What is the first thing that comes to mind as you walk into your house or bedroom? Of course, the floor!
space will be affected differently by different floors.
On the one side, the texture and color of the floor will influence the room’s overall design style. Different flooring materials can feel different in terms of temperature, power, and noise at the same time.
It can be difficult to select the right flooring for your home in Malaysia because there are so many different choices.
We look at the different materials, from tiles to wood to laminate flooring to marble and natural stone flooring, to help you decide.
Use this guide to get a better understanding of the various styles of flooring and their costs, so you can find what works best for you.
Ceramic tile flooring
Natural clay, sand, and water make up ceramic tile. Before being baked in a kiln to extract the majority of the moisture, these ingredients are molded into square or rectangular tiles.
Ceramic tiles are usually used in rooms such as the living room and bedroom. Ceramic tiles are intended to be used indoors, but due to their lightweight, they can also be used as wall tiles.
They are lighter in weight and come in both a gloss and a matte finish. They are also the most simple and least expensive of the three types of tiles.
Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, are not recommended for high-traffic or high-load areas. Ceramic tiles are best installed in the bedroom and guest bathroom.
The fact that tiles come in several styles is the most important reason for choosing them. Large tile slabs in grey tones are ideal for homeowners who prefer a smooth, matte floor. Others may want to make a mosaic pattern similar to those seen in old European churches or Peranakan homes. Whatever look you want to achieve, there is a tile design that will work for you.
Suitable for: bedroom, guest bathroom
Price of tile flooring: starts from RM8 – 12 per square feet for labor. Tiles start from RM2 per sqft
Porcelain tile flooring
Clay, sand, and water are also used to make porcelain tiles. The density of the clay used in porcelain tiles, however, is higher than that used in ceramic tiles.
Porcelain tiles are baked at a high temperature for an extended period to remove almost all moisture. Porcelain tiles are both harder and more durable than ceramic tiles due to the denser clay and longer drying time.
Porcelain tiles come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and surfaces. They are available in a variety of styles, including gloss and matte, as well as other special appearances such as sugar, which reflects light.
Porcelain tiles are very adaptable because they can withstand high foot traffic and have a higher resistance to wear and tear. As a result, they can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications, as well as high- and medium-duty industrial applications.
One of the most appealing features of porcelain tiles is how low-maintenance they are. Tiles not only require little upkeep, but they can also withstand heat, water, spills, and stains. Cleaning your tile floor with soap and water is generally suitable. And, if one of your tiles is chipped or broken, it can be replaced individually.
Suitable for: bathroom, kitchen, porch, and balcony.
Price of tile flooring: starts from RM8 – 12 per square feet for labor. Tiles start from RM5 per sqft
Solid hardwood flooring
Solid hardwood flooring is made entirely of solid wood pieces, as the name implies.
Balau, nyatoh, merbau, kempas, chengal, Burmese teak, and belian are among the woods available, as are imported ash, beech, white oak, Tasmanian oak, Russian pine, and walnut. Some of these species, including merbau, Burmese teak, and belian, are known for their termite resistance, making them extremely valuable.
You can lay down hardwood strips or wide planks, or arrange them in a parquet pattern, depending on the pattern you want for your floor. Since they’re all made of real wood, no two pieces will be identical, giving your floor a lovely natural look. Perfect for a Scandinavian-style home!
If properly cared for, hardwood floors will last a lifetime.
Solid wood floors can be sanded and refinished or polished repeatedly to keep them looking good. This means that if you renovate, you will adjust the look of the floor to match the décor. The more you polish the floor, however, the thinner it becomes with each refinishing.
Suitable for: All rooms except bathrooms
Price of hardwood flooring: starts from RM22 per square feet for supply and install of solid hardwood flooring. This may vary depending on the type of wood used.
Laminate flooring has a center consisting of compressed wood fibers and a resin.
The design layer is the top layer, and it is made up of a printed image that is protected by a transparent layer. The printed picture has been carefully selected to resemble wood, marble, or stone; whatever you like! Also, experts have difficulty determining whether a laminate floor is a genuine wood.
Homeowners may choose from a wide variety of styles, including natural hardwoods, natural stones, and ceramics.
Suitable for: living room bedroom, dining, bathroom, kitchen, laundry
Price of laminate flooring: From RM6.50 per square feet for supply and install, depending on the chosen design.
Engineered wood flooring
Engineered wood flooring is a form of flooring that is made up of multiple layers of plywood. The top and bottom layers are then veneered with a 3mm layer of hardwood to give it a stunning timber hardwood look at an affordable price.
Engineered flooring is available in planks and can be assembled using glue or as a floating device that simply clicks together.
This makes it quick to set up and manage.
Engineered wood, like solid wood floors, is susceptible to scratches and dents. If this occurs, a wax repair kit may be used to fix it. Engineered wood flooring can be sanded and refinished continuously until the thin veneer coating wears away.
Suitable for: all rooms, including areas where moisture accumulates, as long as there is a proper subfloor with a moisture barrier.
