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    A Guide to Understanding All Types of Flooring

    August 17th, 2016

    With constant innovations and new technologies, there are so many flooring options to pick from. We have narrowed it down to 8 of the most popular options, and broke down each one down for you, so you can make the right flooring decision for yourself.

    1. Hardwood

      Hardwood flooring is a traditional favorite-it is durable, warm, and gives a natural feel. Within hardwood flooring, there are many options as well-oak wood remains the most popular choice, but others definitely worth considering includes Brazilian cherry or Tasmanian oak. Hardwood flooring also come in a variety of forms, from planks to prefinished DIY installation boards.

    2. Laminate

      The two biggest pros of laminate are its cheaper price and easier installation in comparison to hardwood flooring. The boards itself are comprised of different wood based materials that are layered, or laminated together, then topped with a photographic imprint that make them identical looking to real hardwood flooring.

      An alternative to laminate are engineered wood floors. They are similar in the sense, that they also comprise a middle layer of plywood, but instead of a plastic top, the top layer is of a real hardwood veneer. Although this makes them slightly pricier than laminate, the more convincing look and sound may be worth it.

    3. Bamboo

      Bamboo flooring is made of a lightweight woody grass. Many choose bamboo as it is 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. Additionally, Bamboo flooring is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly, seeing it is grown in controlled forests and takes just three to five years to reach maturity, compared to old-growth hardwoods that can take 120 years to grow to full size.

    4. Cork

      Another green flooring alternative, like bamboo, is cork. Cork is comprised of the harvested bark of trees that is capable of regrowth rather than the hardwood itself. Other pros of cork flooring include its honeycomblike cellular structure which gives the flooring a cushiony feel underfoot. Cork flooring is also distinctly known for being able to absorb vibrations and sound. Cork flooring is available in pre-finished tiles in a range of finishes. Cork tiles naturally have a nonslip surface that makes cork ideal for wet areas like kitchens or bathrooms.

    5. Linoleum

      Linoleum is also considered an eco-friendly material, as it uses all natural materials that do not deplete forests, primarily composed of linseed oil, rosins and wood flour. Also thanks to its natural composition, it creates no adverse health issues during production, installation, use or disposal. Another added bonus is the antibacterial properties of natural linoleum, which stop microorganisms from reproducing, which is why you often see linoleum flooring in hospitals.

    6. Tile

      Tiles are durable enough to handle heavy traffic and wet areas and are available in a wide range of hues, textures and finishes. The many types of tiled flooring include porcelain, terra cotta, marble and granite. Porcelain is easily the most popular option, because it replicates the beauty and hardness of real stone at a fraction of the cost. Real stone is however more durable and less artificially engineered, but requires much more maintenance, seeing how their pores require them to be periodically resealed.

    7. Vinyl

      Vinyl is an especially popular choice for rooms that are prone to moisture, such as basements, bathrooms and kitchens. Like tiles, they are easy to clean, but are easier to install and to clean and softer underfoot than tile. Vinyl is available as sheets and self-stick tiles, and it is sold in a variety of widths and thicknesses. One rule to remember when selecting vinyl is the thicker it is, the more traffic it can bear.

    8. Concrete

      Concrete flooring is one of the hottest flooring options right now. That's because there's no limit to the design possibilities, with such a wide range of sealers and specialty stains currently on the market, plain and gray concrete can be stamped and stained to resemble polished marble, tumbled stone, brick pavers or really anything you desire. Another reason why concrete flooring is so desirable is because of its long-lasting durability and low maintenance. There really is no flooring that does it quite the same way as concrete right now.

    Tags: Types, Flooring, Hardwood, Laminate, Bamboo, Cork, Linoleum, Tile, Vinyl, Concrete
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