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What Flooring is Best When Building a New Home?

Living room with wood flooring, fireplace and sofa

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What Flooring is Best When Building a New Home?

One of the most exciting parts of building a new home is customisation. Being able to customise your home gives you the freedom to choose solutions tailored to your preferences. It allows you to improve asset value and the longevity of your home design. However, with all of the options and work involved in a custom home, it’s not uncommon that people forget what’s right under their nose — the floor!

Despite flooring being a crucial part of a house, we often take what is otherwise a significant player in aesthetic and durable housing for granted. Picking good modern floors can substantially pull together your home design and even aid you in building a house that’s more comfortable, practical and durable. In this article, we’ll cover the flooring options we offer during our custom build process, with some handy designer tips to get you thinking in preparation for your consultation with our design team.

Living room with wood flooring, fireplace and sofa

Types of flooring

When designing your own home, you’ll be introduced to a vast range of choices, with everything from wall colours and countertops, down to tiny details like door handles. The same applies to flooring, with all types of colours and materials for every room. However, flooring is far from minor, it’s one of the most significant elements of a homes interior. It can be a daunting task when presented with so many choices, but the design team you’re working with should be able to help you choose the right flooring for your home & taste. Until then, a little research never hurt anybody and can help you understand what kind of home you want in the long run.

Choosing the right flooring involves considering your budget, durability, waterproofing, comfort and aesthetic. There are a huge range of flooring options available to help you tie together your beautiful home.

Laminate flooring

Laminate floor on wood osb background texture. Wooden laminate floor and chipboard background with copy space

Our first flooring type is the inexpensive laminate flooring; a three-layer material often used to mimic hardwood flooring. The three layers include:

  • The base layer: a stabilising base layer made of plywood or high-density fiberboard.
  • The image layer: a photo-realistic image that can mimic many materials such as wood, stone or metal using high-resolution photography.
  • The protective layer: a wear-resistant layer using melamine and a high-pressure manufacturing process to prevent various wear and tear scenarios.

Laminate flooring is often used in high-traffic areas and is a fantastic budget friendly alternative to more expensive hardwood flooring. Some pros and cons of laminate flooring include:


  • Simple cleaning process
  • Low price point
  • Quick installation
  • High durability options


  • Moisture-resistant but not waterproof
  • Noisy without correct underlay
  • Potential slip hazard
  • Less eco-friendly

Ultimately, laminate flooring may not be entirely suitable for house areas where major water spills could occur, such as the kitchen, laundry or bathroom. This flooring is an affordable option for families or pet-owners due to its durability and simple cleaning process.

Vinyl flooring

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A close cousin to laminate flooring, vinyl flooring is another imitation wood material offering many affordable advantages. There are two types of vinyl flooring, vinyl plank flooring and vinyl sheeting. Vinyl plank flooring also consists of three layers and is made in the form of interlocking planks. Alternatively, vinyl sheeting is installed using a single sheet of vinyl, creating a seamless aesthetic. However, the significant difference between vinyl and laminate flooring is the material they’re made from, with vinyl offering some alternative advantages to laminate. Some pros and cons of vinyl flooring include:


  • 100% water-resistant
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Quick installation
  • Easy to clean


  • Difficult to remove
  • Non-biodegradable
  • Easy to puncture or dent
  • Susceptible to fading

Vinyl flooring is an affordable and versatile option commonly chosen for bathrooms and kitchens; just be careful not to dent or puncture it when placing furniture.

Hardwood flooring

Brown wooden texture flooring background

Hardwood or solid timber flooring is a classic flooring material with time-proven results. With a large variety of types such as Tasmanian Oak, Spotted Gum, Blackbutt, Victorian Ash and more, hardwood flooring offers homeowners extensive customisation options. Some pros and cons of this material include:


  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Long lifespan
  • Easy to maintain
  • Increases property value


  • Higher cost
  • Low moisture-resistance
  • Less noise resistant
  • Longer installation process

The biggest downside of hardwood floors is that they can be expensive. Engineered timber, however, is the solution to this, as it has all of the benefits, virtually none of the downsides, and at a much lower cost. Engineered timber flooring is created by bonding multiple layers of plywood together, with a top layer of solid hardwood. The depth of this top layer is typically an indicator of its quality and projected lifespan, as it determines how much the floor can be sanded and refinished if damage were to occur. As a consequence, engineered timber floors have a shorter overall lifespan than traditional hardwood floors, which is the trade off for the reduced cost. On the other hand however, engineered timber is less susceptible to moisture and temperature changes and therefore can be used in areas where traditional hardwood should not, such as in bathrooms or kitchens.

Hardwood flooring, engineered or otherwise, is a fantastic option for any house. Installing a hardwood floor can provide you with a better return on investment and give your home a warmer and more welcoming appearance.

Carpet flooring

Gray rough carpet texture surface as background, detailed fabric material for backdrop

We’re all familiar with carpet, with the main draw for many homeowners being the soft texture this material provides within the home; however, there are some different pros and cons to this flooring type, such as:


  • Good thermal and sound insulation
  • Budget-friendly
  • Vast range of colour & texture options
  • Kid-friendly for falls


  • Allergens
  • Easily stained
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Easily worn

Carpet is great for bedrooms and lounge rooms but best avoided for high traffic areas such as hallways or in family homes where mess is a potential issue.

Tile flooring

marble tiles

Finally, we have tiles with standard indoor solutions, including ceramic and porcelain floor tiles. One of the best flooring options for wet areas throughout any home. Tile flooring is up there with hardwood flooring in terms of variety, and can also be used for outdoor areas. Some pros and cons of tiles include:


  • Water-resistant
  • Stain-resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Wide-variety


  • Slippery
  • Grout can be difficult to clean
  • Hard & cold surface
  • Prone to cracking or chipping upon heavy impacts

Tiles are most traditionally used for bathrooms and kitchens, and are a versatile material also used on walls.

What flooring should I choose?

As you’ve probably already noticed, flooring isn’t one size fits all, so we’ve put together a summarised table with the best room options for each material.

Material Rooms Why? How much? (inc. installation)
Laminate Living room Affordable imitation material with easy cleaning and durable composition for high traffic areas. $40 to $75 per sqm
Vinyl Kitchen Affordable imitation material with easy cleaning and waterproofing. $50 to $85 per sqm
Living room
Hardwood Kitchen Traditional material with extreme longevity and easy maintenance options. $90 to $260 per sqm
Living room
Carpet Living room Soft, comfortable and budget-friendly material with excellent insulation. $55 to $235 per sqm
Tile Bathroom Water and stain-resistant material with minimal maintenance required. $98 to $138 per sqm

Choosing flooring for your home is only one step in your custom home build, with an exciting journey ahead! However, selecting the right floor can set the entire tone for your home and prepare your home with the base qualities you need for comfortable living. At Forme Homes, our team will ensure that your creative vision is met through in-depth consultation and planning. If you’re interested in taking the first step to custom home ownership, get in contact with us today!