A Flooring Primer
Choosing the right type of floor for your room, home, business, or project doesn't have to be a frightening experience. Learning the basics about each flooring type, determining a spending budget, and making choices that fit in with your lifestyle and preferences will help you choose the perfect floor.
Below are the main flooring categories and descriptions:
Carpet remains one of the most popular flooring choices. Made from wool, nylon, polyester, or olefin fibers, carpet brings unequaled warmth and softness to a room. Neutral colors, such as the ever-popular beige, go with any style decor. More and more, however, carpet colors are chosen to add style, rather than sit in the background. There is a carpet style, color, or pattern to compliment any room. Until recently, pet owners were advised to stay away from carpeting. The problem wasn't the carpet, but the fact that pet accidents would run through the carpet to the padding below. Simple carpet cleaning could not penetrate to the pad, leaving the cause of the odor behind. Fortunately, pet owners can now purchase carpet in confidence. Carpet and carpet pads are now specially manufactured for those with pets.
Hardwood flooring brings with it a richness of style and tradition. In addition to the beauty of nature, hardwood floors often add value to a home. Hardwood is typically sold as solid or engineered. Solid is made from a single piece of hardwood. It is not recommended in basements or other high moisture areas. Engineered hardwood is made from multiple layers and can handle small amounts of moisture. Hardwood flooring is available in a wide range of species, including oak, hickory, and maple. The new hardwood flooring finishes offer advanced scratch and stain resistance. Hardwood flooring requires a larger monetary investment and maintenance commitment than most other floors.
Laminate flooring is an economical, practical, and beautiful choice. Laminate is made of a fiber core, covered with a photographic imprint and a clear coating. Laminate options realistically mimic the look of hardwood flooring, as well as tile and natural stone. Extremely durable, laminate can be installed in high moisture areas, over concrete slabs, and over existing floors. Laminate is a popular choice for do-it-yourselfers because interlocking planks make installation quick and easy.
Ceramic and porcelain tile comes from natural sources, making each installation truly unique. An environmentally-friendly option, tile has traditionally been relegated to bathrooms. Trends have changed, however, and tile is being used in a wide range of applications, both indoors and out. A wide range of glazes are available that offer superb scratch, slip and water-resistance. By its nature, tile is fire-resistant, durable and incredibly beautiful.
Area rugs serve a variety of purposes, not least of which is the beauty they add to any decor. Available in all sizes, shapes, colors, and themes, area rugs add warmth and interest. Separate rooms, protect hardwood floors from furniture scratches, celebrate the holidays, or use as an added piece of decor over carpeting.
Vinyl flooring, also called resilient, offers more styling options and is the most economical of any other flooring type. Sold in sheets or individual tiles, vinyl flooring manufacturers have created a wide array of looks, from hardwood to stone to art deco. Resistant to moisture, vinyl is often found in kitchens and bathrooms. Commercial grade vinyl is a smart choice for business owners because it is easy to care for and has the ability to withstand heavy foot traffic. Once considered the “poor cousin” of other flooring types, vinyl flooring has come a long way. Luxury vinyl flooring is now available that offers greater durability, authenticity and stronger warranties than ever before.
Before shopping, determine your spending budget, the qualities you require, such as moisture-resistance and durability, your preferred decor, and whether you plan to install the floor yourself or not. Today's flooring choices are wide ranging in both style and price. Each flooring type has its own charm. Whether your choice is carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile, or vinyl, there is a flooring option that fits your budget and enhances your home.
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Article Added on Wednesday, July 13, 2011
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