All you know is that you don't want carpeting. After that, you're stumped about which type of flooring is best suited for your next home improvement project. And who could blame you?
A new floor represents an investment in your home, so cost is likely to factor highly in your decision process. So will looks, color and comfort, which must be balanced against practical matters such as the room's function and how much wear and tear the floor will be subjected to on a daily basis. And don't forget maintenance and your own threshold for housekeeping.
Let the Chico flooring specialists at Experts In Your Home walk you through the six most common types of flooring: solid wood, laminate, engineered wood, vinyl, linoleum and ceramic tile:
Solid Wood Flooring
It's a rare person who can resist the warmth exuded by solid wood floors. They are durable and simple to care for, although prefinished floors generally hold up better than those finished on-site. The down side to solid wood flooring: it can dent easily, fade from sunlight and expand and contract when humidity levels fluctuate. Wood floors are a smart choice for most rooms in a home, except for basements and other damp areas.
Made of dense fiberboard with a clear-plastic protective layer, laminate flooring can be a visual fooler, at least from a distance. It also costs less than solid wood. High-quality laminates can resist scratches and discoloration even better than solid wood, so the durability factor is impressive. Laminate flooring is well suited for active families, at least until flaws surface. Minor flaws often can be touched up, but once the outer layer is shot, the flooring usually must be replaced.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood consists of a thin veneer of real wood or bamboo over structural plywood, which accounts for why it can be a cost-effective choice for people who gravitate to the look of real wood. The trade-off? Most types of engineered wood are not nearly as durable as solid wood or laminate, and engineered wood can dent easily. Many types can be refinished once, but it pays to check beforehand.
Vinyl has a long list of winning attributes: it resists scuffs, scratches, stains and sun discoloration and otherwise can “take a pummeling” and still look great. It's also simple to clean – all of which means it can fit in virtually anywhere (except, perhaps, more formal areas). Even styles that mimic the look of stone, wood and ceramic are affordable by comparison, though up close, vinyl cannot disguise its true identity. Vinyl comes in sheets and tiles, which make it the go-to choice of many do-it-yourselfers.
Often regarded as the “forgotten flooring type,” linoleum is rather underrated considering its resilience and durability. Made of wood products and linseed oil, it repels scratches and dents and fights sun discoloration. Linoleum is offered in more vivid colors and marbled styles than ever before, so when combined with its affordability, it makes a fine flooring choice, especially for high-traffic areas.
Ceramic has been enjoying a lengthy resurgence because of its good looks, low-maintenance character and general toughness. Drop a glass or plate on ceramic and the glass or plate is likely to break, not the tile. Still, ceramic isn't impervious; tiles still can crack, and the grout can stain. Ceramic isn't exactly inexpensive, so comparative shopping is a good idea.
Let our Chico flooring experts at help you weigh these choices, show you specific options and then install your new floor – backed up by the Experts In Your Home satisfaction guarantee, of course. As an investment in your home, your new floor should make you walk on air – and Experts In Your Home will set you soaring.