Flooring Materials | An Architect Explains

Flooring is the general term for a permanent covering of a floor. The purpose of flooring is to provide a horizontal, clean surface to support the occupants of a building, the furniture and equipment. Therefore the flooring must  be strong enough to bear the super imposed loads. The choice of material for floor covering is affected by factors such as cost, endurance, noise insulation, comfort and cleaning effort. There are three broad categories for flooring material options, namely Natural, Man-made and Resilient and have their own advantages and disadvantages. 


As an Architect, I am invariably asked by my clients to help them in choosing the right flooring for their rooms and house. The many choices available in the market and the flooring company owner’s ‘suggestive’ advice often confuse them. So I decided to write this post to help you in making the right decision. The commonly used flooring materials have been reviewed here with their pros and cons. Now, decide which one is best suited for you!

NATURAL FLOORING OPTIONS: Some of the most popular flooring materials are naturally occurring stones like Marble, Granite, Kota, Slate and Hardwood because of the beauty of their natural textures/patterns, sheen and their durability and strength.

MAN-MADE FLOORING OPTIONS:  Man-made flooring materials are generally cheaper, more durable, less-maintenance and quicker to lay than natural flooring materials. The commonest are:

RESILIENT FLOORING OPTIONS: Resilient flooring materials are elastic but firm, hard-wearing and also have a certain degree of give which reduces shock on legs, feet and back. So, they are suitable for people who are on their feet for long periods. They are also great for noise reduction. And consistently more affordable than the other flooring types, they mimic. Examples are:

COMPARISONS BETWEEN FLOORING MATERIALS: Very often, people cannot make a decision regarding the right flooring material for their home/space. This is because there are so many types, manufacturers and dealers in the market. Also, the properties or appearances of some of the materials are quite similar that it can be quite confusing to discern the right one for you. Some of the commonly confused materials are compared here:

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One thought on “Flooring Materials | An Architect Explains

  • July 28, 2016 at 4:14 am

    A well written article! There are certainly a wide variety of flooring options to choose from in the market right now. Personally, I decided to go for ceramic tiles as they had the widest variety to choose from and were the most cost-effective. I carried out the tiling myself. Bought the tiles online and then used a tile fixing agent called Roff tile adhesive to fix it onto the floor. Quite surprised by how well it turned out and I’m happy with the results.
    Hi Prithvi,
    It is good that many Indians are also opting to do-it-themselves. But I don’t want to burst your bubble, ceramic tiles can chip and break over time and if the fixing is not done properly, the tiles can start to come off easily.

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