Although there is an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to modern flooring, all of the variety can be boiled down to three major types of flooring: hardwood, laminate and tile. The type that is best for your home will depend on preference, where in the home you are installing it and the features of the different flooring types.
Most people love hardwood because of its lasting beauty and overall durability. It is guaranteed to add to a home’s value, and everyone loves the character and warmth that it provides to any space.
Modern hardwood flooring is extremely durable, and will retain its quality against wear and tear. It is prone to being dented, so it is important to select higher hardness ratings for rooms that will see more activity and foot traffic. There are also a number of choices available for rooms that will have heavy pieces of furniture, such as pianos or pool tables. It is important to remember that the finish on hardwoods will darken visibly over the first six months of installation, so it should all be installed at one time, and no rugs left on it until it has aged uniformly.
For highly active homeowners where there is concern over possible damage to hardwood, there are many great laminates available as an alternative option. Modern laminate flooring has come a long way, and the newer products have color, texture and grain variation featuring beveled edges that can make them indistinguishable from real hardwood.
The surface of laminates is fabricated from non-porous materials, so there are no concerns over stain, wear, fade and moisture. This fade resistance also makes laminate flooring attractive in situations where you are installing your flooring over a longer period of time and don’t want mismatching color. Although more resistant overall, laminate is still prone to scratching, so it does need to be treated with some care.
Tile flooring is usually chosen for areas that are prone to water damage or plumbing leaks, such as kitchens and bathrooms. However, this does not mean that tile flooring cannot also be extremely beautiful, with options available in porcelain, ceramic and stone tiles to suit any home’s decor.
Ceramic tiles are prone to cracking and chipping, and it is always a struggle to try to keep the grout looking clean and free of bacteria. However, there are more expensive tiles that can overcome these drawbacks, for those willing to pay a little more.
Which Is Right for You?
When choosing the right type of flooring, it is best to consider the rooms that will be involved and the needs of your family. Active places, such as a kid’s play room, may be better suited to a durable laminate flooring, while a formal dining room would be the perfect place for a high gloss hardwood. Tile is the best choice for any areas that are prone to exposure to water and moisture, such as a kitchen, foyer, bathroom or utility room.