While it is crucial that we consider the natural environment as we construct our homes, something which often feels closer to home than the world in which we live, and its health, is the cost of the day-to-day running of our households. Luckily, the two can go hand in hand, with the right choice in thermal and insulated flooring having the ability to drastically reduce not only our environmental footprint, but also our overheads.
By following these ten simple tips, you can select the correct flooring to minimise energy expenditure and therefore, costs.
- Environmentally sound usually equates to energy efficient
Are you striving to be environmentally conscious in the construction of your home? When considering flooring options, those which best insulate your home will also be best for the environment and your budget in the long term.
- The right flooring can lend itself to more efficient heating systems
In the short term it may be cheaper to purchase a reverse cycle air conditioner to heat or cool your home, however in the long term, underfloor heating such as a hydronic heating system, uses minimal electricity to circulate warm water, and can efficiently heat your home. This type of heating is compatible with timber, tile and stone flooring.
- Hydronic heating systems require minimal maintenance
On top of being cheaper to operate, as they run at a lower temperature than traditional heating, a hydronic heating system has less moving parts and is practically maintenance free.
- The right flooring will boost your underfloor heating efficiency
The thin, dense nature of engineered floorboards means they are fantastic at conducting heat and this paired with their ability to withstand warping makes them an ideal product to pair with underfloor heating.
- Choose flooring according to the size of your house
The larger your home is, the more it will cost to heat or cool. Particularly in homes with high ceilings, the cubic meterage can skyrocket along with energy expenditure. In this case choosing an insulative flooring is paramount, the natural air pockets in the pores of timber flooring for example, will ensure that minimal heating or cooling is lost, keeping your house at a steady temperature at minimum cost.
- Make sure your flooring suits your local climate
Do you live in a temperate, cool or tropical environment? If you live in an area where the temperatures aren’t particularly extreme your flooring’s insulative ability may take a backseat to considerations such as aesthetics, installation and maintenance costs or durability.
- Factor longevity into your purchase
When it comes to cost, longevity is an important consideration. With hardwood floors having the capacity to be refinished multiple times throughout their lifetime, they may be more cost effective in the long term than options which are cheaper upon initial purchase, such as vinyl.
- Consider the amount of maintenance your flooring requires
Some flooring requires more regular and more expensive maintenance than others. Stone for example is porous and stains easily, requiring specialised cleaning products, while engineered timber and hardwood floors are easy to clean simply with a broom and microfibre cloth.
- Make health and safety a priority
For those who are particularly sensitive to allergens such as dust, an easy to clean, hypoallergenic surface is key in order to minimise costs associated with your health and wellbeing. Unlike carpet, bamboo, hardwood or engineered timber floors offer nowhere for pollens and dust mites to hide, ideal for those who are particularly sensitive. Underfloor heating also works to reduce bacterial and fungal growth on floors which can negatively impact your health.
- Consider installation costs
Installation costs can vary drastically from product to product. Engineered timber floors and tongue and groove flooring can be installed with ease, at a lower cost and with fewer adhesives than stones such as limestone or granite.