Monday, March 21, 2016

Think Beyond Hardwood: Three Flooring Options for Your Next Project

If you've watched TV, picked up a magazine, or talked to anyone even remotely interested in home design in the last few years, then you know that hardwood floors are currently the most desired type of flooring on the market. This is for many good reasons, of course, as the material looks nice in virtually any home and is highly unlikely to ever go out of style. Not everyone can afford to put hardwood in their homes, however, as the material is quite expensive. Fortunately, a number of alternatives are available for the discerning customer on a budget. So if you're ready to pursue other options, keep on reading!

Engineered Wood

This material, contrary to popular belief, is made of actual wood, not laminate. These engineered options layer real wood over a stacked core of repurposed wood. The result is a material much more stable and equipped to handle heat, cold, and humidity. Customers also like how sustainable this substance is. They look incredibly real and don't offer that terrible clicking sound you often hear when walking over laminate options. They can go directly over concrete and last for about 20 years. Although you can probably sand and refinish them once, you cannot change the color.

Porcelain Tile

It's almost impossible to believe that porcelain can look so much like wood. This material offers a sleek, clean look that can range in color from traditional dark brown to a washed-out, weathered gray. It comes in long, rectangular plank lengths that are much tougher than ceramic porcelain. They won't scratch, dent, fade, or ever need to be refinished. They can last for decades and, because they're water resistant, make a great choice for bathrooms, entryways, and laundry areas. They also work well with radiant heated flooring. The only real downside to this material is that you need to pick a very experienced professional to install them. Although they look amazing, small flaws show and can make a huge difference in the overall look of the floor.

Laminate Vinyl

Vinyl wood flooring is essentially a photo of wood laminated onto a surface. Although they've gotten a bad reputation, modern technology continues to make this material a more desirable and viable option. Vinyl is water resistant, so it would work well in bathrooms and laundry areas. Installation is incredibly easy and can often be done by the homeowners themselves. The only real drawback is that they do have that distinct sound of vinyl when walked on. If that's not a deal-breaker for you, however, they look nice and can certainly be an option for your space.

Don't get your heart stuck on hardwood. There are many other alternatives to make your floors look just at nice for a fraction of the cost. After all, it's really more of the smaller design elements that personalize a space and make it yours than what's on the floor.

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