When you're choosing new flooring, what are the benefits and disadvantages of each type?
When choosing flooring, it’s imperative to think about several things: the room the flooring is going in, the type of foot traffic, wear and tear it will receive, the décor of the room and your budget. With so many things to factor in, it’s nice to know the pros and cons of each type of flooring.
Pros• Energy saver: Carpet can act like another layer of insulation and help keep cold or warm drafts from seeping through the floor.• Feels great: It goes without saying that carpet is always going to be the softest of any type of flooring. • Sound: Carpet helps to reduce sound and noises from one floor to the next.• Durability: Manufacturers have advanced the wear, tear and durability of carpet for it to last longer with proper care.
Cons• Maintenance: Regular vacuuming is needed (every one to two days for high traffic areas) frequently. Spills need to be removed immediately to prevent staining and liquid to seep deep into fibers to cause mold and mildew. Carpets also need regular professional carpet cleaning to remove ground in dirt and grime.
Pros• Value: An upgrade to hardwood floors will add a lot of value to your home.• Durability: When hardwood floors are properly cared for, they will last a very long time. When the floors are worn down some, a little TLC can bring them back to their natural glory. • Maintenance: Hardwood floors are easy to care for by sweeping or vacuuming them daily and wiping them with an approved wood cleaner.• Variety: There are many different types of woods, stains and plank sizes.
Cons• Cost: Hardwood floors can be a substantial expense to have installed.• Cold: They can be colder to the touch compared to other flooring options.• Noise and not so pet-friendly: Every step that is taken on wood floors can be heard. Not to mention, furry friends can slip and slide because their padded feet can’t grip the shiny, smooth surface.
Pros• Installation: Many manufacturers make a “Click-Lock” design that makes it extremely easy to install. With laminate flooring, you should be able to use all the pieces in a box, unlike hardwood flooring products.• Cleanup: The protective layer on laminate helps protect it from something that would normally stain easily. • Maintenance: Vacuum away loose dirt and debris and mop with a damp mop.
Cons• Value: Laminate may look like hardwood, but doesn’t have the same value.• Feel: There are many negative ways people describe laminate flooring, “Loud, slippery, hard, etc.” Some laminate flooring can be very slippery, too.• Maintenance: Laminate flooring is easily dented. Laminate flooring cannot be sanded or refinished. Areas with large scratches or gouges need to be replaced with new laminate flooring.
Luxury vinyl tile
Pros• Design choices: There are many unique variety of colors and designs, inspired by the colors and patterns found in nature. Tiles can be grouted to make it look more like ceramic or stone.• Quick installation: A typical installation can be completed in half the time it takes to complete a comparable ceramic tile installation. • Durability: Luxury vinyl tile is highly durable and scratch-resistant, making it an excellent choice for heavy foot traffic areas.• Feel: LVT is comparatively warmer to the touch than ceramic and other natural stones. It also absorbs sound and creates a more peaceful atmosphere.• Maintenance: Regular sweeping, vacuuming and mopping can maintain this flooring for many years.
Cons• Cost: Don’t think inexpensive vinyl flooring or “peel and stick” tiles. Luxury vinyl tile can cost as much as some standard hardwood or ceramic tile.• Transitions: Manufacturers need to address transitions, as the only option right now is staining unfinished wood pieces to match.
Become an educated buyer when shopping for flooring. Don’t rely on big box stores and their associates to provide you with all the information you need. Many times, the products they sell are of lesser quality.
In order to become educated on quality flooring, it’s recommended you go to a reputable flooring showroom where all types (with many price points) are displayed. Associates at a “flooring only” store will be able to share their knowledge and help you choose the product that will suit your family, home, decor and lifestyle.
About this Experts Contributor
Tracey Edwards represents Ayoub Carpet Service, providing carpet cleaning in Washington. Since 1952, Ayoub Carpet Service has specialized in carpet and rug cleaning and repairs, water damage, and hardwood floor, tile, laminate and carpet sales and installation. You can follow this contributor on Twitter @AyoubCarpet and on Google+.
As of July 14, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angi. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.