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Flooring Part 2, What Kinds of Flooring are There?

Once you have determined what you are looking for when it comes to choosing the floor for your home it is time to look at the floor styles available and the qualities of each. Here are some of the most popular floors:

Wood floors: Wood floors have been used for many years, even centuries. As wood is susceptible to moisture, people have learned how to treat wood to keep moisture from seeping in. Wood floors in today’s homes are, for the most part, highly polished and usually used in homes where there is not a lot of sand to filter inside to act as “sandpaper” on the surface. Attractive area or throw rugs can be used to accent wood floors, but many people prefer the beauty of wood without covering accept perhaps by doors or under a dining room table where spills may occur. Wood floors are created from several trees including, oak, bamboo, hickory, cork, eucalyptus, and maple. When shopping for which type wood is best for your needs and preferences, color, grain patterns, knot patterns, water resistance, length and width of planks, hand scraped, and hardness should be considered. There are a number of well-recommended wood flooring companies who can help a customer find what is right for them.

Tile floors: Again, a popular floor for many years in many parts of the world. Recent years have seen a large interest in tile floors in America, and their use has become prevalent even in modest to lower priced homes. This recent increase in tile floors is likely due to the ease if keeping them clean. In most families, all adults work full time outside the home, and thus no one has a lot of time for housekeeping. A quick sweep or vacuum with a wet mop, when needed, is all it takes to keep the tile clean and looking nice. If grout is used to secure the tile pieces, there will be some additional upkeep to keep the tile floor looking its best, but regular sweeping and mopping will make grout care necessary only every few months. Tile floors are especially great in areas where sand and dirt will be a constant visitor into a home. Again, area rugs can be used, most frequently in front of doors, in bathrooms, and beside beds. Many area rugs can be cleaned by a good shake on a regular basis and in the washing machine as needed. Tile floors come in many colors, patterns, and types of tile. Types of tile include porcelain, ceramic, and rubber and each type can be designed to stand on its own appearance or look and feel like stone or polished wood. Tiles come in a variety of sizes from the traditional 12” by 12” to mosaic sheets, to rectangular subway tiles, to the newest inkjet flooring technology.

Laminate floors: This type of flooring is becoming very popular with those wanting the look of real hardwood but not the price. A much more economical type of flooring both from the cost of the flooring to the cost of installation, laminate floors offer both beauty and affordability. In fact, laminate floors can be installed successfully by most anyone. These floors come in a variety of colors, are waterproof or water resistant, and durable, allowing for a large amount of foot traffic. Many families with children and pets opt for laminated floors. Laundry rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and basements do well with this type of flooring.

Luxury Vinyl floors: The least expensive type of flooring, yet attractive and durable, make vinyl floors the choice for many families with pets and children but not a lot of money to spend on fixing up their home. Vinyl floors can look like wood or tile and come in a variety of colors and patterns. They are easy to take care of and easy to install as a DIY project. Another helpful feature is the ability of vinyl to absorb noise, much appreciated by families with pets and children. These floors are dent resistant, comfortable to walk on, and can be waterproof. There is a note of caution, however, as vinyl must be installed over a completely smooth subfloor for any imperfection will show through as a bump or dent.

Choosing the right floor for your home takes time and knowledge. Think about your personal wants and likes and what type of budget you can use. Research online and by asking questions to qualified flooring experts. Choose wisely as the floor in your home will get a lot of use for as long as the home exists. You will want to read part 3 of this series as often, in addition to flooring, there are carpets to consider. We will look at what to think about when choosing carpet and what styles are popular.

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