Tiles are so common in nearly every building, HDB flat, or condo unit in Singapore that it’s the first choice you might even think of when choosing the flooring.
However, ceramic tiles do have their downsides: for high impact, areas they can be prone to cracking, scratching or chipping, and they can be quite expensive the more square feet you pay for.
If you don’t like to use ceramic tiles for your flooring, there are a few other amazing alternatives you can get for your HDB flat:
Laminate is easily the best budget flooring option that snaps into place easily. Not only can it imitate the appearance of more expensive flooring materials, such as marble and wood, but it does so at half the cost of vinyl.
The biggest difference between laminate and vinyl is that while vinyl is made of mostly PVC, laminate flooring is usually made from high-density fiberboard, which combines both wood fiber, chips, and plastic into one durable material.
Perhaps the only drawback to laminate flooring is that it can’t be used in wet areas, and can warp depending on moisture and humidity. It’s also prone to staining, and needs to be applied on a smooth surface because of its relative lack of flexibility.
One of the most affordable materials you can get for your floor is vinyl, a type of flooring made up of several sheets stacked three- to five-millimeters thick.
Aside from being economical, vinyl also comes in a wide selection of colors and designs, and is really easy to install. In fact, a room – or even a whole home – can be fully furnished with vinyl in less than four hours.
And to top it all off, vinyl is much more flexible compared to laminate or engineered wood, making it great for homes with uneven surfaces.
But while vinyl is cheap, it does come with its own downsides. For instance, it’s just as prone to scratching as certain types of tiles, and poorly manufactured vinyl flooring can have high levels of volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
3. Engineered wood
Engineered wood is a great budget option if you absolutely love both the look and feel of solid wood in your home but can’t afford enough square feet of it for your renovation.
Besides having the look of real wood at half the cost, you not only have more choices with engineered wood, but it’s also less likely to swell or shrink from differences in temperature and humidity.
However, just like other types of flooring, it’s not great for high-traffic areas or ones that get wet often, since it can both warp and stain.