Smartly placed flooring can redefine the spaces in any home’s interior. Knowing what options are available may be daunting. An overview of flooring types will give any contractor and homeowner a place to start:
Carpet –Depending on depth and fiber type, carpet can provide warmth, reduce noise, and save on energy bills in a home. Carpet depth is categorized by low pile, medium pile, and high pile, most of which are available in a variety of textures. Textures are created by the thickness of the yarn and how it is woven together to make the carpet. For example, plush or shag (cut loop), Berber (loop), texture (twists), and patterned (combination of loops and twists). Not only is there a vast diversity of carpet designs and colors, most also are available in a variety of fibers including:
- Acrylic – Similar feel to wool, but less expensive.
- Nylon – Extremely durable, stain safe, can give a luxurious feel, popular with pet owners, fade resistant and easy to clean.
- Olefin/Polypropylene – Least expensive option, stain and water resistant, and easy to clean.
- Wool – Natural, environmentally friendly, soft and able to hold water, yet typically the most expensive option.
Concrete – Strong, durable, and low cost, concrete floors can be polished or stained to taste, and require minimal maintenance.
Laminate – Made of a strong surface material over wood or other materials, laminates are water resistant, stain resistant, durable, and weather resistant. Laminate is available in many colors and styles.
Linoleum – A typically low-cost flooring alternative, linoleum comes in long sheets or smaller sections that can be used alone or to inlay patterns, is available in many designs and colors, and can last up to 40 years.
Stone – Granite, marble, limestone, slate, and travertine stone floors, while extremely durable, are porous and require sealing and continued maintenance. They can also be costly.
Tile – Porcelain and ceramic tiles come in beautiful designs including diamond, herringbone, chevron, and basketweave, with shapes including circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. Porcelain tile offers easy maintenance, durability, and stain and slip resistance. Ceramic tiles provide homeowners with a less expensive and less durable option than porcelain.
Vinyl Plank – Vinyl can mimic the look of natural floors, can be used in high moisture areas, requires little maintenance, the cushion provides a sound barrier, and can last 10-25 years.
Wood – Unfinished solid hardwood can be stained and finished according to the homeowner’s taste. Prefinished wood comes sanded and sealed. There is a wide variety of wood species that can be used for the floor, including oak, cherry, hickory maple, acacia, walnut, ash, mahogany, and jarrah. Bamboo often falls into the wood family but is actually grass. Wood floors can be beautiful and durable if they are taken care of properly
A careful mix of flooring materials can make for a long-lasting and beautiful home and provide comfort for the pattering of many feet throughout the years. With the many options available, it’s hard to go wrong.