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With so many flooring choices on the market, selecting the best flooring for your home can be a challenging endeavor. Various factors, including your budget, lifestyle, traditional home activities, and aesthetic preferences, would need to be considered. Additionally, for some rooms, some flooring materials are more suitable than others. This guide highlights some of the most common flooring styles and their benefits so that you can choose the best flooring material for your home.

Is Laminate Flooring the Best Flooring for You?

Laminate flooring is a cheaper alternative to traditional hardwood flooring. Laminate boards consist of layers of different wood. Each layer has a photo printed on it that looks like wood. Laminate flooring is ideal for homeowners who like the look of wood but can’t afford it.

Advantages

  • Resistant to humidity.
  • Quickly self-cleaning.
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Less expensive than hardwood flooring.

Disadvantages

  • Unable to sand and refinish
  • May warp due to water spillage
  • Shorter lifespan than hardwood

Installation

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for DIY homeowners because it is relatively easy to install. Installation is straightforward because the boards snap together and sit on top of the underlying floor layer. One small room can be installed in a weekend. If you are not careful, you can damage the linking edges during installation, causing the floor to be more susceptible to water damage.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Check out my post on how to clean any type of flooring, but you need to make some special considerations to avoid damage. Water can seep into the cracks and beneath the boards, causing laminate flooring to warp and stain, so stick mainly to sweeping and vacuuming. Use only a flat mop as needed, and be sure the cleaner you use is designed for laminate surfaces.

Durability

Laminate is unique because it cannot be refinished, so its lifespan is limited, and it is usually seen as being “ugly.” However, laminate flooring can typically last 15 to 25 years. The top layer is durable to stand up to foot traffic and sun exposure. However, properly maintained, laminate flooring may last decades.

 

Is Carpet the Best Flooring for You?

Carpeting remains one of the most popular flooring options on the market. Carpeting is the perfect choice if you want to be barefoot at home. Or just prefer a soft floor to sit on. Homeowners and builders have a large array of products and color choices/patterns to choose from.

 

Advantages

  • Adds insulation for lower energy bills
  • Cozy and comfortable
  • Low cost
  • Reduces sound

Disadvantages

  • Not appropriate for all living areas
  • Shows wear and tear
  • Requires regular replacement
  • Often needs professional cleaning

Installation

To get quality results, hire a professional carpet installer. Specialized equipment is required for carpet installation. You will also need to lay padding and stretch the carpet to avoid lumps and warping.

 

Cleaning & Maintenance

Carpets degrade quickly without regular cleaning and maintenance. You will need to vacuum your carpets at least once a week and possibly more. Carpets need to be professionally cleaned at least once a year.

 

Durability

The biggest downside of carpets is undoubtedly their short lifespan, with most carpets needing replacement after five years of regular wear and tear. However, with proper maintenance and a new underlay, you can prolong the life of your carpet by several years. Not all carpets are created equal, so durability is an important consideration to make when choosing your carpet material.

 

Is Hardwood the Best Flooring Choice for You?

You can’t beat hardwood flooring for a traditional and homey look. Hardwood flooring is the best choice for homeowners who prefer a warm, natural look as well as a durable, long-lasting surface. There are many houses over a century old that still feature their original wooden floorboards. While oak remains the most popular species for hardwood flooring, other choices, such as maple, black walnut, and hickory, may be worth considering.

Advantages

  • Non-toxic;
  • Increases home value
  • Easy to clean and maintain;
  • Durable, long-lasting

Disadvantages

  • Unaffordable for smaller budgets
  • Prone to dents and scratches
  • Susceptible to mold and termites
  • Can develop creaking over time

 

Installation

Hardwood planks are relatively straightforward to install, particularly if you already have DIY home improvement experience. You can save thousands of dollars in labor costs by installing the floorboards yourself. However, if you lack skill or experience, you’re better off hiring a pro because small errors can lead to gaps and crooked boards.

 

Cleaning and Maintenance

Hardwood floors often require polishing to maintain their high quality. Clean with a microfiber mop and a solution formulated for wooden floors. It is important to be careful not to use a brush roll while vacuuming. In some cases, hardwood floors may require sanding and refinishing.

 

Durability

These floors are designed to handle heavy use and high traffic. Unlike carpet, which wears out, hardwood floors will last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. While refinishing every ten years may be required, the originals may last as long as the home itself.

If you are interested in hardwood flooring, you should check out my friend Debbie Garner over at The Flooring Gal.  She’s got a great post on the latest flooring trends.  

 

Best Flooring Choices for Your Home

Is Vinyl the Best Flooring for Your Home?

