In today's era of home remodeling and new construction, how
does one decide on what surfacing to choose for floors? With such an abundance
of choices and diverse personal tastes, why do we prefer carpet in the
location may play an even greater part in your interior selections than your individual
Wood - From
earth-friendly epay to old-fashioned golden oak, wood flooring continues to
impress us because of its many attractive qualities, above all its ability to
transcend all design styles. Timeless,
decorative and durable, an interior wood selection is guaranteed to receive a positive
nod from any prospective home buyer on the market. And with its wide range of
thicknesses, wood species and installation methods, wood flooring doesn't have
to be expensive.
Laminate Wood -
Stay clear of composite imitations that are only computer-generated print
matches of wood, such as Pergo, that promise the look and luster of real wood.
They cannot hold up to wet and snowy
mudroom entrances and can potentially decrease future resale value.
Engineered Wood -
This is a great alternative to a solid wood floor, since plywood is the
substrate and a veneer of wood is applied to the surface. The only caveat here
is that you will not get as many sandings out of this material as you will with
solid wood floors - and believe it or not, an engineered wood floor can be more
expensive than its thicker brother. This particular flooring is great for
concrete slab foundations and radiant flooring, however.
Tile - Not just
for the bathrooms and kitchens anymore, this hard-wearing material has been
used for centuries in the tropics and other regions of the world where the goal
is to keep interior temperatures cool. Out-of-the-box interior designers are using
tiles in every shape, color and style to clad everything from walls to ceilings
and roofs, as tile remains one of the most decorative, diverse and creative tools
to add cachet to one's décor as well as to boost resale value.
Ceramic Tile- This most popular and most often used
tile choice is generally the least expensive. Unfortunately, it is also considered
the most outdated and least durable. The color that you fall in love with on top
does not extend below the surface. When
you crack, mar or chip ceramic tile - which is all too easy to do - the
aftermath is very noticeable.
Porcelain Tile - Cutting-edge and in high demand,
porcelain tile comes in an amazing range of colors, styles and textures.
Innovative computer-generated print matches allow this tile to imitate even the
best marble tile, which is always good for the budget. Porcelain stands as the
exact opposite to its close relative, ceramic, in that it is extremely durable,
and the color runs throughout the entire depth of the tile, making any wear or
damage very inconspicuous. Money well spent!
Polished, honed, tumbled or fired, this precious material - imported from
around the world - provides some of the best decorative surfaces that money can
buy. Marble floors are guaranteed to take any home from ordinary to extraordinary
- but only if installed by a master tile layer. Remember, God is in the details
- just ask the Romans.
Carpet - From the
formaldehyde of the past to the bamboo of the future - shag, Berber and plush
piles are all part of the wide world of wall-to-wall carpeting that is
constantly being revolutionized! From inexpensive polyester to imported silk,
carpet fibers are being twisted and knotted in every corner of the globe. In
colder climates, carpet is a must for a warm and inviting interior, especially
in the bedroom. However, even though some new carpet materials can be
impervious to stains, crush-proof and fade-resistant, it can be destroyed
fairly quickly if not properly cared for or if the wrong material or pile depth
is used in high-traffic areas or exposed daily to children and pets. In
addition, inside a house in a northern climate whose windows are closed during
the winter months, carpeting can become an incubator for dirt, dust mites and
dander - a disaster where the allergy-prone are concerned.
Vinyl - Not just
for schools, factories and modular homes anymore, this very durable flooring
material has made a comeback since the 1960s. With names like linoleum,
Congoleum and VCT (vinyl composition tile), these versatile sheet good
materials are making a big splash with interior designers everywhere.
Affordability, durability and ease of cleaning will be determining factors for
many, but when looking for something new and different, you may be surprised at
how hip vinyl can be these days, too.
From the snowy city of
to the sunny beaches of
every category are being installed, tried and tested. Your design professional
can help you find the one that's ideal for your living environment.
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