Flooring 101

With so many flooring options, you need to find one that meets your specific needs. Read through this guide and reach out for more info on each type.

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Everything you need to know about floors all in one blog! Read through this list, outlining the pros and cons of the most popular floors, to help make your choice for your next home renovation.

 

Wood

 

Pros

  • One of the most popular flooring types currently
  • Easier to clean than carpet, more hygienic over time
  • Wont trap and hold onto dander, dust, pet hair etc.
  • Easier to maintain – stains and drips aren’t emergencies, potential to sand down and refinish
  • Adds to home’s overall value
  • Durable when treated with care (there’s a reason you can find 100-year-old homes with original floors)

Cons

  • Costly – more so than most other flooring
  • Cold – don’t insulate heat very well, especially in colder months
  • Still can get dents and scratches
  • Water vulnerable – prolonged exposure to liquid (in the case of a floor for instance) will warp and severely damage your hardwood
  • Temperate vulnerable – fluctuating temperatures can cause your hardwood to shift and warp as it expands and contracts – make sure to have tight seals on doors and windows (though engineered hardwood can help avoid this con)
  • Loud – no noise proofing with hardwood and can have potential squeaks

Common hardwood options:

  • Maple
  • Oak
  • Ash
  • Bamboo
  • Walnut

Also note that you can choose between solid and engineered wood flooring. Solid wood is as described, a single plank of solid wood. Engineered is layers of wood sheets composed on top of each other. This helps make engineered a little more durable to temperature and humidity changes.

 

Tile

 

Pros:

  • Versatile – several designs and colour options
  • Easy to clean and more hygienic than other flooring with porous surfaces
  • Durable to basic scratches and dents
  • Can be installed over radiant heating
  • Almost completely resistant to water damage and temperate changes
  • A green option as recycled tile is available

 

Cons:

  • Very solid, little support for prolonged standing
  • Can get very cold in low temperatures (recommended to install over radiant heating)
  • No noise control, creating louder environment
  • Heavy weights can shatter and chip tiles – difficult to replace as DIY and run the risk of matching tiles discontinuing
  • Slip hazard when wet

 

Options available in tiles:

  1. Ceramic – the common tile most think of for flooring
  2. Glass – high gloss, recyclable
  3. Imitation – large tile pieces designed to replicate popular materials more affordably (ie. hardwood design tile is becoming very popular)

 

Stone

 

Pros:

  • Incredibly durable – last a lifetime
  • Very little maintenance involved other than general cleaning
  • Can be used indoors and out (resistant to temperature changes)
  • Resistant to water damage
  • Can be installed over radiant heat
  • Hygienic and great for those with allergies

 

Cons:

  • More expensive than other flooring options
  • Naturally cool – can get really chilly in colder months
  • Potential slipping hazard when wet
  • Hard surface can cause more issues with falls and dropping breakable objects
  • Very heavy – must check with a professional to make sure you have the proper structure and foundation to handle stone

 

Carpet

 

Pros:

  • Comfortable as it provides support and cushion to feet
  • Helps insulation (saves on utility bills)
  • Helps noise control
  • More affordable

 

Cons:

  • Shows wear and tear more than other flooring (stains, snags, thread pulls)
  • Collects dander, bacteria, dust etc. without regular vacuuming
  • If exposed to significant water, needs to be replaced – runs risk of mildew and mold
  • Scents tend to get trapped and linger in carpets (pets and carpets are not a good combination)

 

Concrete

 

Pros:

  • Super durable, arguably the most of all flooring materials
  • Easy maintenance – lasts a lifetime when out of the elements
  • Easy fix – can be poured and set into cracks/chips
  • Easy to clean
  • Resistant to temperature changes
  • Resistant to water damage
  • Becoming increasingly versatile in style and colour
  • Can be poured over radiant heat

 

Cons:

  • Extremely hard surface – tough on feet and potential for damage during falls or dropping items
  • Cracks – while very durable, through time and dealing with environment changes can cause cracks
  • Can be expensive

 

Cork

 

Pros:

  • A little unconventional but growing in popularity
  • Natural spongy texture makes it a comfortable surface to walk on
  • Shock absorbing as well, so less potential for damage with falls and drops
  • Eco-friendly – made from cork oak tree bark that sheds off naturally (under regulations to keep actual trees undisturbed)
  • Resilient – handles scratches, dents and natural wear and tear well due to texture
  • Can insulate well for heat and noise control
  • Easy to clean surface
  • Water resistant (if cleaned quickly)

 

Cons:

  • Much like carpet, heavy furniture can leave indents and marks after a long period of exposure
  • Sharp objects like knives, pet claws or furniture without pads can cut chunks out of the floor
  • Light sensitive – can discolour under prolonged exposure to direct sunlight
  • Expensive and requires experienced professional to install

 

Laminate

 

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Versatile (more and more high quality options available these days)
  • Easy to clean
  • Can handle general moisture exposure and temperate shifts (like in a bathroom)
  • Extremely resistant to dents, scratches and wear and tear damage
  • When installed with special layer, can provide soft surface for bare feet
  • Has some insulation purpose for a warmer feel and noise control

 

Cons:

  • Can be damaged by excessive water exposure
  • Cannot be sanded down and refinished (if it does take a significant scratch or dent, must be replaced)
  • Potential slip hazard when went
  • Doesn’t help increase resale value

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