Different Types of Flooring Materials

Stone flooring

Choosing a type of flooring can be a daunting task. There are many different types of flooring materials. There are several varieties – wood, ceramic, stone, vinyl, carpeting and many specialty materials. Within each broad category, there are literally hundreds of choices. Fortunately, narrowing them down is a simple matter of attending to a few basic guidelines.

For most, especially do-it-yourselfers who are strongly motivated to save money, budget is the first consideration.

Carpet is often the least expensive option, but there are many low-cost vinyl floorings that will allow homeowners to pinch pennies as well. The difficulty here is that you often get what, and no more than, you pay for. Cheap carpet doesn’t just look cheap, it is cheap, this means poor quality. Ditto vinyl. Carpet is one of the most popular of the different types of flooring materials.

That means that many desirable qualities like durability and ease of cleaning are often absent. If the material has to be replaced every couple of years is it worth the price? If you have to spend inordinate amounts of time cleaning carpet with low stain-resistance, are you really saving much? The answers will depend, of course, on individual circumstances, including application. Some areas, such as basements, may not warrant more expensive options.

Hardwood is fairly expensive, but it has excellent durability, is easy to care for and looks outstanding. But not everyone can afford Brazilian Teak or Chinese Cherry. One option is a laminate. They can often be quite attractive and they last for years. Their wear characteristics aren’t quite as good as hardwoods, which can easily last 50 years if well cared for. But they do quite well and they’re pleasant to walk on.

If investigating a laminate, look for the AC rating. These are assigned based on careful testing and represent the durability of the material, resistance to staining and scratching, and other measures. AC 1 laminates are suitable for moderate traffic areas, while AC 3 will stand up better to heavy use. The higher the better, but AC 5 is generally only needed and used in public buildings.

Ceramics run the gamut from cheap tile to highly expensive. One difference is how durable the tiles are. All ceramics have very hard surfaces, but some tiles are more brittle than others. That means that, under normal use, they are more likely to crack. If a tile has to be replaced often, which is costly and time consuming, it might be worthwhile to spend a little more up front.

Stone tends to be on the more expensive end of the choices, but of course it may well outlast the house. Many are removed from old houses being torn down and re-used elsewhere. If you’re looking for something stylish and ultra-durable, a good sandstone or slate might be just the thing. With modern treatments they’re generally stain resistant and can be easy to care for.

One of the least expensive, but today very stylish choices is concrete. Once relegated to basements, with modern surface effects they can be stained with a variety of colours and designs. They can emulate marble, stone or even wood. They clean easy and, of course, will last for decades without cracking. That makes them great for any area.

We hope this helps you to choose between the different types of flooring materials. Consider your budget, wear needs and potential traffic, and throw in your aesthetic desires. Very quickly, you’ll be able to narrow the choices.

We hope you have got some useful information about different types of flooring materials from our Home Improvement Experts.

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