Anyone who has a family or pets, or has a busy and active lifestyle will know that flooring is the first thing to suffer from heavy use in any home. From scratches to dirt and stains, flooring in high-traffic areas of the house (think hallways and kitchens) is particularly prone to wear and tear and showing its age. It just makes sense to opt for low-maintenance flooring in areas that experience a lot of foot fall – you can then save your expensive wooden flooring for your bedroom or study. These are the best low-maintenance flooring types for every area of your home, picked in collaboration with The Rug Shop (opens in new tab).
Vinyl wins the top spot among all low-maintenance flooring types thanks to its perfect balance between function and comfort. Vinyl flooring (opens in new tab) doesn’t mind getting splashed with water on a regular basis, which makes it perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. It also is much less slippery than tile and warm underfoot, which is great if you like walking around barefoot sometimes. What’s really special about vinyl flooring, though, is the way it feels both firm and springy when you walk on it: children especially seem to enjoy the fun of walking and playing on vinyl. Immensely resilient and strong, vinyl is also very cost-effective, making it perhaps the best option if you want something long-lasting on a budget.
Did you know that most carpets (opens in new tab) are now made to be stain-resistant? This will come as a surprise – and relief – if you’ve been coveting the warmth, quietness, and sumptuousness of carpet but worrying about all the cleaning you have to do. Synthetic carpet blends can be exceptionally hard-wearing, while natural wool carpets naturally repel dirt. Whether you choose a natural or synthetic carpet, a weekly vacuum is likely to be the only cleaning it’ll need, while the advantages are so many: heat insulation in winter, softness and comfort underfoot, and noise absorption. Nothing really beats the feeling of stepping onto a soft, plush carpet first thing in the morning, so they are an especially great choice for bedrooms.
Don’t want to commit to a carpet throughout the whole room? Rugs are invaluable for adding warmth, colour, and texture on otherwise bare floors – and many rug types are very easy to clean, to the point of just throwing them in the washing machine very once in a while. Flat weave rugs can be cleaned in this way, if they’re not too large, and are perfect for dining rooms (opens in new tab) where spills are inevitable. Placing a rug under the dining room instantly creates a more inviting space where feet can be comfortably put on the floor during a meal without needing to wear shoes. Large living rooms also benefit from multiple rugs in different textures – and they will protect more delicate wood or porcelain tile floors.
And did you know that rugs aren’t just for indoors? Outdoor rugs (opens in new tab) are made specifically to be water- and dirt-resistant, particularly those made from durable polypropylene. Most outdoor rugs likely will need zero maintenance and will last years. And if you need to refresh yours, just leave it out in direct sun for a day.
4. Artificial grass
Maybe you’re not a fan of lawn mowing, or maybe you just don’t like all the mud that comes with a lawn, but artificial grass (opens in new tab) can be a solution when you want the look of real grass out on your patio without the regular maintenance. Modern artificial grass comes in a wide variety of textures, shades, and heights, so you can create a very natural-looking outdoor area without needing to worry about dirt, excess water, or seasonal allergies. You also won’t need to worry about a soggy lawn after the rain: artificial grass eliminates puddling, because with the ground underneath the grass being smoothed and levelled out, there will be no more room for water to gather within the lumps and bumps. And – modern artificial turf is UV-resistant, too, so it will retain its verdant look for years to come.