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Flooring Options

Flooring is an important element to a room, and can really definite the look, feel, and overall style of the space. There are many types of flooring available to today’s consumer.

Hardwood flooring has long been a favorite for homeowners due to its classic look, natural appearance, and sturdiness. Hardwood blends with nearly any type of style. Typical woods used for hardwood flooring are hard woods such as walnut, maple, and oak. Hardwood flooring typically either comes in strips that are 1½ to 2½ inches in width or planks that are between four and eight inches in width.

Another option for the look and feel of hardwood without the cost is engineered wood flooring. In engineered wood flooring, real wood is used as a top layer to a plank but plywood is used for the core of the plank itself. This saves on cost because plywood is much more affordable than the hard wood used for the exterior of the plank. However, plywood is more susceptible to the woes of environment such as change in humidity or temperature, and therefore engineered wood flooring is considered less durable than true hardwood flooring. Another non-hardwood option that has gained popularity in recent years is bamboo, which is not actually a wood but rather a hard grass. It gives the look and appearance of wood though and comes with comparable costs – it’s just a matter of taste.

Where wood requires frequent polishing and occasional re-sealing, laminate flooring is very low-maintenance. Laminate flooring options come with many different color and style choices and take on the appearance of wood, although they are not wood. Laminate flooring is made of an image of wood covered in plastic for protection. Similar to engineered wood, laminate flooring has a top layer or veneer of laminate, which is then supplemented by a plywood interior.

For non-wood options, linoleum and ceramic tile each offer a wide range of options by way of color, feel, and style. Linoleum is installed in sheets, which are glued down, where ceramic tiles are installed individually. Ceramic comes in four types – glazed, quarry, porcelain, and terracotta. Each type of ceramic comes with its own degree of necessary maintenance. Vinyl is another option, and comes in sheets or tiles. Vinyl is considered very resilient, as it is durable and very easy to maintain.

Of course, carpeting is an often-used type of flooring, and it is considered one of the most versatile due to the wide range of colors and types available. Carpeting can be made from wool, nylon, acrylic, polyester, or polypropylene, which vary in quality and associated cost. Wool is considered the highest standard for carpeting due to its resistance to stains and moisture and the feeling it evokes to the touch.

For a luxurious look, many homeowners opt for stone, although doing such comes with a high price tag. Stones like marble, slate, granite, and limestone add a polished look to an area and are extremely resilient against moisture and heat. Stone does require sealant every five or six years.