By Alena KairysJan 31, 2023
Flooring is anything but boring! The type of flooring you choose for your home contributes to your home’s aesthetic and comfort—it shouldn’t be an afterthought! If you’re debating what flooring you should use in your home, read up on these different types of flooring.
Not a fan of having to walk on cold, hard floors? Carpeted floors are what you want! Carpets come in a rainbow of colors to coordinate with your decor, as well as various textures and densities. Common carpet types include loop pile, plush pile, frieze, Berber, and twist pile. Aside from aesthetics, the carpet’s characteristics impact its durability and care. Padding is placed under carpet during installation; choose carefully, as the padding affects the carpet’s longevity and your walking comfort. Many brands offer stain resistant carpeting, but clean up messes as soon as possible to prevent permanent stains or smells. Regular vacuuming is sufficient for regular cleaning, but have your carpets deep cleaned once a year to remove embedded dirt. Carpeting often ranges from .65 cents-$12 per square inch, making it a very affordable choice.
Standard and Engineered Hardwood
Hardwood has an irreplaceable warmth and feel—it’s a true classic! Being made of solid wood, hardwood handles foot traffic well and can be refinished multiple times. With proper care, it can last generations. Be sure to dry dust regularly, use wood floor-friendly cleaning products, and dry well afterwards. Moisture doesn’t play well with hardwood, so avoid installing it in bathrooms and kitchens, and wipe up spills quickly. Hardwood tends to cost around $6-18 per square foot with installation, though engineered hardwood can be a good alternative.
Engineered hardwood is composed of several thin layers of wood, topped with a veneer of real hardwood. This gives you the hard-to-replicate look and feel of hardwood. If the veneer is thick enough, it can be refinished 1-2 times during its lifetime. This flooring type typically ranges from $3-11 per square foot but can be more depending on the quality. Sweep floors clean or use products designed for engineered floors. Like hardwood and laminate, don’t let water sit on the surface for long or install in humid areas.
For homeowners looking for durable, low-maintenance flooring that’s easy to maintain, vinyl is an excellent choice. Vinyl can be made to look like other materials, and it works well in high traffic areas or in high moisture areas. The most common forms of vinyl flooring are sheet, tile, and plank. Vinyl sheets and tiles need to be glued to the floor’s underlayment, but planks can snap together to be laid over the existing floor. Vinyl floors are either waterproof or water resistant, making cleaning a breeze. The price per square foot ranges from .50 cents to $10, depending on the type and quality. Keep in mind that vinyl isn’t the most eco-friendly option since it’s synthetic, and removing glued-on flooring is difficult.
Stone and Ceramic Tile
Stone and ceramic tile floors add a touch of sophistication to your home and can last for decades with the right care. Popular types of stone flooring include marble, granite, limestone, and slate. It’s compatible with every room in your home and handles foot traffic well. Because stone is porous, the surface needs to be sealed to prevent water damage. Depending on the material and location, resealing should be done every 18 months or 3-4 years. Bathroom and kitchen floors may need to be resealed more often due humidity levels. To preserve the stone’s unique characteristics and finish, use mild, non-abrasive cleaning products and clean up messes quickly. Stone is among the pricier flooring types; expect to pay $8-40 per square foot.
Ceramic and porcelain floors are available in many shapes, colors, and patterns to give your home flair. Both materials work well in damp areas, are hygienic, and quite durable against scratches. Though they’re sturdy, they aren’t immune to damage. Tiles can crack if something extremely heavy falls on them and may chip at corners. Basic cleaning can be done with a mild solution, though it’s a good idea to scrub any grout lines every so often to prevent dinginess. While the tiles themselves don’t require sealing (most come glazed), cement-based grout should be sealed to protect the integrity of your flooring. Ceramic tiles start around $1-6 per square foot, and porcelain is about $3-9. Be aware that flooring and installation costs will be higher if you’re using nonstandard tile shapes or want an intricate layout.
Laminate floors are a cheaper alternative to hardwood floors and feature a printed veneer over a wood composite base. At around $3-8 per square foot, it’s a great option if you want the look of hardwood on a budget. You can even install it yourself! Laminate flooring has come a long way and is more durable than in the past. When shopping for laminate, pay attention to its abrasion criteria (AC) rating. The AC rating shows how durable it is in relation to how much foot traffic it will receive. Avoid installing in areas with high humidity, as the floor can warp. Caring for laminate requires care and vigilance; never clean with a wet mop or let liquids sit too long on the surface, as it can damage the floor. Instead, use a broom or a laminate-friendly cleaning solution to maintain it.
Flooring has come a long way to make our homes more attractive and complementary to our lives. When shopping for flooring, always keep your budget, lifestyle, home aesthetic, and the installation area in mind. Be sure to take home samples to compare quality. Well-chosen flooring is sure to enhance your home and make you love it even more!
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