There are a wide variety of styles of carpet available. Many people are now choosing wood flooring; laminate flooring, oak flooring, and quick-step laminate flooring over carpet for most rooms in their home. With any of these types of solutions, you can accent with area rugs to enhance the beauty of the flooring and of course the room. Placing an area rug under the dining room table with save your wood flooring and give you less clean up in the long run. Most people really enjoy carpet for the bedrooms and for rooms such as the family room. Carpet gives your feet a comfortable and soft cushion for those lazy days around the house and of course, first thing in the morning when you are waking up.
There are two types of construction, typically described by the type of backing:
Felt represents over 90% of vinyl sheet floors sold today.
Fiberglass is a newer construction format. Fiberglass is the "cushiest" form of vinyl flooring and offers the most installation options.
- Broadest Range of Colors and Designs. If you want to mimic the look and texture of natural materials such as hardwood, stone or ceramic, or if you prefer a visual that's only possible with modern print technology, vinyl flooring offers you the widest array of designs and colors in any one flooring category.
- A Great Buy. Value-priced vinyl sheet is one of the best buys in flooring, compared to other floor coverings.
- Underfoot Comfort and Resilience. Vinyl is easier to stand on for long periods of time, compared with other hard surface flooring. Its resiliency is more forgiving on dropped glasses or other objects. Vinyl's cushy construction is toddler-friendly and easier on elderly joints, too.
- Low Maintenance. Vinyl requires minimal maintenance—much less than any other flooring category.
- Water Resistant. Vinyl sheet doesn't absorb liquids, so it's suitable for any room of the house, especially bathrooms and kitchens. It also has fewer seams than vinyl tile, for less places water or dirt can accumulate.
- Install Anywhere Vinyl can be used below, on or above grade level, over most subfloors (except carpet).
- Virtually Seamless Vinyl sheet is 6' or 12' feet wide, which creates a more uniform-looking installation.
- Will Not Increase Home's Value. Vinyl sheet is less likely than natural flooring products to enhance the monetary value of your home.
- Easier to Rip or Gouge. Thinner vinyl is more susceptible to gouging and other durability problems. For high-traffic areas, it's best to install thicker and higher quality vinyl.
- Not as DIY-Friendly as Other Flooring (laminate, glueless vinyl tile). For DIYers, vinyl sheet is not too complicated to install, but it does require precision and preparation. The subfloor must be prepped to be smooth, flat and dry before the floor goes down. After the floor is laid, sealing the seams can be difficult. When a seam is required, installation is best left to a professional.
- Must Allow for Expansion and Contraction. Subfloors shrink and expand with temperature and humidity fluctuations.
Genuine linoleum, not to be confused with vinyl, is a classic, invented nearly 150 years ago and still completely relevant today. Environmentally preferred linoleum is made from natural, raw materials. Linseed oil, which comes from the flax plant, is the primary ingredient. (In Latin, linum is the word for linseed and oleum means oil.) Other ingredients include wood or cork powder, resins and ground limestone. Mineral pigments provide the rich colors. The ingredients are mixed together, then rolled out between two cylinders (a process called "calendaring") onto a jute backing. The linoleum is then cured in ovens for 14 to 21 days. Some manufacturers bond a high performance coating to the surface to improve the floor’s ability to resist stains and scratches, and to make cleaning easier. The resulting floor is then rolled on cores, ready for installation.
Known for its vivid, saturated colors, linoleum is available in traditional marbled patterns, solid colors, contemporary flecked designs or graphic patterns. In an older home, linoleum can complement the original interior design. In a modern setting, linoleum can be custom-cut to create beautiful and creative patterns on the floor. Linoleum is naturally beautiful, made from environmentally responsible materials that are biodegradable and anti-bacterial. The original resilient floor is a very modern decorator floor indeed!
- Natural Beauty. Linoleum is made from natural ingredients. The floor patterns and vivid, saturated colors create dramatic design statements worthy of Mother Nature.
- Long Lasting. Life spans that can last 40 years or more. Pattern and color extend through the thickness of product, so even if the flooring begins to wear down, the design and color remain.
