The 6 Main Types of Flooring: How to Choose the Right One
Choosing between the main types of flooring doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Use the tips and suggestions we’ve gathered for you in this article to figure out which flooring type is the right one for you. Even if you already have something in mind, spend a few moments to either confirm what you already know or to find something that you may like even more.
Don’t Be Intimidated By the Installation
Yes, right now, you may be bewildered by the many steps involved in replacing the floor in a house or even a room full of furniture. Don’t let this discourage you. Reputable flooring outlets have professional installers who can accomplish even the largest projects in just a few days or less. Before you know it, your living space will be transformed with a brand new floor.
Bring the Flooring Store To You
Some of the most respected flooring outlets include a shop-at-home option. You simply contact them either online or over the phone to make an appointment that fits your schedule. The flooring experts will bring the samples of flooring to you so that you can evaluate them in your own home, exactly where you are planning your project.
Pros And Cons of Carpet/Broadloom
The luxurious feel and comfort of a high-quality carpet are always winning design choices. In fact, nothing feels better underfoot than carpeting supported by a thick underpad. Whether you prefer a neutral foundation or bright and bold colors and textures, your options are practically endless.
- Warmth And Comfort – Carpet provides thermal insulation and R-value. This is especially valuable in colder seasons or climates. Warm air stays longer on carpet than other flooring choices like ceramic tile and laminate. This can help you keep your home warm and cozy while cutting down on energy bills.
- Improved Air Quality – Of all the flooring materials available, new carpet has one of the lowest levels of volatile organic compound (VOC) levels. This is especially the case when one considers carpet installation methods vs. other flooring installations.
- Reduces Noise – Bigger TVs, bigger sound systems, and just about everything else can add up to a rather noisy environment. Carpet, especially tall pile carpeting, helps absorb and reduce sounds. Whether it’s a living room or a room on the second floor, carpet helps things stay quiet.
- Harder To Keep Clean – If you have pets that shed fur or children who like to track in mud playing outside, you may need to have a handy vacuum cleaner around. The occasional professional carpet cleaning might also be required.
- Wear And Tear – Depending on the type of foot traffic you have in your home, lower quality carpets can show wear and saggy spots.
- 100% Wool And Other Natural Fibers – At the upper end of the scale, carpets can be pricey.
Pros And Cons Of Waterproof Flooring
The recent advances in waterproof flooring are astonishing. LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank), and sheet vinyl are being used in more applications than ever before. Upscale retail locations are using luxury vinyl flooring to create an exclusive impression while benefitting from their low cost per square foot.
- Value – If you’re looking to save some money, start by looking at what’s available in vinyl plank flooring. Of all the flooring choices, this is consistently priced lower.
- Endless Variety – These floors are now printed to simulate natural stone and even popular hardwood varieties. Calming neutrals and patterns are also popular.
- Easy To Keep Clean – Since this material is waterproof, it’s virtually impervious to stains. A damp mop is all you need to pick up spills.
- Cannot Be Resurfaced – If damaged, the area needs to be replaced. With LVT and LVP, this is quite simple.
- Home Resale Value – Although these floors perform well, some people don’t appreciate them as much as solid hardwood floors and other forms of flooring.
Pros And Cons Of Hardwood Flooring
There are two main types of hardwood flooring, solid plank hardwood, and engineered hardwood. Both of them offer a vast array of hardwood species you can choose from. All of them add timeless natural beauty and warmth to your home.
- Durability – Both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are long-lasting and have excellent durability. Along with scratch-resistant coatings, these floors come in a variety of hardness levels on the Janka Scale.
- Can Be Resurfaced – Solid hardwood can be resurfaced several times if the need arises. Some but not all types of engineered hardwood can also be resurfaced once or twice.
- Resale Value – Traditionally, hardwood floors are viewed favorably by home buyers.
- Cost – When compared to other types of flooring, hardwood is near the upper end of the scale. Although this is offset by their durability and resale value, the initial investment can be intimidating.
- Sustain Moisture Damage – Small spills are easily cleaned up. However, when used in high moisture areas, improperly installed hardwood floors can incur damage.
- Noise Level – Bare hardwood floors do not absorb sound well.
Pros And Cons Of Tile Flooring
For hundreds of years, tile flooring has been a popular choice for homeowners who want the perfect match of beauty and durability. How tiles are made has remained basically unchained for countless years, but today, exciting new formats and exacting high-performance standards are making ceramic and porcelain tile the top pick for discriminating buyers.
- Tradition – Through the ages, tile flooring has been appreciated by both the practical and aesthetically minded. You can never go wrong when you choose tile.
- Unmatched Durability – With normal wear and tear, a tile floor can last a lifetime. Some tiles are even designed to improve with age. Terra Cotta tiles increase in charm as they wear down in high-traffic areas. Tile flooring is also exceedingly difficult to scratch and impossible to dent.
- Easy To Keep Clean – A quick vacuum or sweep and a damp mop are all you need to keep these floors clean. Tiles rated for outdoor use are the easiest flooring choice to keep clean outside.
- Upfront Expense – Along with the cost of materials being on the upper end of the scale, specialized professional installation is required.
- Beyond DIYers – Unless you have plenty of experience, this is not the kind of flooring to tackle with sweat equity.
- Sound Transmission – Since tiles and installation materials used are both solid, tile flooring doesn’t absorb any of the sounds that are normal in a home. Rooms with fewer furniture pieces can also generate echoes.
Pros And Cons Of Laminate Flooring
These are not the technology-limited laminate flooring choices of the past. Today’s laminate floors have become widely popular. Both the look and performance of laminate floors have greatly improved.
- Low Maintenance – Once installed, these floors require very little to keep them clean and looking like new.
- Highly Durable And Stable – Because of the construction methods and materials used, laminate floors are resistant to scratches and moisture. Some of the high-end laminate floors can last a very long time.
- Great Looks – Some of these floors are practically indistinguishable from the hardwood floors and tile floors they’re made to look like.
- Cannot Be Resurfaced – This is a one-and-done proposition. No matter how careful you are, resurfacing or refinishing a laminate floor is not an option.
- Resale Value – Although not a deterrent, even a newly installed laminate floor will not add to the resale value of your home with discriminating buyers.
- Not Waterproof – Occasional spills are not a problem but use in an area with sustained exposure to moisture is not recommended.
Pros And Cons Of Area Rugs
Although an area rug may not be the most obvious choice when you’re thinking of upgrading the look of a room, the right area rug can make all the difference.
- Unlimited Shape And Size – You can have just about any size and shape you can imagine.
- Affordable Excellence – Adding a 100% wool or silk area rug to a room gives you all the quality you’re looking for in a much more affordable way.
- Versatility In Design – An area rug can be used to bring together the furniture pieces in a room. It can also be used to identify and separate different areas in the same room. An area rug can also provide a natural transition from one area to the next.
- Don’t Double Up – About the only thing you should stay away from is using an area rug on another area rug. Although not common, some people add an area rug to a fully carpeted room.
- Slide And Trip Hazard – Unless you like the idea of sliding away on a “magic carpet ride,” an area rug needs to be properly anchored with a high grip underpad.
- Fringes Can Be A Fuss – Many area rugs have fringes, and these aren’t much fun when your vacuum cleaner decides to feed on them.