyl flooring, self-leveling floor, laminate, and carpet runners work best.
  3. Living Room & Office: Laminate, hardwood, engineered wood, click-lock vinyl flooring, carpeting, self-leveling floor, and removable rugs are suitable.
  4. Bedroom: Laminate, hardwood, engineered wood, click-lock vinyl flooring, carpeting, and removable rugs are ideal.
  5. Kids' Room: Laminate, hardwood, engineered wood, click-lock vinyl flooring, carpeting, and cork flooring are fitting.

Flooring Selection by Interior Style

The floor choice significantly shapes the overall perception of a room's interior. Let's explore the best flooring matches for various interior designs:

1. Classic, Neoclassic, or Art Deco Style:

Material: Depending on your budget, various rooms can incorporate porcelain tile, ceramic tile, laminate, hardwood, engineered wood, click-lock vinyl flooring, or carpet.
Color: Contrasting floor colors (cherry, oak, walnut) are characteristic. A classic approach for neoclassic styles involves a “carpet-like” arrangement of matte white marble or beige sandstone tiles, bordered by glossy brown “Emperor” stone tiles.
Pattern: The herringbone pattern using hardwood or engineered wood is friendly for neoclassic or classic styles. Often, these patterns are inlaid with different precious wood types. Nowadays, laminates mimicking palace patterns and herringbone are available.

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A neoclassic style dining room from's House in Prozorovo, showcasing the "Emperor" stone texture on the table

For ceramic tile flooring, the “carpet-like” arrangement combines different colored ceramics or specially designed collections. One of the most recognizable patterns for classic and neoclassic interiors is the checkerboard layout, mixing white and black stone or ceramic squares. A popular choice for classic style is the use of encaustic tiles, tiles with patterns. There's now a vast selection of tiles imitating the classic encaustic look. The article concludes with a historical overview of the origin of encaustic tiles.

2. Minimalism:

Material: For flooring, suitable options include porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, laminate, parquet, engineered wood flooring, click-lock PVC (vinyl) flooring, carpeting, self-leveling floor, and polished concrete.
Color: This style typically features neutral floor shades like white, gray, black, or natural wood colors such as oak or walnut. The textures of marble, sandstone, golden oak, or walnut are also prevalent.
Pattern: Clean, minimalist surfaces without pronounced patterns are a hallmark. Polished concrete often retains its natural texture, sealed with a transparent matte lacquer. If using laminate, parquet, or engineered wood, a deck-style installation is common.

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Open kitchen-living room in minimalist style from the project Euro Apartment Jazz, showcasing a sofa on engineered wood and a kitchen with porcelain tiles mimicking natural stone.

3. Scandinavian:

Material: Ideal flooring options encompass porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, laminate, parquet, engineered wood, click-lock PVC (vinyl) flooring, self-leveling floor, and polished concrete.
Color: Scandinavian style usually leans towards light shades — pale gray, white, or natural wood colors like birch or birch plywood.
Pattern: Ceramic tiles or porcelain tiles styled in a "patchwork" design, as well as hexagon-shaped tiles on both floors and walls, are distinct. A unique Scandinavian touch is transitioning from hexagonal tiles to engineered wood. This can be implemented in a combined kitchen-living space where the kitchen sits on tile and the living area on wood. Another application is in entryways, where dirt from shoes remains on the tile, seamlessly transitioning into parquet or engineered wood.

Scandinavian-style kitchen from the project JK Vlyuber featuring travertine-inspired porcelain tiles on the floor.

Brick walls, both with and without edges, are also associated with this style. This type of brick is sometimes referred to as "piglet bricks." The style favors simple, natural textures with typical Scandinavian primitive geometric patterns such as stripes, diamonds, dots, or primitive art techniques depicting flora and fauna.

4. Japandi - A Fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian Styles:

Material: Japandi style elegantly combines materials like porcelain stoneware, ceramic tiles, laminate, parquet, engineered wood, lockable PVC (vinyl) flooring, self-leveling floors, polished concrete, and bamboo coverings.

Color Palette: Japandi emphasizes neutral, muted shades. You'll typically find whites, grays, beiges, terracotta, and natural wood tones like oak or walnut. The essence is to keep the floor, ceiling, and walls consistent in color, without significant shifts.

Patterns: The style leans towards natural textures and minimalist geometric patterns, such as stripes, diamonds, and dots. Japandi walks a delicate line between Japanese simplicity and the warmth of Scandinavian design. The floor arrangement is usually understated.

In Japandi interiors, there's a preference for raw and unrefined wood looks. Floors might showcase warm wooden textures with visible cracks and knots.

Discover what differentiates Japandi from Scandinavian minimalism HERE.

