In retrospect, both residential and commercial spaces have been opting for double-story or even more vertically expanded building plans for nearly a century now. The reason is that in this era of urbanization, architecture has developed a new route to be more functional and adaptable to facilitate fast and incessantly changing dynamics of lifestyles, societal and economic landscapes, and globalization-oriented geographics as well as demographics around the world.
With the evolution of modern civilization, making both large and relatively smaller spaces more accommodating and prolific has become pretty essential. Thus, 2nd-story floor design has found a prevalent niche for itself.
If you are curious about all the elegant, effective, creative, and revolutionary 2nd-floor design modules available before finally choosing one, then this article is here to assist you in the task with a sorted compilation of all the highly functional and trendy choices that are worth your consideration.
9 Flooring Choices To Heighten The Class Of Your Second Storey:
To begin with, one very important thing to understand is that the architectural nature, method, and viability of constructing the second-story flooring aren’t the same as the lower level or downstairs flooring.
The particular material you want for flooring the upstairs portion of your house should be fairly supported by the subfloor of that area. It’s always better to check if the strength and viability of a particular subfloor are suitable for a certain kind of flooring material.
Now that we’ve got the notion clarified, let’s get right into the super lucrative design modules for second-story flooring.
1. Loft Conversion Flooring:
Both apartments and townhouses have been making diverse uses of loft conversions for a long time. It is basically an open area on a raised floor level that has some kind of staircase or ladder leading to it from the level below to upward.
The idea of including such an area into the house plan derives from the methodic solution to make the most use of a practical space available.
Loft can be used to serve multiple purposes such as study, workstation, sitting place or coffee room, bedroom, children’s playing area, etc, and can contain various kinds of furniture. It can be turned into an aesthetic bedroom by arranging single or bunk beds, a study with decorative shelves, or a relaxation area with comfortable chairs and couches.
To make the flooring of your loft area elegant, soothing, and functional, materials like solid or engineered hardwood, vinyl, laminate, parquet, bamboo, cork, and carpet are some of the best options to consider. Light-colored wood-look products will add a natural appearance to the airy and open atmosphere of the loft area, vinyl products will give the area a cushioned and padded feel, and carpeting options are perfect if you want to make it warm and cozy.
The general nature of the usage of a loft is somewhat mild, and the amount of traffic a standard loft area experiences is pretty moderate, therefore, all these lighter yet durable flooring choices will perform quite great in a loft conversion. The cherry on the top is that most of these flooring products are pretty affordable and low maintenance.
2. Upstairs Family Room:
An upstairs family room is a cozy place for gathering that essentially performs a lot of functions similar to that of the living room downstairs. For a posh and sophisticated family room on your second floor, there are multiple layouts and themes to choose from – traditional, contemporary, modern, etc.
A traditional family room flooring has predominant uses of various natural hardwoods, laminate, and carpets. The vibrant, playful color palettes and warmth of wool carpets and rugs, and the authentic personality of oak, pine, walnut, or cherry hardwood will give your family room a sleek and classy look.
The subtle, subdued, light, airy, and open characteristics of contemporary architectural style can be effectively achieved through options like laminate, wood-look vinyl, glazed ceramic tiles, nylon carpeting, etc.
The continuously evolving nature of modern flooring style has been seeing an incessant rise in the use of porcelain tiles with intricate design patterns, terrazzo in artistic layouts, supremely beautiful glass tiles, bamboo, cork, luxury vinyl, etc. The perk of these products is even higher if you consider the fact that all these flooring options can be resurfaced/refinished as per your necessity.
If you have a strong enough subfloor eligible for heavy stone flooring, then natural stones of light and neutral shades such as marble and limestone are also quite great options. All these flooring choices are highly functional, pretty easy to maintain, and breathtakingly beautiful.
3. Second Floor Landing:
The floor landing space is the open area of the floor next to the stairway that connects one story of the house with another. Some of the most widely-used decor layouts for floor landings include creating a lounge with cushioned armchairs and coffee tables, a touch-up area with large, full-length mirrors, a decorated pathway with the furnishing of ceramic vases and dolls, feathery, hanging art-pieces like dreamcatchers, low shelves or wall-racks to contain a couple of books, or a botanical arrangement with arrays for plants, etc.
You have the liberty to transform the style of a floor landing in any way you wish if you choose the right flooring material for it. Generally, hardwood, laminate, light-colored limestones, carpets and rugs, vinyl planks or sheets, parquets, bamboo, concrete, various kinds of tiles such as glazed terracotta, ceramic, and porcelain, etc are extremely popular for floor landing surfaces.
