As temperatures dip and the rain and wind pick up momentum, the last thing we want is for our homes to feel cold. While many may choose wall-to-wall carpet to achieve this, this floor covering does have its downsides. It’s tough to keep clean (especially with children or pets) and the fibres hold on to odours, stains, dust mites and more. So if you’ve opted for a harder floor option, you’ll already know that maintaining it is much easier and it’s a far more hygienic too.
But what do you do in the coldest months of the year to create a feeling of warmth in your home? Check out our tips today for adding warmth to hard floors and keep that cosy feel going all winter long.
Underfloor Heating – Wet Systems
The most effective way to warm up any flooring including tiles is to install underfloor heating. It creates a pleasant heat with no cold spots, distributes that heat evenly, and gently warms a room without any wasted energy. It’s 40% more efficient than radiators too, so it’s better for the environment and will save you on your heating bills in the long run.
You have two choices for underfloor heating. Hot water systems work along with your central heating system. Warm water is pushed through a system of small pipes on a subfloor to heat up a room. The pipes are continuous which means there is less chance of leakage through the joins and your surface flooring is laid above them. Because the central heating system doesn’t have to heat the water to as high a temperature as a radiator would, you’ll have lower water heating costs.
Underfloor Heating – Electric Systems
The second option is electric underfloor heating. This comes as a system of cables mounted on an open weave mat or a continuous roll (much like an electric blanket). It’s easier to install than hot water systems. Electric systems are simply rolled out and connected to your electricity supply and the new flooring installed above it.
This type of underfloor heating system however, is less energy efficient than the wet systems and may cost more to run also.
Visual Warmth – Wood Effect Tiles
There’s a lot to be said for the psychological effect that colours and textures have on us. Go into a space decorated in cool blues or greens with lots of hard surfaces and we will feel physically colder. Walk into a room decorated in colours such as reds and yellows and with lots of cosy textures and we’ll feel warmer. According to Psychology Today it has been scientifically proven that ‘there are real links between the colours that we see—and that we imagine in our mind’s eye—and how warm or cool we think a space is’. The same article also suggests that ‘in many sorts of borderline situations (when we’re on the verge of feeling too hot or too cold), the ability of colours to change the apparent temperature of a space we’re in can be enough to make us feel comfortable, without added air conditioning or heat.’
Considering this, if you want to warm up a room, then what we see can actually have an effect on what we feel. There is little doubt that wood floors feel ‘warmer’ to us than colder hard tiles. But what if you can have the best of both worlds? The visual warmth and elegance of wood as well as the easy-to-maintain longevity of tiles? We have a wide range of wood effect porcelain tiles which provide a cosy look with all the practicalities of a hard-wearing tile. Not only that, but installing underfloor heating is a great option for these tiles, so you could actually have the best of both worlds; physical and visual warmth.
And finally, if underfloor heating or wood effect tiles are not an option, then consider adding some large cosy rugs to your space. Larger rugs are perfect for providing texture and feel great under foot. When choosing an area rug, keep in mind the size of the space it’s going in. A small floating rug that is only big enough for the coffee table to sit upon in a living room is going to make your room look smaller and isn’t going to give you that visual warmth you’re after. Choose a rug sized so that the front feet of all your seating on its perimeter can sit upon it for a more continuous and luxurious finish.
Deep pile rugs are a big trend in interiors right now and create a wonderful contrast to hard floors. Consider one in the bedroom to greet bare feet first thing in the morning, or one in the lounge for the perfect spot to curl up alongside some floor pillows.
If the deep-pile look is not for you or you have smaller rugs, then consider layering the rugs on top of one another for an eclectic, casual look. Or you could choose a larger more cost-effective natural fibre rug in sisal or jute and layer a smaller patterned rug on top.
So there are our four different options for warming up your floors this winter. Which would you choose? Let us know in the comments!
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