4 Types of flooring commonly used in Singapore

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya

The time has come to have new flooring installed in your home but you are not sure what type of flooring your want. The choice of flooring could make a significant difference in the appearance and finishing of your remodelling project. Deciding can be a very difficult decision, especially if you don't know what the options are. To help you I have put together information on the 4 most commonly used types of flooring in Singapore. 

1. Flooring Tiles 

These are commonly made of ceramic or stone, although recent technological advances have resulted in rubber or glass tiles for floors as well. Ceramic tiles may be painted and glazed. Small mosaic tiles may be laid in various patterns. Flooring tiles are typically set into mortar consisting of sand, cement and often a latex additive for extra adhesion. The spaces between the tiles are nowadays filled with sanded or unsanded floor grout, but traditionally mortar was used. Natural stone tiles can be beautiful but as a natural product, they are less uniform in colour and pattern and require more planning for use and installation. Granite or marble tiles are sawn on both sides and then polished or finished on the facing-up side so that they have a uniform thickness. Other natural stone tiles such as slate are typically "riven" (split) on the facing up side so that the thickness of the tile varies slightly from one spot on the tile to another and from one tile to another. 

Some stone tiles such as polished granite, marble, and travertine are very slippery when wet. Stone tiles with a riven (split) surface such as slate or with a sawn and then sandblasted or honed surface will be more slip-resistant. Ceramic tiles for use in wet areas can be made more slip-resistant either by using very small tiles so that the grout lines act as grooves or by imprinting a contour pattern onto the face of the tile.

large kitchen with grey floor tiles

Photo by Pixabay

2. Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is any product manufactured from timber that is designed for use as flooring, either structural or aesthetic. Wood is a common choice as a flooring material due to its environmental profile, durability, and restorability. Bamboo flooring is often considered a form of wood flooring, although it is made from grass (bamboo) rather than timber.

The most common wood flooring in Singapore is parquet flooring. Parquet flooring is manufactured from hardwoods such as oak, walnut, cherry, lime, maple and in the more expensive mahogany. Parquet floors were formerly usually adhered with hot bitumen. Today modern cold adhesives are usually used.

A good alternative to parquet flooring is engineered flooring. Engineered wood flooring is composed of two or more layers of wood in the form of a plank. The top layer (lamella) is the wood that is visible when the flooring is installed and is adhered to the core. The increased stability of engineered wood is achieved by running each layer at a 90° angle to the layer above. This stability makes it a universal product that can be installed over all types of sub-floors. Engineered wood is the most common type of wood flooring used globally.   

Large room with pine wood flooring

Photo by Pixabay

3. Laminate flooring 

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood or sometimes stone with a photographic appliqué layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. Laminate flooring has grown significantly in popularity, perhaps because it may be easier to install and maintain than more traditional surfaces such as hardwood flooring.  It may also have the advantages of costing less and requiring less skill to install than alternative flooring materials. It is reasonably durable, hygienic and relatively easy to maintain.

Open plan room with wood effect laminate flooring

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych

4. Parquet Flooring

Parquet flooring is a great option if you are into creating patterns to complement your home’s floor design. One thing that parquet does is it lets you overcome that feeling of going traditional with straight wood boards for flooring. Parquet used to be the best for wood flooring and is commonly seen in older private properties in Singapore.  However, with new alternatives in the market, it is facing tough competition. Due to its expensive price and limited variety, most homeowners will choose other alternatives to parquet.

Living room with dark parque flooring

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

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