How to: Choose flooring for your home

Choosing flooring for your home can be a confusing experience.

Lino or laminate? Bamboo or wood? The options can be daunting.

The best place to start is to speak with a professional so you get the information that you really need. We had a chat with Mr Amini at Collingwood Flooring Xtra and he gave us the lowdown of the different types of flooring available, the benefits and drawbacks of each type and helped us out with a handy list of questions to ask the professionals when you’re flooring or re-flooring your home.


What is it?

A synthetic material that’s sold by the square metre from a large roll. It can be cut to fit the exact measurements of the room you’re flooring.

How much does it cost per square metre?

Around $30 for supply and $55 laid.


  • Ideal for kitchens and bathrooms
  • Water resistant
  • Inexpensive


  • Has an artificial look and feel
  • Not recommended if you plan to sell your home as it devalues the property
  • If it gets damaged the only way to fix it, is to replace the whole floor as it’s laid in one large sheet instead of slats like other flooring materials
  • Not easily removable

Use it if…

You’re looking for a cheap and cheerful flooring option in a kitchen or bathroom. Be careful what you lay lino on top of because traditionally it’s secured to the floor with heavy duty glue, which may damage the under surface. It’s worth considering why you are relaying the floor. If it’s a renovation to attract new buyers it’s worth noting that many buyers have a positive view of wooden flooring, and a lesser view of lino, so it may not help you achieve your maximum sale price.


What is it?

A synthetic and inexpensive flooring material that is traditionally designed to imitate wood. It’s sold in tile or plank form.

How much does it cost per square metre? 

Similar to lino, it’s around $25 for supply and $55 laid although keep in mind that laminate is easier to DIY than other types of flooring so you might be able to save on labour costs.


  • Easy to clean
  • Water resistant
  • Inexpensive
  • Comes in a variety of designs
  • Easy to self lay
  • Simple to remove and replace without damaging the existing flooring
  • Can be replaced slat by slat if the surface becomes damaged


  • Not recommended for areas of extreme moisture like bathrooms or laundries
  • Not appropriate for apartments as it provides little to no soundproofing for residents surrounding your home and this particular material is not compatible with acoustic filters.

Use it if…

You’re looking for a cost effective and easily removable flooring solution. It has a much better reputation than lino and won’t damage the existing floors in your home. Better steer clear of laminate floors if you live in an apartment though as it’s not very sound proof.


What is it?

A more cost effective alternative to solid timber, bamboo is layered flooring material that is cross-grained to counter act its natural tendencies to expand and contract with temperature changes. Ideal as an alternative to solid wood in areas that are moist and humid. 

How much does it cost per square metre?

About $45 for supply only and $80 to have it laid.


  • Won’t scuff or scratch like other flooring materials
  • A cost effective alternative to solid timber
  • Can be used in damp climates where solid timber is not recommended
  • Bamboo is a fast growing and renewable material source


  • It’s thinner than solid wood and as such doesn’t have the thermal benefits of timber

Use it if…

You’re looking for a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to wood. It’s also great for bathrooms and damp climates where solid timber wouldn’t cope. 

Solid Timber

What is it?

Exactly what it sounds like – solid timber planks. This also includes parquetry flooring which is a mosaic style design of smaller pieces of solid timber.

How much does it cost per square metre?

It really varies when it comes to solid timber but costs start at $170 per square metre depending on hardness and go up to $300 laid. Our experts say you’d be hard pressed to find a professional flooring store that will sell supply only as it’s very tricky to DIY timber flooring and can be really expensive if you don’t do it properly.


  • Natural and renewable material source
  • Extremely durable if sealed properly
  • Easy to clean and care for
  • Sound proof


  • High foot traffic areas need regular sanding and stripping for both appearances and moisture maintenance
  • Not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms or humid climates
  • Maintenance can be expensive

Should I use it?

If it’s in your price range and you can afford the regular maintenance. Solid timber flooring retains heat beautifully in cold climates and will give your home a warm and natural ambience. Not recommended for moist areas or humid climates though.

Questions to ask

How much does it cost?

Make sure you budget correctly because there can be hidden costs in flooring such as installation and maintenance.

Can I use it in my kitchen, bathroom and laundry?

Always ask if your flooring of choice is appropriate for where you want to lay it. Climate, sound control and heavy foot traffic can all have a significant impact on the correct choice of flooring.

How do I maintain it over the years?

It’s important to ask about upkeep of your flooring. For example lino is a very cost effective option but may not be easy to repair if it becomes damaged. Solid timber is extremely durable but only if it’s properly sealed after installation. Be sure to ask about the future of your flooring to save yourself money both now and down the track.

How durable is it?

Although the price of flooring can vary from $30 per square metre for lino to $300 for solid timber the durability varies accordingly. Cheaper flooring options will save you money in the short term but when their more durable counterparts outlast them by 20 or 30 odd years then it’s important to consider replacement in your budgeting.

Is it easily removable?

Perhaps the most important question if you’re planning on selling your home in the future. Difficult to remove lino flooring could be a deal breaker for a potential buyer of your home.

Just remember to take your time, ask lots of questions and talk to several different professionals. Do your research. Ask people in your area what type of flooring they have or speak to builders who work in your city. Don’t forget to provide your flooring professional with lots of information as well. The more they know about your home and needs, the better equipped they’ll be to help you find the best flooring solution. 

Do your research. Ask lot

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