If you feel the cold in winter, one of the most efficient ways to warm you up is with smart flooring. Not all flooring is created equal when it comes to temperature regulation, so the choice you make here could have a massive effect on your family’s comfort and heating bills.
A general guide to keep in mind is that the thermal mass of a flooring material offers an indication of its suitability to your climate. Lighter materials have a lower thermal mass, and are therefore more suited to warmer climes, while denser materials will absorb the heat and keep your toes warm in colder areas.
Flooring options to consider in a cold climate are:
Carpet is a smart choice for a cool climate because a good underlay will provide you with effective insulation, and the soft material will keep cold feet warmer. If you’re aggravated by allergens, choose a natural fibre, which can repel dust mites.
Vinyl and cork
Although they may appear at first glance to be more of a warm weather flooring, vinyl and cork can provide some insulation against cold and retain warm, although they don’t store heat like carpet can. Cork is a great choice for a humid climate because it resists mould and is a natural insect repellent.
Solid timber flooring doesn’t store heat, but it doesn’t become as cold as other denser materials. You can further warm up timber flooring by adding rugs and hall runners. Timber tends to shrink and expand in extremes of temperature and humidity, making it best avoided in climates that vary from very dry to very moist.
Laminate has increased in popularity during recent years because it mimics the look of timber, but with much lower cost and maintenance. It keeps floors warm in colder climates, and won’t expand or contract during extremes of temperature or humidity. Laminate also works well with radiant heat systems so is perfect for homes with heated flooring.