Vinyl flooring is one of the most versatile and affordable flooring options. Vinyl flooring is designed to mimic realistic flooring materials. Vinyl is ideal for high-moisture areas such as bathrooms, basements, and kitchens.

 

Advantages

  • Fully resistant to water damage
  • Simple DIY installation
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Low cost

 

Disadvantages

  • Difficult to remove
  • May become discolored from sun exposure
  • Prone to dents from heavy objects

 

Installation

Vinyl flooring is a fraction of the cost of hardwood flooring, but it’s also easily installed. Vinyl is the most popular flooring option for homeowners on a budget. A vinyl remodeling project can be completed in a single day with a few tools.

 

Cleaning and Maintenance

If you dry mop or vacuum the surface, dust and debris will be removed. Use a commercial cleaner designed for vinyl floors or a homemade solution of white vinegar and water. Use nonabrasive cleaners, detergents, and ammonia-free sprays to avoid scratching the vinyl flooring.

 

Durability

Vinyl is tough but does require good maintenance practices. Always use sliders or plywood sheets when moving heavy furniture and consider adding mats and rugs in high-traffic areas. As a general rule, thicker vinyl can stand up to more traffic, so keep this in mind when shopping for the best flooring choices for vinyl.

 

Are Ceramic & Porcelain Tile the Best Flooring for You?

With many colors, shapes, and styles, ceramic and porcelain tiles are a great way to provide your home with a high-value appearance. Tiles are durable and resistant flooring that is great for bathrooms, kitchens, and high traffic areas. The good news is that individual tiles can be replaced, saving you the trouble of ripping up the entire floor.

 

Advantages

  • Available in many styles and colors
  • Rot-resistant
  • Increases home’s value
  • Does not stain easily

 

Disadvantages

  • Time-consuming installation
  • Cold and hard underfoot and can be slippery
  • Prone to cracking and chipping
  • High-maintenance grout lines

 

Installation

Laying tile is a relatively straightforward process and one that many homeowners will choose to take on themselves. Small imperfections can make significant differences, so you may want to get a pro to do the job. Before starting a DIY tile project, keep in mind that tilework is challenging to reverse.

 

Cleaning and Maintenance

One of the most significant advantages of tile flooring is how easy it is to clean. Because the surfaces are non-absorptive, it’s easy to clean the spills with a damp cloth. Feel free to use a mild detergent to clean more deeply. While the tiles themselves are easy to clean and maintain, the grout lines require more care and attention. However, common issues such as stains and mildew buildup with simple vinegar and water solution can usually be resolved.

 

Durability

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are considered very durable and can stand up to high foot traffic volumes. Before buying your materials, you will need to check the hardness ratings to see if it is appropriate for the area where you plan to install it. Tiles are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the hardest and most suitable for heavy traffic. With proper installation and reasonable maintenance, tile floors can easily last a lifetime.

 

Is Concrete a Great Choice for You?

Concrete has grown in popularity in recent years due to its durability and esthetic flexibility. With endless choices of colors, textures, and finishes, creative homeowners embrace the visual diversity they offer. Concrete can take much more than vinyl, tile, and even hardwood, making it an ideal choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and fireplaces.

 

Advantages

  • Budget-friendly
  • Long lifespan
  • Ideal for radiant heat systems
  • Moisture resistant

 

Disadvantages

  • It may be slippery when wet
  • May develop cracks overtime
  • Requires area rugs for warmth and comfort
  • Difficult to patch

 

Installation

Concrete flooring requires more time-consuming installation than carpeting or laminate flooring, but it is worth the effort as expected over the last decades. The concrete installation consists of three stages: surface preparation, decorative treatment, and topcoat. Concrete pouring, leveling, and texturing is a bit of a specialized procedure, so always hire a professional for the best results.

 

Cleaning and Maintenance

No joints, grout lines, or fibers means concrete is super easy to keep debris clear. For deep cleaning, opt for microfiber cleaning pads or mops. Be sure to use a pH-neutral cleaner that does not react with the concrete and damages the surface. Except for polished concrete, concrete flooring requires sealing or waxing every few months to maintain its appearance.

 

Durability

Flooring is resistant to foot traffic and heavy furniture. When properly sealed and maintained, concrete rivals the longevity of hardwood, with a life span of more than 100 years. This durability is going to save you tons of money in the long run. Unlike carpeting, vinyl, and laminate flooring, concrete flooring is pretty much guaranteed for as long as the house.

 

Since floors impact your life, you should care about them. The type of flooring you choose affects the comfortability and practicality of certain activities. You should also consider your personal tastes, lifestyle, and regular home activities. This will help you decide the best flooring choices to use in each room of the house.

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