The Floor landing area typically sees comparatively higher traffic and abrasive movements since pretty much everyone in the house gets to use it quite frequently, including your pets. The aforementioned choices are capable enough to withstand these challenges, are highly durable, resistant to stains and scratches, flexible, and extremely viable. Also, these products are non-slippery, so you don’t have to worry about the kids and elderly people moving around unattended in the house.
Flight of stairs that runs between upper and lower levels is an extremely important component when it comes to double floor house modules. These are steps that you, all your family members, your pets, and guests take to move in between floors on a regular basis. This space experiences huge traffic and abrasive forces on its surface. On top of that, it goes through regular cleaning, it deals with stains, scratches, and powerful chemicals of the cleaning agents.
While constructing the stairs, you need to make sure that it doesn’t crack, create irritating noise, or become slippery. The best choices for safe, strong, durable, resistant, and easy to maintain stair flooring options include hardwood stairs, engineered wood planks, concrete, vinyl, porcelain, ceramic tiles, carpeting, etc.
These products are highly resistant to various damages, non-slippery, and flexible.
5. Second Floor Master Bedroom:
The Concept of having the master bedroom of a house upstairs is relatively more preferred in the modern era due to the facility of obtaining a better and broader view of outside surroundings, uninterrupted privacy, soothing and peaceful ambiance. Some houses might have dual master suites as well that consist of two separate master bedrooms, one on upper and lower floors each.
Well, as we know already, the architectural anatomy of a master bedroom is divided into multiple sections such as the bedroom, a bathroom inside the room, an adjacent balcony, a small conversation area, a vanity in or outside the bathroom, etc – all these areas have different functions and should be floored accordingly.
Since the main area of a bedroom experiences very little moisture, wet, dust, stain, and abrasive force as compared to its constituent bathroom and balcony, the scope of choosing from a variety of flooring materials for it is quite broader.
Some of the trendiest materials and color-themes for master bedroom flooring include mild and soothing shades of marble, like cream, pearl, white orchid, etc, shades of granite such as light green, gray, mustard yellow, brown, blue with metallic hues, etc (only if your subfloor supports heavy stones), muted neutral shades of hardwood, authentic bamboo and cork, and earth-tone materials, etc.
Carpets and rugs of playful shades like silver, tan, aqua, warm golden, light gray, etc are extremely great for upstairs bedrooms since they provide a warm, cozy, comforting, and noise-resistant atmosphere.
The bedroom is a personal space and usually sees very little traffic and abrasive movements, that’s why a broad range of flooring products can perform quite well without much to be done for maintenance. These bedroom flooring choices are durable, eco-friendly, and viable.
6. Upstairs Bathroom:
Bathrooms are one of the trickiest areas to be floored in a house due to the nature of their function. A bathroom floor experiences frequent wet, moisture, stains, dirt, chemical residues from bathing products, etc. So, not every material performs equally well when it comes to flooring bathrooms. Try avoiding unglaze-finished and highly porous products, and opt for materials with protective layers and sealings.
Some of the best performing bathroom flooring choices are porcelain, glazed ceramic, concrete, bamboo, cork, vinyl, rubber-based products, etc. Vinyl, cork, and rubber are, in fact, waterproof, while other options also closely follow them in terms of wet and moisture resistance. All these flooring materials are very functional, durable, scratch-resistant, flexible, easy to clean, pretty much affordable, and visually stunning.
Regardless of whether it is the balcony/veranda inside your master bedroom area or other balconies in any area of the 2nd floor, it is definitely a great place to sit and enjoy the view around you. Since the balcony opens out to the exterior, it is one of those areas of your house which are more prone to experience wet, moisture, dirt, sunlight, heat, frost, other weather factors, and environmental pollution. So, flooring your balcony is quite an insightful task.
Considering all the challenges and adversities pertinent to balcony flooring, some of the most popular and highest performing flooring choices include concrete, porcelain, ceramic tiles, rubber pavers, brick, terracotta, resin-layered composite planks, etc. You can also use granite, slate, and limestone of a non-porous finish if your subfloor supports such heavyweights.
All these products have excellent resistance against heat, frost, wet, chemical reactions like oxidation due to exposure to atmospheric elements like moisture, sunlight, air, etc. On top of that, these are very low maintenance, cost-effective, and durable.
8. Second Floor Kitchen:
The kitchen has traditionally been downstairs because the primary gathering place for guests and family is the living room, and having a kitchen adjacent to that area facilitates serving them easier and better. But as the modern era has popularized creating a family room or other sorts of gathering arena on the second floor as well, a lot of people have been constructing a kitchen upstairs as well.
