Choosing flooring is something that needs a lot of consideration because the conditions which will be present in the home dictate which options are the best. For instance, carpet is popular because of its relatively low cost and because it comes in such a wide variety of textures and colors. However, it does matt down over time and frey. What’s more, it can tear and stain, so, homes with pets and/or small children are not a good fit.
For such situations, tile would be one of the best options because it’s easy to clean and won’t scratch or mar like hardwood. In addition, vinyl and linoleum are ideal for heavy traffic areas because of their durability, which is why these types of floors are found in kitchens. Any home improvement project should not only be accommodating but also have wide appeal, if you’ll sell later.
Most Popular Residential Flooring Options
When you are ready to install new flooring, you should also consider the subfloor because this could make it more difficult and/or time consuming. For instance, terrazzo subfloors make a good match for carpet but not as much for tile and especially not for glue-down vinyl or linoleum if you’ll be selling down the road. The point is, when you make such a large change and invest so much money, you ought to be thinking well into the future.
Today’s choices in flooring are more varied than ever, running the gamut of styles, finishes and installation options. Product innovation is clearly blurring the lines between many flooring categories, and the raw materials used to create flooring types include gin bottles, corn sugar and the staves from old wine barrels. The winner in this underfoot mash-up is the consumer, who benefits from an astonishing array of choices that fit any lifestyle and budget. —HGTV.com
There are additional factors to consider outside of lifestyle, like temperature and humidity. Here in Orlando, we get plenty of both and hardwood is very susceptible to these conditions. While it’s a great choice for living rooms and family rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and even bedrooms can be a concern. In bathrooms, there’s obviously a lot of moisture, the kitchen is a very high traffic area, and, being exposed to the heat and moisture of a dishwasher could cause discoloration. Hardwood in bedrooms is okay, but, think about what impressions all that beautiful but heavy furniture will leave.
Here’s more of a look at some of the most popular flooring options:
- Wood. Hardwood is beautiful and when properly maintained, can last one hundred years or more. It provides a lot of charm but must be meticulously maintained, and, periodically, refinished to retain its look. It’s expensive and difficult to install, two reasons that are among the top concerns of homeowners shopping for floors.
- Laminate. Because hardwood is costly, laminate is a go-to choice for many consumers because it’s less expensive, and, it repels stains, dents, and scratches better. Laminate, though, isn’t at all easy to repair if damaged, and, matching is difficult when necessary.
- Ceramic tile. This type of flooring is usually found in kitchens and bathrooms because it’s not susceptible to moisture and heat. It can be expensive, and, grout must be cleaned periodically to maintain its look.
- Vinyl and linoleum. Though these are actually different materials, the terms have come to be used interchangeably. Both come in a wide assortment of varieties, are durable, and, easy to clean. Another benefit is the inexpensive cost, but, a big downside is both are difficult to take-up.
- Carpet. Although carpet isn’t as popular as it once was, it still remains common because of its cost and for the comfort and noise reduction it provides. However, carpet is not a good choice for people who suffer from allergies.
Stone is another popular choice, such as travertine, marble, limestone, granite, and slate. All these stone flooring materials offer an elegant look and are extraordinarily durable. However, they are among the most expensive options.