Which floor coverings are the best
Finding the right flooring: you should know that about flooring
Warm, full of character, hard-wearing, easy-care - which flooring suits which room? We check the eight most popular types of flooring for their properties and costs.
- 1. Parquet floor
- 2. Linoleum as a floor covering
- 3. Cork as a floor covering
- 4. Natural stone as a floor covering
- 5. Tiled floor
- 6. Carpet
- 7. Laminate flooring
- 8. Vinyl and design floors
- Find the right floor covering: a comparison of all floors
A floor covering should look good, be easy to care for, durable and, please, also warm to the feet. The floor is the basis of the room. Therefore, you should make your choice carefully. The place of use basically dictates the surface: we like it cozy in living rooms and bedrooms. Entrance hall, kitchen and children's room, on the other hand, require a robust foundation.
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Which floor coverings are suitable for which room and purpose, what they cost and their special properties, we have in the following overview for the eight different floor types parquet, linoleum, cork, natural stone, tiles, carpet, laminate and vinyl or design floor compact summarized.
1. Parquet floor
Wood is more and more rustic, often a little worn, vintage. Oak still comes first in parquet.
Basically: Parquet is a warm, robust and easy-care floor covering with a long lifespan. The high acquisition costs will pay off over the decades. If the surface has become dull, it is simply sanded off. How often the floor can be renovated in this way depends on the thickness of the real wood running layer. After all, a good half a millimeter is lost when sanding down.
Solid parquet is up to 22 millimeters thick. So future generations can still enjoy this. Multi-layer parquet offers a wear layer of 2.5 to 6 millimeters. In contrast to the massive variant, which should be installed by a specialist, the skilled do-it-yourselfer can do this himself.
- Price of parquet as a floor covering: from 30 euros per square meter
- Parquet is ideal for: Living room, hall, kitchen, children's room, bedroom
In addition to wooden parquet, there is also bamboo parquet. Bamboo is not wood, but grass, but its properties are very similar to those of wood. and sometimes even better. More on this in our article "Bamboo Parquet: Advantages and Disadvantages of Sustainable Flooring".
2. Linoleum as a floor covering
Pure, natural materials with a no-frills look make for a well-known, healthy floor covering - linoleum. It has long since stepped a few steps out of public space, is even developing into a trendsetter in fresh colors and conquering living spaces.
The floor garment with a long service life is warm to the feet and easy to clean at the same time. Practical advantage in the home office: The antistatic material does not interfere with the sensitive office electronics. In addition, the natural substance is considered to be almost indestructible. So ideal for rolling office chairs and for bobby car races.
For linoleum, a cement made from linseed oil, resins, dyes, cork and wood flour is rolled onto a jute fabric and dried in long strips. You better leave the laying to the specialist. Similar to the prefabricated parquet, there are also linoleum panels that can be easily placed on the existing flooring.
- Price of linoleum as a floor covering: from 20 euros per square meter
- Linoleum as a floor covering is ideal for: Living room, hall, kitchen, children's room, bedroom, cellar, utility room
3. Cork as a floor covering
The eco-trend brings cork out of its deep slumber. After all, no tree has to be felled for its production, the cork oak only bark every nine years. Above all, however, cork is a feel-good floor. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that it is very elastic due to its unique cell structure and thus offers a high level of walking and standing comfort. This is easy on the back and joints.
On the other hand, cork as a floor covering is warm and quiet: cork adopts room temperature and insulates both sound in the room and footfall sound. The natural substance has an antistatic effect and is easy to care for. All you have to do is vacuum it and wipe it regularly with a damp cloth.
Cork is offered oiled, waxed or sealed. The stronger the material density, the more durable the covering. Like its wooden counterparts, cork parquet is also available as a solid version and as a veneered version.
- Price of cork as a floor covering: from 25 euros per square meter
- Cork as a floor covering is ideal for: Living room, hallway, children's room, bedroom
4. Natural stone as a floor covering
For a long time natural stone was more of a representative of pomp, swank and polish. In contrast, today the matt, light surfaces of the popular sedimentary rocks travertine, limestone and sandstone represent original elegance. The light natural stone legends, however, are among the more sensitive materials in contrast to their hard counterparts.
Natural stone floor coverings are not particularly acid-resistant and should be impregnated, especially in demanding areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Otherwise you might have a souvenir for years if you knock over a glass of red wine.
Basically, natural stone is particularly easy to care for. The costs for cleaning and maintenance are low. This pays off over the long service life and makes up for the higher investment compared to comparable artificial building materials. Instead of becoming unsightly, natural stone acquires a natural patina over the years.
And if the natural stone should look like new again, that's no problem even after centuries: By grinding you can restore natural stone slabs to their original condition. Hardly any other floor covering is so hard-wearing.
Practical: The high thermal conductivity makes natural stone the perfect building material for underfloor heating.
