The floor is literally where it all happens, yet many of us don’t give much thought to what type of floor we want to live on. With so many kinds of flooring to choose from, it can be a bit nerve-racking trying to narrow down the options.
Not to worry. In this post, we are going to cover numerous types of flooring so that you can feel confident you’re making the right decision. Keep reading for our take on the best home flooring materials. But if you are still undecided a local flooring expert can help you. Check here for more information.
How to Choose Flooring
There is no right answer to this question. Choosing a floor type has a lot to do with practicality and function, but just as much to do with taste and style. The main factors to consider are:
• The room/home decor
• The purpose of the room
• The material properties
• The pattern and color
• The project’s budget
In any case, more than one type of flooring can be used in any room of your house. However, depending on your particular need or taste one type may work better than another. We suggest that you weigh all your options and make an informed decision with what you learn.
Flooring Types and Materials
There are hundreds if not thousands of design and material combinations to choose from. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. For the sake of “keeping things simple”, we will cover the most popular materials you are likely to find used for flooring in the modern home.
Concrete has been around since the ancient Romans. A solid building material and almost always used for foundations, concrete makes for a good basement or garage floor. Yet, you may want to consider using it for other parts of the house as well.
You can imitate literally any type of floor with stamped concrete, at least in appearance. Floors made with stamped concrete can have any texture, color, and style that you can imagine. Stamped concrete is normally used for patios and walkways as concrete is a great outside material.
Often used in large office buildings, polished concrete has a modern and bright appeal. If you are a fan of minimalism you might like this style of flooring.
Keep in mind if you go concrete you will need a very strong support system. Most structures with concrete flooring are built with rock, brick, or concrete and rebar. Concrete can last 50 or more years, but when it starts to crack it isn’t easy to repair.
Another design trend for the modern home builder, stone flooring is one of the most expensive ways to go. Yet, there is no other material that has quite the same personality. Flat stones can be used but most people elect to install tiles made of marble, ledger, granite, slate, or limestone.
The softer stones are harder to take care of and require resealing every couple of years. They also can break a lot easier than harder stones like granite.
Timeless style and beauty, that’s wood flooring. There is just something about beautiful hardwood floors that speak to us. Genuine hardwood flooring can be pricey but if your budget allows, a beautifully installed and finished hardwood floor in your home is sure to impress.
Hardwood flooring is installed using wood planks. The most common woods used in flooring are cherry, oak, or walnut but there are other options. As the name suggests, hardwoods are best. Softwoods, like pine, don’t make great floors as they are easily dented and scared.
One drawback of wood is maintenance. The floor will need to be finished every few years. Moisture is your enemy when you have wood flooring as it can warp and rot your wood.
If you want the look and feel of hardwood floors but without the high cost, engineered wood floors are the way to go. These planks are made with multiple layers. The top layer is genuine hardwood while the sublayers are of a cheaper ply plank.
This option is also good for high humidity as the planks tend to handle moisture without warping as easily. The thin top veneer layer can’t be continually sanded and finished as a solid wood floor could. This gives engineered wood floors a shorter lifespan.
In case you didn’t know, entire homes are built with bamboo in places like Thailand where bamboo is grown everywhere. It is a cheap but very strong material for building with. Bamboo is shredded and chopped up and pressure pressed into planks for a lightweight but durable flooring material.
A cousin of sorts to engineered wood, laminate is an alternative to hardwood flooring. Laminate is much cheaper than wood planks as they are constructed entirely from pressed fibers. The amazing thing about laminate is the finished top is actually an image giving it a realistic wood, stone, ceremic tile, or other flooring material.
Made popular in the bright and shiny floors of the 1970s style, linoleum is still popular today. Linoleum is an environmentally friendly material as it is both biodegradable and renewable. Made into large sheets form materials such as cork and linssed oil, linoleum is favorite of do-it-yourselfers as it is relatively easy to install and can be glued over existing flooring.
One of the most versatile materials, ceremic tile has both strength and elegance. Whatever your rooms decor, there is a ceramic tile that will compliment it perfectly. For bathrooms and kitchens, especially, you may want to go with a quarry tile as they have a rough texture that is slip-resistant.
The classic carpet flooring is a favorite and for good reason. Carpeting is soft and comfortable to both walk and sit on. Carpeting comes in every imaginable pattern, style, and thickness.
The biggest drawback of having carpeting is keeping it clean and stain-free. Carpeting loses its like-new appearance rather quickly and you can expect to replace your carpeting every five years or so.
Another popular type of flooring, vinyl, is one of the most budget-friendly materials. There is a wide range of options when it comes to vinyl including planks, tiles, and sheeting. The trick with vinyl is to spend enough that you have a good-looking and durable flooring that will last you a while.
There are luxury vinyl planks that mimic the look of hardwood floors and are rather durable. You may want to consider premium waterproof flooring as you don’t want moisture making its way under vinyl as it will begin to peel. You’re going to have to be real careful with vinyl as it tends to mare, scratch, and scar very easily.
Flooring Options for Different Rooms
Perhaps the best way to approach deciding the type of floor to install in a room is to look at traditional and popular types of flooring normally found in that room. For instance, choosing the flooring for your kitchen usually has different considerations than say, a bathroom.
One of the busiest rooms in the house, the kitchen floor will see some abuse. Durable and water-resistant material is best.
Yet, in a recent survey of 2,598 U.S. homeowners, hardwood is the number one used flooring material used with 29% of respondents indicating they have or are planning to install hardwood floors in their kitchens. I
f you want to jump on this trend, be sure to treat and seal your kitchen floor as recommended or you may end up replacing the floor far sooner than you expected.
Living Room and Bedroom
These rooms are for comfort and relaxation. That is why they are normally carpeted rooms. However, a smooth hard floor works well too, especially if you put some area rugs in key spots.
Moisture is your biggest concern here. Your bathroom floor needs to be waterproof and it’s a good idea to give it some texture so that it isn’t so slippery when wet. Ceramic tile is a classic choice but stone or even stamped concrete could be used in various imaginable ways.
Types of Flooring That Fit Your Lifestyle and Taste
Your floors are a major sightpoint in your home. Remember to be practical and choose a material that works well considering the needs of that particular room. Yet, don’t be afraid to consider types of flooring that are less traditional.
With a bit of daring imagination, a new floor can transform your home into a place of solace and earn the admiration of your friends and family. Keep reading our website for more home decorating and remodeling tips.