Thursday, October 10, 2013

Four Great Ideas for Cost-Effective Flooring

A floor has multiple purposes – and depending on where it is in the home, it can have a number of different required properties. Kitchen floors, for instance, need to be waterproof, hardwearing and resistant to showing dirt and stains. Bathroom floors must be capable of withstanding a large amount of wet use. Bedroom floors need to be comfortable and attractive – and may, in the case of kids’ rooms, also need to be very easy to clean.

Have a look at these great ideas for rejuvenating your rooms with cost-effective flooring solutions.

Reveal what was already there

If you are lucky enough to have original floorboards under those carpets, it’s pretty easy (though labour intensive) to reveal them. Start by taking away the existing floor coverings and examining the state of the floor beneath. Check for telltale signs of woodworm – pinholes covering the boards, or the tracks made by the worms as they burrow in the board. Mild woodworm can be treated with woodworm killer. Heavy woodworm infestation means condemning the boards and starting again.

Sand the boards with a belt sander until you have revealed the light wood underneath. Varnish several times with floor varnish, sanding between coats and polishing with a tack rag.

Go modern

MDF flooring is cheap and easy to fit, and can be made waterproof with an application of cheap PVA. Once you have fitted and waterproofed an MDF floor, you can carpet it in modern styles to bring a warm, colourful feel to your room – and because you saved money on the floor and waterproofing, you can spend the savings on a better quality carpet. Pick a colour that doesn’t show dirt too easily, and use recycled underlay to continue controlling costs. You can cut and fit carpet yourself if you have the time and patience too. Ensure your room is free of furniture, and measure a square of carpet by taking the two longest measurements in the space. Cut down to size one wall at a time, and fit from one corner outwards.

Sand and paint

Already revealed floorboards can be given a new lease of life with a simple sand and a coat of paint. If you’re painting the boards, you shouldn’t need to sand them too hard – and if they have been revealed anyway, they should be protected by existing varnish enough that they haven’t become too impregnated with dirt. Simply sand down the varnish until the edges are rough enough to accept your paint and then apply in several coats. Sand between coats to smooth over the finish. Gloss floorboards look great in a Colonial home design – roughly painted wood, with the grain showing through, is ideal for a shabby chic look. Use a few reclaimed furniture pieces to complete the style.

Reclaim stone for your bathroom or kitchen

Local stone is often used in traditional floors – and the good news is you can reclaim it yourself at minimal cost. You can even use materials that look similar to local stone to create the same effect – so in a seaside area, for instance, you can use leftover roof tiles, smashed up and fitted like crazy paving, to create a slate floor effect. Yorkstone is excellent for use in hilly areas, and gives a long lasting rustic finish perfect for bathroom, kitchen and hallway use. You can also use local stone to make patios and pathways.

The Author is a home and DIY journalist, whose advice has been published on hundreds of high quality websites and home pages in the last 10 years. He is frequently asked to provide advice columns for nationally used DIY websites, and he runs a personal network of DIY blogs that attracts as many as 750,000 unique visitors every day.

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