When choosing flooring, a lot goes into the decision. This includes function, budget, location, lifestyle, and durability. With the variety of different types of flooring available today, it can get quite overwhelming. Here is a guide to help you pick the best floor type for your home.
Types of Flooring and Things to Consider When Choosing Flooring
The flooring you choose will determine among other things the maintenance frequency and the aesthetic appeal of your home. The following are eight common types of flooring and what to expect from them in your home.
Hardwood is an all-time favorite due to its aesthetics and ability to add warmth to a room. It’s durable and natural as well.
Aside from these qualities, a hardwood floor can be sanded and stained, which lets it maintain its beauty over time. This quality also allows you to play around with different themes and looks for your home.
However, hardwood floors are costly. Materials for wooden floor can range from more budget-friendly unfinished planks of oak to more exotic wood planks that can increase your overall flooring budget.
Hardwood floors are ideal for a home with no pets or small children, and in places with lower traffic.
Read more on home building tips for young families here.
Throw rugs can help muffle the noise, although most people would prefer not to cover their beautiful hardwood floors.
2. Composite Wood
Composite or engineered wood is made by compressing plywood together then adding a hardwood film at the top.
If you absolutely love the look and feel of hardwood but aren’t ready for the budget to install it, engineered wood can work just as well. The cost is typically less per square foot than hardwood and is usually relatively easy to install.
As the exposed top layer is hardwood, it is important to use the same maintenance routine as you would for a hardwood floor.
The compressed plywood underneath is also susceptible to damage and warping, so avoid sharp objects such as high heels on this floor. This floor is suitable in any room aside from a high moisture room like the bathroom.
Vinyl gives you the most affordable flooring type and is available in large sheets.
This material is easy to clean and maintain, with regular sweeping and mopping being sufficient enough to keep it clean.
However, it is difficult to repair when damaged, so keeping it from abrasive chemicals and anything that might dent it is key.
For someone looking for a low maintenance floor type, vinyl stands among the best in that category. It’s also ideal in high moisture areas like the bathroom and the laundry room.
Porcelain and natural stone are great choices for tile flooring. When picking flooring on a budget, porcelain is the most pocket-friendly of the pack.
Glazed porcelain is easy to maintain, is available in a range of hues and textures, and is durable enough to handle heavy traffic.
An added advantage of tile is that it is excellent in high moisture areas as well, where wooden flooring is discouraged.
Today you can find tile in faux finishes like wood and stone which can give you the aesthetic advantages of those floor types, but at a much lower price.
Tile is easy to clean and does well with frequent cleaning. This coupled with its durability makes it a good choice for high traffic areas and rooms with kids and pets.
Due to its water resistance quality, tile flooring is great in the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen flooring, and the dining area where there are moisture and spills.
For people who are particularly concerned about the environment, linoleum is a perfect choice. This flooring material is made from natural materials including rosins, linseed oil, and wood flour, with no effects on forests and greenery.
Further, it has bactericidal properties which hamper the growth of microorganisms. In addition, the all-natural components of this flooring cause no adverse health effects during installation or use.
This makes it suitable in homes with small kids or in situations where some of the household members have compromised immunity.
This aside, linoleum is also water, bump, and scratch-resistant, which makes it ideal for any part of the house, with or without kids and pets as well.
However, you do not want to install linoleum tiles in the bathroom because water can seep through its seams and cause warping or separation, but linoleum sheets can work well in the bathroom.
Carpets remain among the most common flooring options. Their warmth, range of colors, and variety of textures are part of the reason why they remain so popular.
Despite advancements in carpet technology, they are still prone to attracting dust and dander, so frequent cleaning is necessary.
This makes them a catch 22; great for warmth and muffling sound, but at the same time, they can attract dirt in high traffic areas like the living room.
They are also higher maintenance as compared to other floor types such as vinyl and tiles.
A good carpet care regimen includes regular vacuuming and steam cleaning. Due to its ability to attract dust, it might not be best in a house with pets as well as people with allergies.
7. Laminate Flooring
In recent years, laminate flooring has quickly become one of the more popular types of flooring because of its cost and ability to look almost identical to some hardwood floors.
The reason for its rise in popularity in the flooring market is because it offers a wood grain or stone texture and appearance and in some cases can fool the eye into thinking it is actually hardwood or a stone/tile floor.
One other unique thing about laminates is that they’re actually a photographic image that’s printed on a durable surface and applied (laminated) to a sturdy base. This gives the manufacturers the ability to mimic a very large variety of wood breeds, stone colors & materials, and tile.
Laminates have come a long way since their introduction in the 1980s and become a very sturdy and long-lasting flooring option for homeowners.
8. Luxury Vinyl Tile
Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring or also commonly referred to as “LVT” flooring is a good flooring choice for homes that have pets, kids, and an active lifestyle. LVT flooring is also a great option to install in high-traffic areas that need a flooring type that can withstand the wear and be easily cleaned.
The LVT flooring that’s being produced now probably isn’t what you think of when the word “vinyl tile” comes to mind. Traditionally, the old peel-and-stick tiles are what most homeowners think of, but vinyl flooring has come a very long way and while it’s similar in construction, LVT boasts a much better wear resistance and a tougher core and backing material.
Luxury vinyl tile flooring isn’t just more durable than older vinyl floors, they’re mostly all stain-resistant and waterproof, lowering the risks of damage to your flooring and sub-flooring in the event of a spill, leak or from wet & muddy feet in entryways and high-traffic areas. This feature also makes it a great hardwood alternative in areas like your kitchen, bathroom, or near doorways where water could potentially damage a real wood floor.
LVT flooring is also produced to look like a very wide variety of flooring types from tile to stone and hardwood, so you can still enjoy the beauty of these materials while getting the advantage of the durability and costs of LVT flooring.
The Verdict on Best Flooring Types
There is only one rule you must keep in mind when choosing flooring, and that is flexibility. Each type is excellent depending on the intended occupants of a house, a room’s function, your budget, and so on.
If you are completely stuck on one flooring type, then think of a compromise. For example, if you want a tile floor, and it gets cold, you can have area rugs to keep your feet warm.
Conversely, the same applies when choosing hardwood floors. If you love the look and warmth of hardwood, but the cost exceeds your budget, then engineered wood can be an affordable compromise.
With a few compromises here and there, you will get your dream home or at least close. If you are looking to build a home, contact us at Fine Line Homes to discuss the best options for you and your family.