Decorating your home is quite challenging. Painting the walls, replacing furniture, buying new accessories for the house can all be exhausting. However, replacing the entire floor is the real challenge of the whole process. Luckily, there are many flooring options you can choose from nowadays and they all range in prices, material, colors. If you’re concerned about affordability, there are many kinds of flooring options, such as vinyl or laminate that actually cost less than the other ones.
However, you have to keep something in mind. Not all flooring options are ideal for the look of your house and each one of those options has its own advantages and disadvantages. For that reason, it would be nice to know beforehand about the different kinds of flooring and their costs.
The different kinds of flooring
As we mentioned above, no flooring option is the perfect one. Each of them comes with its pros and cons. In this article, we are going to take a look at several flooring options and discuss their advantages, disadvantages, costs, and also spaces where they are most suitable.
Solid wood has been one of the most popular choices among U.S. citizens for decades now. Its construction consists of several wooden boards or planks between 0.5 and 0.75 inches thick that are then nailed to a wooden subfloor.
Solid wood flooring comes in two types: planks, which are 4 to 8 inches wide or strips, which are from 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide. It’s usually made by oak, Brazilian cherry or purpleheart. What’s more, you can buy wood flooring either finished or unfinished. However, if you decide to buy it unfinished, then, after installation, you have to sand and finish it. Usually, finished wood flooring costs less and it tends to be more durable than unfinished wood flooring.
Solid wood flooring simply looks amazing. People love this flooring option because it matches any style and decor of your home. What’s more, it’s very long-lasting and easy to clean. You can easily remove the surface scratches by refinishing the floor. And also, just sweeping the floor regularly is enough to make it look like it’s brand new all the time.
One of the biggest disadvantages of solid wood floors is the fact that they warp when they’re exposed to moisture. For that reason, this option is not exactly a good idea for bathrooms and laundry rooms. Also, they’re not resistant to changes in temperature. In addition, you should keep in mind to refinish them at least once every 10 years as they’re quite vulnerable to scratches.
Wood flooring is considered to be a great choice for spaces like living rooms, halls, and bedrooms. As a general idea, it’s nice to install it in spaces where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic or dragging chairs.
Engineered wood looks very similar to solid wood. However, they’re not exactly the same. Engineered wood consists of a thin veneer of natural wood on top and several layers of plywood underneath. The layers of plywood don’t cost a lot. For that reason, engineered wood tends to be cheaper than solid wood.
Engineered wood comes in different wood types. Besides strips and planks, it also comes in the form of parquet tiles that have narrow strips arranged geometrically. When it comes to installing the floor, you can nail it down, glue it down, or install it on top of a foam or cork underlayer.
As we mentioned above, engineered wood floors are less expensive than solid wood floors, but are still able to give you the same look like the solid wood ones. In addition, engineered wood floors tend to be more stable and more resistant to changes in humidity and temperature.
The installation of engineered wood floors is quite easier too. You can simply install them over a concrete subfloor or on top of the old hardwood floors if they’re flat enough. That way, engineered wood floors save you both the time of removing the old floor and the money that it actually takes to get it removed.
When it comes to disadvantages, it can be said that engineered wood floors can scratch and dent easily. Also, because they can only be refinished once, they’re less durable than hardwood flooring.
Besides living rooms, halls, and bedrooms, engineered wood is quite great for basements and enclosed porches as well.
Bamboo is a grass that has become a very popular alternative to wood flooring lately. It’s usually seen as an eco-friendly alternative, but this isn’t always the case.
Bamboo flooring also comes in two types: solid strips and engineered planks. However, the grain of the grass is shown differently in the various patterns. For example, flat-grain bamboo flooring has darker stripes, vertical-grain bamboo flooring has many narrow strips and end-grain bamboo has many short strips.
Bamboo flooring is more resistant to moisture than solid wood. Just like engineered wood, it’s easy to install, maintain and it’s also quite easy to refinish as well. As mentioned earlier, bamboo flooring is seen as an eco-friendly alternative, because bamboo grows much faster than the other trees.
Bamboo is a renewable resource, but the fact that it’s shipped from Asia makes it responsible for the addition of carbon footprint on Earth. Furthermore, many fertilizers and pesticides that damage the environment are used for its growth. For these reasons, it’s safe to safe that it’s not exactly a very eco-friendly alternative.
Also, bamboo flooring is not very durable. It can scratch and dent quite easily and also crack in humidity.
Bamboo flooring is suitable for spaces such as living areas, hallways, and bedrooms. However, it’s not recommended to use bamboo flooring for mudroom or kitchen flooring as it’s not sturdy enough.
Ceramic tile is a hard material that’s made from clay and shale. It comes in a great variety of types, shapes, colors, and patterns for you to choose from.
Ceramic tile comes in four different main types.
- Porcelain: This tile is extremely hard and durable as it’s fired at very high temperatures. It’s also resistant to stains and you can purchase it glazed or unglazed.
- Terracotta: This tile is an unglazed one that comes in earth tones and it is a bit less durable.
- Quarry Tile: This is also an unglazed ceramic tile that is more slip-resistant due to its rough texture. This one doesn’t come in a wide range of colors either.
- Glazed Ceramic: This tile is so easy to maintain and has a glass-like coating that comes in basically any color or texture.
The variety of colors, shapes, and patterns make floor tile a popular choice among customers as it can fit in with any style. What’s more, floor tile, the porcelain one to be more precise, is the most durable type of flooring and quite easy to clean. It’s also quite resistant to scratches and dents. Meanwhile, both glazed ceramic and porcelain tile is very easy to maintain as well.
Tile gives a feeling of coldness underneath and footsteps can be heard more than what they usually are with the other types of flooring.
