After getting that house that you toiled and moiled for years to own, the next step is ensuring that it gives you the warmth and sense of security that you desire.
One of the most popular and sure ways of making your house look and feel the way you desire it to be is by choosing the right flooring — the last thing you want to step on is a cold floor when you get out of bed in the morning or when you come home from work.
“There are many ways of doing the floors, but the most common in our market is the usual cement flooring, tiles, carpets and wood flooring,” says Mr Ezekiel Kaniaru, a building and construction expert based in Nyeri.
While customers in the lower brackets of income are not very particular about the type of flooring they install, most of the rich and middle class customers have specific one in mind. Having achieved the first goal of owning a home, Mr Kaniaru explains that homeowners are now more conscious of factors such as comfort of various types of flooring, their limitations, safety and advantages.
Noting that both carpet and wood flooring are wonderful and have a place in today’s decor, Sarah Ndirangu, a freelance interior designer, adds that a home should look beyond aesthetics and consider other factors.
When building or decorating, you start with the floor, so think about the purpose and needs of your house before choosing one. “Are you looking for longevity or any type of flooring to adorn your floor?”
If the answer is longevity, Ms Ndirangu explains that wooden flooring is the best as it can go for years without needing replacement.
Apart from its longevity, she continues, wood is also easy to clean compared to carpets. Moreover, it doesn’t absorb smell. With a touch of creativity, you can also add scrap wood flooring to give variety, something that is not possible with carpets.
Wood flooring is a good choice if you are allergic.
According to Mr Simon Manyuira Githinji, a medical laboratory expert with Afya Bora Centre, this is because wood, unlike carpets, doesn’t harbour dust, mites and other allergens.
In addition, wood is also good in improving the quality of indoor air, as it emits fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) compared to, say, tiles.
“With wood, the VOCs are emitted from only the wood sealants and finishes.”
As for carpets, they are good if it is warmth you are looking for. They also feel good under the feet compared to wood.
When it comes to cost, the carpet is a sure winner because it is much cheaper compared to wood.
Also, if you are keen to explore your creativity, carpets are the way to go because you can make statement pieces with them.
“A big disadvantage of wood is the singular appearance, but with carpets, you can experiment with colour, finishes, designs and styles to limitless end.”
Asked which is the clear winner between the two is, Ms Ndirangu says: “The clear winner is your comfort and health, so choose what is most suitable for each room in your house with these two as your guide.”
“Your living room can have wooden flooring, but your bedroom may look better with a carpet.”
As for the kitchen, never go for carpets or even wood. The same goes for bathrooms, where you should opt for either laminate, tiles or vinyl.
“What you choose should be guided by your comfort, so choose wisely,” she says.