Flooring

A Beautiful New Floor Is Done Best When The Right Materials are Used.

This guide explains the eight most popular types of flooring materials, where they’re best used and their pros and cons.

Hardwood

For starters, let’s take a look at a traditional favorite: hardwood. Thanks to hardwood’s durability and warm, natural feel, it continues to be the flooring of choice for many homeowners. Of the hardwoods, oak remains the most popular choice, but other woods like cherry and imported exotic woods such as Brazilian cherry or Tasmanian oak are definitely worth considering. Hardwood floors come in a variety of styles such as plank, parquet and prefinished boards that you can install yourself.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular flooring choices around. It’s easier to install than solid-wood hardwood floors and is much less expensive. Laminate floors get their name because they’re composed of different wood-based materials that are layered, or laminated, together then topped with a wood grain photographic imprint on the face of each board.

A variation on true laminate floors are engineered wood floors. Engineered wood consists of a real hardwood veneer attached to a number of plywood layers. This is a little more expensive than laminate because the top layer is real wood rather than a photographic imprint. This top layer of wood gives engineered wood floors a much more convincing sound, feel and look than laminate.

Bamboo

Unlike hardwood floors, the material used to create bamboo floors is not a tree, but actually a lightweight woody grass. This fast-growing, regenerating plant has the tensile strength of steel, which makes for a highly durable floor that resists swelling and contraction with changes in humidity. Bamboo flooring is pre-finished and engineered with tongue-and-groove joints, just like standard solid wood flooring. Bamboo is grown in controlled forests and takes just three to five years to reach maturity, as compared to old-growth hardwoods that can take 120 years to grow to full size.

Cork

Like bamboo, cork is a green flooring alternative. Another bonus of cork is that the wood’s honeycomb like cellular structure gives the flooring a cushiony feel underfoot. This distinctive structural characteristic also causes cork floors to absorb vibrations and sound, and they bounce back if dented. Cork flooring is available in pre-finished tiles in a range of finishes. The tiles have a natural, nonslip surface that makes cork ideal for wet areas like kitchens or bathrooms.

Tile

Porcelain is a popular choice as is terra cotta and natural stone, such as marble, granite, travertine or slate. When selecting tile on a budget, porcelain is the most cost-effective. It combines the beauty and hardness of stone, but costs considerably less and is much easier to maintain than marble, which is porous and must periodically be resealed. Glazed porcelain tile is durable enough to handle heavy traffic areas and is available in a wide range of hues, textures and finishes. Unleash your creativity and combine tiles of various sizes, colors and textures to create a one-of-a-kind floor.

Luxury Vinyl Plank

The beauty of luxury vinyl plank flooring isn’t just in its visual appeal, but in the durability and longevity it provides homeowners as well. Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring was crafted to create a real wood look and texture without the high cost. You get the added bonus of being able to install our vinyl plank flooring in nearly every room of your home, including humidity-prone areas such as a kitchen, basement or bathroom. All of our vinyl plank flooring is certified, meeting all indoor air quality standards for resilient flooring for everything from small home to commercial use.

The main draw is that our vinyl flooring looks like real wood and is a great low-maintenance alternative sold at discount prices. Vinyl plank flooring installation can also be an easier process than most real solid or engineered wood flooring..