Choosing the Right Hard Flooring

There are many flooring options to choose from, but finding the right flooring choice can be problematic to some, but it doesn’t have to be.  To choose the right material you’ll need to consider a few things ahead of time, such as how the room is typically used along with you or your family’s lifestyle. Also think about your priorities and whether you prefer ease of maintenance over aesthetics.



Floors take up a lot of visible space and it’s only natural to want them to look great. Just don’t forget the practical aspects when making your choice. The right blend of what looks good and an informed decision should result in the right flooring product for your home.



Each type of flooring surface comes with its own individual advantages and disadvantages. Consider the following points and questions to help narrow your options. You may already have a preconceived idea of the type of surface you want, but not all materials are suitable for every application.


SOLID WOOD
The traditional and timeless appeal of a solid wood floor will enhance the appearance of any interior and endure for generations. Each board is precision machined from a single piece of timber and typically finished with a robust tongue and groove joint on all sides.

ENGINEERED
Each board consists of three or four layers of wood, glued together at right angles to create a plank around 14mm thick. It has a real-wood veneer of around 4mm thick on top, which means it can be sanded back and treated to restore the original finish if it becomes scuffed, worn or damaged..

LAMINATE
Laminate simulates the appearance of a real wood or stone floor without some of the practical drawbacks. Laminate flooring is a compressed fibreboard plank, covered by a photographic image of wood, stone or tile and a protective overlay.

BAMBOO
While technically a variety of grass, the characteristics of a bamboo floor are comparable to that of a hardwood floor. Bamboo is 100% sustainable with a life cycle of around 5 years. Available in two styles; traditional and strandwoven, with the latter being twice as durable as the traditional method.


Things to consider when buying a wooden floor

Wooden flooring is an excellent choice for any home. Wood is a natural material with a very long life span, looks fantastic and adds value to your property. The cost is also comparable to other options, such as tile.

LAMINATE vs WOOD
Pricing: Depending on your budget, firstly take into consideration the cost of laminate and hardwood flooring to determine what is best for you and your wallet.
Laminate: PROS – Laminate wood flooring is made from composite wood pressed together at high temperatures. The photograph or image of hardwood is then covered over the composite wood to form the laminate, thus is cheaper. Laminate wood installation cost is cheaper than hardwood.
Hardwood: CONS – Hardwood flooring is made from harvested trees and depending on how exotic the trees are will affect the pricing. Hardwood is more expensive to buy and install.
Durability: Depending on the volume of traffic and wear and tear on flooring in your home. How durable your hard flooring is will help with maintenance and keep it looking great for years to come.
Laminate: PROS – Since laminate wood flooring is made from pressed wood it is more durable and resists scratches, moisture and wear and tear better than hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is also easier to clean routinely.
CONS – Even though laminate is more durable it is not as visually appealing and lower qualities of laminate may have artificial looking wood grain textures.
Hardwood: CONS – Hardwood is susceptible to scratching, can get damaged from excessive moisture and will show wear, especially in heavy traffic areas in your home. However this is easily remedied by sanding down and refinishing.
PROS – Hardwood is the ‘real deal’. It is beautiful to look at and depending on the variety can add considerable value to your home.
Repair: Flooring is one component of your home that at one time or another will have to be repaired. From minor accidents in the home, to excessive wear and tear, laminate and hardwood have separate advantages and disadvantages.

Laminate: CONS – Laminate flooring doesn’t repair easily. If you buy flooring that comes in individual pieces and snapped together, you may be able to replace. Although, depending on sunlight and age, the new piece may not match properly.
Hardwood: PROS – Hardwood can be repaired by sanding and refinishing any imperfections. This advantage gives hardwood a plus over laminate, in that it will last for years into the future.



Other things to consider

Most of the concentration in a home is on the décor and feel of the home. Believe it or not, the flooring has a major role in the look, feel, and the ambience of a room. Your lifestyle, budget, and the amount of traffic your floor will endure will all dictate the perfect flooring for you. Whether you are renovating or choosing flooring for your existing home here are tips that will help you choose flooring that you will love.
LIFESTYLE: How you & your family live and use your home is the most significant factor in choosing flooring. If your family has heavy traffic, pets, kids, and is very active, then plush carpet will not be ideal. Heavy traffic areas should consider resilient flooring, such as ceramic tile, vinyl, or wood flooring. If your home has minimal traffic, and you enjoy having softness underfoot, carpeting or area rugs over wood flooring may be ideal for your home. There are several choices for flooring in between carpet and resilient flooring. Placement of these materials should also be a factor in your decision.
LOCATION IN HOME: Flooring that is at the entry or foyer of your home should have a “wow” factor, but be durable to outdoor elements. If snow, rain, and mud is a factor in the entry to your home, consider using durable flooring, such as slate, tile, or wood. Entry mats outside of the home should be placed to remove the majority of outdoor moisture; this will help keep your floors cleaner too! Flooring in bedrooms, and kid’s rooms should be comfortable for bare feet. Flooring in utility, laundry and bathrooms should be able to resist water. Hardwood and laminate wood flooring in not recommended in areas of high moisture, as warping and damage can occur.
COST: Flooring is priced per square foot and can add up quickly! All flooring materials have ‘grades’ of quality. Synthetic carpet is cheaper than Berber carpet that contains big and small tufts of pile. The plusher or more durable the carpet – naturally the more expensive it will be. When choosing carpet, don’t forget about the carpet pad beneath. The carpet pad will make your steps more comfortable, and will make your carpet last longer. Ceramic, slate, and marble tile is generally more expensive than carpet. Tile is very low maintenance and doesn’t usually have to be replaced, unless it cracks. Wood and laminate flooring has become more affordable over the years, due to new products entering the flooring market.
ECO-FRIENDLY: Would you like to have flooring that is good the environment and looks great? Consider flooring such as: recycled glass tiles, bamboo wood, and cork flooring. Each has unique properties – Cork flooring is great for sound absorption, but is not good for high heel wearers! Do you have a loft or industrial type home? Exposed concrete, or stained concrete flooring is also great for the environment.