Choosing the right flooring for an Indian home
Options in Flooring designs have flooded the Indian market over the last two decades. Pre-liberalisation days saw only indigenous flooring like marble, limestone and kota making their way into Indian homes. However over the last few years, the options for creating flooring designs have become mindboggling – right from glass, bamboo, stone, vitrified tiles, Italian marble to wood, there is something for every kind of taste and budget. All flooring optionscome with their pros and cons. Here’s a guide on various flooring options suited for Indian homes and living conditions:
Natural Stone Flooring: These include marble, granite, kota and slate. What is remarkable here is the broad spectrum of options in various prices. All four stones are hard, durable and withstand various climatic conditions. Here you simply need to choose according to your budget. Marble looks great in homes, adding an instant touch of opulence but should be avoided in high traffic areas because it easily becomes dirty. Granite also adds grandeur to any living space. However, because of its dark colour, it is seldom used by itself and is usually combined with a light-coloured stone like marble. Kota and Slate can be used to enhance flooring designs both outdoors and indoors and belong to the cheaper end of the price spectrum.
Laminate flooring: Hugely popular, laminate flooring can be seen in many recent residential and commercial constructions. It is made with a printed photograph of wood and is stuck to a fibreboard plank. Its looks quite ‘natural’ and is a cost-effective alternative to hardwood flooring. It also doesn’t fade easily, making it ideal for the strong Indian sun. The best thing about this flooring is that it can be easily pasted on existing flooring. However, it cannot be used outdoors and must be kept away from moisture. Laminate flooring is also available in options of stone and tile.
Vitrified Tiles: Easily the most popular flooring in India today, vitrified tiles have earned their popularity with good reason. Durable, cost-effective, stain-resistant, easy to maintain and good looking, many offices and home owners opt for this flooring. Vitrified tiles do not have the grandeur of marble or the warm look of laminate flooring but win hands down on all other counts.
Hardwood: Hardwood flooring is made from timber of different kinds of wood. The popular types in India are oak, spruce and pine. The kind of wood and adhesive used determine the costs and durability of hardwood. Choose this option only if you have plenty of money to spare and are keen on having the ‘real thing’.
Bamboo: This is the latest entrant to the flooring market. Bamboo is more cost-effective than hardwood, looks great and is hardy. It can withstand scorching, arid climate as well as humidity. It is well suited to Indian living conditions and is also resistant to abrasions.
Whenever you choose tiles for your home, remember that installing and replacing them can be quite an expensive affair. Therefore, make sure that the flooring not only reflects your personality, but is chosen based on climatic conditions and your resources for maintenance.