*Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Home

October 31, 2010

Choosing the right flooring may be one of the most difficult decisions to make during home construction or renovation.  There are 4 basic types of floor to choose from — wood, ceramic tile, vinyl, and carpet.  The choice will depend on your home design, budget, and lifestyle.  Your flooring should match the overall design of your home.  A country style home wouldn’t look good with vinyl.  Even if you choose one resembling wood or stone.  Then again, carpet wouldn’t be ideal for a home where children have allergies.  Meanwhile, choosing a flooring exceeding your budget may not leave you enough to finish your renovation or leave some parts of the home with substandard materials.  Here are some tips to help you make the right decision.

1.  Wood Flooring – Wood has always been considered the best choice for flooring.  It exudes elegance and works for almost any home design.  It is easily cleaned and does not harbor dusts or mites.  Of all the types of flooring, hardwood is considered to be one to increase the value of your home.  However, it can be scratched and may not be ideal for high traffic — especially with kids running in and out of the house while dragging in small stones or dirt.  Nevertheless, you can always opt for wood flooring with high hardness ratings or consider frequent refurbishing if you insist on wood floors for high traffic areas.  This means higher budget and maintenance cost.  If you can afford it, then hardwood flooring is an exceptional choice.

For those with a lower budget, you can still get the look of wood flooring with laminate flooring.  It simulates the look of wood but is predominantly made of other materials instead of being solid wood.  Since it is a cheaper alternative, it will never be the same as the hardwood able to last for several generations.  

2.  Carpet Flooring –  Carpet is a popular choice because of the comfort and insulation it provides.  Nothing feels so good as soft fibers under your feet.  The main setback  of carpet is cleaning and maintenance.  It is most susceptible to stains and easily harbors dust, mites, or other allergens, harming people with allergies or asthma.  You will always be on the look out for spills and there is the need for constant cleaning with vacuuming/regular shampoo cleaning.  Thus, carpets may be limited to low traffic areas like bedrooms.

3.  Ceramic Tile – Ceramic has been used as flooring since the ancient times.  The options for color and design are almost endless.  It is non-porous, heat-proof, and water-proof.  As such, ceramic is the ideal choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and the outdoors.  However, it is vulnerable to chips and cracks.  It should not be used in areas where heavy materials or tools are frequently used.

4.  Vinyl Flooring –  Vinyl is easiest to clean among all the floor types.  It resists dirt, grime, and stains.  Spills can be wiped clean with one stroke.  There is no risk from scratches, cracking, or dents from furnitures.  It is relatively cheap and easy to install.  Like ceramic, designs are endless and it can even mimic the look of wood, stone, or ceramic.

Once you have made your choice on the type of flooring best for your home, the next step is choosing the color or design within the type you have chosen.  That type of decision making is another story altogether.

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