20
Apr

The Perfect Floor Finish – How To Make The Right Choice

A lot of thought goes into choosing the flooring for a home.  Not only will your choice affect the way your home looks, it can affect how often you have to clean your home, how noisy your home is, what kind of furniture will look good and much more!

To help you decide on a type of home flooring, here are the pros and cons of the most common types of flooring by the London based company Wood and Beyond Ltd.  These are Carpets, Wood, Laminate, Ceramic, Stone and Vinyl floors.

Key Considerations For Choosing Home Flooring

There are four main considerations that you should pay particular attention to when choosing a floor for your home.  They are:

  • Installation difficulty – Can you lay the floor yourself in an afternoon or is it a difficult task that will take a tradesman weeks?
  • Expense – Is the flooring fairly inexpensive or will you have to get a second mortgage to pay for it!
  • Durability – Will the floor last for decades or will you be lucky to get 10-years out of it?
  • Cleaning – Is it difficult to remove marks and stains from the floor? How often should it be cleaned and are there any labour-intensive cleaning techniques that must be used?

Keep these considerations in mind when examining the different types of flooring because they are significant!

Carpet Floors

carpet-floor

A home can feel very luxurious when it has high-quality carpet throughout.  It feels fantastic to walk on and is cheaper than most other types of flooring.

Pros:

  • Durability: It is fairly durable and modern carpets have very effective stain protection. Carpet can last for years if they are well maintained.
  • Expense: Most types of carpet are very affordable
  • Installation difficulty: Carpet is fairly simple to lay, but most people do hire a professional for the job
  • Carpet is available in a huge variety of colours and patterns.
  • There are many different types of carpet fibres available including polyesters that are easy to clean.
  • Feels great under your feet — soft, luxurious and comfortable
  • Carpet is sound absorbent, which is useful in large, potentially echoey spaces
  • Carpet acts like insulation, helping your home warm feel cooler in summer and warmer in winter
  • Carpet is slip resistant, which can be particularly useful if you are an older person
  • Creates a warm and welcoming ambience

Cons:

  • Cleaning: Carpet must be regularly vacuumed, as much as 2 or 3 times a week for busy homes.
  • Spills can quickly damage your carpet — in some cases permanently! If liquid is allowed to sit within the lower levels of the carpet fibres, mould and mildew can take hold.
  • Carpets will sometimes require professional steam cleaning or dry carpet cleaning
  • Carpets that are not regularly cleaned are notorious for harbouring allergens. If you are sensitive to dust mites, pet dander and other common household allergens, avoid carpet.

Wood Floors

wood-floor

Wood floors are very popular because of how beautiful they look and their incredible durability.  A well-maintained timber floor can last for decades or centuries! 

Pros:

  • Durability: Most woods are tough and durable. If they do become scratched over time, you can simply sand them down and refinish them for a “brand new” looking floor.
  • Cleaning: They are very simple to clean and only require sweeping or vacuuming every few days. Wood floors should also be mopped every week or two using damp mop.
  • There are dozens of varieties of timber available with different colours and grain. You can also vary the plank length and width to create interesting effects.
  • Can be painted, stained, waxed, and varnished for different looks
  • Planks can help tie rooms together in open plan spaces
  • Increases the value of your home

Cons:

  • More Expense: Hardwood floors are typically very expensive, particularly if you are using an exotic timber. Engineered wood and rustic finish are more affordable.
  • Installation Difficulty: You will need a tradesman to install a wood floor.
  • Wood floors can be quite noisy, particularly if you home has large, open plan spaces
  • Wood floors can be very slippery and make it difficult for pets to keep their traction when they are running around the home.
  • The floor can be cold to the touch in the cooler months. You can fit under-floor heating provide you opted for engineered wood flooring.
  • Can be susceptible to water damage

Laminate Floors
laminate-floor

Laminate flooring is made from many layers of fibre board which has been fused together with resin.  A photographic layer is applied to the top of each piece to make it look like timber or tiles.  This type of flooring usually comes in the form of tongue-and-groove planks that are joined together.

Pros:

  • Expense: Laminate flooring is generally very cheap.
  • Installation Difficulty: Incredible simple to install! A homeowner can simply click the pieces together to lay their own floor.
  • Cleaning: The protective plastic layer stops spills from damaging the floor. It can be swept or vacuumed like a hardwood floor
  • Many different colours and patterns available
  • Easy to change the look of your home

Cons:

  • Durability: the floor can be easily dented and the photographic image on the top of the board may fade when exposed to sunlight. They can also be damaged when used in high traffic areas.
  • It does not feel comfortable to walk on compared to hardwood or carpet
  • Can be slippery
  • Most of the photographic images on laminate flooring look “fake” and don’t have the same appeal as hardwood
  • Laminate flooring won’t add much value to your home
  • Cannot be re-sanded or re-finished. If you scratch a plank, it will have to be replaced.
  • Walking on it is very loud
  • Not good in damp areas like basements and bathrooms

Ceramic Floors

Ceramic-floor

Ceramic floors are typically hard glazed tiles made from ceramic of porcelain.  Ceramic floors are very durable and can be used by indoors and outdoors.

Pros:

  • Cleaning: Ceramic tiles are very easy to clean, simply sweep, vacuum and mop. This kind of floor can be sterilised very easily.
  • Durability: Ceramic tiles are fairly strong and they will last for many years. However, a heavy object can crack tiles.
  • Expense: While the cost of ceramic tiles can vary greatly, they are typically cheaper than other kinds of floors
  • There are many colours and designs available
  • Easy to replace sections if they are damaged
  • You can obtain a similar look to a stone floor for a cheaper price

Cons:

  • Installation Difficulty: You will need a professional to install a ceramic floor.
  • The grout between tiles can attract stains and change colour over time
  • Feels very hard to walk on and can be tiring to stand on
  • Can make a space seem harsh and cold
  • Anything fragile that is dropped on a ceramic file will probably break

Stone Floors

stone-floor

If you are looking for a seriously durable floor, it doesn’t get much tougher than stone!  A stone floor can give a space a sense of solidity.  The most common types of stone used for stone floors include granite, limestone, slate, and marble.

Pros:

  • Cleaning: Very easy to clean, simply sweep, vacuum and mop.
  • Durability: While tumbled marble is extremely durable, some other stones like limestone are not hard-wearing
  • Has a timeless appeal and can be very beautiful
  • Can handle wet and humid environments

Cons:

  • Expense: A stone floor can be extremely expensive, particularly if you like the look of marble!
  • Installation Difficulty: It is very time consuming and laborious to install a stone floor. It must be performed by very skilled professionals and is expensive.
  • Requires a substrate layer
  • Tough to stand on
  • Can create a noisy space in the same way that ceramic floors do
  • May require regular sealing
  • Slippery when wet
  • Some types of stone can absorb stains

Vinyl Floors

vinyl-floor

A synthetic polymer lining that has been imprinted with a pattern, colour or image.

Pros:

  • Cleaning: Very easy to clean, simply sweep, vacuum and mop.
  • Installation Difficulty: Very simple to install and many home-owners install it themselves.
  • Durability: Very hard wearing and scratch-resistant. However, if you try “really” hard you may be able to tear it
  • Expense: Most vinyl floors are very cheap, however there are also “luxury” vine floors which can be as expensive as a wood floor
  • There are hundreds of different designs, which emulate the look of stone, ceramic tiles, timber and other materials,
  • Can handle wet and humid environments
  • Feels much warmer to walk on than wood, stone or ceramic tiles

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to transition between a vinyl floor pattern and other rooms
  • Sharp and heavy objects can mark it
  • Difficult to repair should an accident occur