Choosing the right type of flooring for your home can be a real headache if you are not well informed. There is quite a selection of floor types suitable for most houses, each one with its own advantages, disadvantages and cost of installation. Following are some of the more common and better choices out there, complete with a general analysis:
- Ceramic Tiles – When it comes to flooring options, ceramic (and sometimes porcelain) tiles are not doubt a popular choice for both outdoor and indoor flooring purposes. Opting for ceramic tiles means that you will have quite a vast selection of different colours and shapes, which offers you a lot of customisation options. Tiles are waterproof, durable and are easy to clean or sterilise. There are a few drawbacks though: grout lines can be difficult to clean if stained, even though the tiles themselves aren’t a problem. Low quality tiles also tend to easily break or chip, and tiles are not exactly comfortable to walk over due to their rigidity.
- Hardwood – Yet another popular flooring option, hardwood timber floors are very sturdy and tend to last for a long time without any visible damage done on them. Hardwood flooring is generally made of timber from maple, cherry, oak, pine, birch and hickory, which in part explains their durability. Hardwood floors are also easy to clean and can be refinished as many times as necessary. While this type of floor is guaranteed to increase the visual appeal of your house, beware that they tend to be expensive, and also need proper installation procedures to avoid floor unevenness. Since wood tends to shrink or expand in response to temperature changes, you might experience a similar situation in extreme weather conditions even if the floor is installed properly.
- Bamboo – Recently, bamboo floors have been becoming more and more popular as an alternative to other wooden floor alternatives. Bamboo floors come in a few different colourations and are easy to install, sturdy and tend to fit in well in most homes. They are considered as a much eco-friendly option than other flooring solutions. Nevertheless, any bamboo flooring is quite susceptible to sunlight (causes discolouration) and water (which means that you will have to try your best not to wet the floor surface).
- Carpeting – If you intend to floor any area which doesn’t come in contact with water, a mat floor can be a reasonable choice due to how comfortable they are. Coming in both natural and artificial flavours, carpets are ideal at retaining heat, sound deafening and even improving air quality by trapping debris and hair. All of this come at a cost: a carpeted floor can be difficult to clean (especially if stained) and is just not as durable compared to other options.
- Laminate – If you want a very cheap solution for areas with a high traffic, laminated floors might be the way to go. Laminate floors are useful because they can withstand burns, chips and (to some extent) scratches. The drawback of opting for a laminated floor is that you cannot refinish it in any suitable way.