Choosing the right flooring for your spaces involves considerations of style, function, and budget. Will the floor be used for its ability to dampen sound, or are you looking for the most environmentally friendly option?
A family with young children may look for the inviting softness of carpeting, while hardwood flooring has the classic look that builds equity, because it’s vastly preferred by prospective homebuyers.
Decide what matters most to you and your family, and it will guide you to choosing the perfect flooring. Here are some different types of floors and what they’re good for.
Cork is a nontraditional flooring option that is growing in popularity, because of its unique advantages, beginning with comfort. Unlike hardwood, cork is naturally flexible, and this makes for a softer landing on each step, which can make a real difference for the elderly or disabled.
Cork is also a good insulator. It is warm, soft, and absorbs sounds. Being a natural material, cork is environmentally friendly. In addition, since it’s antimicrobial and resistant to mold, it’s safe for the family.
Pros: Cork is notable for being an incredibly eco-friendly option. It’s completely recyclable, and the flooring is made from sustainably harvested bark, a process that allows the tree to keep right on growing. Cork is also a warmer floor because it retains heat and it doesn’t trap allergens. It’s also flexible and quiet.
Cons: While you pay a cost that’s similar to hardwood flooring, cork doesn’t last nearly as long and may need more maintenance, with its susceptibility to fading and chipping.
Carpets are cozy flooring options, popular for their unmatched ability to dampen sound, making it ideal for bedrooms and nurseries. Many people just love the look and soft feel of carpeting, which comes in an incredible variety of colors and textures, and at a cost that is much lower than hardwood.
Carpeting can be incredibly luxurious and lush, but maintaining its beauty can be work intensive. This is because of high foot traffic, pet hair, and occasional spills that require regular washing and vacuuming. Its ability to trap dust and allergens makes it an even less practical option for someone who cannot handle this upkeep.
There’s another interesting theory: if you put carpets on the hardwood floor, the wood will get scratched from slight but constant carpet movements and start to look dull. This is definitely in contrast to most people’s opinion that carpeting will protect the floor.
This classic option is the bigger upfront investment, but it’s a very safe bet, as far as building up the value of your home is concerned. People love the warmth and durability of wood flooring and, with regular refinishing, its quality can be beautifully maintained for decades to come.
One major drawback of hardwood flooring is noise, which is widely amplified by hard surfaces. Hardwood is also very impractical for more humid regions, where the moisture will quickly warp and damage the wood.
The cost for true hardwoods is pretty high unless you are a buyer or a renter of an older house or an apartment where hardwood (assuming in fairly good condition) is already installed.
The best place to put hardwood flooring is in your living room. It will look good and stylish. Your living room is not a high-traffic area such as a foyer so the wood will remain fairly protected. You can also use a rug to muffle the noise a little.
Engineered wood flooring another very tough and durable option. It’s a good alternative to solid wood flooring as it’s easier to lay, less expensive, and more stable. It’s also a better alternative to solid wood if you are going to install floor heating.
Epoxy coatings are used on floors in residential and commercial buildings, walkways, even on walls or ceilings at times, and most commonly on garage floors. In addition, you will find epoxy flooring in commercial or industrial buildings such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, pharmaceutical buildings, food or beverage plants, restaurants and even laboratories.
For homeowners who want to think outside the box, epoxy-coated floors are an inexpensive option that is unique in both style and function. The layers of epoxy create a flooring that is nonporous, easy to clean, and nearly indestructible.
This process is normally used to cover concrete, but creative applications of epoxy-coated hardwood or tile are popular as well. The shiny finish is striking, even in plain colors, while bright colors and patterns are possible for a very eye-catching finish.
Epoxy flooring for homes is certainly not for everyone, though. For some people, it’s too cold and strange, reminding them of an industrial space. You would have to be cautious in taking on such a polarized opinion if you plan to sell your home soon.
On the plus side, concrete floors coated in epoxy last much longer and can resist considerable wear. This will save you money in the long run and allow for other home improvement investment. The same goes for business owners.
In addition, epoxy flooring is quickly and easily installed, which means less time spent at your in-laws or shutting down services or production for epoxy floor installation.
In any case, you can always consult epoxy flooring contractors near you for an expert, second opinion and arrange for professional installation which is an affordable and highly valuable investment for years to come.