Are you also overwhelmed by all the different types of flooring materials you can choose from for your home remodeling project? Which type of installation should you choose? What should you be looking for and what are the major pros and cons of the different types of flooring?
In this article you can learn more about the 5 major types of flooring and I will also give you 13 crucial things to consider before making your buying decision.
Whether you are working with the proceeds of a home improvement loan or savings, a flooring installation can turn into an expensive mistake if you don’t do some careful homework beforehand. It will be well worth your while to take a bit of time to make sure you choose the option most likely to add value to your home in the long run.
I would suggest that you list the cost implications and all the major pros and cons of each type of flooring, such as laminate flooring, hardwood planks, cork flooring, bamboo planks and a ceramic or porcelain tile installation.
By the time you have worked through your list, you should have a clear indication of the type of material most suitable for your pocket and your remodeling project.
Five Types Of Flooring Materials You Can Choose From
1. Porcelain Flooring
Porcelain tiles are manufactured from natural materials and are fired at high temperatures. They are thus very dense, strong and water resistant. They are also resistant to chemicals.
Porcelain floor tiles come a great variety of shades and textures. You are sure to find something to your taste in the various collections.
Another benefit is that these tiles are super-easy to clean. They are seen as a highly hygienic choice and therefore do well as part of a bathroom shower installation and other areas that can be tricky to keep clean. Porcelain can be a good choice for kitchens as well.
Did you know that you can even get porcelain tiles that look exactly like wood planks?
2. Laminate Flooring
Laminate planks may be man made, but can simulate a variety of natural materials quite authentically. In fact, this has been developed into a fine art. You will be amazed to discover how accurately natural materials such as stone and hardwoods are mimicked. Once the installation is done, it can be very close in appearance to the real thing!
Best of all, laminate floor planks are extremely competitively priced. So, you can have a floor that looks like real hardwood, at a fraction of the price.
What are some of the other laminate flooring pros and cons? On the pros side, you have a floor that is low-maintenance, compared to hardwood. Due to the manufacturing process, you can also get the planks ready for a click-together, DIY installation. This can cut your costs further, although the prospect of such an installation can seem daunting if you haven’t done it before!
Provided that you follow the installation instruction carefully, the final product can be quite durable. The fact that many of these lines come with lengthy warranties, is a testimony to the trust the manufacturers have in their product.
One more laminate flooring pro is that you can do section replacement, should your floor be damaged in some way. To provide for this possibility, it is usually a good idea to buy a bit extra so that you have an exact shade match down the line if necessary.
One of the drawbacks of such a floor installation is that it probably won’t add the same value to your property as the natural product. Another possible con is that some lines can be quite slippery. Check this before you buy.
Also keep in mind that laminates can usually not be refinished, as you would be able to do with a hardwood floor installation. You can get products to reduce the visibility of scratches, etc, but this won’t remove them entirely.
3. Hardwood Flooring
Real wood has been and will always be an evergreen, classy type of flooring material. Hardwood flooring continues to make a statement of distinction for many years, due to the long life of such an installation. It won’t be a budget option, but will add to the stature of your home over the long run.
If the price of hardwood flooring planks take your breath away, you can always opt to investigate engineered hardwood flooring. This is a less expensive option that still gives you smooth, textured or hand distressed looks in the various wood species such as oak, cherry, beech, maple, walnut or ash.
Learn more about the pros and cons of hardwood floors here.
4. Ceramic Tiles
True non-porcelain ceramic tiles are very much like porcelain flooring, but are made from clay and sand and then fired. They are thus not quite as strong as porcelain, but can still perform well in both residential and commercial settings.
Porcelain tiles are usually easier to cut than ceramic tiles and will therefore be less labor intensive.
Learn all about the difference between porcelain and non-porcelain ceramic tiles and the various pros and cons.
5. Vinyl Flooring
Just like laminates, vinyl flooring lines can sport extremely reasonable pricing. Vinyl is much cheaper than hardwood, porcelain and ceramic tiles.
Thanks to advances in technology, vinyl flooring can have a fairly authentic-looking tile or wood finish. These lines are also easy to clean.
The planks can be resistant to staining and water, but to what extent would depend on the brand and quality you choose. This is another of the DIY options on the market. The click together or snap together tongue and groove planks allow you to install a floating floor. There is no need to use nails or glue.
Keep in mind that this affordable floor type is perhaps not as durable as the other options. The floor surface may be more likely to show dents and scratches. You also need to be super careful during installation, otherwise moisture may get into the seams later on and cause problems with lifting or buckling.
13 Things To Look At In The Different Types Of Flooring Materials
- Make sure that the material is durable enough for your needs. Allow for kids or pets in the home, for instance. This will require a more robust product.
- Some types of flooring are more resistant to dents and scratches than others. Even your choice of color can affect this. This is one of the important questions to ask your supplier.
- Find out how comfortable the flooring is underfoot, especially if you want to install it in a kitchen.
- Ask questions about the noise level of the floor after installation. This can be controlled to some extent by the underlayment you use.
- Allow for upkeep in your home remodeling budget. You may need to refinish a floor later on.
- If you will be able to do section replacement, such as with the new snap together tile flooring, buy an extra box or two to store in case of a mishap down the line.
- Match colors and textures to your home furnishings. Remember, it is the total picture that counts.
- Certain types of flooring materials don’t do well in moist areas, such as basements. Check this carefully before you buy.
- Find out how slippery the flooring will be when wet. You don’t want to create a fall hazard.
- Find out if the flooring will stain if there is a spill, and which fluids you should be particularly careful of.
- Ask questions about how easy the floor will be to keep clean.
- Some products can easily be installed over an old floor. Check with the supplier if this is possible. It will make your task easier.
- If you care about the environment, you may want to buy a product that is eco-friendly. Your supplier will be able to give you details about your options in this regard. Bamboo and cork are popular ‘green’ choices.
You can also consider travertine tile for a shower.
Prefer something more cosy? How about looking at the textures and colors offered in the Milliken Legato carpet tile range?
Take note of your own taste, your budget, your goals with the installation and all the pros and cons of the different types of flooring materials. You are sure to find the perfect fit for your home – a floor you will be able to enjoy for many years to come. From Rika Susan’s home remodeling desk.