Choosing the right flooring can make all the difference

With new-build houses pokier than ever before (the average lounge is 32 per cent smaller than in the 1970s, according to the latest figures) and many of us stuck in tiny flats thanks to a stalled housing market, space-strapped homes are now the norm. If you’re feeling the squeeze, there are some tips and techniques that you can use to make rooms look and feel larger than they actually are. In particular, choosing the right flooring can make all the difference in visually ‘opening up’ a space.

GO LIGHTER In a tiny room, dark colours can have a claustrophobic effect, so when it comes to walls and furnishings, pastel tones, pale neutrals or white are the way to go. Keep the flooring on the light side, too; enhanced with the palest of grey tones, our Ultimate Timber PU Cimarron flooring will help to bounce light around and create the illusion of space.

SCALE UP Intricate designs with lots of detail can look overly busy in tiny rooms. Instead, opt for wide floorboards or large tiles, like our Ultimate Tones Burton, which have fewer bevels or grout lines to break up the space.

KEEP IT CONSISTENT Using the same flooring across several linked rooms will create the illusion of flow and can make a collection of small disparate spaces feel like one continuous area.

THINK ABOUT LINES Wearing vertical stripes can make someone look taller than they are, and the same rule applies to flooring; running floorboards parallel to the longest wall will make a room seem more spacious. Another decorator’s trick is to lay tiles or boards on the diagonal. As the widest part of the pattern is facing you when you enter the room, the brain is tricked into thinking the space is larger than it really is. For that reason, herringbone styles, like our Ultimate Expressions Stuttgart flooring, are great for creating trompe l’oeil effects in tiny rooms.

FREE UP THE FLOOR The more floor area you can see, the larger the room will appear. Try not to clutter up the floor with rugs, lamps and coffee tables, and where possible, opt for wall-hung furniture and lighting.