Flooring can make a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your entire house. But when it comes to choosing the ideal one for you and doesn’t break the bank, it is a challenge. There are dozens of types of flooring available, but in modern homes, you see some more commonly than others. So what do you need to know before you choose any types of flooring?
In an effort to answer that question, we discussed five different types of flooring and their pros and cons in the previous part of this two-part long series. However, in this part, we will be doing the same by discussing another four types of flooring with their advantages and disadvantages.
This is one of the most resilient types of flooring that you can choose for your home. Cork is harvested from a particular type of tree bark called Quercus suber (the cork oak), so it has very little environmental impact. Every eight to ten years the bark regenerates and can be used again to make flooring. That makes cork a sustainable option. Like wood, cork is also warm in appearance but with unusual grain patterns that sometimes include speckles and swirls in the pattern. This type of flooring comes in two different forms. One is the tiles that you can glue down to install, another option is the planks that typically have a click-lock edge and can be installed as a floating floor. Most cork floorings come pre-finished but it is a good idea to reseal your floors every three to five years to guard against moisture and protect against stains.
- Very resilient
- Warm, quiet, and soft underfoot
- Eco-friendly material and produces no harmful emissions
- Easy to install
- Vulnerable to moisture, tears, and dents
- Prone to stains and water damage
- Needs to be resealed every year with wax or polyurethane
Since cork is prone to moisture and stains, it won’t be ideal to use it in bathrooms and other moisture-prone areas. It is suitable to use in bedrooms and living areas.
Ceramic is one of the most versatile types of flooring available today. It is made from a mixture of clay and shale that is fired in a kiln like done with pottery. Since it comes with a huge variety of colors, shapes, and patterns; ceramic can be coordinated well with any room in your home. There are four different types of tiles to choose from. But it is important to choose the tiles that are rated for flooring and can withstand heavy stomping since each of the ceramic tiles is different in functionality.
- Glazed Ceramic. As the name suggests, glazed ceramic has a glass-like coating and it can give the tile virtually any color or texture. This type of tile is also maintenance-free.
- Porcelain. Porcelain is extra-hard and durable. It’s available either glazed or unglazed. Both types are stain-resistant and work well in outdoor rooms.
- Quarry Tile. This unglazed ceramic tile has a slightly rough texture, making it more slip-resistant than glazed tiles. However, it’s not available in as wide a range of colors.
- Terracotta. This is another type of unglazed tile. Popular for outdoor usage with an earthy and rustic decor scheme. Among all, this is the least durable type of tile.
- Comes in a huge variety
- One of the most durable types of flooring
- Resistant to scratches, dents, and moisture
- Very easy to clean
- Needs little maintenance
- Not very comfortable underfoot
- Can be slippery
- Durability varies depending on the type of tile (Terracotta tiles requires regular sealing)
- Not easy to fix
Porcelain tile is the best choice for high-traffic areas, such as the dining room and living room, as well as for wet rooms such as baths and laundry rooms. Depending on which ceramic tile you choose, it can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Just like ceramic tiles, carpeting is another one of the most versatile options available out there. It also comes in a variety of colors and textures, compared to other types of flooring. Carpeting is a perennial favorite for bedrooms and living areas. Woven from different kinds of materials such as wool, nylon, polypropylene, and other synthetic fibers, carpets can give you a comfortable underfoot sensation. The quality of the carpet, however, depends on the fiber density count per square inch. The more fibers it has per square inch, the more durable the product will be. Installing carpet flooring is fairly easy, you just have to nail it down over a layer of padding. This padding can also add extra cushioning and prolongs the life of the carpet.
- Soft and warm underfoot
- Quiet and slip-resistant
- Easy to install
- Difficult to clean
- Vulnerable to staining
- Can harbor allergens such as pollen and pet dander
Carpeting is most appropriate for areas such as bedrooms and living rooms where it is less likely for anything to be spilled. Polypropylene carpets can also work in outdoor spaces such as enclosed porches.
In terms of resilience and durability, vinyl is up there at the top with cork flooring. Vinyl is flexible and soft compared to wood or other rigid floorings. Cushioned vinyl has a thin layer of foam as well, making it more comfortable to walk on. Unlike most flooring, vinyl needs very little or no maintenance at all. Constructed by attaching the top PVC layer to a layer of felt and foam, the price of vinyl depends on the thickness of the tile. Vinyl comes with a wide variety of colors and patterns and there are two types to choose from; sheets or tiles. So you have flexibility when it comes to installation; either you unroll, cut to size, and glue to your subfloor or buy click-style vinyl planks.
- Durable and can withstand moisture and heavy traffic
- Wide range of available options
- Easy to install, repair, and clean
- Not eco-friendly
- Prone to scratches
- Makes hollow or echoey sounds if installed with no underlayer
Vinyl can be used in all sorts of areas considering all the qualities it possesses. It is most appropriate for kitchens, baths, and other wet rooms. It’s also suitable for rooms that get a lot of traffic, such as the living room and since it can tolerate moisture, vinyl could be a good choice for a basement.
The nine types of flooring that we have discussed in our two-part series are the most popular choices, but there are other types of flooring as well. Stone tiles, stained concrete, terrazzo, and rubber flooring are some of the less common options. So if the conventional options don’t fit your needs and budget, you have the option to try out other kinds.
So what is your favorite type of flooring for your home? Tell us what you like about it in the comments section below.