Which Flooring To Choose When Renovating Your House? For Spaces Like The Kitchen, Bathroom and Living Room

10 February 2022 | BY

One of the most important aspects of home renovation (and also probably the costliest!) is deciding on the types of flooring for your living spaces. To help you make an informed decision, here’s our guide on everything related to flooring – the factors to consider, the options available, and of course, their costs.

flooring options cover

So you’ve finally got your keys to your new place…exciting times! Now comes the process of renovating and furnishing to make your new home a comfortable space to live in.

Chances are, your flooring will be the single most costliest expense you’re going to face while renovating your home and in most instances it often serves as a starting reference point for the rest of your design theme.

To help us break down the options available as well as factors to consider when choosing the right flooring for your home, we spoke to SJ from local interior design firm, Rooot Studio, for pro-tips on all there is to know about flooring.

We’ll first break it down by looking at the needs of different spaces in greater detail.


If you’re someone who cooks a fair bit, your kitchen floor will probably get oilier or grimier over time. It’s also an area that will be in contact with a lot of liquid, be it food spillages or general cleaning. As such, you’ll want a flooring option that’s easy to clean, long-lasting, and of course, waterproof.

flooring options kitchen porcelain tilesImage credit:

SJ suggests going with porcelain tiles if you’re looking for the best hassle-free option as they’re quite dense and less porous. Another tip he doles out is to opt for larger tiles, so there’s less surface area for grouting – a.k.a. the ‘filling’ in between tiles – and thus less likely for dirt and grime to accumulate in those small spaces.

These are generally quite hardy and can withstand heavy items falling on them. Ceramic and natural stone tiles are also popular options, but not as recommended for their porous nature that makes them susceptible to stains.

Avoid tiles with textured surfaces if you want cleaning up to be a smoother process as well. But, if you’re looking for flashier tiles just to give your kitchen that extra pop, you can consider patterned tiles such as arabesque, geometric, and Peranakan-inspired ones. Cost-wise, expect to pay more, but these will give your space that je ne sais quoi, making it a definite conversation starter.

flooring options kitchenImage credit: AGER Flooring

If you’re more of an instant noodles kind of person or only cook during big occasions like Christmas or Chinese New Year, then you’ll be able to take your pick from a wider selection from concrete screed to vinyls with little worry.

flooring options kitchen vinylAn example of vinyl flooring in an open-concept kitchen
Image credit: Rooot Studio

For a relatively inexpensive and cost effective solution, vinyl flooring would be the way to go. Most vinyl flooring options are waterproof and durable, making them a great choice for the kitchen. Take note though that vinyl comes in several forms: multiple planks or a single sheet covering the entire floor space.

The former would generally not be as durable, as the panels are susceptible to the elements and might warp over time, causing uneven flooring which will require maintenance.

On the flip side, single sheet vinyls aren’t exempt from flaws either. They’re harder to repair, in the event you have to patch up a dent or hole.


flooring options bathroom 1Image credit: @authorsinstyle

When it comes to the bathroom, there’s only one main issue you have to contend with: water. That, and moisture in the air, of course.

For bathrooms, you’ll need something waterproof, and able to handle being wet for continuous periods of time without spoiling, warping, or other moisture-related damage like mould. You also won’t want to run into the risk of slipping and falling, so it’s smart to avoid glossy surfaces as these will be more slippery when wet!

flooring options bathroom 2Image credit: @deb_visuals

“Typically, most will use tiles for their bathrooms,” says SJ. The possibilities are endless with tiles, and you can virtually mix and match two to three different tiles for use in one bathroom for both the walls and flooring.

You’ll also want to choose textured or grooved tiles over smooth glossy tiles, as these will give you traction whilst walking about to avoid slipping when the floor is wet. Smaller tiles are the safer choice in wet areas over larger tiles, as the increased surface area of grouting has added traction for your feet.

Living Room/Bedrooms

flooring options living roomImage credit: @aanurul

The living room is often considered the heart of the home and an important space that you – and your guests – will spend a lot of time in. SJ recommends that you narrow down your options based on your life trajectory. Planning to have pets or kids? You might want a non-glossy, easy-to-clean flooring such as vinyl or stone.

