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Hitting the Floor – The Helpful Flooring Buyers Guide

We all know how important the floor is in your home, as it is the only surface you touch every time you enter, and it makes up the largest portion of visible space. Flooring can make your room or date your room (think shag carpets in the ‘70s), as it is the foundation for the entire room’s design. This is why it’s important that flooring be one of your first selections in the planning process, even though it may be one of the last items installed during a new construction or remodeling project.

When discussing flooring options we often hear only the standard debate between hardwood and carpet. This does a disservice to many other fantastic flooring options that are becoming more popular.

In this blog, we’ve broken down flooring options to help assist you in choosing the best flooring for your new custom home or renovation project.

Bamboo

  • Pro: Great for just about any room, tough to stain, do-it-yourself friendly, a variety of colors to choose from, recyclable and eco-friendly, low maintenance
  • Con: Some species can be soft and dull, absorbs more moisture than hardwood, requires a waterproof underlayment if being installed over concrete, prone to scratches

stack of 3 different colored carpetCarpet

  • Pro: Available in a variety of colors, patterns and textures, good insulation to help save on energy bills and reduce noise, kid-friendly, comfortable on the feet, safe against most drops or falls
  • Con: Easier to stain than other options, relatively high-maintenance, doesn’t hold up as long as other options, can aggravate allergy symptoms, pet smells can be difficult to eliminate

Concrete

  • Pro: Durable, easy to clean, can be colored, stained and textured to your specifications, green, pet-proof, long-lasting, no harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Con: Needs to be resealed regularly, no sound insulation so rooms can echo, uncomfortable to stand on for extended periods of time, moisture can seep into the concrete if top and bottom surfaces aren’t sealed, not a do-it-yourself project

Cork

  • Pro: Durable, good insulation to help save on energy bills and reduce noise, green, comfortable to stand on, more forgiving on dropped objects that may break, hypoallergenic, do-it-yourself friendly
  • Con: Can fade especially in direct sunlight, easy to dent or scratch so pets with long nails can damage the finish, not to be used in rooms where floors may get wet, a more expensive option, requires furniture pads for heavy objects

Hardwood

  • Pro: Standard, solid hardwood can be updated with a simple refinish, durable and long-lasting, hypoallergenic, wide variety of options when it come to color, hardness, finish, texture and more, easy to clean and maintain
  • Con: Susceptible to temperature or humidity changes and water damage, can be dented or gouged, noisy, a more costly option than others

Laminate

  • Pro: Gives you the look of a higher quality floor at a lower price, extremely pet friendly, durable and long-lasting, perfect for do-it-yourself, recyclable, easy to maintain, repair and clean
  • Con: Any damage requires replacement, planks or tiles may separate as time passes, can have a hollow sound when walked on, older laminates can be slippery

Linoleum

  • Pro: Durable and long-lasting, large selection of colors and patterns, pet-friendly, hypoallergenic, recyclable, antistatic property helps it repel dirt and dust, good insulation to help save on energy bills and reduce noise
  • Con: Requires regular refinishing, durability varies, can smell when first installed, if poorly maintained it can turn yellow and dingy looking

Rubber

  • Pro: Range of colors and patterns to choose from, great shock and sound absorption, long-lasting if properly maintained, resists moisture, natural antimicrobial properties
  • Con: Even when polished it has a dull look, difficult to clean, slippery when wet unless using a non-slip finish, more expensive than other flooring options

tile flooringTile

  • Pro: Versatile and durable, a variety of looks, types, colors and patterns to choose from, pet-friendly, won’t absorb odors, environmentally friendly, perfect for radiant floor heating
  • Con: Cold and uncomfortable to stand on for extended periods of time, susceptible to damage, more difficult to install than other options, glazed tiles can be slippery when wet

Vinyl

  • Pro: Durable, low maintenance, lower cost, vinyl tiles are do-it-yourself friendly, pet-friendly, variety of looks, colors and designs to choose from, antimicrobial protection, warmer and more comfortable to stand on than alternative hard surfaces
  • Con: Difficult to remove once installed, emits volatile organic compounds (VOC) especially when new, difficult to repair, lower quality vinyl flooring may yellow or fade with age

We hope this blog was helpful if you are deciding what type of flooring your new custom home or remodeled room needs. Of course if you still are having a difficult time deciding what flooring choice is best for you, don’t hesitate to contact the team of experts at Norman L Graham. You can reach us at 717-656-7336 or by email at office@normanlgraham.com.