MAN-MADE FLOORING | An Architect Explains

Natural materials were used as flooring materials from time immemorial, because nothing else was available. However, with the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, machines started making flooring products in bulk, which were stronger, more durable, cheaper and required less labour for laying. These man-made materials like Ceramic tiles, Vitrified tiles, Terrazzo, Concrete and Laminate wood, rapidly became more popular than natural, flooring materials in homes and commercial spaces.

Each of the man-made materials used for flooring has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. But some of these materials are quite similar and difficult to distinguish. So, many of my clients have requested me to help them in choosing the right one for their homes. As an Architect, I have reviewed the pros and cons of the commonly used man-made flooring materials and suggested where they are best suited.

Concrete Flooring:

Concrete is universally used for building slabs. And most concrete slabs are covered with another flooring material such as stone, tile, carpeting or wood. However, Concrete slab floors that are not covered with another material are gaining popularity in retail stores and other commercial buildings since they provide a low-cost yet highly durable flooring surface.

Terrazzo Flooring:

Terrazzo tiles consist of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other suitable chips held together by a binder and arranged in an attractive pattern. This flooring is highly durable, not very expensive and not slippery when wet because it has many grout lines. Therefore, it is popular in residential as well as public buildings.

Crazy Marble Flooring:

It is a little different from terrazzo flooring in its casting. In this type of flooring, waste and cut marble and stone pieces are laid on a white cement concrete base. Like Terrazzo, crazy marble flooring is durable, not slippery and economical making it suitable for driveways, courtyards, verandah etc.

Ceramic Tiles Flooring: 

Ceramic tiles are made from clay, quartz and feldspar fired to high temperature. They are durable, easy to clean, resist stains and scratches. Since ceramic tiles are affordable, low-maintenance, available in various sizes, colours, shapes and can easily match with the decor of any room, they  are popular in homes.

Vitrified Tiles Flooring: 

Vitrified tiles are produced using vitrification process and have very low porosity (and water absorption), making it stain-resistant and stronger and more durable than ceramic tiles. Therefore they are more popular than ceramic tiles and are preferred over marble and granite flooring.

Laminate Flooring: 

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer, synthetic flooring product fused together by a lamination process and composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials and an outer, photographic, applique layer that simulates wood. As it is versatile, easy to maintain, and reasonably priced, many people prefer laminate flooring to solid hardwood or engineered wood in their homes.

For information on other flooring options, go to:


In order to get a rough idea of the suitability of a particular flooring for your requirement and to make a fair comparison of the different types of flooring, refer to an Architect’s rating of the various kinds of flooring on my blog: House construction in India

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4 thoughts on “MAN-MADE FLOORING | An Architect Explains

  • December 7, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    We are constructing 5storey building for parking of two wheeler vehicles. Pl advise whether we can go for 24/24 Kota stone without polish. What will be the approx price,
    Hi Ashok,
    Yes you can use 2’x2′ kota for car parking area. Cost depends on where you acquire the stone from. If the quantity required is large, then you can directly get it from Kota at a lower price. Only the transportation costs will be more.

  • October 9, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Hi, I live in Bangalore.
    (1) Can I put Pergo Laminated Wooden flooring for the Living, Dining and bedrooms? They have AC6 Grade, 11mm thick.
    (2) Are there better brands other than Pergo available in Bangalore? If yes, what are they?
    (3) Or do you suggest I go for Vitrified tiles or Marble for Bangalore conditions?
    Your reply will be much appreciated.
    Thank you
    Hi Mahesh,
    Vitrified tiles last longer than laminated flooring and are cheaper. But wooden flooring looks warmer and cozier compared to vitrified. Pergo is okay, so is Square Foot or Armstrong.

  • November 10, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Hi Minu
    I read your blog written couple of weeks back related to polished concrete floors. I am constructing a house in bangalore with a large basement and would like to use polished concrete for the basement. Do you know of a contractor who has the skills/equipment to lay a polished concrete floor?
    Thanks, Venkat
    Hi Venkatesh,
    Polished concrete floor is the ideal flooring material for your basement- looks good and is cost effective. But I am not sure if many contractors have the necessary skills and equipment. It is a fairly new concept and will take time to catch on in India.

  • July 24, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Textures that can be used in flooring are diverse and depend on the individual tastes. Most people use ‘a safe’ texture flooring. This is done to make all the furniture neat into the floor texture. Even so, there are also many people who choose to use a different texture because they love it. Marble and granite are among the right choice. This texture has distinctive colors, especially granite. This all depends on your taste.
    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your input.


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