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The Right Flooring for Your Home

Some ideas for you to choose the perfect flooring for your home

There are plenty of amazing flooring options available in the market these days. Technological advancement in this area has really changed its meaning and transformed it completely from what it used to be in the past. Everyone can find the flooring of his or her choice, according to his or her taste, liking, preferences, style and needs. There are a few things that you need to consider while considering the flooring for all the different rooms and spaces in your home. Such considerations include, what will be the use of each particular room or space, also, your family lifestyle will also affect the flooring that you want to install and whether you prefer good looks or you want something strong and robust which is easier to maintain. When you put all these considerations and thoughts into account, you will be able to narrow down your options for flooring in the home and will also ease you a little in deciding and selecting the flooring that you need. Flooring is an important part of the home and its interior design. It takes up a lot of space which is visible to the eyes and hence, it should be appealing, attractive and stylish. Indeed, looks are not everything, so you should think about the practical aspects and applicability of the flooring as well. This article explains some great ideas to pick and select the flooring which is right for you, according to your own preferences. There are a lot of different options available in the market at the moment and this article will definitely help you understand better and select the flooring which is best suited for your needs.

Read the complete article to learn more about flooring options!

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Which room or rooms are you considering?

The function and location of the room will have some bearing on the best surfacing to use.

An obvious example for illustrative purposes is that you don’t want carpet in the kitchen or dining room due to the propensity for spilled foods and liquids. In contrast, a subtler fact is that solid wood isn’t suitable for basements due to the moisture issues associated with below-grade (below ground level) rooms.

Rooms and spaces that adjoin entry doors from the outside are prone to seeing a lot more dirt and grit than an upstairs bedroom. No floor will last forever if the grit isn’t regularly swept up but some materials do better than others in this situation. Either decide on a suitable material or commit to the upkeep required to maintain more delicate surfaces in these situations.

Don’t forget about the garage either – it’s a room too. There’s even specialized surfacing for the garage to help dress it up and help make it a more inviting space than just a place to park your car.

The bottom line here is to choose a surface that’s suitable for the function and location of the room.

Consider your family status and lifestyle — do you have children, elderly or disabled family members? Do you have any pets?

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How you and your family live makes a difference in choosing a floor type. Children usually mean more wear and tear from running, banging and playing with toys.

Some of the laminate products might be better in this scenario than site-finished solid wood due to the optimal wear characteristics of laminate. These products have factory-applied coatings that are designed to be very durable and scratch-resistant. The surface finish of a site-finished wood floor (one that’s sanded and top-coated in your home) doesn’t have the same durability characteristics as those factory-finishes.

That being said however, a lot of the engineered wood floors (wood flooring that’s pre-finished at the factory) are made with very durable surface coatings, similar to laminate.

The grout seams associated with tile may be an annoyance or even a hindrance for family members with wheeled walkers or wheelchairs. The wheels could catch or “clunk” as they pass over the grout, especially wider grout lines.

Pets like cats and particularly larger dogs have claws and shed. Hard surfaces work well for cleanup from pets that shed whereas carpeting might retain pet hair and dander. On the other hand claws can also scratch a wood floor. If you have big dogs with big claws, tile or wood/laminate flooring with the most durable surface finishes (like aluminum oxide) may be your best bet.

Vinyl

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Vinyl is still a mainstay of floor covering material. It’s easy-to-clean surface and wide range of available colors and patterns make it a versatile, economical and low-maintenance choice. There are lots of vinyl choices that incorporate new technologies in texturing and durability for a more modern and realistic look.

Pros Cons
Affordable

Resilient – provides “give” and cushion underfoot

Easy to maintain

Wide range of colors/patterns available including new textures

Good sound absorbing qualities

Can be laid without seams depending on the size and shape of the room

Not as eco-friendly or made with sustainable materials as other choices

Susceptible to cuts and tears (i.e. such as when moving/dragging heavy objects over it such as refrigerators)

Not a renewable surface like wood

Not heat tolerant and can scorch or burn

Seamed/tiled vinyl offers paths for spilled liquids to get to the backing and subfloor

Susceptible to permanent dents from table and furniture legs and even pointed-heeled shoes

Edges and seams may be visible and interrupt the decorative pattern depending on the quality of installation

Laminate

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Laminate Flooring mimics the look of other floor materials by employing a picture of real wood, stone or tile covered with a wear-protective layer. Some laminates are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing while costing less too. There are plenty of brands and products to choose from such as Armstrong laminate, Quick-Step, Shaw and Mannington to name a few. Care of laminate flooring is relatively easy, armed with a sweeper and a little knowledge on how to take care of it.

