Choosing flooring for your BTO flat can be tricky. There are so many options available and each with their own unique profile. Here’s an outline of your best flooring options.
30 September 2022
BTO flats are new HDB flats which are launched prior to their construction. BTO or ‘built-to-order’ is named after the fact that constructions only begins once a set percentage of the flats in the complex have been booked in advance. This percentage is usually around 65-75% and if it is not met, the project will be cancelled. The non-booked flats go to market once construction is finished.
There are a few options for BTO flooring. BTO projects launched after February of 2019 will have glazed porcelain floor tile in the kitchen and bathroom. Buyers can choose to have floor finishes installed under the optional component scheme. There are a few restrictions and guidelines for floors in HDB flats. Floors that are simple to install such as vinyl, carpet or linoleum do not require a permit and there are no specific guidelines. However, replacing floor finishes such as tile, terrazzo, marble, homogeneous, and parquet timber will require a permit and is subject to guidelines about the thickness, waterproofing, and areas in the home. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the guidelines to avoid making any mistakes.
The most common types of flooring in HDB/BTO flats are laminate, vinyl, and homogenous unglazed porcelain tile. These materials are all lightweight, durable, and well-suited to the humidity of Singapore’s climate. Vinyl is popular for its cost-effectiveness, laminate is popular for its easy installation, and porcelain tile is most often used in bathrooms or kitchens due to its waterproof qualities.
To help you understand the nuances of HDB BTO flooring options, here is an analysis of the best BTO flooring packages and flooring materials.
Rubber flooring is not very common in BTO flats. It is an elastic substance that is best suited to areas which see heavy war over long periods of time. The most common places where you will find rubber flooring are garages and gyms.
However, rubber flooring has a number of advantages. It is springier underfoot than most flooring, which will cushion fall impacts. This makes it a safe flooring choice for children, elderly people, and those with disabilities. It is also affordable, simple to install (comes in tiles or mats) and is extremely durable. Read here for more.
Linoleum of lino flooring is a type of material which has a burlap or canvas backing and a surface made from natural materials. These materials include flax seeds extract, solidified linseed oil, ground cork dust, pine resin, sawdust, wood flour, and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate.
Lino is one of the only biodegradable flooring materials, meaning that it comes out on top for environmental friendliness. Read more about Linoleum flooring here.
Cement screed flooring is a layered flooring material comprised from cement and sharp sand overlayed on a concrete subfloor. It is popular among HDB homes for the minimalistic concrete appearance. There are many different polishes, stains and textures available for cement screed.
It is fairly cost efficient. However, cement screed requires sealing, will need to be completely replaced once it is worn down by traffic, and can crack or fracture over time. For more information on screed cement floors for BTO homes, see here.
While solid timber is not a very common flooring material in Singapore, hardwood floors are still a beautiful option with a gorgeous natural texture. Hardwood floors will add to the resale value of your home.
After enduring some wear and damage, they can be sanded down to look as good as new. However, hardwood floors require chemical sealing to protect them from water damage. They are also expensive to obtain and install (although certain types of timber are cheaper than others).
Epoxy is a protective coating made from polymer resins and hardeners. You can apply epoxy to various types of floor to seal and protect the surface against damage. Some of the floors that epoxy will protect include natural stone, polished concrete, terrazzo, marble, and even wood. Read more about epoxy flooring here.
Marble is a luxurious natural stone with swirling veins. When Limestone undergoes a metamorphic crystallization it converts calcium carbonate into calcite crystals, creating marble.
Marble is a symbol of luxury because of its beauty. It is also naturally cool which makes it a suitable choice for Singapore’s humid climate. Marble also adds value to the home for resale. However, it is very expensive and has lower durability than other flooring options.
Parquet flooring is a type of hardwood flooring arranged into repeating geometric patterns. It is usually installed as a floating timber floor or wooden floor tiles with a surface layer of multiple individual wooden slats attached to the backing material. The most recognisable form of parquet flooring is herringbone style, a striking pattern made from an arrangement of long, thin wood pieces which resembles the bones of a herring.
Polished porcelain tiles are the most common tile type in HDB homes. They are popular in both bathrooms and kitchens for their impressive waterproof ratings. Ceramic tiles are also fairly common in BTO apartments for their durability, affordability and easy installation.
Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic material with a printed surface that can mimic the look of timber, stone, ceramic or other materials. High quality laminate is virtually indistinguishable from organic material. Laminate is also one of the cheapest flooring materials on the market.
Vinyl flooring is a type of blended plastic flooring material made from polyvinyl chloride. It comes in two main forms: vinyl strip flooring and luxury vinyl tile. An affordable, versatile and waterproof material, vinyl is simple to install and easy to maintain.
Vinyl flooring can be made to look like parquet with a simple printed surface layer of herringbone patterns. Authentic parquet however is more durable, showing greater resistance to stains and scratches than vinyl – which is quite thin. Read more about vinyl and hybrid floor options here.
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