My hallway makeover – 3 practical flooring options for high-traffic areas

Hallways can be tricky spaces to decorate. Even though you only pass through them, they link all the other rooms together and the flooring needs to be hardwearing in such a hard traffic area. While working on my own hallway I pulled together some practical makeover ideas...

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Hallways can be tricky spaces to decorate. Even though you only pass through them, they link all the other rooms together and set the decor tone for the rest of the house. They are practical spaces too, with coat rails, key boxes and shoe racks essential for an entranceway. Plus, the flooring needs to be hardwearing in such a hard traffic area. While working on my own hallway makeover I pulled together some practical ideas for decorating the space so here’s what I discovered…

The main project in our home over the past year was the hallway. It was the only area of the house that we hadn’t touched since moving in three years ago, and it was disgusting. You can see the horrid ‘before’ photos here – ick! Thankfully it looks much better now after a coat of paint and a bit of staircase renovation.

We started at the most sensible place – the top – and worked our way down. This meant that any paint splashes from the ceiling and walls wouldn’t be a problem, as we planned to paint the flooring and staircases anyway. This made it so much easier to work in the space – and I’m such a messy painter that it really helped me to enjoy the process more haha!

So, after many coats of white paint to cover the dirty yellow walls, and a new runner design painted on the staircase, we are now ready to tackle the flooring. In order to feel ‘finished’ we painted the existing floors with matt grey paint. It’s the same one we used in the bedroom as we had half a tin left over.

This tidied up the space but it wasn’t the finished option. At the bottom of the staircase is a concrete floor and the upstairs hallway is wooden floorboards. I’d like to create a more cohesive look so I’ve researched some practical options for finishing off the flooring.

Wood flooring is my first choice for such a high-traffic area. I want something more sturdy underfoot than the creaky old floorboards and it will warm up the feel of the cold concrete hallway at the base of the stairs. As it’s such a small area, the cost of installing real solid wood flooring wouldn’t be too much, or I could always opt for the lower-cost option of engineered wood instead. I will be able to mop up spills easily and the wooden surface can always be refinished if needed, making it futureproof.

We also considered carpets so I ordered some samples to try. We had carpet in our previous home so I thought that carpet would offer a bit of soundproofing and make the hallway less echoey. Even though I liked the colours (and I know my cats would appreciate a comfy carpet) I don’t think it would last long in our hallway. I walk through this area carrying a cup of tea at least 6 times per day and I’m a spiller. I’m forever having to mop up spills on the stairs.

The final and probably the most frugal option I considered is adding a runner. This would give me the cosiness I want underfoot but also enable me to easily wash and scrub it when I inevitably trickle tea over the floor. I tried out temporary runner downstairs and it’s been okay so far.

Although a runner is definitely not a permanent solution, at least I can easily change it for a new one when I cover it in tea and coffee stains. Plus, we could buy matching runners for downstairs and upstairs to create a cohesive look. That said, I like the idea of doing the job once with wooden flooring so that I don’t have to keep DIYing the space. I would like it to be finished, once and for all!

Let me know what type of flooring you have in your own home and whether you would choose something different. I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below 🙂


This article is sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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