Types of Flooring
Flooring Fairfield NJ is a crucial element in any room. It impacts resale value, comfort, noise abatement, and upkeep.
Carpets add warmth and softness to a living space, while hardwood elevates rooms and provides a timeless quality. Composite or engineered wood floors are an option for those who want the look of hardwood but aren’t ready for the expense of a solid plank.
Tile is an all-purpose flooring material, often found in bathrooms and kitchens. It is resistant to stains and moisture, and it won’t absorb bacteria or odors. Tile floors are also durable and can withstand more foot traffic than carpets and hardwood floors, so they can last for years without needing to be replaced.
Tiles are available in a wide range of colors, textures and designs. You can find a wood-look plank tile to complement your living space or a stunning marble mosaic to accent the entryway. They can also be combined with different finishes like matte, glossy and honed for visual texture and contrast.
Unlike other types of flooring, you can install tile floors in any room in your home. However, they are best for areas that receive a lot of foot traffic.
You’ll need to sweep and mop regularly to keep tile floors looking good, but they can be cleaned much easier than wood or carpet. They’re a popular choice for kitchens as well, because you can easily wipe up sauce splashes or milk spills.
Before you begin your tile flooring project, be sure to lay out a sample square in the room where you’re installing it. This will help you choose the right color, size and design for your floor. You may also want to consider incorporating trim pieces, borders and inlays into your tile design.
Hardwood flooring is classic and timeless, adding beauty to any room. It’s also a great investment for your home, recouping up to 75 percent of its cost when you sell it. Today, there are more options than ever for hardwood floors. Choose from solid or engineered wood, prefinished or site-finished, and an array of wood species and grain patterns.
The type of wood you choose will depend on the amount of traffic, aesthetics and budget. For example, hickory is durable and holds up to pets and children, while oak has a classic look that works well with most design styles. For a formal or traditional look, consider mahogany’s rich color and intricate grain pattern.
How your hardwood is cut also affects the appearance. Boards can be cut flatsawn or quartersawn, with each resulting in unique patterns of growth rings. Flatsawn boards are sliced lengthwise, which creates a wavy flamelike pattern. Quartersawn boards are sliced across the grain, producing a smoother, more even look.
Solid wood is a natural material and reacts to humidity changes, expanding or contracting depending on the amount of moisture in it. It isn’t a good choice for below-grade or damp spaces and must be nailed to a wooden subfloor. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, is more stable as it has a layer of real wood on top of a core of plywood or HDF.
Laminate jumped onto the scene decades ago as an easy-to-install, low-cost alternative to solid wood flooring. Manufacturers have worked hard to improve their products, including better graphics replication, micro bevels and deeper texturing. These improvements bring laminate closer to the cachet enjoyed by traditional and engineered wood floors, but it remains a budget-friendly choice.
Laminate is made with multiple layers of compressed fibre, topped by a design layer that mimics the look of other flooring types. The bottom layer is treated to prevent moisture damage, while the top layer is protected by a tough wear layer that resists scratching and staining. The result is a cost-effective, durable floor that can stand up to kids and pets.
Lighter laminates are good for small spaces, while darker options can make a room feel more cozy. Whether you want to make a space appear larger or smaller, laminate comes in many different colors and patterns that can help achieve your goals.
While there are many advantages to laminate, some homeowners prefer the natural feeling of real wood. Because the surface of laminate is synthetic, it can’t be sanded and refinished like wood, so when it begins to show signs of wear, you’ll need to replace it. Also, laminate can emit odors from the glues used to hold it together, and low-quality materials may release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When choosing laminate, look for products that are certified by the Environmental Product Declaration programme, which verifies that they contain no toxic chemicals.
Vinyl flooring is durable, versatile and affordable. It stands up well to moisture and heavy foot traffic, making it a practical option for kitchens and bathrooms. It comes in a wide range of timeless and trendy designs to fit any style.
It is easy to keep clean with a mop or vacuum cleaner and will not show dirt marks as easily as some other floors. The downside of vinyl is that it doesn’t withstand the impact of sharp objects, so a cushioned underlay is recommended. Vinyl can also be punctured by pet claws or dents can form on the floor from heavy furniture.
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is the modern version of vinyl flooring. It is created from plastic polymer-PVC with fiberglass or a felt layer that’s covered with the printed design and then topped with a clear protective layer. LVT can mimic the look of natural materials like ceramic tile or hardwood with great precision. It is available in a wide variety of timeless and trendy styles that are ideal for any room.
It is also a great choice for those who want the benefits of vinyl but would like to avoid the toxic chemicals found in conventional flooring. LVT is often made from recycled material and is low-VOC, formaldehyde and UK allergy certified, creating healthier indoor environments. However, the manufacturing process still uses a variety of synthetic chemicals, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC), plasticizers, stabilisers, pigments, fillers and flame retardants. Landfilled vinyl can leach phthalates into the soil and incinerated vinyl can produce dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Stone can be a stunning choice for those seeking to create an indoor-outdoor flow. Using the same stones on both the walls and floors can make those transitions feel seamless, especially when they are used in combination with glass doors and sliding patio or pool areas. When properly cared for, stone can stand up to the elements.
The type of stone chosen for flooring has an impact on how it needs to be treated. The rate at which it absorbs liquids determines how susceptible it is to staining and cracking when absorbed materials freeze and expand. Stone with a high absorption rate is more likely to require regular sealant applications.
Most stone flooring comes in a variety of colors, shapes and finishes. The finish can also have a significant impact on how the stone is cleaned. Those with a honed or polished finish may not need as much sealing, while those with a tumbled finish can be more susceptible to damage from abrasive cleaners and will need extra protection.
Some stone types are considered siliceous, such as granite, sandstone and quartzite, while others are calcareous, like limestone, marble and travertine. Siliceous stones can generally handle mild acidic cleaning solutions, while calcareous stone is more delicate and requires a more gentle cleaning regimen.
Cork is best known for its use as wine bottle stoppers and trivets, but it also makes an excellent floor covering. Cork floors are a stylish and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional hardwood, tile, and vinyl flooring. Cork floors offer a natural look and feel while providing acoustic insulation, comfort underfoot, and resistance to mildew and mold.
Cork’s honeycomb structure is also very resilient and absorbs impact. This helps make it an excellent choice for areas of the home that experience heavy foot traffic, such as living rooms and hallways. Cork can also handle the shock of dropped items, such as plates and glasses, much better than other types of flooring.
Unlike other floor materials, cork can be installed in two ways: glue down or floating planks. Glue down tiles require that the subfloor be completely dry before installation and can be difficult to install in basements, where moisture is a concern. Floating cork planks are easier to install and can be laid over a concrete subfloor or on top of wood joists.
Regardless of installation method, it is important that cork floors be properly sealed to protect the surface and help extend their lifespan. Especially in high-traffic areas, where water is likely to splash onto the floor, it is important to seal and reseal the flooring several times throughout the year. Additionally, cork is susceptible to fading in bright sunlight. It is a good idea to use light-colored furniture or add window treatments to keep the cork looking its best.