Flooring options have come a long way being just restricted to hardwood and stone to vinyl, laminated, carpet and even the green options like cork, bamboo, rubber etc. Hence with so many options to choose from, a house-owner is spoilt for choice. In fact irrespective of whether he is installing a floor for the first time or getting his floor renovated, it is difficult to choose since all options are unique in their own way.
There are so many factors which need to be considered like climatic conditions, budget, moisture content, usage etc. All of these have its own influence on the final choice of the flooring option, especially for a place like Calgary where the aesthetics and practicality go hand-in-hand. Each flooring option too has its own set of advantages and disadvantages which define its utility and functionality.
Some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with the important flooring options are:
- Hardwood: This is a very popular choice which has the power to influence the décor of a room by adding its own timeless charm and elegance. Hence people much prefer to install hardwood floors since if cared for properly, this flooring option can be passed down generations. Hence its advantages mostly include:
- Durability and longevity,
- Wide variety of styles with unique grain patterns,
- Availability as planks, parquets as well as prefinished boards
- Easy maintenance etc.
Disadvantages of hardwood include its initial cost which however gets mitigated with usage over a period of time since the more hardwood floors are used, the more character it attains.
- Laminate: This has gained quite a lot of popularity in the past years primarily because it is possible to imprint the look of the other expensive flooring option on it successfully. Thus its advantages primarily include its:
- Easy installation ability,
- Easy maintenance,
- Ability to resist scratches and dents etc.
Disadvantages include susceptibility to damage from moisture, the synthetic finish results in hard and harsh-sounding wood which also does not degrade or degenerate in landfills.
- Bamboo: This is a green and eco-friendly flooring option available in the form of grasses in nature. These grasses are regenerating and fast growing and have a tensile strength which gets transferred into the planks and tiles made thus making them:
- Extremely durable,
- Easy to maintain and clean,
- Impart a clean and contemporary look to a room etc.
Its disadvantages include being susceptible to scratches, dents and dings, easily damaged by water and changes in humidity levels of the atmosphere and its limitation to a few tones and shades.
- Cork: This is another green option which imparts a soft cushiony feeling underfoot. The distinctive honeycomb cellular structure of cork gives it certain unique advantages like:
- Ability to easily absorb sounds and vibrations,
- Bounce back even if it gets dented,
- Have a natural surface with mat-finish thereby making it non-slippery and safe to use,
- It is antimicrobial and hypoallergenic and absolutely recyclable etc.
Disadvantages include its need to be sealed with polyurethane so as it to prevent it from swelling due to humidity or absorption of water etc. It is also light sensitive and prone to fading over a period of time. It is also not very durable and hence does not bear excess foot-traffic well.
- Tiles: The sheer ability to form a variety of patterns and designs makes it a popular choice especially for a creatively inclined place like Calgary. The choices of tiles include natural stone, terracotta, porcelain, granite, slate or travertine etc. With each different choice of tile imparting a different look to the room, this flooring option unleashes a person’s creativity to come up with unique finishes which are both riveting and absorbing. Its disadvantages, however, include:
- Its destructive hardness,
- Inability to maintain grout lines unless a sealer is used etc.
- Vinyl: This value-conscious flooring option is absolutely moisture resistant thus making it an ideal choice for basements, bathrooms and kitchen. They are also easier to clean and feel relatively soft underfoot. It is however, not able to stand heavy loads and tends to get damaged by sharp objects. It also tends to fade with usage and exposure to sun rays and is also not able to bear extreme temperatures.
There are many other options available like concrete, linoleum etc. But for every flooring option, its advantages and disadvantages need to be considered since it will help the home-owner decide its utility under the conditions prevalent in his home.