Flooring choice is an important component of remodeling a home because it can change the character of a room as much, or more, than the choice of paint or lighting. Think about how flooring impacts the feel of a room. Some flooring amplifies noise, other flooring muffles noise. Flooring may feel cold or warm, soft or hard. Flooring choice is a matter of personal taste, but cost, durability, and maintenance are key factors to consider. This article provides you with a thumbnail summary of some of the more frequently used types of flooring in New Jersey.
Hardwood flooring is very commonly used. Solid Hardwood flooring is consistent throughout the depth of the flooring. This means it can be sanded and refinished. Solid hardwood flooring comes in a variety of finishes and colors. Different species of trees will show different patterns. It can be altered in appearance by staining or painting. Hardwood flooring is considered high quality Flooring.
There are several flooring types that can mimic the look and feel of hardwood flooring but may differ in terms of durability and price. Engineered hardwood is a less expensive alternative to natural hardwood. It is easy to install and can be installed in areas such as concrete slab basements or where and radiant heat, where traditional hardwood flooring would be avoided. Engineered hardwood is a highly stable product which experiences minimal contraction or expansion. Laminate flooring is a manufactured product which consists of multiple layers of material laminated together. Laminate flooring can be made to appear like hardwood or like stone tiles. This is a very durable, easy to install flooring which is relatively low cost.
Tile – Ceramic, Porcelain, Stone
Tile flooring can be made of ceramic, porcelain or stone. This type of flooring is often used in kitchens and baths because of its waterproof and low maintenance properties. Stone tiles are considered high quality and can improve the value of a home. Tiles can be easy to install, maintain and repair. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are available in styles that mimic wood, making it an attractive option for more rooms than just the bathroom and kitchen.
Vinyl flooring is very cost effective. Available in both tiles and sheets, this can be a good choice for areas where dampness or moisture is common such as baths, kitchens and basements. Vinyl flooring is easy to maintain and easier on the feet than ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles. Vinyl flooring varies in thickness with the thicker vinyl flooring being more durable.
There are green choices that are alternatives to hardwood flooring. While not as commonly used in New Jersey we know that many homeowners consider the environmental impact of the materials they choose to use in their remodel. Bamboo flooring is made from a very fast-growing plant, which means that the resource is quickly regrown within several years compared to trees which may take a century to reach full maturity. Cork is also seen as a green alternative. Harvested from a living tree, cork is available in tiles, is naturally non-slip, and is able to absorb vibrations, making it a “quiet” flooring. As you might expect, cork provides a softer, cushioned surface for walking. Linoleum is made from all natural materials including linseed oil, wood powder, and ground stone. Linoleum is available in a broad range of colors, sizes, and finishes. It can be less expensive than other flooring options and has great durability.
As you can see there are a number of considerations to consider in selecting a flooring type: location of room, moisture factors, traffic level. Keep your contractor in the loop as you think about flooring choice. While they are not designers, they can weigh in on the suitability of a material for a particular location in your home.