There are so many different types of flooring, and the price difference can be huge. Knowing which is best for you can vary from whether you are working within a strict budget or if you are going with the look and the features. Here are some types of flooring and their differences to compare.
Of all the different types of flooring available, the beauty of wood makes it one of the most popular for homes, and its versatility is indisputable. It will fit in with your décor, traditional or contemporary, and there is a choice of solid or engineered wood flooring, (a veneer surface of real wood glued to several layers of plywood).
You can select from stunning natural woods including oak, maple, cherry, walnut, mahogany and ash; the more exotic woods such as teak, mesquite and Jarrah come at a premium cost.
An advantage with solid wood floors is that they can be sanded and refinished many times, ensuring both durability and flexibility. As every wood offers its own unique combination of colour and grain, you can be assured of individuality.
Laminate flooring offers a variety of design solutions and is suitable for any room in your home or workplace. It’s a multi-layer synthetic flooring product which has been fused together using a special lamination technique, and because of its flexibility, comes in many finishes such as embossed, textured or smooth, with various effects, including stone, wood, slate and tiles, often with a choice of a matt or gloss finish.
Laminate flooring easy to install, but it also requires very little maintenance, is resistant to stains, waterproof and is easy to keep hygienically clean.The downside of this type of flooring is that it is hard and cold underfoot and can be slippery when wet. Another disadvantage is that as it’s synthetic, it’s not possible to sand or refinish scuff marks.
Vinyl flooring is resistant to heavy use, so perfect for your high-traffic areas. There is a wide range of different looks, including tiles, wood, stone, parquet, brick and chequerboard, all easily achieved without the painstaking task of designing and laying the pattern.
As it’s available in various styles, thickness and textures, it suits any room or lifestyle. Vinyl is perfect for homes with small children, pets and allergy sufferers as it is easy to clean. Its water-resistant qualities make it is versatile enough to use for kitchen flooring and bathrooms, however, due to its soft texture, it can be easily marked by pointed heels and sharp objects, the repair of which is not easy. If you have underfloor heating, then you should check carefully because most vinyl flooring is not compatible.
With so many styles, patterns and fabrics available, it’s best that you plan which type of carpet will go where to ensure maximum lifespan. The more luxurious, softer pile is terrific in bedrooms, while a low-pile, dense tuft is perfect for high traffic areas.
Wool is more expensive but offers exceptional qualities, including durability, insulation and noise reduction, while Polypropylene is tough and resistant to stains. Polyamide provides a great range of colours and Polyester is frequently used for textured or shag pile carpets.
Carpet will immediately make your home cosy, and amongst the many types of flooring for homes available, it remains a favourite. It is quickly laid by a professional, so it is cost-effective labour-wise.
This type of flooring can be an excellent investment, as it will last a lifetime, and there is a tremendous amount of choice, including colour and surface texture.
Travertine is very popular with its earthy, weathered appearance, while slate is very popular, not only does it add style, it is also waterproof and affordable. Limestone flooring comes in a variety of qualities and depths and is usually quite pale in colour, so perfect for dark areas.
There are several different finishes, including honed and polished, creating a versatile look that will improve with age. The timeless appeal of stone flooring ensures a warm look, and as it is a natural product, it is also eco-friendly.
However, stone flooring is not only labour intensive on installation, it can also be expensive and it requires constant upkeep as it is susceptible to staining and is often slippery when wet.