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Keep Your Floors Looking New: A Guide to Different Flooring Types

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Keep Your Floors Looking New: A Guide to Different Flooring Types

Having beautiful floors that look and feel great underfoot is an important part of any home. Different flooring types offer unique benefits, so it’s helpful to understand the pros and cons of each before selecting materials for your space. This guide will cover the most popular flooring options to help you keep your floors looking their best for years to come.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a timeless choice that offer unbeatable natural beauty. The rich grain patterns and range of wood species and stains allow for dramatic looks. Hardwood is also extremely durable if properly maintained. Here’s what you need to know about hardwood flooring:

  • Types: Oak, maple, cherry, walnut, ash, and exotic woods like Brazilian cherry are common options. The wood can be solid or engineered.

  • Pros: Beautiful natural look, easy to refinish and repair, long-lasting with proper care. Adds value to a home. Wide variety of stains and finishes available.

  • Cons: More expensive upfront cost. Can be damaged by moisture. Requires regular cleaning and refinishing over time. Not ideal for rooms with high humidity.

  • Cost: $3-12 per square foot installed, depending on wood species and quality.

To care for hardwood floors, sweep and mop regularly, use furniture pads, and refinish floors as needed to keep them looking like new. Consider area rugs in high-traffic zones to limit wear and tear.

Tile Floors

Tile flooring provides a classic, durable surface suitable for any room in the house. Tiles come in an enormous range of styles, colors, shapes, and patterns, allowing you to fully customize your floor’s look. Key tile flooring considerations include:

  • Types: Ceramic, porcelain, stone (slate, marble, granite), glass, mosaic.

  • Pros: Extremely durable, easy to clean, resistant to moisture, wide variety of styles. Long lasting if properly installed.

  • Cons: Hard, cold underfoot. Dropped items can crack tiles. Re-tiling is difficult and requires an expert. Grout needs regular sealing.

  • Cost: Ceramic and porcelain tiles range $0.50-$30 per square foot. Natural stone tiles are $5-$100 per square foot.

Caring for tile involves sweeping debris, mopping frequently, re-sealing grout, and immediately cleaning spills to avoid stains. Use rug pads under area rugs to prevent slipped tiles.

Vinyl Floors

Vinyl is affordable, easy to install, and comes in endless patterns resembling pricier materials like wood and stone. There are a few main vinyl flooring options:

  • Types: Vinyl sheet, vinyl tiles, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), luxury vinyl tile (LVT)

  • Pros: Budget-friendly, durable, and water-resistant. Easy to install and maintain. Wide range of looks.

  • Cons: Can fade, stain, scratch or dent over time. Seams can be visible. Not suitable for all rooms.

  • Cost: Ranges $0.50-$4 per square foot.

For vinyl care, damp mop, avoid abrasives, use floor protectors and promptly clean spills to maintain the surface. Vinyl scratches easily, so taking precautions prevents damage.

Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring combines decorative laminate layers with a fiberboard or plywood base to create the look of wood, tile or stone at a lower cost. Key laminate facts:

  • Types: Glue-down, floating, snap-together planks. Many wood and tile looks available.

  • Pros: Affordable, easy DIY installation, durable and scratch-resistant. Good for rentals. Wide variety of realistic styles.

  • Cons: Can swell when wet. Not suitable for humid rooms like bathrooms. Seams visible. Not real wood.

  • Cost: Ranges $1-$8 per square foot.

For care, diligently dry spills to avoid moisture damage, add floor protectors, sweep and mop gently to avoid scratches. Avoid steam mops which can warp planks.

Carpet

Carpet provides soft, warm comfort underfoot in bedrooms, living rooms, and other spaces. The fibers come in different materials, densities, colors and textures. Considerations include:

  • Types: Nylon, polyester, triexta/SmartStrand, wool, polypropylene (olefin), acrylic, natural fibers. Cut pile and loop pile options.

  • Pros: Soft, warm, and comfortable. Noise reducing. Many styles and colors available. Relatively affordable.

  • Cons: Requires regular vacuuming. Stains easily. Prone to showing high traffic areas. Can harbor allergens and dust.

  • Cost: Ranges $1 – $12 per square foot installed.

To care for carpet, vacuum frequently, spot clean spills quickly, have carpets professionally cleaned every 12-24 months, and consider using rugs in high-traffic areas.

I hope this overview helps you select the best flooring for your home and lifestyle! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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