Finding the Perfect Flooring Materials for Your Home
A few hundred years ago, homeowners who needed a new floor could choose between wood, tile and dirt. Today there are thousands of flooring options available on the market, with choices ranging from laminate to bamboo to tile. Every option has its own unique set of advantages, but here are some ways to narrow your choice down without looking at everything. Consider these points before replacing your floors.
Depending on your lifestyle and the area of your home that requires new flooring, it may be a good idea to pick something that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Generally speaking, tile, hardwood, and laminate materials are the best options for high traffic areas or areas of your home that are prone to spills and damage. Tile and laminate are easy to clean and resist absorbing liquids. Carpet and untreated hardwood, however, are more prone to absorbing spills and showing stains.
If you’re considering selling your home in the near future, or if you want to add value to your home, you might want to choose bamboo, hardwood, or custom tile. These three types of flooring are highly sought after by buyers because of their beauty, durability, environmental friendliness, and ease of cleaning. Carpet and laminate aren’t considered as desirable for owner-occupied homes, but they can be a good pick for rental housing.
Construction has a big impact on the environment, so you may want to consider the effect of the material you choose on both local and far-flung eco-systems. Hardwood and bamboo are created from natural materials, while carpet and tile can be a mix of artificial and natural materials. You may also want to consider transportation costs and the expected life of the flooring you choose.
If you’re a do-it-yourself type, then laminate flooring can be a good pick. Many types of laminate flooring are designed to snap together so that replacing your own floors can be done in a weekend. If you’re looking into hiring help, carpet is generally considered the quickest flooring to install, since installation usually involves just measuring, cutting, and tacking. Hardwood and bamboo installation is trickier since it has to be handled piece by piece. Finally, custom tile floors can take weeks of a professional tile-layer’s time, and therefore comes with the highest installation costs per square foot.
Of course, just about everyone has to consider their budget for a home remodeling project, and flooring projects are no exception. It’s important to keep in mind that while there are some general price trends -- such as laminate being cheaper than carpet, which is cheaper than hardwood and tile -- there are also many exceptions. Look for deals that offer discounts on product with the purchase of installation or vice-versa. There are also a lot of good deals that can be found in close-out and remnant sales.