Are you considering building a new house? Or are you planning to renovate your old home? In either scenario, one of the major questions that you need to ask is — what is the perfect floor type that will go with my space?  Indeed, there is a gamut of different types of flooring materials to choose from. But your decision will depend on a number of factors. Whether it is real wood or tiles, vinyl or concrete, follow this guide to arrive at the best alternative among several flooring options.

Start With The Basics: Where Will Your Floor Be Installed?

Is your home located in a moisture-prone neighborhood? If your answer is yes, then you will need a flooring material that can resist wear and tear from moisture. The ideal choices, in this case, would be ceramic, porcelain, or vinyl tile flooring. The best laundry area or kitchen flooring material is always vinyl since it is made from synthetic polymers and is highly water-resistant. 

vinyl flooringPhoto by pixnio

One of the other best kitchen or bathroom flooring materials is tiles as they are less susceptible to moisture damage. Apart from ceramic and porcelain, you can find tiles in other faux finishes such as wood or stone — which makes the floor look aesthetically pleasing. Concrete flooring is also a go-to option for many homeowners as it ensures a smooth, noise-absorbing, and waterproof surface.

However, if your answer is no, you can go for any type from the exhaustive collection of flooring choices.  Here, wood is a favorite choice among prospective home buyers. Timber is available in a myriad of grains, tones, and finishes — making it a wonderful flooring material option. Engineered or composite wood is manufactured by compressing multiple layers of plywood. This is followed by covering it with a thin hardwood layer over the top. If moisture is not an issue, you can go for this alternative in areas such as dining rooms. Even hardwood can be used since you can refinish it many times. Carpet fibers — made from polyester, nylon, or polypropylene — is the ideal choice for bedrooms and living rooms.

Do You Require A Durable Floor With Superior Wear Resistance?

If you have pets or kids, then you might require a floor that can resist any type of wear and tear. It should also be easy to clean. Some of the best heavy-duty flooring materials are ceramic or porcelain tiles. Other options include laminate flooring and plank vinyl flooring. Laying out a carpet is also a good decision in such scenarios.

tiles flooringPhoto by pxhere

In terms of maintenance, vinyl flooring demands minimal care. You can easily clean dirt and spills from its surface with a broom or mop and soapy water. However, if vinyl gets damaged, it is a tad difficult to repair dents, chips, and abrasions from harsh chemicals.  If you install tiles, you simply require some soapy water to clean it. But, tiles are prone to grout and require replacement every 5 to 10 years. Again, for engineered wood, all you need to do is wipe away dirt with a slightly wet mop. However, take care that it doesn’t get exposed to prolonged periods of dampness or dents by high heels and heavy furniture. Even hardwood can stand heavy wear and tear. Carpet fibers, on the other hand, can easily stain due to spills. So practice immediate cleaning and regular vacuuming in your schedule.

You can always cover high-traffic areas with throw rugs or runners for minimal maintenance.

What Is Your Per Square Feet Budget?

If you wish to stick to a budget of say, $2-$5 per square feet, then you can find several good bargains in laminate flooring. The final layout shall give a natural wood-like appearance. Ceramic, vinyl, and porcelain tiles are also another option — with end results adding a gorgeous touch to your house. Vinyl is available in large sheets and can be fitted over any type of subfloor. This fairly reduces your labor costs. However, if you go for tiles, remember that their installation is a labor-intensive process. Carpet fibers are another affordable option, but they do require professionals to carry out the installation process. Hence, labor costs will be added to your total flooring price.

wooden flooring

Photo by maxpixel

If wood is your favorite, go for engineered wood or domestic solid hardwood flooring. You might not find many exotic wood categories in this range. If you increase your budget, you can find many fine, premium wooden floor materials such as Brazilian cherry, and mahogany. Superior-quality, luxury vinyl tiles, and laminates are also available within this price spectrum.

How Do You Want To Carry Out The Installation Process?

One of the major steps to cut down on floor-fitting costs is to do the installation yourself. However, not all flooring types are apt for self-installation. Some of the flooring materials that fall under this category are laminate and plank vinyl flooring. Why so? These come in the form of floating boards, which connect to adjacent boards and not to the subfloor. If you want tiles or hardwood floors, then it is best to hire professionals to lay them down.

Some Eco-friendly Options

Apart from the flooring material types mentioned above, we would like you to consider these green flooring options as well

cork flooringPhoto by faircompanies at flickr

Bamboo flooring is derived from a lightweight variant of fast-growing woody grass. This eco-friendly material is highly durable and gives your home a natural, cozy outlook.  Cork flooring is another environment-friendly option that displays a structure that resembles a honeycomb. It feels like a cushion when you walk over it and is also resistant to vibrations, shocks, and slip. Linoleum is curated from natural elements such as linseed oil, rosins, and wood flour. They do not cause any health hazards during manufacturing, installation, and disposal. Linoleum flooring provides strong protection against microorganisms and electric shocks. You can find these flooring material types in a wide range of patterns and designs — so that you can choose one to match your style and taste.

Wrapping It Up

We know that picking the perfect flooring material might seem like a daunting task. The final investment should combine long-term durability, cost, and of course, looks. Therefore, use the above tips, finalize on your budget, and take a call that fulfills all your requirements.

Flooring Materials: How To Pick The Best For Your New Home? was last modified: December 6th, 2018 by Kukun
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