When deciding which flooring to use, whether it's for a new home, a renovation, a commercial installation, or even just the flooring in a playhouse, it's wise to research all the options on the market. There are so many types of flooring that it can suddenly become a much bigger decision to make than one might think. Some flooring types come with eco-friendly properties that have been manufactured in such a way as to use less energy and more renewable resources. Some flooring is more durable for certain applications, and some flooring has the ability to help reduce sound. With all the options available, it's worth doing a little homework before you invest your money in something you’ll be walking on for years to come.
Bamboo flooring is thought to be a more environmentally friendly form of flooring as bamboo grows faster than wood, and is highly renewable. Depending on the manufacturing process, it can be finished with a non- urea-formaldehyde finish which does not emit compounds that are harmful to air quality. Bamboo flooring is a beautiful alternative to wood flooring, with the added benefit of moisture and insect resistance, as well as durability and strength.
Carpet flooring has been around for many years, and most people have lived with carpeting in their home at some point. It can vary in softness and thickness, color, pile, patterns, durability and some carpet today is even manufactured to be hypoallergenic. In addition to the carpet that comes on a roll, manufacturers also make carpet tiles which can be installed with patterns to resemble tile.
Safety flooring is commonly used in commercial settings, hospitals, schools, daycares, arenas and anywhere that there is an increased need for flooring that will provide a more stable surface for regular use. This type of flooring often has anti-bacterial, anti-mold and mildew resistant qualities as well.
Cork flooring is a sustainable product, one that is manufactured from the bark of the tree, rather than destroying the tree altogether. It regrows and can be re-harvested. Cork flooring provides a comfortable surface to walk on, is resistant to mold and is hypoallergenic. Cork flooring is a versatile and durable choice, and can be installed almost anywhere in the home or in many commercial settings.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring is a more eco-friendly choice than solid wood flooring. Once it is installed it is hard to tell the difference. Because of the design of engineered wood flooring, it is more versatile than solid wood flooring and can even be installed in the basement. Like traditional wood flooring, it can be stained and even refinished (depending on the quality) to match any décor. There are even exotic engineered wood floors available.
Solid Wood Flooring
Solid wood flooring is a traditional and beautiful flooring option. Available in many types of wood, plank widths, stained or unstained, once installed, it gives a warm and elegant look to any room. There are some limitations where it can be installed due to moisture issues, but when installed properly and in the right environment it can last for up to 100 years.
Industrial flooring must be designed to withstand the toughest conditions, including surfaces that can hold up to chemicals, being driven on, have large objects fall onto it, and yet still be easy to clean and maintain. Often this type of flooring is concrete and finished with a method to seal and protect it.
Hygienic flooring can help reduce allergies and air quality as they do not allow allergens to collect. They are also very useful in environments where bacteria, mold and mildew are highly undesirable, such as in restaurants, hospitals and schools. Hygienic flooring can include bamboo, cork, hardwood, recycled glass, rubber etc.
Laminate flooring is often confused with engineered wood flooring, but it is not the same. Laminate flooring is less expensive, and is a synthetic product made to look like wood flooring. It is easy to maintain and comes in a very large variety of styles. It is also easy to install and can last for up to 25 years if properly maintained.
Linoleum flooring is made from natural materials, and although it is often confused with vinyl flooring, it is not the same. Linoleum flooring is considered one of the greenest flooring options available. It may require a bit more when it comes to maintenance than a vinyl floor, but it is a beautiful and durable flooring choice.
Parquet flooring is made by piecing together various shapes of wood to create a beautiful pattern. Originally it was made from solid wood and was extremely durable, but now it can also be found as a hardwood veneer over a less expensive hardwood. The newer types are less durable, but still come in beautiful patterns that mimic the original parquet floors.
Stone flooring is one the oldest flooring materials in the world. Versatile, durable, and extremely beautiful, this type of flooring becomes more beautiful with age and increases the resale value of a home. Thanks to modern technology, it is more affordable than it has been in the past.
Marble tiles provide a rich and elegant look to any room, and is particularly popular in kitchens, bathrooms, entranceways, and even around fireplaces. Marble is considered the most versatile stone that can be used to design a beautiful floor, wall, back splash, and even fireplace surround. Prices begin at a few dollars per square foot, which makes this flooring an economical choice for flooring.
Vinyl flooring is an inexpensive way to cover a floor, making it a popular choice for many people. It comes as either a sheet or as vinyl tiles, and is a synthetic product. It is durable, inexpensive, and very easy to maintain. There are countless designs, styles and patterns to choose from, making it easy to match to any décor.
Rubber flooring is a great option for many situations, especially in places where minimizing injuries due to a fall are important. It is durable, easy to clean, comfortable to walk on, resistant to mold and bacteria, and provides a softer surface to walk or stand on. It’s perfect for daycares, gyms, arenas, and can even be purchased in tile form with many different colors, designs and textures.
Tile flooring offers an inexpensive and beautiful flooring option for many rooms. Ceramic, glass, stone and even metal tiles come in a multitude of designs, colors, textures and are available at most home improvement stores and online. These tiles are installed over a subfloor, and grouting is used to fill the seams between the tiles. Depending on where they are installed they can be extremely durable and elegant.
Please remember the above is just a guide and you should seek professional advice.