Comfort for all

Regardless of the type of housing, the goal of any interior should be to create a supportive environment for the occupiers well-being, where important functional aspects are balanced with aesthetic and physical comfort.

Even with the need to deliver value at the point of specification, as well as long-term durability and ease of maintenance throughout use, flooring can play a role in contributing to an atmosphere of comfort. The right choice of flooring not only gives occupiers a lasting and easy to look after surface, but one that enhances the aesthetic qualities of their home, as well as improve their experience within it.

This is true from social and affordable housing through BTR and PRS schemes, family homes and luxury housing developments. Every type of property can create a better interior that supports well-being with the right selection of flooring.

Take for example, social and affordable homes, where delivering a comfortable and supportive home for tenants must be balanced with a need to provide a low-cost solution that can endure and potentially avoid replacement between tenancies. In these homes, the use of cushion vinyl in key areas such as living spaces, kitchens, hallways and bathrooms can bring a multitude of benefits. Hardwearing and easy to maintain, it fulfils the need for a floor finish that’s highly practical, but it can also bring physical comfort and aesthetic balance.

Floors such as those produced by Beauflor have a multi-layer composition with a compacted foam backing that improves walking comfort and can be tuned to deal with particular on-site challenges such as acoustics – a contributor to the tenant’s perception of a comfortable home. The surface can also be specified with improved slip-resistance, making them ideal for aged care or sheltered housing. A low-cost and easy to install solution, the impervious sheet format makes the floors highly water resistant.

Aesthetically, these floors are available in a wide range of designs, from concrete and stone, ceramic tile to a range of wood planks and herringbone floors. Allowing homes a connection to the natural world, without the cost drawbacks or on-going maintenance of natural floors, they are an affordable option that enhance comfort and support the well-being of tenants.

The rapid growth in BTR and PRS schemes has fuelled growth in another type of vinyl floor, where the same objectives of durability and long-term appearance retention are matched to a high-quality finish, commonly in wood, natural stone or concrete effects. Developments such a Manchester’s Vita Living Apartments at Circle Square or Luton’s Napier Gateway typify the approach, using luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) flooring to create a highly marketable proposition that retains value at specification and throughout use.

At Vita Living Apartments, some 50,000m2 of LVT from Moduleo has been used in all areas. For apartments, a mix of oak wood planks in calming natural tones provide a comforting connection to nature in a way that’s balanced and in-tune with contemporary living. For public areas, the design flexibility of LVT has been exploited across chevron wood, hexagon stones, concrete and rich wood planks, delivering a high-quality multi-use space.

For private and family homes options are broad, with many developers offering purchasers a range of flooring options. Here, alongside LVT, natural wood or laminate floors, as well as carpet, there is the possibility to consider options that can lift homes out of the ordinary and create a comfortable and supportive interior that also meets the ambitions of the purchaser.

As an example, cork is increasingly popular in commercial properties like hotels, where it’s unique aesthetic, long-term performance and status as a sustainable, renewable natural resource make it appealing. The choice of cork says as much about a desire to make more sustainable purchasing decisions as it does about creating a unique interior design rooted in nature. Cork manufacturers such as Granorte provide a wide range of flooring options using cork. Whether traditional stick down tiles or floating planks that use cork for its aesthetic qualities as well as its ability to improve comfort – it’s a great natural insulator – cork makes a statement on the homeowners principles and contributes to a supportive living environment.

In terms of carpet and textile floors, there’s certainly no shortage of options and all offer a comfortable experience for occupiers across a broad range of price points. However, many tufted carpets offer a similar look regardless of the type of property and while this may be fine for family homes in private developments, purchasers of luxury homes may well expect a more exclusive look.

Natural floorcoverings like sisal may be one option, but these are notoriously difficult to care for and not particularly comfortable underfoot. Flatweave wool, particularly handmade carpets like those from Riviera Home, can bring luxury developments a unique natural alternative that’s comfortable, durable and aesthetically unique. Some of the best styles, like the brand’s Capri or Milano ranges, have a unique fabric-like quality that’s unmistakably luxurious and is sure to meet purchaser demand for an exclusive and high-quality option for their new home.

Across all types of property and development, the choice of floor can be bewildering. By remaining focused on the principle of durability and ease of maintenance being balanced by physical and aesthetic comfort, it becomes possible to achieve a floor that supports well-being for all.