Choosing the proper flooring can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are so many different types of flooring to choose from nowadays. Some of these different types of flooring include Carpet, Area rugs, Vinyl, Hardwood, Laminate, Tile, Stone, Vinyl Composition Tile, and Luxury Vinyl Tile. Typically the flooring material selection is influenced by cost, durability, comfort, and cleanability. There are three basic categories of flooring that are selected for the typical application. These are Soft Floor Coverings, Hardsurface Floor Coverings, and Resiliant Floor Coverings.
Soft coverings include carpet (either roll stretched or tile) as well as area rugs. Carpet is usually woven or felted and made from either natural or man-made fibers. Carpet that comes on a roll is stretched from wall to wall using tack strips attached to the subfloor. Carpet tiles are also laid from wall to wall however it is in squares either butted or joined. Both types of carpets are usually installed over a carpet pad. Area Rugs are also woven or felted from fibers, but do not extend from wall to wall. They are smaller than the rooms where they are placed and they typically lie over another type of floor covering material. Area Rugs can be secured in place temporarily by using different types of adhesive tapes or non slip products or they can simply be laid atop the other type of flooring.
Hardsurface Floor Coverings includes materials such as hardwood, laminate, Tile, Natural Stone. Hardwoods are comprised of many different wood species but typically only come in a solid or engineered form. Laminate is a floor covering that can either look like a wood grain or a ceramic tile but is made up of a plywood or medium or high density fiberboard core with a laminated layer of a decorative paper image. The top layer of laminate usually has a scratch or wear layer protecting the image and giving it a finished look. Laminate is oftentimes more durable than hardwood but cannot be refinished like a hardwood. There are also different types of floor tiles. Ceramic tiles are comprised of clay products, whereas porcelain is comprised of a blend of fine grain clays and other minerals to produce a denser tile, highly resistant to water, staining and wear. Tile can also be made from metal, resins, or glass. Natural stone also comes in a variety of tile sizes, shapes, and thicknesses for applications in floor covering. Natural stone tiles like slate, limestone, travertine, or marble have an unparalleled appearance but require a little more maintenance.
Resilient flooring is made from materials that have some elasticity. It can include floor coverings such as linoleum, sheet vinyl, vinyl composition tile, luxury vinyl tile, cork, and many others.
Floor covering materials are constantly becoming more environmentally friendly without sacrificing durability. These can include materials such as bamboo or cork. Please make sure you insist on getting a bamboo harvested after 5 years of growth to ensure that your product will hold up to its hardness rating. The neat thing about cork is that the cork oak tree bark is stripped every nine or more years to create the flooring and because this process is spaced so far apart it doesn't damage the tree.