A new flooring treatment can provide an instant face lift to even the most decrepit of spaces. Whether it comes in the form of a new carpet, tile, or hardwood flooring, the effect is instantaneous and fantastic. Deciding which one to get, however, is not quite so instantaneous. There are pros and cons to each type that should be thoroughly considered before a decision is made. In this article, we’ll review the pros and cons of each.
Historically speaking, hardwood flooring was essentially the only option for a number of years. Originally, it came in two varieties: plank, and strip. Plank floors, common in rural areas, had boards that were at least eight inches wide, while strip boards were seen in better homes and were between two and four inches wide. Strip floors are now the standard for hardwood flooring and are usually made of oak, maple, and other types of hard wood. Companies like EcoTimber focus on providing environmentally conscious flooring, and though such options cost less to the environment, hardwood flooring installation is generally the most expensive flooring option, costing an average of $5 per square foot. Other options for those interested in the timeless look of hardwood include laminate products that mimic the look of hardwood or refinishing of an existing wood floor.
Hardwood floor installations usually take two to seven days, but some preparation is required. The floor needs to be cleared, including the refrigerator and range if the installation of hardwood floors is intended for the kitchen. Material is usually delivered to the job site about a week before installation, and an area must be provided for acclimation of the hardwood.
Tile floors are much older than many people realize. Linoleum is not a 20th century product as many assume, but was invented in 1855 by Englishman Frederick Walton. Today, there are a variety of options for tile floors, making them one of the most popular flooring options. Patterns can be mixed and matched to create custom designs, and the number of materials available mean that there is a wide price range. Ceramic tile is nearly disaster proof, but can lead to back and foot soreness for those standing on it for several hours. Vinyl and porcelain are also popular options that tend to cost less, but aren’t as durable as ceramic. One popular brand, Chilewich, produces tiles that are PVC free, contain 82% pre and post consumer content, and can be installed with Velcro. On average, laminate costs about $4 per square foot and tile about $4.50 per square foot.
The right type of carpeting can add a warm touch to any home, and the wide range of colors, textures, and patterns make it easy for homeowners to find a carpet that suits their needs. For those who like to change their home decor frequently, carpet is a wise choice, as installation is fairly simple and the cost of new carpeting is fairly low. On the other hand, maintenance of a carpet is slightly more difficult than maintenance of hardwood or tile. While a carpet may feel soft and luxurious for the first several weeks after installation, it can wear down quickly and accumulate stains that leave sticky residue. It is recommended that carpeted floors be vacuumed regularly, spot treated as necessary, and shampooed twice a year. They can cause trouble for those with allergies. The cost of new carpeting is much less than the cost of tile or hardwood at only $3 per square foot.
When deciding on a flooring material, installation, maintenance, comfort, durability, and cost of new carpet, tile, and hardwood should be considered. More.