ARTICLE

Hallway flooring

When a guest enters your house their eye is naturally drawn down and along towards the stairs. Ergo shabby carpet, worn out lino or badly sanded floorboards just will not do. Now your hallway flooring is likely to take quite a hammering so it needs to have Herculean powers to withstand the heavy traffic, yet it must also hold its own in the style stakes. A tall order? Not necessarily so…

Hallway flooring

Tips to help you choose

  • If you have pets, bikes or children don't lay a carpet in your hallway, choose a solid flooring that's low maintenance and easy to clean.
  • If you live in a flat buy the best quality underlay you can afford to reduce the transmission of noise.
  • The flooring you choose will determine how light your hallway is.
  • Carpets are absorbent and will hold the light whereas floorboards with a high-gloss finish will reflect it around the room.
  • Don't forget the doormat!

Au naturel
Natural floor coverings such as seagrass and coir are a popular choice in hallways. Seagrass is grown in paddy fields and makes an inexpensive and naturally durable floor covering. Coir is a by-product of the coconut industry and an ecologically-responsible choice. Both give a contemporary look that’s hardwearing and forgiving of dirt and dust. But on the flipside they’re not terribly comfortable if you’re fond of going barefoot (and positively ouch if you’re kneeling!)

Slate
A slate floor looks as good in a period home as it does in a contemporary loft apartment. The naturally riven texture makes slate less slippy than traditional smooth tiles, plus it’s an extremely durable material that won’t show the dirt. It can feel a bit chilly underfoot so if budget allows install underfloor heating beneath.

Carpet
The classic faun hallway carpet is actually quite high maintenance so it remains something of a mystery why it’s the choice of so many homeowners. If you do decide to go with carpet make sure it’s suitable for a high-traffic area and choose one that’s stain resistant, preferably with a five year stain warranty.

Floorboards
If you live in a Victorian or Edwardian home there’s every possibility that beneath your carpets are some glorious original pine floorboards just waiting to be restored to their former glory. Stripping, sanding and varnishing or waxing will do this a treat. Hire a small sander and get stuck into several hours of backbreaking but rewarding labour, or make life easy by picking up the phone and calling in a specialist. If your floorboards aren’t in quite such good nick a lick of paint always works well. If you operate a no-shoes policy in your home consider an all-white hallway. It looks incredibly impressive and really maximises light and space.

Tiles
If you live in a period home a classic Victorian or Edwardian patterned tiled floor will make a spectacular entrance. Choose a traditional pattern featuring squares, hexagons, trapeziums or octagons or why not commission a bespoke design or better still, a design of your own, from Original Features?

Laminate flooring
Laminate floors have come on a long way since the orange beech-block effect of the early 90s. They’re still essentially a photograph of wood sealed to a high density board but they’re low maintenance, easy to clean and, if you choose wide, richly grained boards in oak or walnut, can look very chic indeed.

Solid wood flooring
A real wood floor creates a warm, welcoming first impression and if it’s laid well it will last you a lifetime. Harder wood species like oak, merbau or jatoba are ideal choices for your entrance as they provide greater resistance against wear and tear. Choose parquet woodblock, boards or strips and you’ll have a hallway that looks as good as it feels. Natural Wood Floor Company has an excellent selection.

Doormats
Fitted doormats look infinitely more stylish than their standalone carpets and are essential to prevent your new hall flooring getting wet and dirty. Install a standard sized doormat fitted with mitred bars or go for entrance matting which fits the width of the hallway and extends to approx one metre from the threshold. Novelty doormats may seem amusing for a nanosecond but you and your guests will soon tire of the 'Hi I'm Mat gag.