The most important characteristic which defines the functionality and feel of your home is the floor. And with a variety of options to choose from starting from hardwood to concrete and laminate to stone etc., you will definitely be spoilt for choice. But the factor which plays a major role in the final choice is your budget.
While hardwood is probably the best choice in terms of aesthetics and durability, it is definitely not a pocket friendly choice. Hence looking at the other alternative available and choosing from them makes for a smart choice. Some of the other flooring options other than hardwood which are readily available are:
• Concrete: Versatile in its laying, the concrete floor is the ideal choice for both contemporary as well as modern homes. Offering flexibility by way of the final look which might be coloured, stained or even aggregates, the concrete floor can be given both a textured and glassy surface. Concrete floors are a good choice because they are:
* Easy to maintain and clean,
* Water resistant when sealed properly,
* Compatible with radiant heat and
* Energy efficient as they cut energy bills by absorbing heat and keeping the room warm.
• Cork: Giving off a warm, springy and comfortable feel underfoot, cork is a great option for rooms such as the kitchen where you will generally be spending a lot of time standing. Cork has many advantages going for it like:
* It is a very good insulator,
* It is also a good absorber of sounds as it is very soft,
* It is a natural material and hence environmentally friendly,
* It has antimicrobial properties and is also resistant to moulds and
* It comes in a variety of colours and designs.
Cork is a healthy option especially if you have kids and people with allergies living in the house. But being a natural material, it is prone to fading in the sunlight and also tends to swell in standing water. But they make for a good option especially in the bedroom and kids rooms because of its inherent softness and warmth.
• Tile: Tiles have come a long way from being used only in the bathrooms to being a designer flooring option. The versatility and flexibility of designs has a way of making every room feel gorgeously new. They also have an inherent coolness which makes them ideal for dealing with the hot summer months. Pros of using tiles are that they are:
* Resistant to water provided they are sealed properly,
* Easily replaced if one piece gets damaged,
* Resistant to scratches,
* Does not stain easily and
* Is very easy to clean.
There are several options available in the type of tiles selected like marble, porcelain, slate, granite, travertine etc.
• Laminate: Said to be the chameleon of the world of flooring, laminates are able to emulate any other type of flooring option quite easily. In fact it gives a near original finish but at a much reduced cost. Hence hardwood, marble, porcelain, cork etc., textures and designs of all types of floors can be imprinted on laminated tiles with ease. It is scratch resistant, easy to clean and also environmentally friendly.
There are many other options which are also available like VCT, carpet tiles, rubber, vinyl etc. Hence when choosing a flooring type for your house, you should look at all the options available, understand its pros and cons and then make the final choice.