Choosing the right flooring for your home can be a challenging task. Knowing which floors are best for which rooms is a combination of research and taste, what you like and what you can have is often 2 different things. For example, to install a carpet in a bathroom or basement would not be a good choice: basements are prone to sewer backups or accidental flooding, and bathrooms are typically an area which is exposed to moisture and water, which can ruin an expensive carpet. On the other hand, ceramic, porcelain or granite tiles would be an excellent selection for these areas, due to it's near-invulnerability to water. We will examine the pros and cons of different types of flooring, to help homeowners and contractors alike in the decision-making process, and to choose the right types of flooring for the home.
The most common types of flooring are:
- Tile & Stone
- Sheet Vinyl
- Vinyl Tile
- Hardwood / Engineered Wood
Pros: Comfortable to walk on; Has a wide range of pattern and colors; Reduces noise in a room; Hides imperfections in the sub-floor; Can range in price, from cheap to expensive.
Cons: Shows considerable wear in high traffic areas; tends to stain, even stain resistant carpets; Easily soiled and damaged by water.
Maintenance: Frequent vacuuming; Spot cleaning with stain removers; Periodic shampooing and steam cleaning; Application of stain repellents every 3rd cleaning, if necessary.
Pros: Inexpensive alternative to hardwood flooring; Easy installation, either glue-down or floating method; Easy to clean.
Cons: Can chip and scratch easily; Prone to water damage; Damaged sections hard to replace without taking up the entire floor.
Maintenance: Periodic cleaning with laminate flooring cleaner recommended by manufacturer; Water, soap and a damp cloth for spot cleaning; Scratched areas can be blended in with special markers.
Pros: Long lasting and flexible flooring material; Various Patterns, strains and variations of wood; Moisture-resistant; Reasonably priced.
Cons: Prone to dings and bangs; Some Installations is similar to hardwood flooring, specialized tools, such as miter saws and table saws, are required; Bad installation can cause tendency to swell.
Maintenance: Specialty Cleaning products; Damp mopping.
Tile And Stone.
Pros: Wide range of colors, sizes and designs; Suitable for high traffic areas, especially unglazed tiles or stone; Long lasting; Excellent moisture and water resistance.
Cons: chips, cracks and scratches, especially glazed tiles; Slippery when wet; Surface hard to stand on for extended periods of time; The grout collects dirt over time; Amplifies room noise.
Maintenance: Sweep or damp mop; Apply grout sealer every 3 months or as directed, re-grout as needed.
Pros: Practical and inexpensive; Can cover sub-flooring with slight imperfections; Comfortable underfoot; Price comparable to quality.
Cons: Tends to stain; Shows wear in high traffic areas; Tends to scuff, gouge and tear over time.
Maintenance: Sweep; Damp mop.
Pros: Can be mastic-applied or peel and stick; Easy to install and repair; Low in costs.
Cons: Limited colors and designs; Seams between tiles fill with dirt; Tiles can pop up; High traffic areas show wear over time.
Maintenance: Sweep; Damp mop.
Hardwood / Engineered Wood.
Pros: Natural beauty and long-lasting, especially oak; Timeless appeal; Comes in strips, planks, or parquet tiles.
Cons: Not waterproof; Scratches and scuffs; Requires re-sanding and re-finishing after years of use; Moderate to difficult to install.
Maintenance: Sweep or Vacuum; Clean as directed by manufacturer.
Flooring can be one of the best investments you can make for your home. Combined with other improvements, like painting or decorating, it can totally transform the appearance of a room. There are many different types of flooring available on the market today, so shop around, ask questions, and choose wisely!
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