With so many flooring options to choose from, it can be tough to pick a specific material and simply say that it’s the best for all kinds of situations. Each type of floor material has its pros and cons, and they can be best suited for particular uses and situations. From wood to carpet, each type of material can be useful when utilized in the right situation. Instead of making a direct comparison of the materials, this article would discuss some of the things that you have to consider when choosing a floor.
- Looks – Of course, your choice of floor material has to complement the look of your home. Certain materials are best suited for a classic or modern theme. Ultimately, it will be up to you to select the material that best complements the theme you want for your home. In an ideal world, looks would be the only consideration to have when you are choosing floor materials.
- Level of maintenance – How much time and commitment do you have in maintaining your home? If you have time to burn or you have people who can assist you with the upkeep, getting high-maintenance materials would be just fine. However, if you are the person who has a tough time committing to regular cleanup schedules, going for a material that requires minimal cleaning and maintenance makes better sense.
- Weatherproofing – This is a special consideration in homes located in areas where weather extremes are very common. If there are certain times of the year when temperatures can get too hot or too cold, it is best to go for a material that has good insulating properties. If you are living in a place where there is either too much humidity or too much rain, going for a water-resistant flooring is a better choice.
- Cost – Price will always be a consideration when choosing a floor. If you have money to spare, then you can afford selecting some of the more premium materials on the market, as long as it fits all your needs. Don’t worry if you have a limited budget, as you still have multiple affordable, yet viable flooring options at your disposal.
- Durability- For maximum return of investment, you want your floor material to be durable. Some materials are more durable than others. Still, it is highly recommended that you purchase floor materials from a reputable source. Aside from knowing how to properly utilize a specific floor, you should also learn proper maintenance to maximize the lifespan of your floor.
Linoleum flooring basically consists of a sheet of linoleum applied over the floor surface of a room or entire house. Linoleum is a durable material that is often mistaken for vinyl. While they really share some similar properties, linoleum is thicker and composed of more natural materials. It is made from linseed oil, wood flour, pine resins, and cork materials.
American homeowners have been using this type of flooring material for a couple of decades already. It has been one of the most preferred flooring materials during the 50s’s and 60’s. Today, its popularity hasn’t faded that much even if there are many flooring options that became available for homeowners.
Now, how will you know if a linoleum floor is right for you? The following are usually the determining points:
- Cost – In comparison with other flooring materials such as ceramic tiles, stone, and wood, linoleum is significantly cheaper in price. This is true for both the purchase of the material and the actual installation. Based from 2015 and 2016 data, US homeowners have spent an average of $3 to $4 per square foot for the installation of this specific type of floor.
- Installation – While the material is easy to acquire, it is prone to damage during the installation process. This is the reason why DIY installations are often discouraged. Only professionals can ensure that installations will give rise to expected results.
- Warranty – Manufacturers and installers are able to place extended warranties for linoleum floors. This is because of the improved manufacturing processes and innovations being used today. This results to more resilient linoleum sheets that can withstand the toughest wear and tear situations. Currently, manufacturers are able to offer 10, 15, and 25 years warranty time for professionally installed linoleum flooring.
- Practicality – Homeowners who want a durable floor that will need less frequency of replacement often choose linoleum as their material. This type of floor is easy to clean and effectively resists a wide range of stains and damage due to liquid spills. Homes with pets, small children, and many occupants will benefit most from a linoleum floor. It requires very little maintenance. Cleaning involves mostly of sweeping and surface mopping.
- Design – Linoleum material for floors come in a wide variety of colors and designs. The print is embedded deep into the layers of the material which makes fading less of an issue. Luster can be maintained through waxing every two years.
Linoleum flooring should definitely be in your list of options when considering a new construction, remodeling, or renovation.
If you’ve seen the interior design of many homes in the 60’s and 70’s, you’d be amazed at the power of vinyl floors to create stunning designs and effects on rooms. Nowadays, the materials used on this particular type of floor have evolved so much in terms of resiliency to use and in style diversity.
How is it made?
Basically, the manufacturing process revolves around the creation of different layers of materials. Vinyl is used as the core layer and a design layer (usually with prints) is put on top of it. The final vinyl layer is laid over the design. This is referred to as the wear layer because it is the one that will be exposed to the usual activities after installation. Experts use the rotogravure process when printing the design.
