While you’re admiring someone else’s flooring, choosing the right type for your home or office might seem easy. The color and material are matched with their décor, and to the guests of the home, the floor appears easy to maintain.
But with a growing selection of floor types to choose from, finding the right match for your setting and needs can be tricky. To make the best decision for your home, it’s important to know your priorities and be informed of your options. Let’s break down the information by priorities.
Carpet is ideal if your priority is a comfortable, warm and soft flooring that can easily be played on and walked on. Carpet is perfect for homes with children or elders as it has more ‘give’ than other flooring types, so it’s easy on the joints, and helps to cushion falls.
Carpet pricing depends on fiber choice, with olefin (polypropylene) offering the most economical choice, while luxurious and durable wool carpet being the priciest.
This is the kicker, especially for first-time homeowners. We’ll get into hardwood, but let’s first look at her thrifty siblings, laminate and engineered flooring.
Laminate flooring, or floating wood tile, is fiberboard topped with an image of wood. The surface wear layer is strong and durable to prevent fading and damage.
Engineered flooring, unlike laminate, can be refinished if its layer of hardwood veneer is thick enough (underneath the veneer is a plywood layer, which is why it is often confused with laminate).
Engineered flooring and laminate flooring are significantly cheaper than hardwood and provide the same warm and woody charm.
Other economical flooring options are bamboo, porcelain, cork and linoleum-- we’ll get into some of these soon, but first, let’s look into the cheapest way to install flooring… Doing it yourself!
Laminate and engineered flooring are excellent choices to DIY because the planks are placed on top of a foam-rubber underlayment instead of being glued or nailed. This process is known as “floating”.
Floating vinyl sheet flooring is installed in a similar way. Vinyl flooring has come a long way and is now seen as a long-lasting and comfortable surface for your home.
Last, but certainly not least, is a new engineered cork, which can be snapped together to float, instead of the traditional gluing. Cork is also water resistant and has a high friction coefficient, meaning it does not easily wear.
Durability and ease of maintenance
Despite its damage to your wallet, the purity of hardwood floors allows for complete restoration. Engineered wood just can’t be sanded as often and laminate flooring, despite its wear layer, is not as resistant to water (though it is possible to buy waterproof laminate).
Ceramic and porcelain are durable against scratches and spills but can crack under pressure. Calculate your number of heavy dropped items or floor blows on a regular basis and decide whether these tiles are right for you.
Natural stone and bamboo both stand well in nature and will surely prevail in your living space.
Finally, concrete is the most durable, making it a popular commercial flooring, such as in restaurants. However, this sturdy superstar is cold on chilly toes. Concrete can also be harder on the joints and less cushioning for falls so keep this in mind when installing at home.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Feel free to get in touch with us for personalized suggestions and estimates for the right flooring for you.