We Explore the Best Flooring for Braai Rooms
Braaing and South African weekends are synonymous. Walking through any suburban neighbourhood on a late Saturday afternoon, you are sure to pick up the wafting aroma of sizzling sosaties and hear the laughter of a lekker kuier.
Braaing is South Africa’s version of barbecuing, except that it is an entire subculture on its own. Often, it includes ice-cold beer, cheerful tunes, and someone’s famous potato salad (with a secret ingredient they’ll never share).
It makes sense, then, that braai rooms are such popular additions to local residences and are used all year round.
If you are considering building or renovating such a space in your own home, we can assist you with the best flooring options from which to choose.
Types of Braai Rooms and What to Consider
Braai rooms, or binnebraais, as they are sometimes called, are indoor areas used for one thing, and one thing only – having a great time while grilling meat.
The best braai rooms are usually decked out with a built-in barbecue area and smoke extractor, enough seating for all the guests, and electrical outlets for a stereo or television during the rugby season.
Some braai rooms are large enough to incorporate a mini kitchenette, sink and surface space for preparing salads and braaibroodjies(sandwiches toasted on the grill).
These rooms are usually built onto the side of the house in the form of an enclosed veranda that opens into the garden through a stack-away door, giving easy access to the yard or swimming pool.
Outdoor braais, on the other hand, are generally under a lapa or out in the open garden. When it comes to braaing indoors, it can be difficult to decide on the best flooring for braai rooms, as there are several aspects to consider, such as:
- Expected foot traffic in the area and how often the space will be used for guests.
- The function of the room, if other food will be prepared there and whether messes and moisture spills are possible.
- Whether the room will also be used to dine in, and how prone to food spills and staining the floor will be.
- How exposed to the elements the room will be, factoring in direct sunlight and rain as important aspects to think about.
Stone and Ceramic Tiles
Stone and ceramic tiles are a popular choice for braai rooms, but they are not always the best option for everyone. The upside to tiling your floors is that they are exceptionally durable, highly water-resistant, and long-lasting, but there are several downsides to tiles too, namely:
- Once a tile cracks, there is no going back – the only way to fix a broken tile is by redoing the entire floor. Because braai rooms are semi-outdoor areas, the flooring will need to withstand abrasion and impacts without being damaged.
- Trends change easily, but tiles don’t. Because tiles are labour-intensive to install and last so many years, you won’t be able to easily replace them when your preferences change.
- They are slippery and hard, which can be a hazard in a space with so many people and potential food spills.
- They are colder than other kinds of flooring. This may be pleasant in the summer, but people often rely on braai rooms to enjoy gatherings in the winter too, and tiles will add to the cold feeling underfoot.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles
Luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs) and planks are one of the best options when it comes to high-traffic, high-moisture spaces because of how they are made.
High-quality luxury vinyl tiles and planks are 100% waterproof and fare well in spaces where moisture build-up and food spills are present. They are highly resistant to scratching, dents, wear and tear, and even stay much warmer underfoot than tiles.
Many modern LVT designs feature anti-slip properties and more grip, so slipping and falling are less likely with this kind of flooring. The only factor that can negatively impact LVT flooring over time is exposure to direct sunlight, which may fade the print on the planks. For the best all-round performance, consider the new SPC range of LVT products.
Self-levelling floor screed is a cement-based product that is used in the preparation of subfloors before a new kind of flooring is installed. It is the best way of levelling out a concrete floor that may be cracked, split, pitted or shows slight unevenness. The screed can even be applied as a standalone surface, providing a smooth, seamless finish for anyone on a budget. If the option is too bare for one’s liking, decorative rugs can be placed in the area to add more interest.
Artificial grass is a synthetic product that mimics real grass, except it remains green and lush all year long. It is durable and can be used in both indoor and outdoor spaces and may be best for braai rooms that are less enclosed. This flooring is safe and hassle-free and brings a touch of greenery indoors.
Other notable options include wood laminates and engineered wood floors (provided that moisture exposure is unlikely). Both flooring types are best at emulating hardwood floors and introducing a natural element to the space. Commercial-grade carpeting is also an alternative, as long as it remains protected from the elements.
If you would like to know what kind of flooring is best for any area in your home, have a chat with us today and we will assist you in opting for the right products.
Download our free Carpet, Laminate & LVT Pricing Guide to take you through the process of costing as it relates to flooring.