- Resists Damage and is Easy to Clean When protected with a manufacturer’s bonded coating, linoleum resists dirt, scratches, scuffs, and cleans easily with sweeping and occasional mopping. An excellent choice for active households.
- A Great Value. Linoleum's long life span makes it a cost-effective flooring option.
- One of the "Greenest" Floors Environmentally preferred linoleum is made of abundantly available, renewable natural materials.
- May Require Special Maintenance. Unprotected floors must be polished to prevent damage to the design. If polish wears off, high pH cleaners such as ammonia can discolor the floor.
- "Drying Room Film" and Odor. New linoleum has a yellow cast and a harmless odor; both of which dissipate when exposed to light and air.
Ceramic Tile Floors
Ceramic tile can also give you that “designer look”. The tiles that many are using are much larger, and are available in even more choices and evolving designs that can create an incredible floor.
- Long Lasting Ceramic, when installed and maintained properly, will last for the life of your home.
- Low Maintenance Ceramic cleans easily with a neutral floor cleaner.
- Virtually Unlimited Designs Ceramic offers a wide variety of looks, colors and patterns.
- Stands Up to High Traffic Extremely durable ceramic is an excellent choice for high traffic areas.
- Great Investment Although ceramic is harder to install than other flooring, it is an investment that pays off, increasing the value of your home.
- Difficult to Install Professional installation is highly recommended, and can be expensive.
- May Chip or Crack Ceramic's hardness makes it susceptible to chipping or cracking from impact.
- Hard, Unforgiving Surface Ceramic is not easy on breakable objects or muscles and joints. Plates and glass may break; knees and elbows may bruise from falls, and standing on a very hard floor can cause muscle fatigue.
- Colder Perception Ceramic may feel cooler to the touch than other floor types, in low-temperature environments.
The floating nature makes laminate quite simple to install, and the range of styles and colors is virtually endless – from simulated wood and tile to creative and decorative choices that will provide any home with an amazingly durable and beautiful floor.
- Ultra Realistic Designs Laminate provides the realistic look of wood, tile or stone at a lower cost.
- Long Lasting Laminate is extremely durable and far less apt to scratch than wood.
- DIY Friendly Laminate is exceptionally easy to install because interlocking pieces "float" over, rather than attach to, a subfloor.
- Child and Pet Friendly Laminate has superior durability for households with children or large pets.
- Cannot be Refinished Unlike hardwood floors, laminate cannot be refinished or recoated.
- Shorter Life Expectancy than Natural Products Laminate's life expectancy of 15 to 30 years is on par with other types of manufactured flooring, but considerably less than that of genuine stone, ceramic and other natural materials.
- "Hollow" Sound if Not Installed with Correct Underlayment Laminate's construction and installation method can create hollow sounds when people or pets walk on the floor. Using the correct underlayment eliminates or reduces this problem.
Whenever you are shopping for a home, one feature you will always see advertised (if available) is “Beautiful Hardwood Floors”. The look of brand new hardwood floors, or even newly refinished hardwood floors, adds an unmistakable quality and value to your home. Where the choices in wood used to be pretty limited, new wood floors and even “engineered wood” floors are now becoming more popular.
- Appearance Improves with Age Hardwood improves with age because it acquires a desirable patina over time.
- Long Lasting Hardwood is among the longest lasting of all flooring types.
- Great Investment Although hardwood can initially cost more than some other flooring options, it's an investment that pays off, increasing the value of your home.
- Can Be Recoated All hardwood can be recoated, allowing you to refresh your floor to its original look.
- Easy Care & Maintenance Hardwood is as easy to care for as most other floors – waxing is not necessary for urethane finishes.
- May Scratch A hardwood floor's finish is susceptible to scratching from traffic or pet nails.
- Limited Below Grade Installation Solid hardwood cannot be installed below grade level; engineered hardwood can.
- Full Bath Installation Not Recommended Hardwood should not be used in a full bathroom because it is sensitive to humidity and pooling water.