When it is time to give your floors a facelift, there are usually so many flooring options to choose from that it can all be confusing. If you are stuck sitting on the fence, torn between different flooring types read on to find advice to help you decide.
What is the Best Flooring Option for Me Anyway?
Your decision can be based on a situation, personal preference, current budget, or design specifications. Several factors determine what type of flooring you choose, top among them include:
Money doesn’t grow on trees. We all need to save our hard-earned cash even as we look for better high-quality flooring. For a budget cap of $1000, floor type like granite and composite wood would simply not be an option due to their high price tag.
Dry, wet, and semi-wet climates all require different types of flooring to stand up to the weather. Then again, the flooring type you install in a high traffic area like the entryway may not be the same you use in low traffic areas like the bedroom.
- Maintenance Needs
Some flooring types are high maintenance while others require little attention. However, all floor types need some form of support to last long. You can choose a flooring type whose maintenance needs sync well with your daily routines.
The look or feel you intend to achieve with your flooring also matters a great deal when selecting flooring materials. The good news is that today many manufacturers can create any look using any flooring materials. For instance, you can still get that natural wood feel on laminate flooring.
Tiles: Budget-friendly and Easy Maintenance
Tiles are a great choice when you are looking to beat the bargain with flooring materials. Tiles are available in many styles and designs all at affordable prices. There are many different materials you can choose from, including ceramic and stone.
The versatility of tile floors and the many design options available makes it the most common flooring type you will encounter in homes especially kitchens and bathrooms. Tiles also come in different sizes including smaller and larger tile squares. Maintenance is easy, with just a few routines you can get them squeaky clean. The only challenge perhaps would be grout cleaning. With regular maintenance, however, you can ward off issues like staining and chipping. Using an epoxy-based tile can also mitigate any problems.
The other reason why tile flooring has ensnared the hearts of many is the fact that they are easy to install and repair. You would probably want to keep installation and repair costs to a bare minimum. That is possible with tile floorings. Ceramic tiles can also withstand a fair amount of water damage, though natural stone like marble may need to be sealed. In cold climates, you can choose to install tiles over a radiant heated floor. For budget friendliness and flexibility, tiles remain to be the number one flooring solution.
Linoleum: Durable and Authentic
It is often confused with vinyl flooring, but there is a big difference between the two.
Linoleum is another option on this list, thanks to its beauty and durability. This flooring type has been used for over a century now, carrying with it a mark of prestige and dependability. The flooring type is made from natural materials such as linseed oil, wood, and pine resins. Linoleum is durable and eco-friendly and comes in a variety of colors. Many manufacturers add a protective layer of coating on this flooring to help make it resistant to scratches, color fading, and moisture. If it comes without the coating, you can choose to wax it after every two years.
You can use linoleum sheeting in the bathroom and kitchen areas as your preferred option over tiles. The linoleum material itself is waterproof, but you would need to seal the edges, so moisture doesn’t penetrate the substrate. If a vintage home design tickles your fancy, then go for linoleum. You can also enhance the floor with inlays and patterns for an appealing retro look. On top of its versatility and durability, linoleum floor types are also very easy to maintain. Small dents can usually straighten out on their own, while the surface can maintain its shine for years.
Hardwood: Beautiful and Durable
Hardwood is a flooring material that will add taste and style to your home. Hardwood floors have grown increasingly popular due to their durability and beauty. Walnut, teak, oak, pecan, and maple are the most commonly used hardwood species. The hardwood floor type you decide to go with will depend on cost, wear-resistance, and beauty among others.
Hardwood floors can be bought as finished or unfinished wood planks, and there is usually a wide range of density, color, and texture and grain pattern for the discerning buyer. Unfinished wood can be low cost and offer design flexibility but finished wood has a gleaming reflection that can be hard to achieve later on. You can also add stylish inlays and patterns to achieve the look you desire. Certain hardwoods are resistant to scratches from high heels and pet claws. Dents and dings can be smoothed by sanding or adding a finishing.
Cork: Safe and Sustainable
Believe it or not, cork has every right to feature on your list of best flooring types. Why is that? Cork offers enough flexibility and style to set it apart from all other flooring types. For starters, cork is renewable, that means it is a sustainable option. You will not have the guilt that comes with hardwood when you think about the deforestation behind it.
Cork flooring is safe because of the soft cushiony cover it offers. This floor is impact resistant and slip-resistant. The rubber component in cork allows it to bounce back when it is compressed. The soundproof qualities of cork make it an ideal flooring material for libraries and sound production studios. You can find various design options to achieve the look you want. Maintenance is also easy; it only needs mopping and vacuuming to stay gleamingly clean.
Bamboo is another eco-friendly flooring you can select for your home. The fact that bamboo plants are fast growing makes it sustainable as a flooring material. Once the bamboos stems are harvested, the root develops many other shoots, so no replanting has to be done.
Bamboo flooring can be reconditioned to increase its tensile strength, impact resistance and color. Bamboo flooring materials come in the form of tiles and planks. You will be in a better position when you buy pre-finished bamboo flooring materials because the enhancement is done in a controlled environment which improves quality.
Concrete: Strong and Resilient
Concrete makes one think of highways and driveways. In all these cases, this flooring type never wavers – it remains strong, and that is exactly what you will achieve in your home with this material.
The question in your mind right now is whether it is possible to achieve any design beauty whatsoever with this type of flooring. The answer is yes. Thankfully, there are many techniques for staining and stamping concrete floors to achieve any pattern and shades that sit well with your design vision. The best thing about concrete flooring is its durability and ease of use. Just one facelift and you might never think about redoing your floors again. Maintenance is easy since all you need is a sealant to keep stains away.
Leather: Luxurious and Stylish
Leather flooring is also fast making its way in vogue as one of the best flooring types. It doesn’t come first on people’s mind as a flooring material, but those who decide on it never go back. Leather flooring materials come in unique sizes and can be laser engraved at an additional cost.
Leather is the best flooring material if you want your home to exude an exotic and luxurious vibe. It is water resistant, but still, you must remove any standing water because it can seep in through the tile’s seams. Leather comes in a variety of colors. Maintenance is easy; polishing is all it takes to achieve a nice shine.
Wood Vinyl: Natural Vibe
You can quickly achieve the authentic look of wood or stone using luxury vinyl flooring. Manufacturers use various technologies to deliver the intricate details of wood pattern and stylish designs that don’t disappoint when it comes to quality and performance.
Three main features of luxury vinyl set it apart from all other types of flooring materials:
Beauty: There are vinyl printing technologies that can be used to achieve 3D graphics and many other realistic patterns on vinyl floor surfaces.
Texture: The feel of luxurious vinyl can be amazingly soft like wood or rough like stone surfaces
Thickness: Luxury vinyl is thicker than tiles and standard vinyl floorings.
Luxurious vinyl is trendy and stylish. This flooring material has seen an increased commercial uptake in offices, malls, and restaurants. It takes an expert to discern luxurious vinyl from wood flooring, and that is an extra mark on its authenticity. Luxurious vinyl flooring is pricier than all other wood alternatives; however, its superior look and feel suits the price.
We are all spoiled by the number of choices for flooring types. Be mindful and choose a flooring material that best suits your budget, style, location and maintenance schedules.