Price of engineered wood flooring: from RM20 per square feet for supply and install of engineered wood flooring. This will change depending on the type of hardwood veneer used.
Vinyl flooring, also known as PVC flooring, is made up of colored polyvinyl chloride (PVC) chips that are heat and pressure compressed into solid sheets of varying thickness. It comes in planks, sheets, and tiles.
They’re easy to mount over a smooth layer of most floor types with an adhesive that provides more cushioning and helps even out uneven floors. There are also DIY-friendly plank solutions available, such as interlocking or tape-down systems that eliminate the need for glue or nails.
Vinyl flooring comes in a variety of colors and textures that are designed to look like wood, stone, terrazzo, concrete, and other materials. It is aesthetically pleasing though requiring very little upkeep.
This material is incredibly resistant to abrasion and impact damage. Chemical strippers and mechanical buffing equipment may be used to refinish it as required. It also has a cushioned base, which makes it easier to stay on for longer periods than a wood or tile floors.
When buying vinyl flooring, look for products that have been certified as non-toxic and safe for the environment and human health. This is to avoid purchasing brands that produce toxic fumes.
Suitable for: bathroom, kitchen, laundry, and high-traffic areas.
Price range: From RM6 per square feet for wood series (plank) and RM8 onwards for stone and marble designs (tile). This includes supply and install.
While carpet flooring is not widely used in Malaysian homes, it is a common material in offices.
Carpet flooring is classified into two categories: roll carpet rugs and carpet tiles.
Roll carpets are typically 12 feet wide and can be rolled out to cover the entire length of a bed. They do, however, necessitate professional installation, which takes a long time.
Carpet tiles, on the other hand, come in squares of 18, 24, or 36 inches, making them suitable for most floor spaces. Carpet tiles are available in a variety of styles and sizes to meet the needs of their users. Carpet tiles are the best choice for tricky-formed floor spaces since they can be installed even in rooms with fixtures that cannot be moved.
If your carpet flooring is damaged, instead of replacing the whole floor, you can repair the damaged carpet tiles. Carpet tiles also have a tile backing material made of vinyl or fiberglass that can withstand moisture and improve longevity. Carpet tiles are now stain-resistant, making them a viable flooring choice for families with young children and pets.
As opposed to rolling carpets, the disadvantage of carpet tiles is that they do not appear smooth. If the pieces move, the gaps between each carpet tile may become very visible.
Suitable for: office, bedroom
Price range: From RM4 per square feet supply and install for carpet tiles. From RM3 per square foot for roll carpet.
Marble is valued for its beauty, style, and elegance and is mined from mountains all over the world. Since marble is a natural product, each piece is special. It comes in several colors or even a combination of colors, and it can be split into rectangles or triangles of various sizes.
A marble is a porous rock that can be scratched, scraped, and chipped easily. Action with acidic substances such as those found in food, drinks, and cleaning products can result in permanent discoloration. It’s often vulnerable to water infiltration, which can be avoided by adding sealers both below and above the surface once a year.
Marble floors are popular in high-end properties in Malaysia. It must be polished after installation to achieve a beautiful shine.
Suitable for: living room and bedrooms. However, it is not a great flooring option for families with senior citizens or young children as it can be extremely slippery when it gets wet.
Price range: from RM15 per square foot, plus RM10 – 15 per sqft for labor.
Granite, like marble, is a rough natural stone that is mined in quarries. It is, however, much harder than marble, making it a more long-lasting stone flooring choice. It is water and stain-resistant, but it is recommended that moisture-prone rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms be sealed.
Granite flooring is a common option among homeowners because it is water and dirt resistant and has a rich speckled or veined pattern that makes each floor special.
Granite flooring of high quality is highly regarded by homeowners and adds value to a home. It has a long lifespan and does not emit any volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Suitable for: living room, dining area, kitchen, bathroom
Price range: from RM15 per square foot, plus RM10 – 15 per sqft for labor.
Polished Concrete or Cement Screed Flooring
You can apply a fresh layer of concrete to your subfloor and polish it to a soft shine if your base can support the weight. To shield it from wear and tear, apply a coat of epoxy or sealant.
This process, however, is costly because it necessitates removing all existing floor tiles or wood planks, as well as hacking away at the existing cement screed. To stop cracks, the renovator will also need to know how to cure them properly.
Adding a thin layer of cement screed on top of the existing floor is a slightly more cost-effective alternative. This creates an industrial look, which is common in today’s cafes. You can also paint over it in any color you like, or use various brush tools to produce a mottled effect that resembles granite flooring!
While concrete or cement can appear to be attractive, it can be cold to the touch. Also, if children or the elderly fall on the hard ground, it can be slippery and dangerous. If you don’t mind getting some joint lines, porcelain tiles with a cement pattern might be more cost-effective.
Suitable for: living rooms designed to an industrial theme; outdoor driveways, patios, backyard
Price range: Unconfirmed, but we have seen quotes as high as RM30 per sqft for polished concrete