On a tight budget? Vinyl is the cheapest option on the market that is versatile in appearance and pretty durable.

flooring options living room peranakan tilesImage credit: @alchemists_design

Want a dose of personality? Consider mosaic tiles or Moroccan or Peranakan-inspired patterns to really bring out the vibrancy and uniqueness of your place.

Here are some common flooring options that you can consider for your living room and bedrooms:

1. Homogenous tiles

flooring options living room homogenous tiles 1Image credit: Rooot Studio

Homogenous tiles are a form of ceramic tiles that are fired at higher temperatures, which makes them denser, harder and less porous. This naturally means they’re less prone to moisture/stain absorption than conventional ceramic tiles and also relatively inexpensive. 

Tiles can also take on the look of other material surfaces like wood or marble at a fraction of the cost, and so are pretty much adaptable to any design themes you have for your home.

flooring options living room homogenous tiles 2Image credit: Rooot Studio

Depending on your choice and layout of tiles, one issue that you might face is the eroding of grout over time, giving rise to noticeable holes in between the tiles that can trap dirt and other substances. These need to be filled in occasionally.

2. Vinyl

One of the most common choices for flooring, vinyl is another durable and affordable material that is easy to maintain. One added advantage of vinyl is that it can be easily laid over existing flooring if you don’t want to foot the hacking and removal costs.

Similar to homogenous tiles, vinyl’s versatility lies in its appearance. Marble, hardwood, granite – you’ll probably find a vinyl option that looks exactly like the real deal at a fraction of the cost.

flooring options living room vinyl laminateImage credit: Rooot Studio

Another variation of vinyl is laminate. And while almost indistinguishable from vinyl to the average man, the big difference is that these laminate “tiles” comprise a wooden core where long-term exposure to high temperatures and moisture can cause the base of the tiles to warp. 

Because of this, laminate flooring has seen a decline in popularity in recent years, says SJ, and many turn to other more cost effective flooring that are much more durable and resistant to environmental wear and tear. 

The most popular choice, according to SJ, is homogenous tiles for their durability and wide variety of design options to complement any design theme, followed by vinyl for their relatively low cost.

3. Cement screed

As the name suggests, cement screed is basically a mixture of cement, aggregates and water that is first mixed to form a paste, and then spread over an area. Once it hardens, it forms a pretty hard and durable surface, albeit with some rugged-looking imperfections.

flooring options living room cement screedImage credit: Rooot Studio

Cement screed usually comes in varying shades of grey, and perfect for those going for an industrial theme or darker look for their home. Because it is effectively cement, the overall flooring structure is very sturdy and can withstand scratches, damage from items dropped from a height and heavy furniture. It is also quite cost effective, affordable and easy to maintain.

However, it does come with its cons. One drawback is that it can get quite slippery when wet.  Cement screed is vulnerable to cracks as well, and if moisture does manage to penetrate its protective seal, you’ll be dealing with bigger problems like mould.

4. Hardwood

If we had to pinpoint one material that is a favourite amongst many Singaporeans, it has to be wood. After all, it’s built-to-last and aesthetically pleasing.

flooring options bedroom hardwood flooringImage credit: Rooot Studio

Hardwood flooring is essentially taking planks of wood milled from timber and forming them into panels to form the flooring. Colour and grain varies depending on the type of wood you choose. 

While long-lasting, wood is a natural material and can get dented if heavy items are dropped on it. It’s also prone to moisture damage, so it has to be kept dry as best as possible.

5. Marble

Moving right up the price bracket, marble is probably the most expensive type of flooring that you can get in Singapore. It certainly creates that sense of beauty and elegance in any home. 

flooring options living room marble flooringImage credit: Rooot Studio

Because of the many options of stone and minerals involved in making marble, there are many colours, patterns and varietals that you can choose from if you’ve set your heart on marble.

In terms of durability, marble is perhaps one of the hardest and strongest materials out there, and so its integrity will undoubtedly hold its own against scratches and heavy object drops for many years.

On the side of maintenance, costs can be relatively high as marble can lose its shine and require polishing. As it is also porous in nature, it can stain easily if surface sealant isn’t applied regularly.

Choosing the right flooring for your home

And there you have it – our quick guide on the recommended flooring options for the various spaces around your home, as well as the general pros and cons of each type of flooring. 

While you’re in the process of renovating your home, it’s important to keep in mind not just your budget but general upkeep and maintenance costs over time.

Cover image adapted from:, @deb_visuals, @aanurul

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