“What kind of flooring should I get?” was how it all started; with the simple thought prompting me, as I am prone to, to do some “research” on the topic before I finalize my choice.
And like any other human, I asked the Mighty Google to help me out. What I got was a list of options varying from “Cheap Laminate” to “Feather like carpet”, with further enquires leading to a list of sub-categories which can be culminated in an article all by itself. Suffice to say, that after a night of constant searches, I was infinitely more knowledgeable about floorings, and still nowhere near making a decision!
Finally after 48 hours of constant deliberation & visiting numerous stores, a store salesman made the decision for me!
This whole ordeal inspired me to compile my own guide on ‘how to avoid getting floored by flooring’ (excuse the bad pun!).
To begin with, you need to know your enemy, which in this case means understanding what the different types of flooring are. I have listed the main categories down below;
1. Laminate Flooring: Commonly known as a “cheap version of wood” laminate is truly a workhorse. As a very durable material, it rarely fades, is resistant to stains and most importantly, is pretty easy to install (Means even a total noob can do it after a few instructables, though not advised). Though laminate flooring has its ups, it doesn’t generally add up to your home’s worth from a buyer’s perspective. And in the rare case of discolouration, it’s not possible refinish the material. Another downside is its high susceptibility to water Damage, making it a very bad choice for washrooms, or a home with kids.
Ideal for: Those looking for durable and versatile flooring option in a budget.
2. Hardwood Flooring: Hardwood Floors is one of those things that will actually be a selling point if you ever decide to put your house up for sale. This type of flooring, even if it’s old and worn has another positive – you can refinish it. The only issue with hardwood flooring is that while it gives off an inviting look, since it’s sensitive to warping from too much moisture, it may become a problem. Also, hardwood flooring is not too eye-friendly when it comes to dings and dents.
Ideal for: Those who don’t mind to spend for a bit of luxury.
3. Stone Flooring: Strong, thick stone used in covering a floor is a classic yet contemporary choice. And since it’s almost indestructible, it’s there for the long run. Moreover, like hardwood, stone floors can add value to your existing home.
Stone flooring, though, doesn’t come cheap. And along with the cost, it retains the cold. Also, a wet stone floor is a potential hazard. Factor in being hard to install. Not only does it require regular cleaning, it can also chip, becoming quite a headache.
Ideal for: Those who want looks, class and durability & does not mind a high maintenance standard.
4. Tile Flooring: Tiles can be a great solution for the high traffic areas in your house. A benefit over stones is that tiles are fairly easy to replace. And by-and-large, tile flooring is extremely durable. Tiles, nonetheless, are not indestructible. Being rather prone to chipping and cracking when heavy objects are dropped on them, or something that weighs a lot shatters an individual tile. Also note that these are very noisy floors & wet tiles can become quite slippery.
Ideal for: Those areas in the house, which are highly prone to visitors and do not house heavy items.
5. Carpet Flooring: The hands-down softest of all the options is carpet. A rather popular choice, carpet flooring is an economical way to cover a room or even entire house. And there are quite expensive materials in option that can be just as costly as hardwood or stone. The colours, textures & designs make carpet the perfect addition to your house. Note that, most carpets are not made for the long run. Wear and tear is also quite a serious problem to consider while buying.
Ideal for: Those looking for comfort and style over everything else.