5. Loft Style

Loft design combines industrial aesthetics with modern touches. Here's what to consider for flooring in a loft interior:

Material: Loft-style spaces often feature materials like porcelain stoneware, ceramic tiles, laminate, parquet, engineered wood, lockable PVC (vinyl) flooring, self-leveling floors, polished concrete, brick, and metal.

Brick: Not just for walls, a brick floor can provide an authentic touch to your space. And yes, heated brick floors are an option! Wooden flooring, either real (like parquet or engineered wood) or faux (laminate, lockable quartz vinyl), especially in the form of wooden blocks or slabs, retains its natural patterns and imperfections.

Metal: Thin metal sheets or tiles can offer a modern, industrial edge. Whether laid on the floor, sanded, aged, or acid-washed, this is a striking choice. However, metal might not be suitable for every room given the association of homes with warmth. Think living rooms, hallways, guest bathrooms - ideal spots for that wow-factor metal floor.

Color Palette: Typical colors for the loft style include red brick, gray concrete texture, cool and dark metallic shades, black details, and naturally-toned wood with its imperfections, veins, and cracks.

Patterns: Each material mentioned has its unique installation pattern. Wooden floors (parquet or engineered) and wood-like materials (laminate, lockable quartz vinyl) often have a deck-style arrangement. Brick floors can be staggered or arranged in patterns. Depending on the size, ceramic granite or tiles can also be staggered. A distinctive choice for loft style is the "Metlakh" tile flooring, usually installed as a "carpet" in rooms.

Toilette from the project in loft style Men's cave featuring a Metlakh carpet on the floor.

Choosing the Right Flooring Based on Room Activity

Choosing the right flooring is not just about aesthetics, but also practicality. Different rooms in a home or apartment involve various activities, and this influences the type of flooring that is not only beautiful but also durable.

Wet Processes: Bathrooms, toilets, laundries, utility rooms, kitchens, or areas with sinks or direct water outlets are prone to spills, water accumulation, or even flooding. For such areas, porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, or natural stone are ideal. These materials are not only water-resistant but are also easy to clean and have high wear resistance.

High-Traffic Areas: Vestibules or hallways are constantly used, bringing in dirt, sand, and snow from outside. Here, durability and ease of maintenance are key. Porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, or natural stone, as well as luxury vinyl tile (LVT), are excellent choices for these zones.

Kitchen: Besides the possibility of frequent spills in the kitchen, there's also a need for high wear resistance due to constant movement between the main work areas: the sink, refrigerator, and stove. Porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, or natural stone offer increased durability. If you have an open-plan kitchen and living area and don't want a distinct division in flooring, consider luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring. It's water-resistant, easy to clean, and can handle high traffic.

Relaxation Zones: In living rooms, bedrooms, children's rooms, or home offices, comfort and coziness are paramount. Laminate, hardwood, or engineered wood flooring are perfect for these spaces. They create a warm and inviting atmosphere while still being durable.

In conclusion, choosing the right flooring is a balance of aesthetics and functionality. By considering the characteristics of each room and anticipated activities, you can make an informed and reasoned decision that will serve you for many years to come.

Laminate, Parquet, or Engineered Wood Flooring?

Choosing the right floor covering often boils down to material selection. Suppose you've decided on a wood-textured floor, emulating the warmth and texture of natural wood. You're then likely torn between laminate or vinyl click flooring with a wood-like texture, traditional parquet, or engineered wood flooring.


Laminate is a multi-layered flooring material made using a pressing method. Its appearance often mimics natural wood, stone, or other materials. Here's what laminate typically consists of:

  1. Protective Top Layer: A clear layer, typically crafted from melamine resin, offering resistance against scratches, wear, UV rays, and moisture.
  2. Decorative Layer: A printed paper layer that showcases designs, often emulating wood or stone textures, giving laminate its characteristic look.
  3. Core Layer: Usually made from particleboard or fiberboard, this layer provides laminate with its strength and stability.
  4. Bottom Stabilizing Layer: Often crafted from melamine paper, this layer safeguards the laminate from moisture, warping, and deformations.

Project by Two-Story Duplex for a Vibrant Client

Laminates often feature a click-lock system, allowing for glue-less installations. Although water-resistant, laminates are less water-tolerant than, say, vinyl flooring, making it unsuitable for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms.

Vinyl Flooring or Modular Polymer Flooring: A Comprehensive Guide

Often referred to as vinyl laminate or interlocking vinyl, this modern floor covering consists of multiple layers and comes in a variety of color schemes. The most common shapes are narrow boards, standard planks, herringbone patterns, and stone-like appearances. Modular polymer flooring can be categorized into:

  • Glue-down (Dryback)
  • Interlocking (Click)

For residential interiors, interlocking types are more frequently used.

