Floors are an important factor in home design and renovation. Whether you are building a new house or remodeling your current one, you will discover that there is a wide selection in interior flooring. Here is a comparison of several different materials to help you choose the best option:
Natural wood floors are incredibly popular with homeowners. Renowned for their durability and beauty, hardwood floors are particularly in high demand. They can be stained to create a dark or ebony shade, which can add a nice contrast to a room with light walls or furniture. While there are numerous hardwood species to choose from, you can purchase sustainably harvested wood, including domestically grown cherry or oak.
Although it is exported from Asia, bamboo is still considered an eco-friendly alternative because it is a fast growing and easily renewable resource. While technically a grass, bamboo can offer a similar elegance to hardwood.
The most sustainable natural flooring option is reclaimed wood, which is salvaged from demolition sites. Many refurbished woods can give your home a rich and mature elegance. The only drawback is that they are often hard to find and fairly expensive to buy.
One of the more affordable and commonly used flooring substances is carpet, which comes in many colors and textures. Wool is considered the highest quality fiber for carpeting, since it is the most durable and stain resistant. While they are not as soft, synthetic options—including nylon, acrylic, and polyester—are less expensive.
Since most carpeting is sensitive to moisture and traps dirt easily, it is best suited for bedrooms, where you are less likely to spill water or food, and more likely to walk around barefoot.
Ceramic & Stone Tiles
Ideal for bathrooms, hallways, and even great for kitchens, tile floors are usually easier to clean and maintain than carpet or hardwood. Tiling can be formed from a variety of materials, colors, textures, sizes, and patterns.
Ceramic flooring options include a porcelain-glazed finish, which is highly stain resistant, or unglazed terra cotta tiles, which offer a rustic and earthy look. For more luxurious floors, you may want to consider investing in stone tiling, like granite, limestone, or slate. Harder stone floors, like marble, are more durable and longer lasting than softer ones, like sandstone.
Linoleum & Cork
If you do not have a classic aesthetic and are more concerned about environmentally friendly products, then linoleum or cork may be the right flooring choice for you. Linoleum is made with biodegradable, renewable materials, like linseed oil and cork, the latter coming from the bark of living trees. Mineral pigments provide coloring on linoleum floors, making it free of harsh vapors or toxic paints.
Pure cork is often used to make floors, too. Regarded for its organic appearance and soft texture, cork is a green design product sourced from trees that are never cut down. It comes in tiles or planks and has a naturally grainy pattern, which can be sealed with wax or water-based polyurethane.
From atypical cork and bamboo to more conventional hardwoods and carpets, you have numerous flooring options to consider when building or renovating a home. Whether you are looking for uniformity throughout your house, or interested in having different floors for each room, it is helpful to work with an interior designer and contractor to bring your ideas to life. Please let us know if we can help.