Flooring is an important part of any home; it not only serves a functional purpose, but it also has a big influence on your home’s design. If you’re renovating your house, you’ll find a broad variety of flooring alternatives, including vinyl, hardwood, tiles, and even specialized products such as cork and bamboo.
I’m a sucker for new ideas, and in the case of flooring, technology has allowed producers to come up with innovative solutions to bridge the gap between design, function, and price. Vinyl flooring may appear like hardwood, and porcelain tile can be created to resemble Calacatta marble or hand-scraped hardwood. Engineered wood has the same look as real wood but is less expensive.
So, what are the best flooring options for your home? Well, that depends on what area of the home you are considering, as well as living situation, budget, installation needs, style, and upkeep.
The most common materials today for flooring are hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, vinyl or linoleum, porcelain or ceramic tile, natural stone and carpet. Each of these options has their own look and feel, levels of durability, cost and function.
Solid hardwood or tile (ceramic or porcelain) are fantastic if you want to use the same flooring material throughout your house since they are sturdy and perform well in most locations. Concrete and vinyl are fantastic alternatives too. Some of the most lasting hardwood flooring alternatives include bamboo, travertine, and vinyl sheets (sometimes known as luxury vinyl).
Cork and bamboo, both made from renewable materials, are two emerging eco-friendly flooring solutions. These materials provide great additional insulation and can be used in a variety of areas in your home but they do tend to be pricier.
I always favor waterproof, low-maintenance, and easy-to-clean options like porcelain or vinyl in areas of your house that are more likely to be exposed to water, including your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and mud room.
When compared to other flooring options, porcelain offers higher scratch and dent resistance, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas in your home, especially if you have children or pets. Tiles are available in a wide range of colors and patterns, allowing homeowners to mix and match to create unique designs that will stand out in their homes.
Ceramic tiles are another excellent choice especially for those who suffer from allergies and asthma because the surface does not gather dust or pollen. The glazing finish also acts as a protective layer, making it easier to wipe up spills and splashes.
Most of you know I’m also a big fan of using a waterproof uncoupling membrane designed for ceramic and stone tile installations on floors. The membrane protects the substrate from water and moisture damage by preventing the tiles and grout from breaking. It also acts as a waterproofing layer. It will be an additional cost, but it will be well worth it in the long term.
Vinyl is a terrific choice if you’re looking for a less expensive solution. It’s also easy to put together, so if you’re searching for a DIY project, you can save money and time. Because vinyl is not as durable as other materials, I recommend adding felt bumpers to your furniture feet and keeping some extra planks to ensure a perfect match in the event of damage. Vinyl flooring resists stains and water, making it easier to clean.
While carpet may appear to be outdated and difficult to maintain, it is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a long-lasting flooring with warmth and comfort. And, personally, I’m still a fan, particularly in bedrooms (though Sherry and Michael might disagree) — it’s warm and pleasant, and it helps to reduce noise.
Even if your foundation is completed properly, it is susceptible to moisture, which can range from dampness entering through the subfloors to substantial water damage caused by storms or plumbing problems. That’s why, I would choose vinyl, or ceramic since it is water-resistant and less prone to moisture damage. However, I would also suggest the installation of some sort of floating subfloor system and perhaps in-floor heating in areas like a basement shower room or laundry room for added comfort.
Laminate is another low-cost flooring option that is simple to install and maintain. Despite the fact that it is made to seem like wood, you can tell the difference. That’s why I recommend it for low-traffic places like the basement or bedrooms, where you want something stylish and long-lasting while staying within your budget.
There are some excellent flooring materials available for your home and there is more than one option to choose from. However, when considering new flooring options not only consider the material but also consider your lifestyle, budget, installation requirements, style and maintenance.