Choosing Your Floor
When it comes to improving your home, your choice of flooring is one of the most important decisions you need to make. The material of the floor is an integral part of your overall home design. Your choice of floor depends on many factors like interior design, installation area, application, maintenance, costs and installation.
Floor tile needs to be more than just attractive. It needs to be strong and durable as well. Some materials are best as a cost effective floor covering for the short term while some can be an investment to your home that will last for a generation or more. When you shop for flooring for your home, you should consider the following:
- How do I want to use this space? Make a list of the characteristics need for the installation area. Will it be a high traffic area? Does it need to be waterproof?
- Consider your budget.
Here is a list of the most popular flooring materials on the market:
- Porcelain Tile – is the ideal choice for any type of flooring due to its superior durability and low water absorption. It can be used in interior and exterior application. It is made of the highly refined clay and fired at extremely high temperatures. The resulting tile is very dense which virtually absorb no moisture. True porcelain tiles have a water absorption rate of under 0.5%. Porcelain tile comes in a large variety of shapes and sizes. For ease of care and its imperviousness to moisture keep stains and soil from setting in, porcelain tile is hard to beat.
- Glazed Ceramic Tile – offers many different sizes, style and design. Ceramic tile is primarily made from clay pressed into a mold then fired in a kiln. Since ceramic material is porous, the top surface is usually sealed with a glaze. The glazed surface is referred to as the design layer since it determines the tile’s finished color, design and texture. Glazed tile generally absorbs very little water, making it both easy to maintain and mildew resistant.
- Stone Tile Flooring – The common material for stone tile flooring are marble, granite and travertine. Due to their porous nature, these materials might require different amounts of care and maintenance. For example, you might want to apply sealer on the surface for Travertine due to its porosity and it is recommended to seal yearly. A polish surface like marble will show scratches and scuffs much more readily than a tumble one. Stone tile is usually installed with minimal grout spaces and greater rely on sealant to offset the stone’s porous nature.
Hardwood Flooring – is a popular flooring choice for homeowners simply because it is one of the most beautiful flooring materials. It comes with many different color and finishes like distressed, reclaimed or hand scraped to choose from. Hardwood flooring can be expensive and required professional installation. The drawback of this type of material is it will develop scratches, dents or scrapes over time which will require surface refinish. Also, you will need to be cautious about the humidity level and avoid excess water exposure.
Carpet – is still a favorite for many homeowners. It provides a soft and comfortable surface. It also can help cut down noise. However, it requires a little more up keep than other aforementioned materials. Carpet is not stain resistant and will require professional cleaning to maintain the condition. It is not recommended to be installed in humid condition due to mold problem. Dirt can easily be trapped deep inside the carpet and mildew can also form underneath. It is best to avoid carpet when you have kids for sanitary reasons.