Whether you’re thinking of getting a new home built, or looking at your existing home and thinking it may be time for a change, one of the areas that people tend to forget about is residential flooring. It’s easy to see why, as most people will be concerned with issue of space, lighting fixtures, and placement of windows. But the floor of a home is the one part that is under almost constant use. This is what we stand and walk on, it is what supports the furniture in every room, and, even though we may not think about it this way, it is the foundation for the look of every room in a home. You may not look down at it, but the floor sets the tone of the mood and look of a home’s respective spaces.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide with a few ideas for the design of residential flooring. Everyone is going to have different tastes and different needs for what they want to accomplish in a room, so we have a little bit of everything. Let’s get started!
While not as popular as it was in previous decades such as the disco era of the 1970s, carpet is still very much a viable flooring choice in today’s homes. It can work well in almost any room in the home, though it’s still advisable not to use it in kitchen or bathroom areas due to the high amount of moisture and water regularly used in these areas. For bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, family/rumpus rooms, dens, home offices, “man caves” and other spaces, it still provides a warm, textured look with a lot of traction.
Of course, the one downside to carpet is the cleaning. Unlike other floor surfaces, spills will get into the fabric of the carpet itself, requiring a bit more work than just wiping it down as you would get from stone, tile or another hard surface. There’s also the question of dirt, which will require a vacuum rather than simply using a broom. The higher maintenance considerations aside, however, carpet has a pleasant texture on bare feet, provides a lot of natural traction to prevent slipping, and even ensures floors feel warm to exposed feet without needing radiant heating underneath.
This is a classic choice and a favorite for many homes. The warm look and feel of hardwood lends a lot to the ambience of a residence. There’s still a certain amount of prestige associated with the classic look of this surface. It also brings with it a comparatively easier maintenance regime. As a hard surface, it’s easy to see dirt and easier still to quickly clean it up. Spills are also not a problem since they can be easily wiped.
The one thing hardwood floor owners need to keep in mind is that a professional, high quality residential flooring installation is absolutely critical. With proper coating and treatment on a hardwood floor, you can enjoy many years of quality surface, but this is still a wood floor. Given enough time and neglect, it is possible for the wood to splinter, and poorly treated, or very old hardwood floors can—and have—caused great discomfort for people who accidentally got splinters in their toes. With a professional installation, this should not be an issue.
Stone & Tile
Another classic choice is stone and/or tile flooring. The name says it all. These are hard surface materials. Sometimes natural stone, sometimes ceramic that has been fired and glazed, is then used as a walking surface. Of the available flooring options this is also the surface that, if left unattended, can feel the coldest to exposed feet, though radiant heating under the floor can nullify this issue if it’s a big concern.
Stone and tile is traditionally thought of as a walking surface for kitchens and bathrooms, because the harder, non-porous quality of this surface makes it very resistant to water exposure or damage. It also makes it very easy to clean up. However, more and more, especially with radiant heating, many people are bringing stone and tile floors to other parts of the home.
A laminate surface is a composite, meaning that it is made up of a lot of different layers and substances. It is a harder surface, similar to stone or tile, but smooth. Modern technology also allows laminate floors to take on just about any appearance that you’d like since a texture can be applied to it thanks to computer generated imagery, so you can get a detailed stone-like or wood grain appearance.
Laminate is a hard surface, and so, like tile and hardwood, is very easy to clean. One thing to note is that depending on the types of brooms or furniture that you use, laminate can also get scratched in a way similar to the coating on hardwood floors.
Vinyl used to be considered an economical choice because it was cheaper, did not look as attractive as other flooring solutions, but provided great value because how low maintenance and durable it was. Today, the maintenance benefits of vinyl remain, but “luxury vinyl” with a much higher quality appearance is great solution for homes, especially homes with a lot of activity.
This is one of the most durable surfaces available, and, because it is flexible, is less prone to damage to from dropping heavy objects than the other floors. It may be slightly more vulnerable to puncturing, however, as from extremely sharp high heels.
Whatever your choice of flooring, there is something for you. Contact us today to find out more!