Flooring has a far more significant affect on a room than most people give it credit for. Certainly, its color will make an impact, but so will its texture and its insulation qualities. Flooring changes the sound of a room and helps create its personality. Like furniture, wall colors and lighting, flooring has a foundational impact on the entire atmosphere of a Kansas City home.
Here is a simple to follow guide to help in any flooring choice decision.
Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic tile is available in a wide selection of sizes, colors and designs. It is durable, and when glazed, impervious to moisture and stains. This makes it an excellent choice for:
- Indoor/Outdoor areas
Ceramics allow for a diverse range of decorative impacts in an area including the choice of grout colors. Since it is a hard surface, it is unforgiving. It can have a “cold” feel about it but many use area rugs to soften or warm its effect on a room. Ceramic tile is affordable.
Natural wood flooring is one of the longest lasting, beautiful floor treatments you can choose. It can be easily cleaned by sweeping and an occasional deep cleaning with specific wood floor products. While perhaps not the best choice in areas with moisture, natural wood floors can be found just about everywhere else. Natural wood can scratch or sustain dents easily and it can be expensive to install. It adds real value to a home and can be refinished multiple times over its lifetime. The National Wood Flooring Association has a variety of maintenance and care tips for wood floors.
Laminate flooring is versatile, easy to install and inexpensive. It is durable and allows design flexibility not afforded by some other flooring options. Today's laminate flooring choices include:
- A variety of wood looks and patterns
- Stone looks
It is critical that laminate flooring be installed properly to produce the desired pattern and a surface that will provide years of service.
When it comes to a rich appearance, marble flooring is tough to beat. It is attractive and extremely durable. Designs choices can be exquisite and elegant. The challenges of marble flooring lie in their installation and costs. There is often a lot of waste when cutting marble and it is extremely heavy to ship and handle. Once it is installed, however, few flooring choices add value to a home like marble, though it may require some addition care and upkeep to maintain.
Cork flooring brings unique characteristics to a room. It is available in a variety of formats like planks and tiles and be found in a wide selection of designer shades and colors. Cork flooring “gives” just a but when compressed this softer texture helps insulate both sound and temperature. A room with cork flooring can feel quieter and warmer. Its cushioning capabilities make it a good choice where people stand and in children's play areas. It is also an environmentally-friendly choice. Cork flooring can be chipped easily and is not a good choice for those with pets with claws.
Carpeting has long served as a staple in residential flooring and remains a popular choice of many homeowners. It is available in a variety of textures, patterns and colors and be installed with no, or deep, thick padding. Large areas can be carpeted rather quickly and it is available in a wide range of price points. Carpeting is relatively high maintenance, with frequent vacuuming and deep cleaning required, depending on the area in which it is used. Carpeting is most popular in living areas and bedrooms where its soft texture is most often appreciated and where shoes are less likely to be worn.
Available in both tiles and sheets, vinyl flooring is popular for two main reasons. It is a very durable flooring surface and it is affordable. Today's vinyl floors are available in more patterns, colors and designs than ever and are easy to install. While vinyl is durable, it can be damaged by heavy items or cut by sharp objects or corners. Sub-flooring surface preparation is critical in the installation of vinyl flooring.
Making the Right Flooring Choice
As with any other home improvement project (such as painting), choosing the right flooring is both a decorative and practical choice. Knowing the options and the strengths of those choices can go a long way in helping you make the decision best for your home.