Choosing the right type of floor may be one of the most important decisions you have to take when building or refurbishing a house. This is a decision that cannot be easily amended, if you have a change of heart later, so it should be made wisely. Sometimes you might end up taking a very emotional decision based on a floor that you saw somewhere and liked a lot. However, doing this without properly studying the pros and cons may cause you much stress later as each floor has its own unique features that make it perfect for some environments and not appropriate for others. Some of the most important factors to take into consideration when making this choice are the cost of the flooring (and how much it would cost for your entire house), how easy or difficult it is to clean, how long it will last, and how complicated it is to install. Here are the major types of floors and their advantages and disadvantages.
Ceramic/porcelain tiles: This is one of the most popular and economic types of flooring. They are stain resistant, come in a wide variety of colours, are very durable and sturdy, and can easily be cleaned. Cons are the grout lines that can easily get discoloured and need frequent cleaning. Another shortcoming (or advantage, depending on your preferences) is the fact tiles are cold and hard to the touch. This necessitates either a rug to cover the flooring or a very good heating system that will allow you to feel comfortable walking barefooted at home.
Hardwood: They are resistant to wear and tear, are easy to clean, and can be polished or refinished many times, each time increasing their durability. Cons are that they are expensive and time consuming to install. They may also expand and shrink depending on temperature and humidity. A skilled installer, however, can minimize the negatives and make sure your hardwood floor is stress-free to maintain.
Laminate: This can resemble ceramic, stone, or wood flooring and is easy to clean and install, sometimes directly on top of existing floors. They are also resistant to any kind of stain and scratches. However, they can be slippery when wet, can show marks of scuffing, and cannot be refinished or sanded. Vinyl: Vinyl is water resistant and can easily be installed over existing floors. Vinyl flooring is cost effective and durable, as well as easy to clean. Cons are that it is easily damaged due to its soft quality and difficult to repair if damaged.
Concrete: Concrete floors are perfect for lofts and basements, as they are of industrial quality and have a number of colours and finishes available. Their main disadvantage is that proper maintenance requires annual re-sealing. Once you have decided what your requirements are, based on your family and lifestyle, it would be easier to choose which flooring would be perfect for you. Although there is no perfect type of flooring, a skilled flooring specialist can make sure its disadvantages are minimized and its use and maintenance are non-problematic.