 

Pros Cons
Durable – some use advanced coatings designed to stand up to heavy traffic

Less costly than wood particularly for higher end exotic woods

Can be applied over existing floors

‘Glueless’ laminate is portable – they can be removed and reinstalled elsewhere (though some warranties become void if the floor is disassembled more than 3 times)

Many style options both in wood and stone patterns

Installation process is simple enough for someone with do-it-yourself skills

Requires full replacement when worn out – no refinishing possible

Seams between planks and edges present a path for spills/water intrusion which can cause edge-swell

Floating-floor characteristic results in a hollow sound if no acoustical underlayment is used

Wood

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The beauty and natural variability of real wood flooring is hard to beat. There’s a whole realm of choices available with wood floors starting with species like maple, oak, hickory, and birch all the way to the exotic woods like Merbau, Jatoba and Teak.

If those choices don’t resonate with you how about floors made from old growth Douglas Fir, antique wide plank heart pine or even extinct American Chestnut? Reclaimed wood flooring offers these options using wood salvaged from sunken logs, old structures and other similar sources. There’s a bonus too in that it’s an eco-friendly choice since no new trees are consumed.

You also have a choice on whether to use solid wood or engineered wood. Solid wood is just what the name implies – solid from top to bottom. Engineered wood consists of a top layer of real wood bonded to several other layers of wood beneath it, similar to plywood. Solid wood can be purchased prefinished or it can be finished on-site using unfinished hardwood stock. Engineered wood is usually purchased prefinished. Solid wood and some engineered wood floors are capable of being refinished several times.

Pros Cons
Durable and long-lasting particularly when well maintained

Renewable – can be refinished several times

Wide diversity of style choices available from stain color to type of wood species

Provides a warmer feel than stone, tile or concrete

Economical choice over the long term due to it’s renewability

Pre-finished wood does not require on-site finishing and its associated inconveniences

Susceptible to scratches and wear from grit and dirt

Susceptible to damage from extended presence of moisture and liquids (not recommended for the bathroom)

Can develop squeaks and creaks over time due to loosening between the wood and nails that fasten the planks to the subfloor

Susceptible to gaps or “cupping” (curving of the wood surface) with normal humidity changes if improperly installed

Floors finished in-place require room(s)to be vacant for several days to allow sanding, staining and finishing (not necessary with pre-finished wood however)

Carpet

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Carpeting offers a warmth and softness not found in other surfacing options but it’s obviously not for all applications. Carpeting not only comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns but in many different textures as well, making it a versatile style option. There’s plenty of choices too, from established brands like Karastan®, Shaw®, Mohawk® and others. There’s even carpets for kids. New synthetic fiber technology gives you better alternatives for stain resistance, greater resiliency and even “green” carpeting choices. If natural fibers appeal to you, wool carpeting is still the measure that all synthetic carpets try to emulate, with natural resilience, durability and softness.

Pros Cons
Comfortable material from a tactile and visual perspective

Endless variety of styles, colors, patterns and textures to choose from in addition to several different fiber types

Quiet – acts as a good sound insulator

Softer surface offers greater cushion and may prevent injury from falls (particularly with infants and elderly)

Easy to replace (more so than wood and tile)

Acts as a good insulator although it can be used with radiant heat provided it’s matched with a low-insulating cushion

Hides some irregularities in subfloor that wouldn’t be possible with a tile floor (without correction)

Not as effective as other surfaces for radiant heat systems (due to the insulating qualities of the carpet and pad) though it is possible with lower-insulating cushions

Stains more readily and spills are harder to clean up as opposed to hard surfaces

Harbors allergens and dust unless regularly vacuumed and cleaned (dirt and allergens can also be ground into the carpet over time making them harder to extract)

Potential source of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) contributing to poorer indoor air quality

Susceptible to damage from water/moisture that can initiate mold growth

The complete article can be found here:

http://www.home-style-choices.com/flooring.html

 

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