Because of I’m not young anymore and choosing flooring is not something I do every fortnight, it seem like only yesterday when flooring options were limited to as little as 3 selections.
How times have changed.
These days you won’t even be able to count the number of flooring options with your fingers. And if you talk to a specialist in the field, adding up your toes wouldn’t be enough either.
But for regular homeowners, 10 types of flooring tend to be more popular unless you have some unorthodox taste… or have more money that you can possibly spend in your lifetime.
Here they are. And their main drawbacks.
Bamboo is a durable flooring material that is trending in recent years. This is partly due to the healthy home movement.
They are laid one strip after another and more importantly, renewable.
People who use this have various options for finishing and refinishing.
On top of that, it is a preferred choice of homeowners who’d like flooring materials to contain as little hazardous chemicals as possible.
The disadvantage with bamboo for flooring is that it can be more easily damaged compared to others. Sometimes even with sudden and drastic humidity changes.
We are talking about scratches, dents, cracks, warps, etc.
When we talk about carpeting for flooring, we are referring to wall-to-wall carpeting.
Just placing a carpet under the coffee table does not make it carpet flooring.
When carpeting is selected as a choice for flooring, a pad is installed underneath as a cushion.
Some homeowners just love the feeling of softness under their feet. It is slip-resistant too.
The biggest drawback of carpeting, as you might expect, is it’s vulnerability to stains. Once you spill coffee on it, good luck in getting it off.
At the same time, it is not a good choice for those with sensitive nose and eyes as it is a hotbed for dust. Therefore, those with allergic reactions should stay away from carpet flooring.
Just like bamboo, cork has become a popular flooring choice due it’s “healthy” aspects.
Cork used for flooring originates from the bark of cork oak trees.
One advantage of cork is that it is as good as soundproof just like carpets. You cannot say the same with most (if not all) other types of hard materials.
This is without considering the possibility of bad workmanship. Bad installation can cause creaking noises or squeaks.
Other than that, some other advantageous include it being hypoallergenic, anti-static, and anti-microbial.
However, like bamboo, humidity can wreak havoc on it’s condition.
Quality hardwood floors can be pretty expensive. But just walking on it can make you feel that it’s all worthwhile.
What’s more, you have the option of buying those that are pre-finished or unfinished. Allowing you to apply your own finish of choice.
Because of the premium feeling of hardwood flooring and it’s higher prices, many homeowners go for engineered hardwood floors.
These are cheaper substitutes for hardwood floors with little variances in durability.
The difference is that engineered hardwood floors are made from laminating several pieces of hardwood together. While real hardwood floors are made from solid planks cut from timber.
The fragility with hardwood however, is it’s proneness to moisture.
If the finish is not applied well enough, or for some reason water manages to make it’s way in, damage is inevitable.
When people want the aesthetics that hardwood or stone brings but refuse to pay the going rate, laminates is where they usually go for.
Laminates these days can look so similar to wood that you might not be able to tell the difference.
They are usually made of fiberboards or synthetic resins.
This means that you should be alarmed if you are trying to avoid volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Linoleum is another one of those types of flooring that is trending because of it’s “healthier” properties.
They are made with linseed oil, wood flour, cork dust residue, resins, etc. This makes it non-toxic. Which is a particular concern of households in the modern world.
Just like cork, it is hypoallergenic, anti-static, and anti-microbial.
The problem with it is that you have basically no refinishing options. You are pretty much stuck with the way it looks.
Stone is one of the most premium flooring materials you can go for.
They last forever, visually beautiful, and sometimes simply stunning.
The most common choices include slabs of marble and granite. And of course… this means that they come with jaw-dropping prices.
Some homeowners love them so much but because of budget constraints still decide to install them in specific areas or rooms.
But do note that they are hard. Meaning that more severe injuries can occur when you fall on it compared to something like carpet.
Moreover, they can be cold to the touch during winter.
Tile material is often ceramic or glass. Yet surprisingly resistant to scratches and damage in general.
They are popular choices for budget homes.
And just like stone flooring, it is hard and can be annoying during winter.
Because they are installed with grout to keep them attached to the floor, this poses another problem from a housekeeping point of view.
Grouts can be easy to discolor. And cleaning agents and solutions can sometimes cause rapid deterioration of it. Resulting tiles to come loose.
Vinyl is a very economical choice of flooring. It is installed by simply peeling and sticky. Just like wallpaper.
Because of this simplicity in installation and low cost, they can come in a variety of designs and colors. These don’t significantly add to the affordable prices.
But because of the way that it is fabricated, it shares the same concern as laminates in that they can contain unhealthy levels of VOCs.
With all that said, choosing the type of flooring for your home is never a straight forward choice. Do list down the factors that matter to you and weigh them out to find a balance.
Only then will you be able to make a choice that would be suitable to your needs and requirements.