Thu, Sep 1, 2022 4:07 PM

Interior Advice


Tessa Jaine

Finding Flooring

With Avril Heard-Woollcombe, Karibu Interior Design

Avril Heard-Woollcombe

When undertaking a building or renovation project, flooring is an important consideration, both financially, and as the starting point for your interior colour scheme. As a general rule, Avril says to start from the floor and then move upwards.

Consider your lifestyle

Thought needs to be considered as to how the space will be used, who will be in the space and the aspect (north or south facing). Consider how much exposure to sunlight the area has, the access to outdoors, the subfloor type and condition, and whether or not there is existing underfloor heating. Depending on your lifestyle factors, you may need flooring that is more durable than others.

Look at your options

There are a number of options on the market for achieving a beautiful wood or wood-look floor. Sheet vinyl is the most cost-effective, minimal maintenance floor covering for bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. Vinyl planks/tiles are hard-wearing and great for use in high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen, dining, living, hallways and bathrooms. Vinyl planks have the advantage over sheet vinyl, that if one is damaged it can be easily replaced without having to replace the total floor area. Laminate flooring has the beauty of looking and even feeling like real timber, but without the maintenance and it’s a fraction of the cost. The top layer is a photographic image of wood with an overlay of a durable protective product. Generally harder wearing than vinyl planks but be aware of waterproof ratings and guarantees.


Synthetic carpet has the advantage of being more fade resistant than wool carpet, which is important with our strong NZ UV, plus it is highly stainresistant and cost-effective. On the other hand, wool carpets are making a huge resurgence, with wool being one of the most sustainable, environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and durable fibres in the world. If your budget does not allow you to upgrade your carpet selection to a denser pile, consider using a thicker underlay which will give your carpet a more luxurious feel underfoot.


Ceramic, porcelain, marble, granite, and other natural stones. Extremely hard-wearing but unforgivingly hard and can be cold, so require underfloor heating or to be situated in a sunny area. Great for use in wet areas such as bathrooms and showers, plus can be used as splash backs and feature walls in kitchens and bathrooms.

What’s in style?

The flooring trend is moving away from the cooler dark charcoal, black and grey shades of carpets and planks, to more natural warmer tones. Very dark flooring shows just as much dirt and debris as light flooring. The use of mid-earthy tones will reduce vacuuming and warm up the space. There is a move to the use of hard flooring throughout the high traffic and living spaces which creates a seamless flow and leads you into the main hub. Carpet is often now only in the bedrooms and the formal lounge for warmth and comfort. Rugs are also a popular choice for creating areas and adding texture, colour and warmth.

Visit your local showroom to look at the vast array of flooring options and always ask to see the largest samples available. Work with a knowledgeable designer or flooring representative to get the correct product and look you are after.

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