International experts recently answered a few pressing questions that interior designers and home owners usually ask about residential flooring installations. Here are a few design pointers to consider:

Mixing wooden floorboards with wooden furniture
Your mix of timber colours and treatments need to be aligned for good styling. The undertone of your timber floor, for example, may have a warm or a cool base colour, which can be matched to varied light to dark shades in furniture such as a dining room table. Keep it tonal or contrast your timbers in a smart way for great results.

Carpets for bedrooms
John Harrison from Feltex Carpets advises designers to choose dark shades in a plush or twist texture for cosiness and a sense of luxury.

“If you’re after the illusion of space, lighter colours are great for accentuating the sun’s vibrancy. For kids’ rooms, use bright, textured carpets that bring energy and promote creativity, or choose cool colours for calm,” says John.

Flooring for extensions
For extension projects, it is a good idea to opt for timber flooring in a similar species, width and grade as the original floorboards to help create a seamless transition. Acoustic engineers can also be employed to recommend under-floor and lining systems if your goal is to improve the acoustics of your floor.

Removing ceramic tiles to replace with wooden floors
Anne Plumb, General Manager of Royal Oak Floors, recommends leaving this task to professionals. “Unfortunately with removing tiles, there typically isn’t an easy way out,” says Anne. If, however, the tiles aren’t loose or cracked, one can consider doing an adherence test to see if the boards can be glued directly on top.

Durability considerations for hardwood floors
Many people love the look and feel of hardwood floors, but are worried about durability if they have young kids or a lot of foot traffic. John Harrison, marketing manager at Godfrey Hirst, says that hard-wearing timber floors in European oak, Australian or exotic species create stunning, high-end finishes.

“But if you’re decorating on a budget, there are alternatives that are still suited to busy homes with kids and pets. Laminate flooring is a great way to get the look of timber for a fraction of the price,” says Godfrey.

Ceramic or timber in kitchens?
When it comes to the floor surface in a kitchen, there are a number of aspects to consider. Ceramic tiles are practical as they can withstand spills, but that’s not the full story.

David Hayward, technical manager at the Australian Timber Flooring Association (ATFA), points out that if something falls on a tile floor, it may break and can chip the tile.

“With time, grout becomes discoloured and a tiled floor can look its age. Timber provides a softer feel underfoot, is individual to your home, and coatings provide a stain-resistant surface. A timber floor can usually be refurbished to look like new. I suggest considering the broader aspects, rather than just practicality when making the decision,” concludes David.

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