Home Improvement

Different Types of Flooring

Flooring Fairfield NJ is the foundation of any room. It can be a key element in creating a specific design theme and an area where you can be creative.

Flooring

Durability is a crucial aspect to consider. The floor needs to be able to withstand heavy foot traffic, drops of objects, and spills.

Hardwood floors add a touch of elegance to any home and are available in many different species, cuts, and styles. Wood flooring is also environmentally friendly and provides warmth, durability, and value to a home.

There are two types of wood floors: solid and engineered. Solid wood is made of all wood and includes oak, cherry, maple, walnut, and hickory. It can be installed in almost any room of the house but is particularly well suited to living areas and dining rooms. It can be refinished over time to refresh its appearance.

Wood floors are a classic choice that never goes out of style. They can be sanded and refinished to keep them looking new or stained to match your décor. You can choose between a traditional tongue-and-groove installation or the newer click-together styles. Wood flooring costs vary, depending on the type you choose, how it’s installed, and whether or not it’s prefinished.

Solid wood floors are usually milled from timber that is kiln or air dried before sawing. The timber can be cut in various ways: flat-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. It can be finished on site or at the factory. The moisture content of the wood must be carefully controlled during manufacturing to avoid warping of the planks in transport and storage.

Exotic hardwoods like Mahogany and Brazilian Cherry have long been the most prized, but domestic species of oak and walnut are gaining ground as their prices become more reasonable. Even reclaimed wood is becoming popular, as homeowners seek the unique character of older floors and are able to find salvaged materials at a fraction of the cost of new wood.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile has long been a popular flooring option for kitchens and baths, but it can be used throughout the house as an alternative to hardwood or even carpet. It is durable, easy to clean and offers an attractive, upscale look. The drawbacks of this type of flooring are that it is cold to the touch and requires special care to install. It can also be slippery and difficult to walk on, especially barefoot, so soft rugs are often recommended for safety.

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are a great choice for bathroom flooring because they are water-resistant, which helps prevent mold and mildew. They can be grouted in a wide variety of colors and designs for visual interest. Ceramic tile is typically less expensive than other flooring options like hardwood and can be easier to cut for DIYers, making it a great choice for budget-conscious homeowners.

To make ceramic tile, manufacturers mix clay with sand, quartz and other elements to form a substance called body slip. The body slip is shaped into the desired tiles, then dried to reduce moisture content. Once the tile is dry, it is fired at high temperatures to harden the material and create a non-porous surface.

The final tiles are then glazed with a colored coating that protects the surface and adds sheen. Some unglazed ceramic tiles are available, but these tend to be earthier and natural looking and require more maintenance than their glazed counterparts.

Most ceramic and porcelain tiles are rated by the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) with ratings from 1 to 5. Class 1 is the least sturdy and works best on walls, while class 5 is more suitable for heavy traffic areas in homes and light commercial spaces.

Poured Concrete

Concrete is an excellent material for floors because it’s tough and durable, and it looks good with nearly any design scheme. It is often used for garages and basements, but a concrete floor can be poured in any room where a durable, attractive flooring option is desired. Concrete can also be etched or colored, stained or stenciled, and polished to give it a beautiful finish that’s competitive with other expensive flooring options.

Concrete can be poured in place as the flooring, or it can be poured on top of an existing slab of tile or linoleum using a technique called microtopping. Concrete floors can be made with a variety of textures, colors and finishes by adding pigment as the concrete is mixed, or it can be tinted on surface before it is set, much like asphalt. Decorative aggregates, such as crushed stone and glass, can be added to concrete during mixing to create a wide spectrum of finished colors and add texture.

Once cured, concrete floors are water-resistant and can be sealed with several different types of coatings that resist dirt, mold, mildew, chemicals and petroleum products. A properly sealed concrete floor can last up to 100 years and is cheaper over its lifetime than other popular flooring materials, such as carpet, vinyl, linoleum and hardwood.

The process of creating cement (used in concrete) requires a large amount of fossil fuel, which contributes to carbon emissions; however, other ingredients in the mix – such as water and aggregates – are readily available, so concrete is generally more environmentally friendly than many other types of flooring. Concrete floors are also resistant to fire, stains and bacteria.

Laminate

Laminate flooring uses a high-quality image layer to mimic the look of real wood or stone, while adding some strength and durability. This durable, low-maintenance floor is easy to clean and offers good abrasion resistance. It can also be used in areas prone to humidity, like kitchens and bathrooms. It’s important to acclimate laminate for 24 hours (or more, depending on the season) before installation to allow it to adjust to your home’s temperature and moisture levels.

Laminate can be susceptible to water damage, but if you’re careful with spills and liquids and don’t let them sit for long, this shouldn’t be an issue. Some brands are even made to be waterproof!

A balancing melamine backing provides stability and helps prevent moisture from traveling through the floor from the subfloor. Most laminate flooring products come with underlayment attached to the back of each plank. This reduces noise and absorbs minor imperfections in the subfloor and can also improve comfort underfoot.

While most laminates look like wood, they cannot be refinished and may only last for about 10 years, at which point it will need to be replaced. However, wood floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times, increasing their lifespan.

Because of the way it’s constructed, a laminate floor produces a hollow or echoey sound when you walk on it. It can also feel a little harder underfoot than carpet or hardwood floors.

Unless it’s labeled as non-toxic, laminate can contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are harmful if inhaled for prolonged periods of time. You can help avoid this by purchasing low-VOC laminate, which is becoming increasingly available from manufacturers and flooring stores.

Carpet

Carpet is a popular choice for many homes. It adds a soft feel underfoot and can make rooms seem more cozy. In addition, carpet provides a level of insulation that can save you money on energy bills. Unlike wood flooring, which can become slippery when wet, carpets are generally safe to walk on in the event of a spill or splash.

When choosing a carpet, you’ll want to consider its fiber, pile, grade and backing. Carpet fibers are either natural or synthetic and can be arranged into different piles, which determine how the carpet looks, feels and performs. Natural-fiber carpets are typically more expensive than synthetic carpets, but they can last longer.

Whether you choose machine-woven carpets like Axminster and Wilton, or hand-knotted oriental rugs, you’ll find a wide variety of colors and patterns to suit your décor. Machine-woven carpets are made on massive looms that weave together ‘bobbins’ of yarn and carpet backing to create intricately patterned, durable floors. Tufted carpets, the most common type of carpet found in rug and carpet showrooms today, are produced in much more streamlined fashion: a pre-woven backing has yarns ‘tufted’ into it with needles. This can produce a range of textures, including twist pile and velvet.

The backing of a carpet consists of the primary layer that attaches to the floor and the secondary layer, which provides padding. The padding is often a combination of polyurethane and fibers like jute, cotton, or wool. The backing may also be coated in stain-resistant treatments to improve durability and appearance. A quality pad can reduce noise from footfall and other activities, and is particularly useful if you have children or elderly relatives who live at home. Several types of natural and synthetic pads are available, including those with recycled content, formaldehyde-free glues and wool bindings.