When it comes to durability, we can say each type is durable to different extents. However, tile is not very easy to fix once any of the cracks of the single tiles.
Tile flooring is a great choice for porches or sunrooms. Also, porcelain tile, in particular, is considered the best for spaces such as kitchens, mudrooms, baths, and laundry rooms.
Laminate flooring is constructed somewhat similar to engineered wood flooring. The only difference is that the top layer is made of a photograph under a clear plastic coating instead of wood. This makes the laminate look like wood, stone, tile, or any other material.
Laminate also comes in two types: planks or tiles. Whichever the type, you can easily install them over your old flooring and save yourself the time and work that it usually takes to remove the old flooring.
Laminate floors look similar to wood or stone and they’re less expensive. Also, they’re very easy to maintain, clean, and are quite resistant to scratches, dents, and stains. In addition, laminate floors are very easy to install.
When wet, laminate can be slippery. For that reason, it’s not recommended to be installed in wet environments like damp basements. Also, it can only be replaced, but not refinished.
Laminate floors are ideal for spaces such as kitchens, foyers, and playrooms. They can also be used for basements if there are no problems with leakages of water. However, laminate floors are not recommended for bathrooms and laundry rooms as the water makes them slippery and dangerous.
Vinyl flooring is flexible, soft flooring that’s made from a layer of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic. While thicker vinyl flooring has a surface that looks like wood or stone, cushioned vinyl has a layer of foam that makes it more comfortable to walk on.
There are different forms of vinyl flooring. It can come as a large sheet that you can simply unroll and glue to the subfloor. It can come in the form of luxury vinyl flooring which is kind of similar to engineered wood flooring. In addition, it can also come as vinyl tiles that are glued in place or with a peel-and-stick backing.
Vinyl flooring is resistant to moisture and foot traffic. It feels really comfortable to walk on as it’s warmer and softer. In addition, it’s really affordable and has high durability. What’s more, it comes in numerous colors and patterns, so you have a variety of options to choose from.
While plank vinyl and peel-and-stick tiles are very easy to install, the same cannot be said for sheet vinyl which takes more time to be installed. However, no matter the type, they’re all extremely easy to clean and maintain.
The quality of vinyl flooring is not always the best. The cheaper types often have a fake look and don’t come in many colors and patterns. Also, vinyl flooring is vulnerable to scratching and it can’t be refinished. Furthermore, because it’s made from a petroleum product that is not a renewable resource, vinyl flooring isn’t exactly an eco-friendly option.
Vinyl flooring is suitable for spaces such as kitchens, baths, mudrooms, and even basements as it’s quite resistant to moisture.
Linoleum is a type of resilient flooring that’s made from natural and renewable materials. As vinyl started to become a more popular choice among people, linoleum slowly disappeared from homes. However, it has now returned as people are getting more and more concerned about the chemicals in vinyl flooring.
Linoleum comes in many forms such as sheets, tiles, and laminated planks. So, it’s up to you to decide which one would suit the look of your home best.
Compared to vinyl, linoleum flooring is much more durable as it can even last up to 40 years. It’s also easy to clean, maintain, and not that vulnerable to scratches.
Linoleum flooring feels comfortable and soft to walk to and comes in a variety of colors and forms. In addition, it’s a really eco-friendly option as it doesn’t produce any harmful emissions.
Linoleum can sometimes turn yellowish when it’s exposed to sunlight. Also, it isn’t exactly resistant to water. For that reason, it’s not recommended to be used for bathrooms or laundry rooms. Unlike vinyl, it’s very difficult to install and not that easy to maintain. What’s more, linoleum can be quite vulnerable to denting and it’s in regular need of waxing to be maintained.
Linoleum flooring is ideal for spaces such as dens, kitchens, and family rooms. You can also install it in bedrooms or basements that aren’t exposed to moisture.
Cork is a sustainable material that makes up another type of resilient flooring. It’s made from the bark of a tree which is then boiled, ground up, and then compressed into sheets ready to be used for flooring.
There are two main forms of corks: the cork tiles that you can simply glue down and planks that are installed as a floating floor.
Similar to the other resilient flooring, cork feels very soft, warm, and comfortable to walk on. What makes it even greater is the fact that it’s slip-resistant and very easy to install.
It can also be said that cork flooring is quite an eco-friendly option as it’s made from renewable resources that don’t harm the environment in any way.
Cork flooring is very easy to maintain and is absolutely the perfect choice if you are looking for a flooring option that’s resistant to mold, termites, and fire.
Among the disadvantages of cork flooring, we can mention the fact that it’s not exactly resistant to moisture and very vulnerable to scratches and dents. Oh, and it also requires resealing every two to three years.
Cork flooring is very suitable for spaces such as bedrooms, kitchens, playrooms, and living areas. It’s not recommended for bathrooms or spaces such as mudrooms.
Carpet is a flooring choice that’s extremely popular for bedrooms and living areas. It is a favorite choice among people as it comes in a wide range of colors, materials, and textures.
Carpet is made from different materials such as wool, nylon, acrylic, polyester and polypropylene. As we mentioned earlier, there are a variety of carpet floors that change in thickness and fiber density.
The carpet is very warm and soft to walk on. One of the main reasons why it’s a favorite choice among people is the fact that it’s slip-resistant and the installation doesn’t take a lot of time.
One drawback of carpeting is related to cleaning. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as hard flooring to clean as it collects a lot of dirt that needs some effort to be removed completely. In addition, the material makes stains quite visible. Also, one more thing: In case you’re allergic to pollen or pet dander, carpet might not be the safest choice for you as it harbors those allergens.
Carpet is a great choice for spaces like bedrooms and living rooms as they don’t get dirty that easily.