What options are available?
Design options are virtually unlimited. Manufacturers can customize designs according to the needs and requirements given by their customers. The best thing about vinyl floors is that it can be designed to simulate the looks of common flooring materials. These include stone, wood, and ceramic tiles. A homeowner can express his or her creativity through the designs that will be used on these vinyl flooring materials. The floor can be laid with vinyl sheets or tiles.
What benefits can be expected?
Homeowners can expect modern vinyl flooring materials to be highly durable even when installed on areas of their house with heavy foot traffic. The surface minimizes noise and resists liquid spills. This means that families with small kids and pets can benefit a lot from this type of floor. In terms of flooring cost and ease of installation, homeowners will have almost nothing to worry about. Vinyl floors are less costly and less messy to install than ceramic tiles. Current industry statistics show that professional installers charge an average of $3 to $4 per square foot. Costs can vary according to the type, availability, quality, and design of the chosen material.
Are there special maintenance and care requirements?
Vinyl flooring needs to be cleaned regularly. This is to avoid the accumulation and seepage of dust into the inner layers. Sweeping, vacuuming, and cleaning with the use of wet mop should be done to keep the appearance of the floor pristine. There are cleaning agents or products that can be used to deal with deep stains. Recommendations from the installer or your local flooring material store should be sought for this matter.
When properly taken care of, your vinyl floor should last for many years before needing actual replacement.
Are you concerned about what type of material you’ll be using for the house of your dreams? Homeowners all over the world have a common requirement when it comes to this matter. They all want something that’s beautiful and which can last the test of time.
For this matter, tile floors are a common choice. This type of floor satisfies the need of a homeowner for beauty and durability. Such material is so popular that for the period from 2009 to 2015, sale of ceramic tiles in the US alone increased from 1.8 million to 2.7 million square feet per year.
Choosing this type of flooring gives homeowners many benefits. For starters, tiles are easy to install. There are DIY guides and tutorials that can be used by homeowners if they don’t want to hire professional tile installers. Secondly, there are many design options to choose from. There are tiles that are manufactured to suit specific home themes and designs. Last of all, tile floors are easy to clean and maintain. Regular sweeping, vacuuming, and wiping with a damp cloth should keep the tiles beautiful and clean.
Now, what are a homeowner’s options when it comes to the tiles that can be installed on the floor? Basically, he or she can choose from the following:
- Glazed tiles: During the manufacturing process, the ceramic tile is coated with minerals and other staining agents. The glazing stage makes its surface hard and shiny. Manufacturers can give the surface a smooth, semi-smooth, or rough finish, depending upon the purpose of use.
- Unglazed tiles: These tiles are similar to the ones mentioned above, except for the absence of a protective surface coating. This makes it easier for manufacturers to customize the design of every batch they make. These tiles are commonly used for outdoor parts of a house like patios and driveways because of its non-slip surface.
- Porcelain tiles: This tile type offers maximum durability and aesthetic quality. Designs are permeated much deeper during the manufacturing process. This gives it a unique yet pronounced overall visual impact.
Tile flooring materials can eat up a significant portion of a homeowner’s budget, most especially during renovation or remodeling projects. Proper planning and consultations with professional installers and interior designers should be done even before the first tile is bought.
Beautiful and durable tile floors can significantly improve the overall value of a residential property. It will also add to the improvement in the ambiance of a home. Choose it and enjoy its benefits!
Carpet is one of the more popular flooring materials out there because of many reasons. Its strengths include ease of maintenance, insulation properties, and great foot feel. To further sweeten things, installing carpet floors is relatively affordable, with its price per square foot considerably lower than most of its competition. Are you looking to take full advantage of carpet’s properties? Here are some options you have to get the type of floor that you want.
- Color – Carpet is available in a wide range of colors that can conceivably fit any kind of interior design. For those who want something formal, plain and neutral colors will do. Those who are on the adventurous side can go for louder colors. You can even mix and match different-colored carpets to create unique floor designs. Color is one of your biggest weapons in transforming a carpet floor into something that’s distinctively yours.
- Thickness – Some floor designers have taken advantage of the thickness of carpet to create unique floor designs. Thinner carpets create a smooth surface that fits seamlessly to just about any kind of room. Thicker carpets add volume and character to any floor. Some even utilize carpets of different thicknesses to create a three-dimensional look that stands out at just about every angle.
