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Choose a Hardwearing Flooring Material

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 19 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Flooring Materials Design Hardwood

When choosing or constructing a garden building, you’ll find that there are many different flooring materials on offer. The external part of a garden building is pretty easy – a weatherproof tile or wood patio decking is the norm, as these have to be functional as well as attractive. But when looking into an internal garden building space, your choices extend far beyond patio tiles and decking.

The type and design of flooring material that you ultimately choose should be a well thought-out decision, rather than an impulse buy. This is because the “right” choice of flooring for your garden building should be mainly influenced and ideally determined by your intended use for the building.

Considerations

Use of the Space: is the first consideration you should make. This is because you’ll need a flooring material that suits the function and frequency of use of the room. For example, if you intend to use the space as a workshop, and the floor needs to bear the heavy load of machinery as well as undertake a lot of wear and tear, then you’ll want to opt for a flooring material that’s durable and strong. Ideally in this instance a hardwood flooring such as oak would be perfect. However, hardwoods like English Oak, beech, cedar or ash tend to be on the pricey side, so a compromise would be Redwood, Plywood, or OSB (oriented strand board). Timber merchants or a building supplies company may provide a good price, but this only tends to be the case if you’re buying larger than average quantities of timber.

Likewise, if you intend to use liquids and abrasive chemicals (think dark room, artist studio or workshop) in your garden building, you may want to opt for a functional flooring that will endure spillages without staining or marking. So a laminate or sealed waterproof ties may be your best option. If it’s carpet you’re after, then consider how often you intend to use the space, and whether you would prefer a more hardwearing, shorter carpet fibre (for instance in use in an office) with added extras such as scotch guard, or a more luxurious good quality long pile that will require more upkeep and cleaning.

Budget

Budget: is a big matter of importance when choosing your flooring. It’s all very well determining that you need an extremely hard wearing and resistant flooring, but the actual cost of installing luxurious granite tiles or mahogany hardwood flooring will most likely be out of the question. Although a flooring material would be ideal for the job or style of your building, budgetary restrains may mean compromising and opting for the next best option. The good news is that many new types of flooring have been developed with budgetary, style and use in mind to create an affordable range.

For instance, you may again wish to lay a solid, hardwood English oak exposed floorboards in your new garden building. But if your budgetary restrains dictate otherwise, a suitable alternative could be other less expensive hardwoods such as beech or ash, or perhaps even real or oak laminate flooring. Likewise although marble may be your first ‘dream’ choice of flooring, but a compromise may have to be porcelain marble-effect tiles, or perhaps honed and filled travertine – still a very stylish and luxurious looking material.

Design

This again brings us to our third consideration – style and design. Obviously, the better quality and more durable the material, the more expensive it will prove to be. For instance, some slate tiles will be a lovely colour, but be ever so easy to fracture, splinter or break. These tend to be Chinese imports and because of their fragility, they’re a cheap option but in the long run will need more care and maintenance, and possible replacement.

If it’s a look or colour you’re after, then there are some very good porcelain imitation tiles available, which are roughly equivalent in cost to tongue and groove easy-fit laminate tiles. If you like the look of timber decking, you may be able to extend the decking inside, or source suitable timber that matches the wood patio decking, bringing the “outside inside”.

Overall, the main point is that you have to really consider exactly how you are going to use the space, how often and whether you’ll need something that can stand up to wear and tear. These points should be foremost in your mind when looking for flooring materials at your building materials merchant or flooring suppliers. Once you have determined this, you can choose with confidence. After all, it’s a decision that you’ll probably have to endure for a very long time.

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