All About the Pros and Cons of the Different Types of Flooring
Is flooring replacement next on your list of home improvement projects? If you’re looking for the best types of flooring for every room in your home, you have to understand your options. Here, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of the different types of flooring.
Are you thinking about a home renovation project? Maybe new floors are in your future.
Hardwood floors continue to be one of the most desirable flooring materials and can net you some 80% in ROI value.
However, hardwoods aren’t the only option. Today, there are more choices than ever before when it comes to what’s underfoot. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of different types of flooring.
What Types of Flooring Are Available?
When you are considering replacing a floor, there are a number of factors that must be taken into account. Cost and aesthetic appearance are probably the two most important but don’t forget about durability and ease of installation.
Pros: A tiled floor provides a clean, classic look. All varieties of glazed tile, including marble, porcelain, travertine, slate, and granite, are attractive and durable. Tile is also wonderfully water-resistant, which makes it a good option for areas that see a lot of moisture, like kitchens, bathrooms, and foyers or mud rooms.
Cons: Tile can be expensive, depending on the material used. It’s relatively easy to wipe up spills or give a tiled floor a once-over with a mop, but over time, the grout can become discolored. That is not as easy to clean. Tile can also be cold underfoot. You can install a sub-flooring heating system — this is especially nice in a bathroom — but that gets pricey quick.
Lastly, tile can be loud to walk on.
Pros: Hardwood floors offer timeless appeal. As we mentioned above, hardwood flooring is always a desirable feature, so the resale value of your home will increase after you’ve installed hardwoods.
Another advantage of hardwood floors is that they are easy to clean. Vacuuming and mopping will take care of most dust, dirt, and spills, although you may occasionally need to refinish the entire floor.
Cons: In addition to their notorious expense — which rises in proportion to the hardness of the wood used — hardwood can create a noisy floor. They work best in lower traffic areas, such as living rooms or dining rooms. High moisture areas aren’t the best environment for hardwoods, as they can be ruined by standing water.
Pros: Vinyl flooring can be a bit of a mixed bag. On the plus side, it’s usually an inexpensive option, particularly when compared to wood or tile. Vinyl floors, like the ones from this company, are quiet and comfortable to walk on. There are some newer types of flooring that are sometimes referred to as “luxury vinyl,” and these varieties, as the name implies, are often more attractive.
Cons: Vinyl can be formulated to look like wooden planks or tiles, but it will never be quite as beautiful or easy to care for as the real thing. It is relatively easy to dent, scratch, or tear vinyl, so this is not the best choice for high traffic areas or for families with rambunctious children or pets.
Pros: If you really like the look of hardwoods or tile floors, but want something a bit more budget-friendly, laminate should top your list of flooring options to look into. Laminate can be difficult to distinguish from genuine wood or tile. It’s also very durable and easy to maintain.
Cons: Just as with authentic hardwood floors, laminate isn’t particularly moisture friendly, and standing water will ruin it. There’s no way to refinish a laminate floor, either. If your house floods or your refrigerator leaks, you will likely be looking at replacement, rather than repair. Laminate is best in high traffic areas that aren’t prone to high moisture: foyers, for example.
Pros: Not only is carpet soft underfoot, but it can add a cozy, homey touch. There’s really nothing like it for making a bedroom feel inviting. It’s quiet to walk on and muffles echos and other loud noises. Carpet is easy to install and can go over uneven subfloors. Pricewise, it is on the lower end of the spectrum.
Cons: Carpet quality can vary widely, and you’ll pay top dollar for the softest and most stain-resistant varieties. Even those, unfortunately, are still prone to staining and dirt. Because carpet fibers can trap dirt, dust, pet dander, and airborne particles — no matter how frequently you vacuum — it’s not a good idea for people with asthma or allergies.
6. Bamboo Flooring
Pros: A relative newcomer on the flooring scene, bamboo is often touted as an environmentally friendly alternative to hardwoods. Bamboo is technically a grass, but it appears and acts a lot like hardwoods, while still being fairly sustainable because it grows so quickly. Look for sustainably harvested bamboo to ensure you’re being as “green” as possible. Bamboo offers a beautiful, contemporary look.
Cons: Bamboo is just about as expensive as hardwoods, especially if you opt for the higher priced, strand woven bamboo flooring. It’s not good for high moisture areas, because it can warp or become susceptible to mold.
Pros: Another green option, cork is a rapidly renewing natural material. Its insulating properties make it quiet and comfortable to walk or stand on. In fact, the combination of compression and resilience that cork offers make it an ideal choice for the kitchen. Cork is also naturally resistant to mildew, mold, and insect damage.
Cons: Cork flooring isn’t as durable as hardwoods, tile, or better quality laminates. High heels, dog claws, and other sharp objects can dent it, although it can be refinished just like wood floors can. Cork is also susceptible to fading, so it won’t do well in any room that receives a lot of direct sunlight.
There are so many types of flooring available these days that it can be difficult to decide which will work best in your home. Price is one factor that must be considered, but so is the floor’s durability and lifespan. And your lifestyle should also be taken into account — if your home is a museum inhabited by neat freaks, you can opt for higher maintenance flooring than if you have six kids, four dogs, and a busy schedule.
What flooring materials are you considering? Do you have questions for fellow homeowners?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!