- Price for natural stone as a floor covering: from 50 euros per square meter
- Natural stone as a floor covering is ideal for: Living room, hall, kitchen, bathroom, basement, laundry room, utility room
A variant of stone as a floor covering is terrazzo floor, which has a very long tradition. More on this in our article "Terrazzo flooring: an old floor covering is back in fashion".
5. Tiled floor
It is tough - the tile. Wear-resistant, non-flammable, and more or less resistant to all types of dirt and stains such as chemicals or grease. That is why ceramics are the ideal floor covering for rooms that are subject to heavy loads.
In addition to hallways, kitchens and bathrooms, tiled floors have also long since conquered living spaces. Because with underfloor heating under the extremely thermally conductive covering, the tile loses its cold-feet image. Families with children and dog owners appreciate their easy cleaning.
The resilience of glazed floor tiles is divided into groups: Groups I and II are intended for light to medium use (bathrooms and bedrooms that are entered barefoot or only with softly soled shoes), but are rarely represented on the market. The standard today includes tiles of group III, which can withstand higher loads from intensive walking (hallway), and class IV for heavy use (kitchen, terrace).
Advice is essential when buying, so that wall tiles do not accidentally get onto the floor. Because they are usually lighter and more porous than floor tiles. More and more manufacturers are bringing out porcelain stoneware that is equally suitable for walls and floors.
Attention: When buying, you should pay attention to the slip resistance.
- Price for tiles as flooring: from 25 euros per square meter
- Tiled floor is ideal for: Living room, hall, kitchen, bathroom, basement, laundry room, utility room
Cozy, i.e. deep-pile carpeting scores best in terms of heat and noise insulation. Carpeting can reduce sound pressure by up to 90 percent. The thicker and longer the pile, the more cozy and energy-saving. In carpeted rooms, the perceived temperature is a good two degrees higher than in rooms with a smooth floor.
Because it ensures an ideal room climate and is particularly easy to care for, new wool in particular is experiencing an upswing. Most of the carpets on offer are made of synthetic fibers such as polyamide or polypropylene. Both are easy to clean and lightfast. Polypropylene is also insensitive to dirt, but less soft.
- Price for carpeting: from 25 euros per square meter
- Carpet is ideal for: Living room, children's room, bedroom, hallways on the upper floor
7. Laminate flooring
The champion in the flooring family is hard to beat in terms of popularity: laminate. Significantly cheaper than its wooden brother, parquet, the flooring has been conquering houses, apartments and property construction since the late 1980s.
The rapid development of manufacturing technology makes laminate a beautiful copy. And not just from the wooden floor, by the way. Concrete, stone, terracotta and metal can also be deceptively real - depending on what the impregnated decor paper depicts. Because that is responsible for the appearance of the floor. A surface made of synthetic resin lies above it. It makes the covering hard-wearing and easy to care for.
Good for allergy sufferers: dust and dirt can neither penetrate nor adhere firmly to the closed surface. Several layers of wood-based materials such as HDF boards serve as the substrate. The impact sound insulation is mostly integrated.
Laminate is now a high-tech product. There is laminate with antibacterial surfaces that give bacteria and germs no chance, moisture-resistant laminate floors for the bathroom and those with coatings that neutralize pollutants from the room air and reduce unpleasant odors.
Laminate flooring is an ideal partner for underfloor heating. With a material thickness of up to seven millimeters, laminate hardly shows up even on existing flooring. It is laid floating, glued using tongue and groove or simply plugged into each other. That makes laying easy.
- Price for laminate as a floor covering: from 10 euros per square meter
- Laminate flooring is ideal for: Living room, hall, kitchen, children's room, bedroom, cellar, utility room
8. Vinyl and design floors
Vinyl and design floors are often lumped together and have a lot in common, but still make a big difference. First of all, they have in common: Both are made of plastic. The difference is the type of plastic. Vinyl is made of PVC and usually contains plasticizers.
There are clear differences in quality when it comes to vinyl flooring. When buying vinyl floors, you should therefore make sure that "harmless plasticisers" have been used. With the design floor, the youngest member of the flooring family, you don't have to worry about this. PU or PET is used for design floors, the same material that drinking bottles are made of.
Design floor owes its name to the enormous variety of designs. Every material from stone, metal, concrete to wood is faithfully imitated. The look, feel and acoustics are exemplary. Design floors are easy to care for, hard-wearing, sound-absorbing and also warm to the feet.
Design floors are only suitable to a limited extent for real wet rooms such as bathrooms or laundry rooms. Wood beam-based boards are not recommended for wet rooms. On the other hand, you can use the floors in the "solid" plastic version, i.e. without wooden beams, but also in wet rooms.
- Price for vinyl / design floor: from 15 euros per square meter
- Vinyl / design flooring is ideal for: Living room, hall, kitchen, children's room, bedroom, cellar, utility room, partly also for bathroom and laundry room
Find the right floor covering: a comparison of all floors
Our table shows you again clearly the different properties of all eight floor coverings in comparison. Which floor covering is right for you depends on which properties are most important to you personally.
Maybe you are also interested in the right flooring for balconies and patios? Read here which flooring is the best for the balcony
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