For rooms with diverse uses, you need to compare a diverse range of flooring that can definitely keep up!
Utility Room Flooring Needs To Be Fit For Purpose – So What’s The Purpose?
Utility rooms have so much potential. Are they an overflow for your kitchen such as a place for your fridge or freezer? Are they your laundry room so you don’t have your drier throwing moisture in the air while you’re trying to cook? Is it your DIY room with tool storage? Is it your mudroom, featuring the back door and a pile of muddy shoes? Are they a pet bedroom?
Last Updated: 31/07/2023
Having a spare room in your home that doesn’t tick the box of a dedicated room for cooking, getting clean, relaxing or sleeping gives you versatile possibilities, and as such, you’ll need a versatile flooring.
Rather than throwing in all the contenders and weighing up overall how best they fit to an ‘every possibility’ scenario with this room of potential, we’ll go into this with the thought that you already know what you want to use the room for, and we’ll base flooring recommendations based on the use of the room rather than a “you’ll be fine with this flooring with whatever you plan to do with the room”.
The most common function for a utility room is for laundry – so let’s start there.
The laundry room is a damp place at the best of times. If you’re juggling loads of washing then at some point you’ll be placing wet clothes on the floor while you sort the drying out to get another load of washing in. Either you’ll have a drier that kicks the moisture out through an exhaust pipe or you’ll have a condensing dryer that stores the water in a tank at the bottom, allowing you to simply pour the water down the drain and keep the air drier.
You’ve probably got a sink in the utility room, and to have a washing machine you’ll be needing a water inlet pipe. So you’ve got water pipes in the room, and sometimes they break. Sometimes drain pipes clog up. Water in a laundry room is unavoidable.
For that you need a flooring that is at least water resistant. It needs to be scratch resistant as your washing machine wanders around the room on a high spin. You’ll also want a flooring that’s warm and soft enough to stand on for a while. It needs to be durable, but needs to be low cost as there’s no point in spending a fortune on a room that guests won’t see and you won’t spend large amounts of time in. That said, it does at least need to be nice to look at.
Carpets are off the list. They won’t handle spills very well and having moist air around a carpet is just a bad idea from the get go.
Laminate is a good option. It’s very resistant to wear so having your washing machine jumping up and down would be fine. It’s scratch resistant and water resistant. It’s low cost and functional, and its hardwood appearance is pleasant. For the most part, Laminate Flooring will be okay in a laundry room, however if any leaks or water-based accidents occur it can ruin the floor.
Where the laminate boards join together is not as water resistant as its surface – if any water creeps in here it can swell the boards rendering them permanently damaged. So Laminate is viable but not truly ideal as a laundry room flooring. Moving wet laundry around will be fine, as will mopping the flooring but if you have any leaky pipes that get left alone then damage will occur.
Stone tiling is a fairly waterproof flooring measure, however it’s large upfront and ongoing maintenance costs mean we’re going to rule this one out. It also probably wouldn’t stand up to dragging a washing machine around if you were thinking of switching things up in the laundry room.
Vinyl flooring is where we find the best of each flooring type coming together. For a start, it’s warmer on the feet than laminate and stone and has a slight spongy feel to it which makes it more comfortable to walk on. It’s quite durable, being scratch resistant and stain resistant.
It’ll repel moisture well too. While it’s not completely waterproof, it’ll handle large spills a lot better than laminate flooring will as it doesn’t swell and because the sides are flat they’re squeezed together when laying it down which makes it very hard for water to actually get below the surface in the first place.
It’s the cheapest option too typically, which is great for cost effective solutions when it does everything the other flooring types do too. It can mimic both wood and stone textures, so visually if you really want stone effect flooring then that’s still on the cards. You’ll typically see between 12-20 years of life from a vinyl flooring making it that much more value for money.
If you’re using the utility room as a pantry and somewhere to keep your fridge and freezer, there’s less chance of moisture than there would be in a laundry room, but you still need something durable.
Again for stone and tile, we’re ruling it out based on price and practicality. It’s too expensive for a utility room. This leaves us with laminate or vinyl.
