The market is full with different flooring products. To choose the right one has been a challenge.
Not all flooring products are created equal. Don’t be fooled by cheap prices, you will end up paying more just for trying to save a bit.
It is good practice to look at the reviews and reputation of the flooring dealers before making a commitment.
There is also the environmental and health factors to consider. Some products are make with material that could be hazardous to your health. I am sure we all remember the sheet rock problem and the laminate flooring issue where high levels of lead and formaldehyde ( Both carcinogens) were present.
Some of the flooring products are a manufactured using unethical practices such as child labor or harvesting of endangered wood species.
Available Flooring Products
- Hardwood floors
Solid wood flooring is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness of solid wood flooring can vary. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. Solid wood flooring can be installed above or on grade.
Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using multiple layers of different wood veneers. Engineered wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood.
- Laminate flooring
Laminate flooring has been around for over 20 years. It started out as a simple 7 mm thick product with a smooth finish that required the planks to be glued. Since then it has evolved into a product that looks so much like wood floor with many finishes that you can not tell the difference between laminate flooring and hardwood flooring.
Laminate flooring is relatively inexpensive, very durable and easy to install. You can even install over existing floor such as linoleum and ceramic tile. Laminate floor continues to change.
There are regulations to protect the consumer. Make sure you buy your floor from a reputable dealer.
- Vinyl Flooring
Luxury vinyl flooring is vinyl-based flooring material that looks like natural material through realistic images and textures. Features of luxury and traditional vinyl tile do overlap and in some cases are indistinguishable. LVT Flooring has been gaining popularity. It can look like wood for stone with a lower cost yet is more durable than laminate or wood.Long ago, laminate flooring eclipsed vinyl as the go-to inexpensive and easy-to-install flooring product. Two reasons: laminate’s photorealistic image layer successfully imitated the look of wood and its plank format imitated the “long and narrow” board shape of real hardwood. Sheet vinyl could only offer up unrealistic grout lines for stone-look flooring and practically nothing in the way of wood-look flooring.
- Stone tiles such as marble, granite, limestone and travertine.
There are five types of stone which are widely used in tile manufacture for residential purposes: marble, granite, slate, limestone, and basalt. Each kind has its own look and features, originating from where and how it was originally formed.MarbleMarble is a type of metamorphic rock, the result of the intense pressure on limestone or dolomite. Although marble may be pure white in hue, it is often veined with lovely colors. Marble natural stone tile is frequently used for floors, wallsGraniteGranite is classified as an igneous rock, Its attractive appearance, combined with its incredible toughness, make it a popular choice for stone tile. Granite tile is ideal for flooring.
Slate is another metamorphic rock, in this case originally volcanic ash or clay. Slate can be found in purple, green or cyan, an interesting turquoise-blue. Slate is a long lasting, easy-care material which is remarkably water absorption-proof. Tiles cut from slate are great for interior and exterior walls or floors, countertops, and roofing.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, formed from deposits of tiny mineral particles in bodies of water. Usually white, off-white, beige, or gray in hue, limestone is readily available and affordable. Limestone tiles are suitable for floors, shower walls, fireplaces, and vanity surfaces. Travertine is another form of limestone, which is capable of taking a polish. As well as floors, natural stone tiles made of travertine are widely used for the facades of buildings and patios
- Ceramic and Porcelain tiles:
very durable and inexpensive. When it comes to colors and finishes, the sky is the limit. Some ceramic tile patterns look like marble, travertine or wood.
The words ceramic and porcelain tile have been used interchangeably however; there are differences between both types of tile. One major difference is the water absorption rate. Porcelain tile should have an absorption rate of less than .5%.