- Texture – Just like thickness, the texture of the carpet floor also creates a visual and sensory effect on its own. Some prefer a silky-smooth texture, while others look for something that has more volume. This is another part of carpet floor design that you can play with to build a floor that stands out.
- Patterns – Creating patterns is one of the easiest and best ways to create a unique carpet floor. There are 2 ways to approach this. You can purchase a carpet with a built-in pattern and just go ahead with it. You can create a pattern of your own by mixing and matching “tiles” of carpet all over the floor. Playing with colors and patterns is one of the best ways to create a unique floor design from the ground up. In fact, many interior designers have used this technique for years.
One of the most cost-effective ways to create a unique floor design is to use carpet’s distinct properties to your advantage. When done the right way, it can transform the look of any home at a minimal cost. Get your creative juices flowing and get creative with carpet!
Laminate is one of the most versatile floor materials out there. There used to be a time when people looked down on this material, thinking that they were cheaply made. However, advancing technology and improved construction techniques have given laminate a level of quality that can match even the best materials available. There are different ways to creatively use laminate for your floors. Here are some options you can consider and how they can play a role in creating your ideal floor.
- Pattern style – Laminates feature distinct patterns that resemble those of hardwood. Most laminates are constructed in such a way that they look like the real thing. As such, it is just right that you use the patterns present in laminate to your advantage. You can choose either fine or coarse grain to create the floor pattern that you want. You can even arrange the planks in such a way that you create a distinct look for your floor.
- Color- Color is also a major determining factor for the look of your laminate floor. Some would go for a lighter shade, while others would want to go darker. There is no such thing as the “best color”; it is still a matter of how the home owner will make the floor color complement the overall design of the house. Choose the plank color that you think will best fit your home design.
- Plank style – Laminates are available in different plank and tile sizes. Just like when using hardwood and tile, you can use the dimensions of each tile to your advantage. You can lay the planks together in such a way that they create a floor design that screams cohesiveness, or you can go for an asymmetric pattern to create a more mysterious look. Feel free to play with the plank configuration and arrangement to create floor designs that stand out.
- Surface texture – Texture is another consideration that can affect the looks of your floor. While this property is not as distinctive as compared to hardwood, this can still create an effect significant enough to make a floor design stand out. Thanks to improved technologies and construction techniques, laminates now have a texture that closely resembles natural wood. Take full advantage of this.
Using laminate does not equate to cheap work anymore. You can use this material to create a floor that stands out from the rest. Consider these laminate floor options and turn your design ideas into reality.
While all kinds of flooring options have emerged on the market over the years, nothing still beats hardwood. In terms of style, quality, and durability, it still is the best material to use for constructing floors. It would be interesting to note that there are different ways for you to get the flooring that you want; all you need is to get a little creative with it. Here are some of the things you need to consider to a hardwood floor that’s distinctly your own.
- Species – This is the first step in determining the direction of your floor. The type of wood you select for your floor will determine not just its properties such as its durability, but it will also determine how your floor will look like. Different species of wood have distinctive aesthetic properties such as color, pattern, and graining. While rarer variants have a more distinct look, each kind of hardwood has its own distinguishing features.
- Colors – Color is one area where a hardwood floor can stand out. As mentioned earlier, your choice of wood is the primary determining factor on what its color would be. Also, the type of treatment/s the wood received (ex.: varnish, clearcoat) can affect its final color and other properties such as shine. Going for one shade of wood works in most settings, but you can choose woods of different colors for a single floor to create your own floor designs.
- Design Patterns – One of the things that make hardwood unique from other floor materials is the natural patterns it possesses. Certain species of hardwood have patters that are only evident on close inspection, while others have more distinct patterns that pop out. Which pattern is better? It is completely up to you. There are even homeowners who create unique floor designs by taking full advantage of these natural wood patterns.
- Surfaces – Many would think that the surface of the wood merely affects its traction properties and its wear resistance. However, the type of surface you choose can slightly affect the final look of your floor as well. Some like the surface smooth, so that it can reflect light best. Others like a more weathered surface to complete a more rustic, natural appearance. Again, there is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing hardwood surfaces.
Hardwood is considered the best material for building floors for good reason. You can maximize its value by using its properties to creatively construct your floor from the ground up.