There are many different types of flooring to choose from in many different price points.
When selecting flooring for your home, you will need to factor in your budget, kids, pets, activities, slip resistance, hardness, style, and many other factors to get the best flooring for your particular needs.
Here are some flooring options to help determine the best flooring for your home.
Some you are probably familiar with, however some may be new to you.
Carpet is possibly the most common flooring in newer homes. Carpet
Carpet comes in many colors, shapes, materials, finishes, densities, and prices.
There are even carpet tiles that can be installed without hiring a professional using only specialty stickers and a box knife.
Carpet usually comes on a 12' roll or as tiles that are 12" x 12" or 18" x 18".
All carpet starts out having a loop pile, but either all or part of the loops are cut to create a cut pile or cut and loop pile.
The most important part of a carpet is the fiber content. There are many different types:
o Nylon – Nylon is durable, static-free, stain-resistant and repels mildew. Nylon carpet eeps its fiber height and the colors don't run. About 90% of all home carpeting is made from nylon.
o Acrylic – Acrylic is a wool-like fiber that is often used in velvet and level-loop carpets. It costs much less than wool and is moisture and mildew-resistant. Acrylic resists stains and crushing and resists fading from sunlight. Acrylic doesn't stand up to heavy traffic.
o Polypropylene or Olefin Fiber - They are the next most common carpet type after nylon. Olefin is the most inexpensive fiber and is used in about 80% of commercial carpeting. It is strong, easy to clean and resists both moisture and mildew.
o Polyester - Polyester is less expensive than wool or nylon. It is commonly used in soft loop piles or Berber loops and is known for its vibrant colors. Polyester is naturally resistant to fading and is easy to clean and resists water-based stains.
o Wool – Wool maintains fiber height well. It repels water and can be dyed in a wide range of colors. Wool cleans easily and lasts a long time. The disadvantages are that wool can be pricey, less moisture-resistant than synthetics, and tends to fray.
o P.E.T. (polyethylene terephthalate) – The advantages of P.E.T. is that it is made of recycled plastics, most commonly soda containers. P.E.T. is durable, water resistant, and static resistant. The disadvantage is that it may not be as soft as other fibers.
o Blends of the above fibers are also available. Blends utilize the best characteristics of each fiber type.
Wood floors are very popular, however can be quite expensive (especially since many people pay for wood floors then pay for a rug on top of the wood).
Wood should not be used in areas of high moisture, such as bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, or kitchens since water can get between the boards causing them to warp and discolor.
Wood is a classic natural material that should stay stylish for many years.
There are 3 main styles of wood flooring - strip, plank, and parquet.
o Strip flooring is a rectangular piece of wood that is usually 1-1/2" to 2-1/2" wide.
o Plank flooring is the same as strip, however usually 3" to 14" wide.
o Parquet flooring is wood set in a pattern.
Also consider reclaimed wood flooring for a warm unique floor.
Laminate floors have become increasingly popular over the last few years.
They were actually first created to be used as bowling alley lanes many years ago.
The visible surface of laminate flooring is actually a photo of wood with a protective covering.
Laminate flooring generally resists scratching better than real wood.
Since water can still get in between the pieces of laminate flooring and cause it to buckle like real wood floors, laminate flooring is not suggested in wet areas.
Vinyl flooring is considered generic by some people, however the look of vinyl floor has come a long way in the past few years.
Depending on the type of vinyl flooring you select, it could be the cheapest flooring option listed.
There are 3 main types of vinyl - sheet vinyl, vinyl composition tile (VCT), and vinyl plank (also called luxury vinyl tile or LVT).
o Sheet vinyl is relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and germ resistant. It usually comes in 6 and 12 foot roll widths and in almost any length.
o Vinyl composition tile (VCT) is mainly used in commercial applications. It was previously installed using hazardous adhesive, so be very careful when removing old VCT. It is usually available in 9, 12, 14, 16 or 18 inch squares.
o Vinyl plank or Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is somewhat new and most popular in a faux wood style. The faux wood LVT is sold in strips, similar to the size of real wood strips. LVT has a texture to give a closer resemblence to wood and has a protective top layer to make it low maintenence.
Linoleum may be a word you have not heard in many years.
It used to be very popular, however it has fallen out of fashion over the years.
Linoleum flooring is gaining in popularity, mainly because it is so eco-friendly.
Tile flooring is very popular for its durability.
There are many different types of tile, including ceramic, porcelain, saltillo, terrazzo, and many natural stones.
o Ceramic tile is clay tile that has a decorative glaze. It is typically softer and less expensive than porcelain tile.
o Porcelain tile is very similar to ceramic tile, except it is denser and has a lower water absorption rate. Porcelain tends to be the same color throughout, so a chipped porcelain tile will not be as noticeable as a chipped ceramic tile.
o Satillo tile is a type of terracotta tile that is typically manufactured in Mexico. It is very porous and comes in yellow or orange colors.
o Terrazzo tile is a mixture of bits of stone and other scrap materials (often marble or granite) that are mixed together with concrete or another biner material to create either individual tiles or a solid floor that is poured in place. The flooring or tiles are then polished smooth revealing a speckled appearance.
Tile is very hard and durable, but can chip, so ensure that you purchase extras to account for future breakage.
Concrete floors are becoming more popular, especially in new construction.
They can be colored many different colors, but almost always develop minor or major cracks over time that are not repairable.
Natural Eco-Friendly Options
Natural and eco-friendly flooring is a popular option for many homeowners who want to make their home more green.
Bamboo flooring is probably the most popular. Many people think of bamboo as wood, but it is actually a grass.
Cork, sea grass, and jute are other natural flooring options.
Unique Designer Flooring Options
Designer flooring is popular in high end homes.
This may include leather floors, glass floors, metal floors, reclaimed brick floors, or anything that can be dreamed up.
Whatever flooring you select, make sure it fits your lifestyle and budget.
Do your homework to make sure you get the highest quality product for the best price.
When in doubt, opt for flooring made from natural materials (real stone, real wood, etc) over man made materials (laminate, ceramic tile, etc) to ensure your flooring does not go out of style as quickly.
Avoid flooring that attempts to look like another material, such as tile attempting to look like wood, since these items are fake and very trendy (they will go out of style quickly). An alternative material would be a blue gray slate to give the warmth of wood but the durability of tile.