When hiring a flooring company, choose one with a proven track record in installing these popular types of floor materials. Types of flooring:
Carpet Flooring – Carpet Installation
Carpeting remains a very popular flooring type. Let’s consider the pros and cons of carpet.
- Carpet pros: Carpeting is affordable, especially in its cheaper forms. You have a wide range of options for color, style and nap length. Carpet installation cost is competitive with vinyl sheet flooring and laminate. Bare feet appreciate the warmth of carpet, and it is comfortable for pets too. Carpet is a good short-term fix for those that want to spruce up a home to put on the market.
- Carpet cons: Carpeting isn’t as durable as most other flooring types, so it isn’t as good a value if you plan to live in your home for more than five to ten years or don’t want to change commercial carpeting every three to five years. It wears quickly in high-traffic areas. If you have allergies, be aware that carpet collects allergens that are released when it is walked on or vacuumed. Be sure to buy a vacuum equipped with a rotating brush to loosen allergens and a HEPA filter to prevent them from becoming airborne once they’re removed from the carpet. Finally, much of the carpet produced today contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that will leach from the carpet for several years. VOCs may be carcinogenic and can affect those with allergies and asthma. Ask your flooring company about low-VOC and certified-green carpet options. They’ll cost a bit more, but are worth the expense.
Laminate Flooring – Laminate Flooring Installation
Types of Laminate Flooring: Cherry, Chestnut-Butternut-Pecan, Exotic, Fruitwood, Hickory, Maple-Beech-Elm-Poplar, Oak, Painted-Glazed, Pine-Cypress, Tile-Stone-Other, Walnut
If you love the look of wood but don’t want the expense, ask your flooring company about laminate. Here are the pros and cons of laminate floors.
- Laminate flooring pros: Laminate has a base composite layer covered with an actual photograph of wood. A top wear layer of tough resin protects the look. This flooring is a cheap way to enjoy the look of wood for about half the cost of solid hardwood or engineered flooring. Laminate is easy to maintain by sweeping it or using a vacuum with the rotating brush turned off to prevent it from scratching the wear layer. There are many attractive styles of laminate, and most feature locking design to make installation easy and affordable.
- Laminate flooring cons: While affordable, laminate lasts just seven to 15 years depending on its quality, possibly shorter in high-traffic commercial space. It cannot be refinished like hardwood, and it is susceptible to scratching from pet claws, furniture and dirt that gets walked on. Water can penetrate the laminate plank seams and cause the flooring to swell. Never use a steam cleaner on laminate floors! Laminate is loud when walked on in hard shoes, and it is hard too, so consider placing a soft mat in kitchen locations you do a lot of standing.
Types of Vinyl Flooring:
- Inlaid vinyl refers to when color granules are imbedded into the vinyl sheet. This gives the vinyl a deeper look, and provides the option for many colors. When examined closely, specks of varying shades can be seen, which create the overall hue.
- Printed vinyl is exactly as it sounds; a pattern or color is printed directly onto the vinyl. This type of vinyl flooring is what makes it such a popular choice for homes. Because of the nature of printed vinyl, it can be made to look like other, more expensive, floorings. Homeowners can achieve the look of hardwood or marble flooring, even if it isn’t in their budget. As far as colors and patterns available, the options are practically endless!
- Sheet – Sheets are ideal for moisture prone areas, like bathrooms or mudrooms. Sheets are expansive, usually 6 or 12 feet, which makes it nearly seamless when installed.
- Tile – Tiles are great when vinyl is made to look like marble or other classically tiled flooring. It can be relatively easy to install and creates a cohesive look in a new room.
- Plank – Planks are ideal for vinyl flooring that is made to look like hardwood vinyl flooring, as it imitates how wood flooring is cut.
You’ve got two options for vinyl flooring: affordable sheet vinyl and costlier luxury vinyl flooring in tiles and planks. Here are the pros and cons of vinyl flooring.
- Vinyl flooring pros: Vinyl sheet flooring is inexpensive and is produced in a pleasing array of colors and designs that mimic real wood, tile and stone. It’s a quick way to dress up a room when putting a home on the market. Luxury vinyl flooring looks even more like real wood or stone, and it is thicker to provide more comfort when you’re standing on it. It lasts 15-20 years in residential installations and about half that in commercial settings. All vinyl is easy to clean with a hard-surface vacuum and lightly damp mop.
- Vinyl flooring cons: Sheet vinyl is cheap, wears out quickly and is not very durable. Expect it to last five to 12 years depending on its quality. Vinyl can be cut quite easily by dropped knives or tools. If you choose luxury vinyl flooring, don’t use a steam cleaner or allow water to stand on it because the moisture can seep through the seams and damage the subfloor.
Engineered Flooring – Engineered Flooring Installation
This appealing flooring is made with composite base layers in cross-grain style to give the flooring stability. The top layer is solid hardwood.
- Engineered flooring pros: If you want genuine hardwood flooring in your bathroom, laundry area any level below grade, engineered hardwood is the right choice. Its base layers are stable, so they prevent the warping, buckling and cracking that can occur in solid hardwood with changes in humidity and temperature. You’ve got many species and finish choices with engineered flooring, and most products can be refinished at least twice. It is easily cleaned with a broom or hard-surface vacuum. In short, this is a quality, attractive floor type that will last 40+ years. Your flooring company can tell you if engineered hardwood is a better choice for your application than solid hardwood.
- Engineered flooring cons: This material costs more than carpet, laminate and vinyl flooring. It cannot be refinished as many times as solid hardwood. Though it is more stable, it must still be protected from standing water and steam cleaning.
Tile Flooring – Tile Flooring Installation
Tile has been a popular flooring type for thousands of years, so it is well worth considering for your home or commercial space. Here’s a look at tile flooring pros and cons.
- Tile flooring pros: Tile is produced in the widest selection of any type of floor material. Your options include a variety of sizes from one-inch square to 24-inches square and non-square shapes too. Ceramic tile is affordable while porcelain tile is tougher. Both types are very durable, lasting 100+ years in many homes and commercial settings. Tile flooring stands up to moisture well, so if the grout is sealed and in good condition, you can use a steam cleaner to loosen dirt and sanitize the floor. Tiles are affordable when compared with laminate, engineered flooring and solid hardwood.
- Tile flooring cons: While the material is inexpensive, installing tiles costs more than installing most other materials. While DIY tile installation will reduce the cost, having a professional flooring company install tile will ensure that it is straight and properly adheres to the subfloor. Tile flooring is cold and hard, but this can be offset with area rugs in strategic locations.
What Flooring is Right for You?
The longer you plan to stay in your current home, the more value you’ll get from expensive flooring like tile and engineered flooring. For quick resale, opt for cheaper floor material like carpet and laminate. Your flooring company can give you exact cost estimates for you to compare before you make your choice.