Choosing the Right Kind of Flooring for your House

Whichever type of flooring you choose – solid, or engineered, wood, carpet, or a more resilient material, such as vinyl, linoleum, or cork – it is the flooring which draws the rooms and other areas, of your home together and creates a visual impact.

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In considering the type of flooring that is appropriate for each room, or area, you should think about the purpose for which the area is used and how often – a heavy traffic area, such as a hallway, kitchen, or bathroom, may require more durable flooring than other areas – but also the aesthetic qualities of flooring and what it adds to the look and feel of a room.

Types of Flooring

A carpet was once the floor covering of choice for many consumers and although wall-to-wall carpeting is not as popular as it once was, it can still provide comfort and durability in the modern home. Carpets and rugs, are available in various different colors, patterns, and textures to suit any interior décor and can be particularly useful for disguising dirt, or flaws in an existing sub-floor.

Solid hardwood flooring, or laminate wood flooring – as a less expensive and more durable option – has become popular and is straightforward to install. Similarly, stone, marble, and ceramic tiles are popular in high traffic areas, as they are durable, easy to clean and fairly quiet to walk on. They are, however, quite expensive, so vinyl or linoleum flooring is often a more cost-effective solution for householders on a budget.

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If this is your main attraction, then any form of resilient (vinyl) flooring is great: sheet, plank ortile. Laminate flooring is a close second because it requires special cleaning methods.

But just in case this isn’t your big attraction, If so, with solid hardwood, you trade beauty for maintenance. Sometimes, I don’t care what the manufacturers say: engineered wood or solid is work, but it’s worth it.

Take into consideration the cost of keeping your floor running smoothly and think about buying a warranty, or taking out a maintenance plan in much the same way as you might for your gas boiler. That way you shouldn’t get stung by potentially high bills on flooring repair.

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Floor Installation & Staining

Perhaps the most important factors to consider when choosing flooring are the type and condition, of the sub-floor onto which it is to be installed. Sub-floors are typically constructed from plywood, or concrete and, while a plywood sub-floor is likely to be suitable for any of the popular nail down, staple down, glue down, or floating approaches to flooring installation, a concrete sub-floor effectively rules out nails or staples. The condition or structural integrity of the sub-floor may also govern the types of floor heating systems that can be incorporated if that is what you desire.

With regard to staining floors, popular surface finishes include polyurethane, which is fairly thick, requires 2, or 3, coats and is fairly slow to dry, or water-based urethane, which dries faster, but typically requires at least 3 coats to produce a satisfactory finish. Water-based urethane is, however, less toxic and, being water soluble, can easily be cleaned up using ordinary soap and water.