Give your floors a makeover

PUBLISHED: 13:21 20 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:43 20 February 2013

Easybind in Blue Dunn from Stairrods

Easybind in Blue Dunn from Stairrods

Floors which have to be functional are so often dull. Fay Handley takes a look at a new range of flooring ideas that are fashionable, fun and eminently practical.

Floors which have to be functional are so often dull. Fay Handley takes a look at a new range of flooring ideas that are fashionable, fun and eminently practical.

There's a design revolution happening underfoot. Floors which were once a dull, practical beige are now bold and vibrant with innovative textures. There is something for everyone from low maintenance tiles to funky rubber, colourful trims on stair runners to rugs with an ethical pedigree.

The new face of tiles

Ceramic tiles are durable and easy to clean. In recent years stone-look ceramic tiles have been a popular trend; the latest new ranges such as Rochelle from Craven Dunnill not only look but feel the same as real stone. Laid throughout the ground floor living space Rochelle creates a cool, minimalist look. In contrast, ranges such as Easy, with matching floor and wall tiles, introduce urban colours and highly textured finishes for a touch of drama in a bathroom.

Fun stripes

On the carpet front combine luxury and fun with the new Stripes Collection of woven Wilton carpet from Brintons. Even the names make you smile: Chocolate Fudge, Sherbet Limes and Humbug are just three of the colour options designed to co-ordinate with the company's plain ranges to create an extra dimension to any living space. For a softer, timeless look the Abbeyglen range of woven Axminsters, which celebrates Irish tartan, provide a variation on the ever popular linear theme.

Running up the stairs

The stair runner is enjoying a renaissance. However, the choice of off-the-shelf stair runners is limited which is why Easybind, a smart method to finish the raw edges of runners, is proving so popular. Runners can now be made up from any width of carpet using one of the 23 colours in the Easybind range. It is fast too - in fact Easybind is applied when a carpet fitter comes to fit a runner. Alternatively, DIY enthusiasts can apply Easybind themselves and then make a matching rug from any carpet remnants.

Ethical rugs

Decorative rugs are an easy way to change the style of a room and they provide soft relief where ceramic or wooden floors are installed. For peace of mind it is worth a look at the new rugs at B&Q stores which have the Rugmark label on the reverse. Rugmark is an excellent scheme which provides assurance that no illegal child labour was used in the production of the rug - an on-going issue in the rug industry. A percentage of the cost of the rugs goes to the rug-making communities of India and Nepal to provide schooling and welfare support to the rescued children and their families.

Bold rubber

A new idea for the home is rubber flooring which now comes in some fabulous bright colours and has the added benefit that it is completely colour-fast and water-resistant. Playrooms, conservatories, kitchens and bathrooms are all rooms where rubber performs well and can add a contemporary element to your decorating scheme.

The natural look

Our love affair with the natural look in our homes continues. Granite and slate kitchen work surfaces have become fashionable and this has inspired Karndean, the Worcestershire-based vinyl specialist, to introduce co-ordinating ranges of stone-look flooring. Vinyl is warmer underfoot than real stone, has the added advantage that it is low maintenance and is easy to clean making it a highly practical flooring option for the kitchen.


Brintons Fine Carpet T: 0800 505 055
Karndean T: 01386 820100
Craven Dunnill T: 01746 761611
Rugmark UK: T: 0207 405 0980
Stairrods (UK) T: 01207 591543
The Rubber Flooring Company T: 0800 849 6386
B&Q: T: 0845 850 0175

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