Choosing the right flooring Lifestyles

Choosing the right flooring Lifestyles

Choosing the right flooring

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The feeling and a mood of a home changes with whatever lies underfoot. Choosing the material for a home’s bedrock layer depends heavily on the personality of the inhabitants. Are there rambunctious children, energetic pets or weak knees to consider? What are the traffic patterns? How long does the homeowner intend to stay in the residence? These are all considerations, says David Fox, owner of Carpet Masters Flooring Co. Hardwood Rescue and the Floor Store in Chesterfield, who has spent the past 19 years helping customers make flooring choices for their homes. He and his staff offered a few pros and cons and best uses for the most popular flooring options.

Keep in mind that there is such wide variety in grades and qualities within each category that it can be misleading to declare one type of flooring more affordable than another. For example, a luxury vinyl can be more expensive than a low-end carpet. The cost comparisons offered reflect a similar mid-range product within each flooring material.

Pros  • Longevity. Wood can be refinished and is considered a permanent floor.

Easier to clean than carpet, spills can be mopped up without worries of staining.

Timeless aesthetic. Area rugs on hardwood can easily change look of a room.

Cons  • Susceptible to buckling by water damage.

Can be scratched, especially by pets with thick nails.

Sun exposure can fade certain areas.

Generally, a more expensive flooring option.

Best uses  • First floors, entryways, foyers, hallways, living rooms and dining rooms. Seen more commonly in kitchens now.

Pros  • Less expensive option to hardwood.

Natural stone (granite, marble, travertine, slate)

Pros  • Durability.

Subtle variety in appearance. Every piece has dimension.

Once sealed, low-maintenance floor. Easier to clean spills compared  with carpet.

Dramatic and formal aesthetic.

Cons  • Grout can get discolored. If tiles installed improperly, they might crack.

Marble can scratch easier than granite. Susceptible to staining and scratching, especially by pets.

Polished marble susceptible to etching by acidic spills.

Requires more labor to install. Certain natural stones are most expensive flooring option.

Best uses  • Entryways, foyers, kitchens, powder rooms, bathrooms.

Manufactured (ceramic or porcelain)

Pros  • Less expensive option for tile than natural stone.

Check for skid-resistance, hardness rating and thickness.

Porcelain is harder than ceramic. The body of porcelain tiles may be same as surface, making chips less noticeable.

Cons  • Heavy impact, improper installation or house settling can cause tile to break.

Tiles can become chipped.

Grout can get discolored or damaged.

Best uses  • Entryways, foyers, kitchens, powder rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms.

Choosing the right flooring Lifestyles

Pros • Stronger and more durable than conventional vinyl.

Can be made to replicate the look of wood or natural stone.

Easy to maintain.

Cons  • More expensive than the low-cost version.

Best uses  • Basements, workout rooms. Also popular in commercial settings.

Pros • Softest flooring option. Absorbs sound. Warms a home.

Diversity in style, including:

Berber, a looped construction. Popular in commercial uses, as well. High traffic areas can look matted over time.

Frieze, a longer strand. Resembles shag carpet of past, with higher twist count in fibers. More casual, modern look.

Plush, a more uniform, dense carpet. A more traditional or conservative look.

Wide range of color options.

Cons • Limited lifespan. Will eventually wear out, warranties range from  5 to 25 years.

A good pad extends carpet life. Density and weight of carpet are two key factors to determine durability.

Check warranties for stain resistance, abrasive wear and texture retention. How quickly will it show signs of traffic patterns?

Higher-end pads with a moisture barrier prevent spills from penetrating the pad, so carpet cleaners can more completely extract the spill.

Best uses • Bedrooms, basements, family rooms. Living and dining rooms, as well.

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