When looking at flooring for your home, there are many things to consider such as style and comfort, purpose and maintenance, and of course, price. Where do you start when deciding on which type of residential flooring is best for you?
Types of Flooring
The type of residential flooring will be narrowed down by which room you are looking to outfit, though this has not always been the case (remember carpet in bathrooms? Yuck!).
For kitchens and baths, the top choices are linoleum, vinyl and ceramic or porcelain tile. All three types come in wide arrays of colours and styles, which is great for colour co-ordinating. Vinyl and linoleum are both inexpensive choices, low maintenance, and great for areas prone to dampness (bathrooms). Vinyl can be more prone to scratches and stains, but linoleum may not suit all decors. Both are available in sheets or tiles, which are great if a small area needs repairing.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the most stylish option, but the grout can be annoying to clean and if you’re standing on it for long periods of time, it can be tiring for your feet. Also, with ceramic tiles, it’s often a case of “you get what you pay for” in terms of quality. Cheaper tiles can more easily crack and chip, and it’s often not an easy fix. Quality installation of ceramic tile is important as a level subfloor is imperative to your tile holding up well. Porcelain tile is often more durable than ceramic, but it’s also more expensive.
For living areas, laminate wood is extremely popular, giving the look of a hardwood floor for less, but there are drawbacks. Beware of cheap laminate wood flooring as it will not hold up as well to dents and scratches, and can easily warp if it gets wet or the subfloor is not even. Higher quality laminate wood floors can look stylish and can last up to 25 years. It can also be easy to install, often as easy as clicking into place over existing flooring.
For ultimate comfort, carpet is king, and when maintained on a regular basis, can look great for years. Types of carpet are based on pile – loop pile and cut – and how densely the fabric is woven into the carpet backing. Berber carpet is one of the more popular types of residential carpet as it’s known for its durability. Plush carpet is just as it sounds, but since it’s often found in one solid colour, it can be tricky to hide stains.