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20 Hot tips for choosing flooring

1. Most timber flooring these days is pre-finished and laminated. Traditional tongue-and-groove timber was nail-fixed directly to floor joists and needed three to four coats of polyurethane. Today’s pre-finished timber floors come pre-sanded and polyurethaned and usually can be laid over your existing flooring.

2. When purchasing carpet, be sure to ask what your quote includes. David Philippe of Cavalier Bremworth says hidden costs could add significantly to the price. Check that your quote includes uplifting the old carpet, what type of underlay you will receive, and whether the company charges extra to move furniture.

3. When timber flooring is installed, a space needs to be left between the floor and the wall (the gap is normally hidden by the skirting board). Anna Murphy from Jacobsen Creative Surfaces says this is because wood is affected by humidity in the air. If humidity is high, timber will expand. It will shrink back when moisture in the air is low.

4. Carpet is priced in broadloom metres; when comparing costs between carpet and hard flooring, you will need to convert this figure. One broadloom metre is 3.66metres wide x 1 metre long.

5. Some of the most favoured styles for vinyl are designs that look like ceramic tiles. Raymond Dee from New floor says traditional beige and creamy tones find the most favour. Apparently New Zealand trends in vinyl follow Europe rather than the United States, where the look is light and glossy

6. Don’t buy carpet based purely on price. Flooring is a long-term investment. You may save on cheaper carpet now but you are likely to have to go through the whole process again in 3-4 years’ time. A good-quality carpet will last up to 20 years while a cheaper one could be looking shabby in 3-4months.

7. Ceramic tiles are made from a mixture of clays, sand and other natural substances. They are then glazed and fired at high temperatures. The glaze gives the tiles their design characteristics such as colour, shininess, shades of colour and decoration. If you’re considering ceramic tiles for your flooring, do make sure you select the right tiles – wall tiles are not suitable for the floor.

8. Vinyl flooring is produced in 4 metre-wide rolls. This generous width means that smaller rooms can be covered with a complete section of vinyl, with no seams. Vinyl is produced in thicknesses ranging from approximately 1.2mm to 4.8mm. Your sub-floor may determine your choice of thickness. A 1.2mm vinyl may not have enough “give” for a concrete floor, but is fine for lying over particleboard.

9. When considering carpet colour, remember that once laid on the floor, a carpet will appear lighter than on the individual sample.

10. Light cream carpet does not necessarily lighten a small room. In most cases, a darker-coloured carpet would be better. This is not only more practical but “grounds” the floor as a base and gives the illusion of light to the walls and the rest of the room.

11. If your carpet is outdated or stained consider re-colouring it. Kerry McGruddy of Carpet Colourists says that if a carpet has sufficient pile, it is possible to dye wool, nylon or blends to extend its useful life by five-20 years. The company uses an on-the-floor dyeing process, and you could save up to 80per cent on carpet replacement costs. Vegetable dyes are used in this non-toxic, budget-friendly procedure.

12. If you are using ceramic tiles for wet areas, such as bathrooms, you may want to consider slip-resistant tiles. But do remember that a slip tile will always have a more textured surface. The more textured the surface, the more difficult it is to clean.

13. How do you tell the quality of a carpet? According to Faye Jackson of Carpet One, the “feel” test is no guarantee. A good wool is firm to the touch; the comfort aspect is linked to the underlay. Also, even though a carpet may be 100per cent wool, it’s the quality of that wool that counts. That’s why carpets that are 100per cent wool can vary widely in price. Always ask for a wear guarantee – whether you choose wool, nylon, or a blend, this is the ultimate indicator of quality.

14. The colours of nature are always popular. Just as New Zealanders are partial to blue and green carpet, tiles in these colours are also favourites. Do think about the size of tiles you want – smaller tiles can be costlier and more time-consuming to lay than larger tiles.

15. Carpet fashions change all the time. If you see a carpet you like and plan to pay for it later, put it on layby. There have been cases when interiors have been planned and decorated around a specific carpet colour, only to find mere months later that range is no longer available.

16. Vinyl flooring is known for being soft underfoot and easy to install. Newflor’s Raymond Dee says New Zealanders are beginning to realise just how easy it is to lay vinyl themselves. Raymond says today’s vinyl is very hard-wearing – during the a past 12months new resins have improved its durability considerably.

17. All cut-pile carpets will ‘track’. To avoid tracking you will need to select a loop pile carpet such as sisal or Berber.

18. Real wood floors, like all natural products, fade or change colour when exposed to sunlight. This is a normal characteristic and depends on the environment your floor is in. small dents and scratches may appear with everyday use, and add to the character of the floor. To avoid excessive damage, sweep regularly and use felt furniture pads.

19. If you choose one colour carpet for the entire house, you will not only save on costs but also create a good interior flow from room to room.

20. Decide whether you’d like to go for a fashionable carpet, such as sisals and textures that are particularly hot at the moment, or a more timeless look. Faye Jackson of Carpet One usually recommends light greens, greys and teal as an ideal colour choice – they are more practical, look great in our bright light, and don’t date.

Where To From Here?
Hopefully, this report has given you some insight into a small part of decorating your home. It may also have prompted a whole new set of questions.

To get all of the answers you need, simply give me, Kristina Cope, a call on (09) 578-0704 or (021)-641-530 to schedule your free, no-hassle, straight talk consultation. I will arrange a time convenient for you, and it shouldn’t take long at all.

In about 30 minutes, you’ll receive more time and money saving interior design, decorating information than most people learn in a lifetime!

By now, you’ve probably figured out that I am not like most Interior Designers or Architects. (I am qualified in both fields). I concentrate on providing quality information to those who need it.

“But why would you just give away all of this valuable information?”

I know that you may be asking that question in your mind. I know it’s not what most Interior Designers do, and it may seem a little odd. It’s just that I have learned that good things happen when you concentrate on really helping people.

Yes, I make my living consulting to clients as their interior designer, and yes, it would be my pleasure to work for you to transform your house into a home you love to bring friends, business associates, and guests’ home to.


A half-hour is all it takes to get the information you need to make smart decisions for your future. We'll discuss what you want to accomplish, and look at the different options that you have.

Well, I’ve said just about all I can say. The next step is up to you. As I said before, there is absolutely no cost or obligation attached to your free consultation.

Pick up the phone and call me now, while you are thinking about it. I know that you may be a little skeptical, but one phone call isn’t much to risk, especially when you could save yourself lots of aggravation and thousands of dollars!

You can reach me at (09) 578-0704 or (021)-641-530, or send me an email with some suggested times and dates you are available to get together with me.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Kristina Cope DipInt, BArch
Interior Designer
P.S. Procrastination keeps more people from ever reaching their dreams than anything else. Don’t miss out on information that can make all the difference!