Types of Flooring
Hardwood flooring, also known as solid or real hardwood is your first option when trying to install new flooring in your home. Hardwood flooring gives your house a great look, increases the value of your home and it is easy to maintain. It can also be sanded and finished for up to 5 times.
Being made out of timber throughout entire board, hardwood flooring is one of the most expensive choices for you when deciding on the type of flooring you want to purchase. It can also be hard on your feet (unlike carpet) and it is sensitive to water and moisture (unlike tile).
Laminate flooring is the type of flooring that gained the most popularity in recent years. If 30 years ago, when talking about hardwood flooring, people were exclusively referring to real hardwood, in recent years, some tend to confuse hardwood flooring with laminate flooring. This happens to the new, improved look of laminate floors.
The looks and quality improved in recent years, being harder and harder to tell the difference between solid hardwood and laminate. Another positive of laminate floors is their durability, their selling point being the scratch resistant surface and price.
On the other hand, you have to remember, laminate floors are not real, solid hardwood. They are made out of pressed cardboard, they are hard to repair and cannot be refinished.
If you need a compromise between solid hardwood and laminate, engineered hardwood is the way to go. It is still hardwood flooring, the difference being in the composition. Hardwood has the same wood throughout entire board while engineered wood is made out of layers. Just the top layer is a high quality wood, while the other ones are usually made out of plywood.
The advantage of engineered flooring is that it is less expensive than hardwood, it is still wood (not laminate) and it can be installed in areas where solid hardwood cannot be installed (like basements).
Engineered flooring is usually more expensive than laminate and it can only be sanded once.
4. Tile Floors
Tile is another popular floor product. It is usually installed in bathrooms, kitchens, foyers and other areas with a lot of humidity. Tile are moisture resistant and very durable.
Tiles, specially porcelain tiles, can also be installed in outdoor spaces like balconies and porches.
Tile are installed throughout houses in warm areas, but avoided in colder ones. They tend to be cold and hard on your feet when walking on them.
Carpet is still a very popular floor product because of the cosy feel when walking on it. Carpet is preferred to hardwood or laminate especially in bedrooms, where you walk barefooted more often than other areas of your home.
Price is another selling point for carpet, being less expensive than hardwood.
On the other hand, carpet is harder to clean, easier to stain and tracks dust underneath. It also has a shorter lifespan than hardwood, tile or laminate.
A less expensive option than tile flooring is vinyl or linoleum. It has a lot of the tile characteristics, waterproof, easy to clean and install but a lower price.
Vinyl is not as durable as tile and cannot be installed in showers or other areas where tile can.
Other floor products, not as common as the previous ones, include cork flooring, rubber floor or just painting the concrete.