Flooring Can Make or Break a Home

Monday, 18 September 2017 09:02
Published in News & Specials

Interior designers say that the beauty of a room begins on the floor and rises upward. Not only are floors supposed to be beautiful, but they are supposed to be tough and easy to maintain. The good news is most flooring material is exactly that, with some exceptions. A homeowner who chooses the flooring for a room needs to consider things other than the overall decor. How much traffic will the room get? What kind of flooring can tolerate the heat and humidity of the bathroom or laundry room? Will the homeowner do a lot of entertaining? The answers to these questions can help the homeowner decide what sort of flooring to install. The following are some of the most popular types:

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Carpeting

Carpeting quiets and softens a room, feels good to walk on, can pull the elements of a room together and create a mood. The very best carpet is made out of wool, which maintains its softness and warmth even as it sheds dirt and resists abrasion. But a pure wool carpet is pricey, so manufacturers create less expensive, synthetic carpets to recreate at least some of its properties. Some are:

 

• Acrylic feels like wool and is long-lasting.

• Nylon is the most popular synthetic fabric used for carpets and rugs. It is very strong, stain, abrasion and insect resistant.

• Polyester carpets are affordable, can be dyed brilliant colors and can be installed anywhere in the house. However, it doesn’t repel oil-based stains well and mats down under heavy traffic.

• Like wool, cotton is a natural fiber that feels lovely under the feet and is beautiful in a room. The problem is it’s less sturdy that wool or synthetics and should only be put in a room that gets low traffic.

• Silk is sought after for its ability to take jewel-like dyes and its luxurious feel. Though surprisingly tough, it’s very expensive. Because of the expense, silk is usually blended with wool when it’s made into a rug or carpet.

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Hardwood

Hardwood trees are simply deciduous broad-leafed trees. They’re not necessarily softer than softwood trees but are more dense. Trees used for hardwood flooring include:

 

  • Oak is by far the most popular type of hardwood flooring. It is not only beautiful but can last for centuries if it’s taken care of. Several types of oak are excellent for wood flooring, including white and red.

  • Maple is strong, hard and light-colored. Birds’ eye and Japanese maple has attractive, quilted, swirled or curly grain.

  • Hickory is hard, heavy and tough, though it has a nice give when it’s walked on. The beautiful heartwood of hickory is reddish brown and sold as red hickory. The pale sapwood is sold under the name of white hickory.

 

Cork

Cork flooring is for people who crave the aesthetic qualities of hardwood but want sustainability. Cork is the outer covering from a Mediterranean oak. The oak does not need to be killed for this covering to be harvested and will grow another layer of cork in about five years. Cork is springy beneath the feet, absorbs sound and is soft. At the same time, it’s fire-resistant and durable. Cork flooring can last for 40 years.

 

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is also considered sustainable. It's not a wood but a type of grass with the attributes of hardwood. Some species can grow to 100 feet tall and are ready to harvest after five years or so. Bamboo flooring' is water resistant and easy to care for..

 

Vinyl

Homeowners have been installing vinyl in their kitchens, bathrooms and even their dens and living rooms for decades. It doesn’t crack, doesn’t mind high humidity and feels good to walk on. Nonporous vinyl also resists scratching and staining and is easy to clean.

 

Linoleum

This popular flooring material gets its name from the solidified oil of the flax plant from which it was originally made. Now, linoleum can be made from dust, resins or wood flour, with pigment added. Though a luxury when it was first created, it’s now inexpensive. It’s also easy to clean and antibacterial.

 

Stone

Natural stone was created millions of years ago and will last for millions more. When it’s polished and turned into floor tiles, it lends any room an elegant beauty. Types of stone used for floor tile are granite; marble; travertine, which is a type of limestone and slate, which separates naturally into thin sheets. Terrazzo is a type of stone floor made of chips of marble or rock in cement. It’s ground down and polished to a high gloss.

 

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