Glue-down (Dryback) Structure: A Layered Composition

  • Polyurethane protective layer
  • Vinyl layer
  • Decorative film
  • Multilayered vinyl base

Dryback Vinyl Flooring
Example: Invictus Dryback

Types of Interlocking (Click) Modular Polymer Floorings:

  • LVT Click (flexible interlocking): This is an older, conventional technology that is very flexible but can have stability issues.
  • Rigid (rigid interlocking): Rigid types are further divided into EPS (foam rigid base) and SPC (high-density rigid base).

Nearly all modern interlocking modular polymer floorings are of the SPC type. The structure of these floorings also includes multiple layers:

  • Polyurethane protective layer
  • Protective layer
  • Decorative film layer
  • Vinyl layer
  • High-density rigid base
  • Vinyl layer
  • Acoustic property underlay

Some vinyl interlocking floorings may also include additional antibacterial or slip-resistant layers.

Rigid Core SPC Vinyl Flooring
Example: Invictus Maximus Click

SPC Tiles and Locking Systems

SPC tiles feature interlocking assembly systems similar to laminate. The locks for various collections can be either 2G or 5G (with a plastic insert).

  • 2G Locks:
    • Strong and durable locking system
    • Angled installation
    • Solid and simple floor installation

2G Lock
2G Lock

  • 5G Locks:
    • Based on a one-step installation method
    • The fastest locking system
    • The most expensive locking system

5G Lock
5G Lock

Factors to Consider

When choosing vinyl interlocking flooring, pay attention to the thickness and wear resistance class. These factors can significantly influence the durability and strength of the flooring, as well as the comfort during usage.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring is a multi-layered floor covering that beautifully merges the allure of natural wood with the resilience of advanced construction materials. Here are the primary features of engineered hardwood:

  1. Top Layer (Veneer): This is a thin layer of genuine wood, giving the engineered board its elegant appearance. The thickness of this layer varies, typically ranging from 2mm to 6mm.
  2. Middle Layer: Often crafted from particleboard, fiberboard, or multi-layered glued timber. This layer bestows the board with its rigidity and resistance to deformations.
  3. Bottom Layer (Substrate): This is typically made from the same material as the middle layer or from a thin layer of natural wood. Its primary role is to provide additional stability to the board.

Advantages of engineered hardwood:

  • Natural Look: With its genuine wood top layer, engineered flooring captures the same beauty as traditional solid hardwood.
  • Deformation Resistance: The multi-layered design renders engineered hardwood less susceptible to internal stresses and warping than solid wood.
  • Ease of Installation: Thanks to interlocking joints between the boards, installation is simpler and faster.

However, it's worth noting that despite its multi-layered construction, engineered hardwood still demands gentle care since the natural wood top layer can get scratched and wear out. Nevertheless, with proper maintenance, it can last for many years, preserving its initial appearance.

Engineered Board

This type of flooring consists of multiple wood layers. It bears similarities to engineered hardwood but has distinctions in its structure and the materials used. Engineered boards typically comprise two or three layers:

  1. Top Layer (Veneer): This is the thickest layer of natural wood, often ranging from 3mm to 6mm in thickness (or even more). This layer gives the board its appearance and serves as the primary working surface.
  2. Lower Layers: These are usually either multi-layered plywood or another type of timber. These layers grant the board added strength and stability, making it less prone to deformation than solid wood.

Benefits of Engineered Board

  • Stability: Thanks to its multi-layered structure, engineered boards are less prone to warping, expansion, or contraction due to humidity and temperature fluctuations compared to solid wood.
  • Aesthetics: The natural wood top layer gives the board a splendid appearance, almost indistinguishable from solid wood.
  • Longevity: With proper care, engineered boards can last a long time. Furthermore, the relatively thick top layer allows for sanding and restoration.

However, it's essential to recognize that, like all wooden floor coverings, engineered boards require proper maintenance to retain their look and prolong their lifespan.

Conclusion: How to Choose the Right Floor Covering

Choosing a floor covering is a task that demands a holistic approach. One crucial aspect is considering the functionality of the room. Different rooms imply different wear and operating conditions, whether it's the damp processes in a bathroom or the bustling activity in a kitchen.

But beyond just practicalities, aesthetic considerations are vital. Every room's interior might have its distinct style, and the floor covering should seamlessly integrate into the overall picture. After all, the right floor can be the accent that completes the ambiance of your interior.

It's also crucial to consider the nature of activities in the room. If there are many active children or pets in the house, some coverings might wear out quickly or lose their pristine appearance.

Thus, the ideal approach to selecting a floor covering is a combination of all three methods. Evaluate the functional needs of the room, consider its style and design, and understand the activities that will take place. This comprehensive analysis will enable you to make the best choice that will delight you for many years.

Learn how to choose the right porcelain stoneware by reading HERE.

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