Flooring Options – Pros and Cons

Our homes are our castles, our most private spaces, where we get to dictate the look and the feel that suits our own personal style and function.  That look and feel for most of us is ever evolving with the times, whether it be our own changing tastes or an ever-deepening understanding of the endless design possibilities.  Changing the drapes, repainting a room in a new color or even transforming a space with new light fixtures are all doable and not too costly but when it comes to flooring, that’s altogether another matter.  

Because of the cost and permanence of most flooring options as well as the enormous disruption to our daily lives if we do have to make a change, it’s exceedingly important to choose the right option.  In this week’s blog we will give you a summary of the options with their benefits and drawbacks.

  1. Hardwood

This timeless classic comes in many styles and colors, narrow to broad boards, rustic to high-gloss finish and colors ranging from blond to chocolate brown.  Wood floors add warmth and style and because they aren’t as hard as some other options they are also comfortable. But perhaps the greatest benefit is the value that a quality hardwood floor can add quite a bit of value to your home.  Among the drawbacks of this classic is that the upkeep can be costly and time consuming.  They are also susceptible to water damage if you ever have a water leak.

  1. Laminate

Laminate has come a long way since its early days as a poor attempt at imitating hardwood.  Today’s offerings are difficult to distinguish from the classic option, can also replicate the look of tile or stone, require less maintenance, are far cheaper and more durable.  The primary drawback is that the plywood or fiberboard used to make laminate is susceptible to water damage.

  1. Engineered Wood

This option is made by adding a thin veneer of real wood on top of a plywood base.  As the veneer is actual wood it has the same look as hardwood flooring but is much cheaper and, if you have a DIY bent, you can even install it yourself.  It is not as durable as Laminate or hardwood and will eventually have to be replaced.

  1. Vinyl

If you think of 1980s glossy linoleum when you hear vinyl flooring, we’ve got news for you. Like laminate, vinyl options and quality have developed into some stunning offerings with a tile, stone or wood look. It comes in squares or planks that are peel and stick or clickable with a cushioned underlayer that adds a softer more comfortable feel.  Vinyl is economical and installation costs are low with its main drawback being durability as it comes in under tile and hardwood.

  1. Ceramic Tile

Tile now comes in myriad styles, colors and materials from slate and porcelain to terracotta.  Tile is easy to clean, not affected by water leaks and varies in durability and required maintenance.  The more durable options are the harder materials which results in the biggest drawback of tile being that tile is not as comfortable to walk.

  1. Carpet

Carpet is warm and cozy, the most comfortable flooring to walk on and comes in an almost endless variety of styles and colors. As we all know, carpet traps dirt, dust and grime and requires more regular maintenance that other options.  Its durability depends both on how you maintain it and that thickness of the material.

As we always say here at USA Exterior, know your options and enjoy the process of making your home your castle.