The Lazy Guide to Learning Flooring Materials

Roberta Madison
by Roberta Madison
Let’s talk floors. While this topic seems to be verystraightforward, it actually isn’t. Far from yesterday’s hardwood and concrete,today’s market is swamped with a number of flooring options. Ranging from traditional building materialsto the contemporary, each offers its number of advantages.
To the homeowner, this can present a dilemma. A flooringoption may be aesthetically pleasing but how does it fare when it comes tocost, maintenance, safety, and durability. We already know that building orsimply renovating your home can get quite complex – why complicate it further?Below is a listing of available flooring materials to help you move on withyour project.Before surfing throughthe list, we’d also like to point out that other than those mentioned above,another factor to consider is the room itself. It follows that heavy trafficareas need sturdier floors and wet areas need materials that are resistant towater. Keep these in mind when making a decision.
CarpetsAvailablein both natural and synthetic fibres, carpets can be splendid or very basic.Their texture and colour can also add to the visual appeal of the room, makingit quite an appealing material for living rooms and bedrooms. Think of howwarm, fuzzy, and even sensual carpet can be. However,carpets tend to collect and trap dust. Folks with asthma or are prone torespiratory problems should stay away from this option. If you have pets, it isalso advantageous to shop for another material otherwise; you’ll find thatkeeping it clean and odour-free can be problematic. HardwoodHardwoodis pricey but it does render a luxurious atmosphere to a home. However,hardwood is less resistant to wear but since it can be sanded and refinished toregain its lustre, it still proves to be a popular option for those seeking amore traditional approach. Asidefrom its cost, hardwood also raises environmental concerns. The good news isthat there are groups such as the Forest Stewardship Council that sees to itthat the lumber used come from sustainable environments. Cork and BambooAlthoughthese flooring options have been in use for some time, they only gainedpopularity in recent years as the search for eco-friendly materials gainedsteam. If you are striving towards a “green” home, cork and bamboo areyour best options.Interms of sustainability, cork is made from oak tree barks while bamboo isabundant and easy to replenish. Both display the same pleasing qualitiesof hardwood but they take it a step further with a number of added bonuses.Cork for example is hypoallergenic and is shock absorbent. Bamboo in themeantime, is naturally resilient against bugs and mildew. Still, there aredownsides. Bamboo flooring uses toxic chemicals as laminate and its massproduction leads to deforestation in some areas. It is ironic that for a“greener” option, bamboo is saddled with these issues. Meanwhile, cork is asexpensive as hardwood and can only be installed by professionals.
Natural StonesNothingcan beat a classic and natural stones – with their unique beauty – can simplydo no wrong: durable, easy to maintain, and perfect for traditional homes. Allthese come with a hefty price tag though. Aside from the cost of the materials,homeowners should also include professional installation fees in the equation.ConcreteThisoption no longer falls under the dull and lifeless category. Today, where theindustrial and steampunk look is a design trend, there are many ways to useconcrete and make it look stunning. Techniques such as staining can give it theright finish and appeal. On the other hand, concrete is not for the DIYer. Itis difficult to manage and needs a professional for a clean and thorough job.Concrete is also porous and needs sealing to protect it from moisture. TilesThisis a favourite among designers, homeowners, and builders. Tiles are versatile,easy to install, and more affordable than stones or hardwood. Tilescome in many forms with ceramic and porcelain on top of the list. However,glass and a combo of glass and stone are gaining preference as well. The bonusis that despite the lower costs, tiles can simulate the posh look of othermaterials and give your home a luxurious vibe. There you have it. Before making that long-termcommitment, examine the advantages and disadvantages of each flooring type. Youwould not want to have carpets and realize that you’d want to rip them off assoon as you’re settled.
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Roberta Madison
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  • Peggy Kalvig Rollins Peggy Kalvig Rollins on Feb 28, 2016
    Yes,the contractor that did my bathroom floor glued laminate flooring has gotten wet and is starting to come up.What can I do? there are also places where they nicked it when they were cutting it and they just filled the spaces.It was a job that I qualified through a program the City has.