Flooring options for apartment renovation


We’re planning to move to Taipei later this year. We’re in the early stages of the apartment renovation process. The apartment currently has the shiny polished porcelain tile in the living room. I’m tempted to change it to bamboo but unsure. Just wondering if those of you who have already gone through this know of other/better flooring options? I’m concerned about durability (no pets/children yet, but there likely will be in the future), ability to withstand humidity, and of course, cost. I really don’t know what’s available in Taipei.

Thanks so much!

I had considered bamboo as well but had difficulty getting further information on durability and availability here. Ultimately, I went with a good-quality wood-veneered flooring that is intended to get past the local flooring problems such as warping, bugs, etc. often faced in this climate. I’ve seen horrible solutions including the rampant use of wood-grained contact paper all over the floors of rental apartments, as well as hollow plastic “wood” floors where there was a noticeable scalloped effect where the middle of the “boards” had started to sag. If you find bamboo and it works here, let us know!

I can’t speak to the availability of it here, but there are several very durable and attractive choice of flooring available in recycled material.
It might take some searching about but I’ve seen it used in other countries with impressive results.
Lower cost, impervious to moisture, non-warping and easy to install.

A restaurant near to my home in SoCali used it for all of his inside high-traffic areas as well as the outside decking floors. It worked very well and looked very good.

A good up-to-date architects office here might help locate it here on the island.

Walk up Chang An East Road, check out the renovation options. Lots of interesting stuff, mostly pretty, do not know about how gren they are, thoug, but durable you will find.

Laminate flooring, known locally as hai3dao3xing2di4ban3, is the way to go. It won’t warp like real hardwood and it’s more affordable. It should set you back between $3000 to $8000 per ping, depending on the grade and brand.

Hardwood floors will get dinged from dropping sharp things on them and moving furniture around. Bugs will burrow through them too, hollowing them out under the protective layer. I saw a demo once of someone stomping a cig out on a laminate floor and it not even leaving a mark – I was sold.

Thank you all for the suggestions. Our designer has found bamboo for us, although I have not seen samples. I’ll be visiting Taipei next month so will probably be visiting a lot of shops/showrooms then.

The first big decision is to decide if we want to keep the porcelain tile in the living area. Our designer’s estimated that if we do change the living area to bamboo, it will cost approx. 90,000 plus demolition fees. Both she and my husband advise that we keep it. But I’m still on the fence. If we do decide to keep it, that same tile will have to be installed in the kitchen and dining areas too because of the apartment design. So the killer is the fact that if we keep this flooring that I already don’t really like, we actually have to spend more money to install it in additional rooms.

Sorry for venting here. I guess my question is then, are there any of you who have and love the porcelain tile? I’m sure you’ve seen it, the big shiny 12in by 12in tiles, I think they’re called pao4guang1shi2.

thanks again!

I really don’t like the porcelain tiles. They make the room feel cold, and you don’t want that in the winter. Plus, they’re hard and slippery, not good if you have small children or seniors living with you.

Can you let me know the Chinese name of the flooring you chose? Also, is it holding up well? Would you mind sharing how much it cost per ping?

thanks so much!

Porcelain? Laminate? I don’t know what they are, but our place was remodeled about a year before we bought it and it’s got big what I referred to as marble tiles, big smooth shiny cold maybe 15" x 15" slick-looking tiles and we’re very happy with them. Yes they get cold in the winter, but for the other half of the year they’re great. Nice and cool in hot weather, simple to clean and look great.

Incidentally, if you’re also replacing countertops, I would strongly suggest granite rather than marble. We got marble counters in the kitchen and they look great. But I heard beforehand that marble gets marked up and I didn’t pay much attention to it. Boy does it. If (when) you spill lemon juice on it you are guaranteed to leave permanent marks on the marble. Same for tomato. Same for just about anything. No matter how careful you are to use a big cutting board and meticulously wipe up afterwards, the stone WILL rapidly become covered with permanent discolorations. It’s definitely impossible to avoid. I understand that’s not an issue with granite or other substances.

I bought a 37 ping place in January and went with hardwood floors in the whole apartment with the exception of the kitchen, bathrooms and entrance area. The kitchen and bathrooms are too wet, and the entrance too dirty. The height difference between the hardwood floor and the lower tile floor in the entrance area is great for making sure dirt doesn’t float in from where you place shoes.

Got a 1-year old that has already caused some marks in the hardwood floor, but for me I don’t think it matters that much. I think it just gives it some character. The warmth the wood floor gives my apartment both when it comes to our feet and the overall visual feeling makes it definitely worth it for me.

Not sure if I would risk it in an old building though.