The living room is an inherently social space, a place that is on display for guests and friends, but also acts as a gathering area for all members of the household. It is where people come together to talk, share, and connect with one another based around shared interests and amicable interactions. Since the floor is such a large and important part of the room’s ambiance, there are certain factors that you have to consider when choosing a material.
Living Room Flooring Ambiance
Since its main purpose is social in nature, you want the flooring in your living room to evoke a sense of comfort. It should invite people in, welcoming them into the space while still maintaining a sense of aesthetic appeal. Generally this means avoiding extremes and settling instead for moderate characteristics.
Style: When choosing living room flooring it is important to remember that the style of the material is going to influence the décor of the entire room. Any furnishings which you choose for the space will have to coordinate with that material in style and aesthetics in order to feel appropriate in the room.
Rustic materials such as natural hardwoods or slate tile are going to create a rugged feeling in the living room. On the other hand softer flooring options such as carpet or cork are going to create a more modern look.
Color: The power of color to influence the human subconscious has been well documented by psychologists. With living room flooring, it is important to choose colors that create a sense of comfort. You want to try and stay away from extreme hues that may be irritating over long term exposure. Instead strive for gentle, moderate colors that are easy on the eyes.
Browns, tans, grays and amber hues all evoke a sense of security and hearth which can be particularly pleasing in a living room flooring installation. White and off white tiles will create a sense of space. Darker colors and multi-colors can help to center a large area but may seem busy if your living room is particularly tiny.
Texture: The way your flooring feels is going to be an important part of the ambiance of the entire space. Traditionally living room flooring has tended to be soft with materials such as carpet and cork being very popular.
In modern designs many living rooms will feature hard surface materials such as natural stone, brick, or concrete. This is often contrasted with the use of throw rugs and area rugs which can break the austere surface of rougher underfoot materials.
The Functionality of Living Room Flooring
The fact that people tend to gather and recreate in a living room means that it has to be functional even through constant wear and tear. Considerations such as how often you throw parties, whether you have children or pets, and how much use the flooring will actually be used should all be accounted for when choosing a material.
Cleaning and Maintenance: Caring for flooring in the living room is going to be a constant concern. Aside from regular maintenance required to keep the flooring in tact, you will also have to deal with occasional spills, stains, and smudges. The more use the living room gets the more this is going to be a concern.
In general hard surface materials are going to be easier to maintain and more resistant to stains. Synthetic flooring materials such as linoleum and porcelain tile are much more resilient and easy to maintain than natural counterparts. Every type of flooring will have its own cleaning and maintenance requirements so check with the vendor before making a decision.
Durability: The level of traffic in your living room is going to determine to some extent the life cycle of your floor.
Many hard materials such as brick, concrete, and stone can last for years if properly cared for. However softer materials such as carpeting and hardwood may need to be replaced or refinished every few years. You want to look at both the longevity of the material, as well as the eventual price of removing and replacing it.