No matter where your kitchen is, there are some prerequisites pertinent to its functions that should be ensured while flooring a kitchen area. Kitchens experience frequent spills, stains, wet, dirt, heat etc, and regular cleaning or wiping with water and various kinds of chemical agents.
These are the factors that need to be kept in mind while choosing the right flooring product for the kitchen, as not all materials are good enough to overcome these challenges.
Some of the most functional, durable, flexible, resistant, and low maintenance kitchen flooring choices for the second floor are – engineered hardwood, luxury vinyl planks, laminate, porcelain, glazed ceramic tiles, terrazzo etc.
9. Rooftop Terrace:
If your house includes a rooftop terrace on the second floor, then you should floor it according to the factors that will serve the space better. The rooftop terrace is yet another area that is predominantly exposed to the outside atmosphere, in fact, it’s even bigger and more open as compared to balconies/verandas. It experiences more sunlight, rain-water, frost, heat, pollution, dirt, etc as compared to most of the other areas of your house. Therefore, the flooring materials used in a rooftop terrace should always be extremely durable, highly resistant to certain adversities, convenient to clean and maintain.
Given all the factors above, flooring options such as concrete roof paver, tiles consisting of rubber-based components, PVC tiles, terracotta, slate tiles, terrazzo, etc perform with great consistency in terms of terrace flooring.
FAQs Related To Second Floor Design:
What Are The Best Flooring For The Second Story Of The House?
In general, the flooring product(s) should be adaptable in terms of the subfloor for the second story. If the certain strength and reinforcement of a particular subfloor aren’t high enough to hold the weight of certain flooring material on top of it, you need to either change that heavier flooring option and opt for a lighter one or strengthen your subfloor in the required mechanism to make eligible for holding up a heavier weight.
Given the standard and usual level of strength of a 2nd story subfloor, a lot of flooring materials from the light-product category, yet functional and highly durable, are the best fit for such flooring. These materials include – hardwood planks, porcelain and ceramic tiles, vinyl planks, laminate, bamboo, tiles with resin composites, etc.
Can Natural Stones Be Used For Upstairs Flooring?
Well, if your subfloor supports stone flooring, then natural stones can definitely be used upstairs. You can choose between moderately weighed, comparatively much lightweight natural stone veneer tiles or composite stone tiles, and solid, authentic natural stone slabs, such as marble, granite, limestones, various kinds of sandstone, slate, travertine, etc. according to the adaptability of your subfloor.
If you really don’t want to go through all the trouble and simply focus on attaining the look of natural stones rather than the actual material, then there are myriads of composite and artificial products that come with stone-look designs such as Faux Stone ceramic and porcelain tiles, stone-look vinyl, etc.
These are lightweight flooring products that can always be used on any kind of subflooring. Plus, these are also extremely durable, cost-effective, functional, low maintenance, and elegantly beautiful.
What Materials Are Best For The Second Floor Bedroom?
Hardwoods of natural shades such as White Oak, Pine, Cherry of warm shades, Hickory, Walnut, etc, wool-based carpets of warm and vibrant colors, laminate, luxury vinyl planks, glass tiles, etc are some of the best choices for second-floor bedroom flooring.
These materials have a certain kind of authenticity to them, are very much durable, functional, and visually attractive, and help create a soothing ambiance, all of which will glorify the standard and intrinsic value of your very own personal space.
Carpeting will reduce the noise coming over from various parts of the house, and help you sleep with little to no disturbance. Glass tiles are pretty much heat resistant, and will add a soothing coolness to your bedtime environment.
Are Porcelain And Ceramic Tiles Too Heavy For The Second Story Flooring?
Tiles are never too heavy to be used in the second-story flooring. Tiles of any kind, such as – porcelain, ceramic, other clay-based tiles, luxury vinyl tiles, mosaic, terrazzo, glass, terracotta, etc, are considered lightweight flooring materials.
These products are primarily pieces of thin, square-shaped, uniformly sized and weighed materials that don’t produce much weight or force for the subfloor of your second story.
The technical reason behind this is, although most of all these tiles are extremely durable, resistant, and strong, they are not heavy due to their respective weights being evenly distributed among all the small pieces, rather than containing so much weight on one large, single-piece like most of the natural stones.
To have the flexibility to create a functional second story in the house has come up as a boon. It gives you a lot of additional space and is a viable extension of the same house having the same area in square feet. Such a revolutionary achievement for small houses indeed!
With a little bit of methodical approach and proper flooring material selection, you can elevate the diverse potential, functionality, beauty, sustainability, and overall value of the second floor of your house.