WHEN creating a home, the right floor coverings provide the essential finishing touch that completes the space. Choosing high-quality and high-performing flooring is therefore integral to delivering a home environment that generates comfort and happiness for its residents.
Residential homes need flooring that withstands everyday use and a broad spectrum of daily activity. From heavy footfall, household pets or children playing, to general wear and tear, flooring should keep up with the way we live, and the way our lives develop and change.
Whether you are furnishing a single home or a large social housing scheme, delivering durable and cost-effective solutions that appeal to the aesthetic and functional needs of the resident is vital to the success of the project.
Standards and Regulations
Firstly, considering Building Regulations and standards is vital for selecting the right floor covering. While UK Building Regulations are concerned with the flooring structure, including its safety, thermal efficiency and resistance to moisture, the choice of floor covering can support the meeting of these standards and further enhance the property. Build to rent and social housing landlords must provide properties with an EPC E rating at the very minimum, but this rating will be steadily rising through the ranks to become a C, and B by 2030. Considering the importance of taking a fabric-first approach to energy saving, choosing a thermally efficient flooring solution will help housing to meet current and future legislation.
As well as this, a growing body of research highlights the short and long-term health impacts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that are used and produced in the manufacture of furnishings and carpeting materials, among other things. Many of these chemicals are used in the make-up of a conventional carpet; the dyes, backing glues, fibre treatments – all are at risk of being high in VOCs. With an increased interest in improving indoor air quality (IAQ) for the health and wellbeing of residents, it is well worth considering choosing low VOC flooring, especially in rooms with insufficient ventilation or where occupants may spend long periods of time.
What are the other considerations when selecting floor coverings?
Whatever initial performance benefits a flooring solution has, the appeal of a carpet is tied intrinsically to how long these benefits last. High traffic areas, such as hallways, stairways, bedrooms and living rooms, will need to prioritise a durable carpet that won’t become worn and tired looking after only a few years of use. A durable flooring solution will save money and provide more comfort, thermally and underfoot, in the long run. When using carpet, durability is dictated by a combination of factors, including pile weight (how closely knitted together carpet fibres are), pile height, and material.
With an increasing focus on energy saving and sustainability in home renovations and property purchases, choosing durable products that will keep a home warmer and last for longer appeal to both the property owner and potential buyers/renters.
Another consideration is the look and feel of the flooring solution. A recent Which? survey asked 6,000 people how they chose their current carpet. The results were a landslide in favour of comfort and aesthetics; 68% said comfort underfoot was important, 67% said warmth and 61% said feel, over anything else. The way the carpet looked outweighed the price by 44%. This shows how much people value investing in a flooring solution which fulfils the comfort and aesthetic preferences of the resident.
In addition to the material itself, choosing a flooring colour that matches the surroundings or acts as a neutral base palette for a greater décor freedom may also be important to boost the overall long-term appeal of the home, and therefore its market value.
Residential properties will be exposed to the elements every day, with occupants constantly coming and going, bringing muck and dirt from the outside back indoors with them. The maintenance of floor coverings should also be considered; some stains are very difficult to remove, and certain flooring materials make this stain removal process almost impossible. Homeowners will be looking for flooring solutions that look good in the long run, have stain resistant properties, and are generally easy to clean.
JHS is a leading supplier of high-quality commercial carpet, contract carpet tiles and commercial floorcoverings in the UK, with a large range of tough, long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing solutions.