Of all the decorating options you have for the interior of your home, there is none of higher importance than what you think less about–your flooring. What you choose for every room of your house impacts your comfort, your family’s comfort, and even your pet’s comfort, and you want every possible moment of life from that investment before having to replace it once again.
Hardwood flooring presents a striking appearance and can last a very long time with proper care and maintenance. Color, grain, and pattern differences allow a vast array of impressions. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) options allow you to install hardwood floors easily and without needing a lot of prior expertise.
Ceramic, vinyl, or linoleum tile present a cool floor and offers greater resistance to water, food, or pet stain damage, but they also possess a greater risk of impact damage. Heavy objects dropped on them can crack or chip the material; depending on the layout of the tile, it may or may not be possible to replace just the damaged area instead of the entire floor. Of the three general tile types ceramic offers the greatest liquid protection.
Cork flooring offers an array of natural patterns, colors, sizes, and styles. While its increase in popularity is fairly recent, cork floors have been in use for hundreds of years. Cork easily absorbs liquid spills which can be both a boon and a bust aspect. Clear liquids normally don’t pose much hardship, but pet stains and sticky liquids can cause damage that can’t be easily cleaned and often requires replacement. Sealants can help alleviate that risk, but it still exists, mainly because cork is most often used in high traffic areas, and sealants can wear down or off. Proper attention to its condition, however, can extend the life of cork floors for many years. A tremendous advantage in using cork is the natural padding or cushion the material lends to floors; that, alone, can offset potential disadvantages.
Bamboo flooring presents another ‘green’ option and is quickly gaining in popularity in the western world. Even more environmentally friendly than hard woods, bamboo is versatile, durable, and quietly elegant. Bamboo is a grass, not a wood, and comes in varied shades of tan and light brown. Often used in rooms with both abundant and scarce natural light, bamboo floors lessens joint impact and pressure while maintaining a sturdy platform.
Vinyl or linoleum floors are highly water resistant and offer versatility in application. So long as proper dimension measurements are taken, vinyl can be applied in a solid sheet or in square tiles. The squares offer greater replacement ease, but the sheeting is easier and faster to install. Excellent for use in the kitchen or bathroom, vinyl is easy to clean and maintain.
Rubber floors often bring to mind a picture of padded rooms or schools, but they find valid use in homes, as well. Children’s rooms, play areas, home gyms, and recreation rooms are common places for the cushioning rubber floors provide. Easily cleaned, sweeping and an occasional mopping keeps rubber floors in great shape for many years.
Carpeting can add softness to your home. Different materials, plush piling, and textures can spotlight any decor and with proper care can last decades. Stain-resistant carpeting is commonly used in living rooms and hallways, and area rugs or carpet runners can defray wear and tear in high traffic areas.
Before choosing what flooring you want in your home, tailor your choices to functionality and durability. With those in mind, a myriad of options can meet your wants and needs.