Laminate is better suited to kitchen storage than it is laundry. It’ll make moving fridges and freezers around easy work as it has a strong and smooth surface. There might be some leakage from your freezer or some dropped iced but this shouldn’t impact the flooring too much.
The wipe easy, scratch resistant features make it an ideal flooring and it’ll absolutely keep up with the foot traffic of checking the fridge for snacks on an evening.
Vinyl is very similar here too, it shares the resistant and durable features of laminate and is a little bit more waterproof if you need reassurance. It’s slightly comfier on the feet especially when the weather is cold and is often cheaper than laminate.
Because of the costs, as well as how you can have more diversity in the appearance of vinyl be that wood effect, stone effect or patterned, we make vinyl our number one option here too, however it’s a close call.
While you’re here you might want to find out “Which Is The Healthiest Flooring Type?”
Dedicated pet owners opt for making their utility room a room for their pet when they have no other need for it. In this scenario you need something that’s resistant to claw scratches, the ability to wipe down muddy paw prints and the ease of being able to hoover or sweep pet fur easily.
Carpet is on the radar but it’s still not fully ideal for the entire floor. It makes the room more comfortable for your pet and warmer on paws to walk across. For cats though, they’ll have a fun time breaking the bank and clawing at the carpet.
Dogs are less likely to destroy it, however mess from pet food or certain pet-specific accidents can be hard to clean from a carpet. Some people opt for having carpeted pet rooms with a washable/wipeable floor mat for food and water bowls to limit spills.
We’d opt with either laminate or vinyl though. Laminate pulls out ahead of vinyl in this case because it locks together rather than sticking down. This means that bored pets looking for something to deconstruct are less likely to pull up laminate flooring than they are vinyl. Both surfaces are scratch resistant and are easily wiped down. They’re both good for sweeping, mopping or vacuuming.
This one is a tie between vinyl and laminate. As long as you have a pet bed in there, your animal friend will be comfortable so you don’t really need the carpet and vinyl is the cheapest option typically. Really it’s just your personal preference – there’s more appearances you can gain with vinyl but if you really want the laminate then that’s your call!
Many people actually split their utility room into both of these and have it as a sort of ‘Dirty Storage’ room. For a mud room and for DIY tools on the larger side like car jacks, you’re going to want a floor that’s easy to clean that won’t shy away from wet mess.
Laminate is a good option if cleaning the room is on your weekly rotation of chores. Direct spills will harm the flooring, but muddy foot or paw prints won’t damage it. It’s scratch resistant, easily cleanable with most household cleaners, stain resistant and very durable.
Vinyl is similar – while slightly not as durable as laminate, for example you might not want to drag something very heavy over it, it stands up well everywhere else. It’s also scratch resistant, cleans just as easily, it’s also stain resistant and durable however it’s also slightly more comfortable to walk across than laminate. This is especially true on a cold day.
Vinyl is often cheaper than laminate, and comes in a range of styles, textures and appearances. It’s also better at dealing with water than laminate. When a substantial amount of water is spilled above the joints of laminate it seeps in and the wood swells, ruining it. This doesn’t happen with vinyl so if you’re a fan of heavy mopping then over time vinyl would come out longer lasting.
Out of these situations, vinyl typically comes out as best. At times there’s no benefit in the material itself between vinyl and laminate flooring, however as vinyl is often cheaper with a wider range available, vinyl still inches ahead.
The flooring is only down to yourself and your tastes or wants from a flooring, however hopefully you’ll consider closely the likely use case of your utility room and think about any issues that might arise in that room such as water leaks or pets spilling food or having accidents.
Flooring is a big investment, so go with something stylish that looks nice, but only if it’ll last a while too.
While we’re on the topic of costs, we think you should know about Easipay’s Pay Weekly Flooring Plans. For just £10 per week you can have your new flooring fitted, with underlay and door trims.
Whether it’s carpet, vinyl or laminate that you want, you can split the cost and avoid breaking the bank. There’s no credit checks and the amount you pay is based on your circumstances with prices starting at £10. There’s also no interest, so the cost of the flooring and having it fitted is all you pay, whether you pay it off in full or you pay over the space of months.
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