Floored: Unique Flooring Solutions You Probably Never Considered

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Are you bored of hardwood floors? Are you looking to spice up your space with unique flooring, instead? Good flooring is like wearing a pair of great shoes—they can pull an outfit together, but sometimes, they are the outfit. If you’re looking to make a statement with your floor, we’ve got you covered! We’ve pulled together some of the best and most unique flooring options, plus some helpful information to make your decision a little bit easier.

Bedroom with concrete flooring

Concrete

Concrete has long been used as flooring in basements, garages, and outdoor spaces–but over the last decade, it has made its way inside our homes bringing a trendy, industrial feel with it.

The good

Concrete is inherently durable, and also versatile—it can be dyed or stained to your liking. Given its versatility, it can vary from a cost perspective—from less than five dollars per square foot to more than 30 depending on the desired finish. Properly sealed concrete is extremely low maintenance, only requiring the occasional mop to look good as new.

The not-so-good

Concrete is not without its flaws, though. While its durability is certainly a strength, it’s an incredibly dense, hard material that will almost certainly shatter or crack anything that falls on it. Its durability also means it doesn’t yield, making it uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time. Nothing a couple of carpets and rugs can’t fix, though! It can also make for a very painful, and even harmful fall for kids and the elderly. Concrete is on the cooler side of flooring, as it retains little heat.

Man installing cork flooring

Cork

Cork is one of the most environmentally friendly flooring options out there. Cork trees are not cut down to produce the material but stripped instead. This can be done more than 20 times in the lifecycle of a cork tree, making them a truly eco-friendly resource.

The good

Cork flooring feels nice and cushy on bare feet and is also well insulated for both sound and heat. Surprisingly, it can be sanded down and re-finished, making it a versatile flooring option as well. A waxy element in cork called suberin makes it naturally antifungal and antimicrobial, encouraging a healthy environment for those living with cork flooring. It’s a fairly affordable flooring option, ranging from three to 12 dollars a square foot.

The not-so-good

Cork isn’t known for its durability. Being a soft material, it can easily be scratched and heavier furniture can leave permanent indentations in cork floors. High humidity can make cork swell and curl, so it’s not the best option for basements or bathrooms. Cork is also susceptible to discoloration from the sun, so you’ll want to avoid rooms with tons of natural light with this unique flooring option.

Pink and green bar stools in a retro diner

Linoleum

Also known as Marmoleum, Linoleum is a material made from a mix of sustainable resources like linseed oil, cork dust, wood, and pine dust or resin.

The good

Linoleum is a fairly inexpensive flooring option, ranging from three to seven dollars per square foot. It’s long-lasting and can serve its purpose for up to 40 years if properly taken care of! While not as soft as cork, it’s still gentle on the joints. Linoleum is also very easy to care for—simply mop, sweep, vacuum as usual.

The not-so-good

DIY Linoleum flooring can be a bit tricky as it arrives in thick, stiff sheets. Like cork, it’s susceptible to discoloration from the sun, as well as dents from heavy furniture.

Penny flooring

Penny flooring

Talk about upcycling! Copper penny floors are a great way to upcycle loose change into a beautiful floor mosaic. Best left to smaller spaces, penny floors will certainly be a point of conversation and admiration if done well at home.

The good

If you’re looking for a sustainable flooring option, nothing could be more sustainable than this! Penny floors are more like works of art than floors…Sealed with polyurethane or epoxy, penny floors are actually quite simple to care for and maintain, and tend to look better as they age.

The not-so-good

This DIY project is extremely time-consuming. Especially if your aim is to create a pattern or mosaic out of the pennies. Simply dumping a bunch of pennies on the ground and sealing them will not do. This project takes meticulous handiwork and patience. But if you have both, and the time, why not go for it! Note that polyurethane will not create a glass-like seal over the pennies and can result in grit and dirt getting stuck in between the pennies. Nothing a quick vacuum can’t fix, however.

Brick flooring

Brick

Exposed brick walls are a dream for those who love all things rustic. But exposed brick flooring? Now that’s a whole other level of unique! Brick used for flooring is thinner, smoother, and less porous.

The good

Brick is highly durable, not easily damaged or worn down by high-traffic areas. With a proper seal, brick floors are fairly easy to clean. Brick floors offer a warm, comforting feeling into a home that other flooring options can’t match.

The bad

Laid brick is not going to provide a completely flat, level surface—so any furniture you have with hairpin legs are likely to be a little wobbly. Like concrete, brick is also a very hard material, so not exactly the comfiest option.

Bottle cap flooring forming a star pattern

Bottle cap flooring

Nothing makes an impression quite like bottle cap flooring! While unusual, bottle caps can be arranged into some pretty stellar mosaics if you have an artistic eye.

The good

This flooring option is certainly unique and bound to make a lasting impression on anyone. Given that it’s sealed with polyurethane, bottle cap floors end up being quite sturdy and easy to maintain. They’re also relatively inexpensive if you happen to already have thousands of bottle caps collected from over the years.

The bad

This is a very time-consuming project, requiring countless hours laying each bottle cap and assembling the mosaic to your liking. Given how many bottle caps you’d need, you’d certainly enjoy the process of creating this floor though!

Colourful rubber floor tiles

Rubber

Rubber flooring is probably the most comfortable unique flooring option out there! Depending on your needs or desired space, rubber flooring might be a great option for you.

The good

Spill-proof and waterproof, rubber is a great option around kids. It’s also extremely elastic, making it a soft option for those prone to falling—or those who’ve just finished building a bottle cap floor. Rubber might not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but if you’re building a home gym, or need a space for children to play freely, rubber flooring is a great option.

The bad

Rubber floors tend to give off an odor that is difficult to remove completely. They’re also a little trickier to clean given that they’re sticky. Best left to spaces you won’t be doing any entertaining in.
There are endless options for someone looking to make an impact with unique floors! Before you dive in, remember to consider things like cost, durability, maintenance, and labour. We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Happy flooring!

 

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