Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an old one, your choice of flooring will have a lasting impact on what your space looks like. But appearance is only one factor in the equation.
Different types of flooring have different properties, costs, advantages, and disadvantages. For instance, hardwood may be one of the most durable flooring materials around, but it won’t do well in a damp or moist area such as a bathroom. The following guide to some of the most common flooring styles can help you to consider your options before making a choice.
Hardwood is one of the most popular flooring choices among homebuyers and renovators. It’s milled from a single piece of timber, with walnut, maple, hickory, and oak common choices. As mentioned above, hardwood flooring is long-lasting, and floors can be sanded or refinished to prolong their lifetime. Cleaning is also easy with hardwood floors, and the look is natural but luxurious. However, hardwood floors also have some downsides. They are costly to compared to other types of floors and professional installation is intensive. In addition, hardwood does not damper sound or retain heat. Water can damage hardwood, and floors may also shrink or expand according to the outdoor temperature.
Engineered flooring, also known as engineered hardwood or composite wood, is another common type of flooring. It differs from hardwood in that it consists of a veneer layer of hardwood with other layers of wood beneath. It’s ideal for basements as it’s more resistant to moisture than traditional hardwood. In addition, installation is very fast and engineered flooring can be easily installed over concrete or padding. But engineered flooring won’t last as long as hardwood, and the quality and durability depends on the brand. Refinishing options are limited.
Finishing Concrete Floors
Concrete floors are durable, energy efficient, easy to install and/or construct, resistant to moisture and fire, and easy to maintain. Concrete floors are a contemporary option that can be finished to match the look of your home. Colors and stains are popular options, which finishes that mimic the look of tile, marble, or slate can also be applied. Decorative stencils are another type of finish available for concrete floors. Stenciled borders, medallions, and custom designs can enhance the look of your floors and help you to create a space that’s truly your own. Of course, concrete flooring also has it’s disadvantages. It’s not the warmest type of flooring, and for many the surface is too hard.
Basement flooring presents challenges such as moisture, high humidity, uneven surfaces, low ceiling heights, and for most people, a threat of flooding. As a result, it’s important to carefully research your flooring options and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Ceramic tile is a durable option, but it’s also expensive and doesn’t retain much heat. Vinyl tiles and planks are another option. They’re less expensive and can withstand flooding. Finally, many people opt for engineered wood because it’s easy to install in a basement.