It’s easy to settle for a flooring material that is aesthetically appealing but not well suited for what you actually need.
Here is a rundown of some important factors that need some thinking over, including the most popular flooring options in the market along with their respective pros and cons.
Nothing comes close to the beauty of real wood flooring and the sheer number of choices it offers. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, and birch make very durable floors when maintained with regular sanding and refinishing.
It takes little effort to clean, and can resist wear and tear. However, wood is expensive and takes a lot of work to install. It also shrinks and deforms over time, which can cause those familiar creaking sounds.
There’s engineered wood (also called composite wood) which is made of layers of processed or machined wood pressed together with a pre-laminated, veneer hardwood top.
It is more resistant to moisture and easy to install over any subflooring. Although it beats hardwood in resisting moisture, engineered wood is less durable.
These come in various colors and designs to choose from. In addition to its durable coated surface, ceramic tiles are hygienic easy to clean and maintain. Although the surface is stain resistant, tile grouts attract stains that need regular cleaning.
Bamboo flooring is a great alternative to hardwood flooring in terms of strength and durability. It is a modern, environment-friendly option that is hypoallergenic and easy to install.
Overexposure to sunlight can cause a bamboo floor to lose its natural color. Bamboo flooring is also susceptible to water damage.
Cork is derived from the bark of a cork oak tree, which makes this flooring material a sustainable, eco-friendly flooring option.
In addition to being durable, cork is water, mildew, and mold resistant. On the downside, improperly installed cork flooring can result to water absorption. Cork is usually higher-priced compared to other flooring surfaces
These usually pieces of different types of natural stones such as granite, limestone, slate, and marble. This is the most durable among all flooring types discussed here.
Stone flooring improves with age, and can effectively add an earthly, timeless appeal.
Vinyl has an easy-to-clean flooring surface that comes in various colors and designs. It is also one of the most inexpensive flooring materials in terms of installation and maintenance costs.
However, vinyl is not a renewable surface and can be easily damaged when moving or dragging a heavy object across it. Vinyl flooring is vulnerable to heat and can burn or get scorched.
Carpeting is a good heat insulator and an excellent noise dampener. It may not be for all applications, but carpet flooring is unmatched in its level of softness and warmth. It comes in various colors intricate designs and the widest choice of textures. The problem with carpeting is it does not dry well and it can harbor allergens and volatile organic compounds. Exposure to water or moisture can also lead to mold growth.
Laminate flooring emulates the aesthetic effects of real wood, tile, or stone flooring with surface protection without the high cost. Installation, cleaning, and maintenance are easy. It can’t be renewed, as full replacement is required when laminate flooring has worn out.
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