Give your living space a modern makeover. From vinyl to laminate and the best carpet for living rooms, we take you through the options to find your top match.
How to find the best flooring for living rooms: everything you need to know
Before you start shopping, there are a number of things to consider, including how the flooring will fit into your design scheme and how you want it to work in the space – do you want it to be hard or soft underfoot, absorb noise, cater for pets, last for a very long time?
Is your living room a high traffic area, is there a big risk of spills or other accidents and will your existing furniture and décor work with your new purchase? From the best carpet for living rooms to laminate, vinyl and more, our handy guide makes choosing easy.
Carpet: Soft and comfortable, carpet is a traditional affordable choice and a great way of sound-proofing rooms, as well as hiding uneven floors. On the downside, it can be prone to stains and may fade in the sun. But it works well in a lower traffic area like a living room and is an effective way to make a strong style statement. For busy family homes and a low maintenance option, consider one of our stain resistant designs.
Laminate: An attractive, durable and cost-effective alternative to wood flooring, laminate comes in a variety of different styles and finishes to suit any style scheme. It can simulate the look of hardwood, stone and tiles to increase your design options. Easy and quick to lay, it’s suitable for use on most floor surfaces.
Vinyl: Also available in a huge variety of effects including hardwood, tiles, marble and stone, and a wide range of patterns and colours. Hard-wearing and affordable, it is easy to lay and also to maintain. A cushioned option works well for extra softness in a living room. It’s not suitable for uneven floors however and may be more easily marked by heavy furniture.
Tiles and hardwood: Luxury options such as a tiled or real wood floor will set you back a bit extra but can really create a wow factor in a formal living room. To get the look without the price tag, opt for a simulated tiled or wooden floor in a choice of cost-effective vinyl or laminate. On trend hardwoods for 2010 are oak, maple and cherry, while dark marble or stone tiles are big in contemporary living rooms right now.
Alternative options: Cork, bamboo and natural fibres are all sustainable choices for flooring or consider rubber tiles in a wide range of colours.
A few key trends stand out at the moment, including sustainable flooring options, darker shades and moody colour palettes, patterns, prints and geometric designs. Natural materials such as bamboo and seagrass are stylish as well as ‘worthy’ choices but if you’re looking for great value for money, choose laminate and vinyl to add colour and pattern to your living space.
Dark shades such as greys, deep blues and teals continue to be popular in flooring and add a cosy, warm appeal to a living room. Opt for a tonal design scheme, with paler wall colours or fashionable pastel shades. Or cosy up the space with luxurious lilacs and rich pinks, add warmth with patterned soft furnishings, cushions and throws.
Pattern is also a growing trend, particularly in detailed geometric designs, and a great way to add texture and eye-catching interest to a large, formal living room. Use carpet to experiment with pattern, or you could also consider parquet flooring with its intricate ornate geometry, perfect for sophisticated living spaces. Get the look at a fraction of the cost with vinyl and laminate lookalikes.
Complement large prints and busy patterns by keeping walls pale and monochrome - let your floor make a statement. Keep furniture simple, with lots of clean lines, a clutter-free space works best with this look.