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Flooring: Specialty Finishes: Metal

Not everyone is content with standard finishes for their floors - despite the huge range of beautiful and hard wearing surfaces available.

For something a little different, especially for an architect designed home, they might choose a specialty flooring, such as polished concrete, metal or even leather.

Metal floors can be either sheet metal in the safety design - which gives a gritty, urban-industrial look - or metal tiles.

Metal tiles are laid in much the same manner as ceramic tiles and came come in a range of different metals, and a wide variety of colours, textures and finishes, which can be used singly or in combination.

They can be made of stainless steel, aluminium or brass and can be treated to look like more precious metals such as bronze. It's possible to find tiles made of recycled metal, which are more environmentally sustainable.

Metal floors are extremely durable. Properly installed and cared for, a metal floor will last for at least 20 years.

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Where to Use Metal Flooring

Although a metal floor would look very striking and unusual in a living area, they are generally used in bathrooms, laundries, kitchens and basements.

They are most suitable for these areas because they are water, allergen and bacteria resistant, and very easy to maintain and keep clean.

Disadvantages of Metal Floors

Despite their good looks and durability, metal floors have a few drawbacks you should consider when thinking about choosing a metal floor.

  1. Cold and hard: metal floors are very hard underfoot and also cold, so it's recommended that you have area rugs or scatter rugs to soften the surface feel.
  2. Slippery when wet: Although generally used in the wet areas of a home, caution must apply as these floors are very slippery when wet - particularly if metal tiles rather than the safety surface is used.
  3. Noise: Metal floors are noisy to walk on, and they also conduct noise from other areas. Once again, scatter rugs or area rugs are recommended to muffle any noise.

Maintaining Metal Floors

Metal floors are virtually maintenance-free, requiring only regular sweeping and cleaning with a damp mop. However, be aware that any grit will scratch and mark the metal floor - especially polished tiles.

Metal Floor Installation

Installation should only be done by an accredited metal flooring specialist.

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