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The Pros and Cons of Various Residential Floor Coverings

The Pros and Cons of Various Residential Floor Coverings

The type of flooring you have can affect how hot or cold you feel, your overall health, and even your ability to think quickly. Also, homeowners can instantly change the mood in certain rooms of their homes with different floors. Here’s a rundown of the most popular residential floor tiles and the best surface protection products to protect them during construction and remodeling.

1. Bamboo: Key Feature: Made from the fastest growing tree in the world.

Pro: Durable; ideal for condominiums. “Green” material. It has antimicrobial properties. Generally good for homeowners with allergies to man-made materials. Available in planks, slats and tiles.

Con: Can’t finish again. Everything from tiny dust particles to high heels can damage the surface.

Maintenance: Sweep regularly with a soft broom. Entrance mats can keep dust at bay. Protective pads on furniture limit teeth. Wipe up spills immediately to avoid staining. Install blinds to limit sun damage.

Surface protection: protection made from breathable natural fabrics such as Surface Pro.

2. Linoleum: Key Feature: The most popular is Marmoleum, a marbled pattern.

Pro: Repels dust and dirt naturally, ideal for homeowners with respiratory disorders; durable, long-lasting and low-maintenance. Sheeting is recommended, not tile.

Con: Difficult to install. It must be heat welded using equipment that is not readily available. More expensive than vinyl.

Maintenance: wax once or twice for a superficial surface. The linseed oil in linoleum rusts when installed and the floor becomes more durable and shiny. Wash with slightly soapy water.

Surface Protection: Various surface protection products will work, including floor protection films, textiles, and paper-based products like Ram Board.

3. Cork: Key feature: renewable and ecological option.

Advantage: This durable flooring has become fashionable for residences. Glued cork tiles are ideal as they maximize the ability of this flooring to reduce sound and heat loss and retain smoothness. Keeps mold and insects away naturally; ideal for homeowners with allergies or arthritis. Cost comparable to bamboo.

Disadvantage: It does not conduct heat well and could expand under radiant heating.

Maintenance: Mop up dust regularly.

Surface protection: Avoid flooring films and choose textile-based products like Surface Liner Pro that will adhere smoothly to the cork and will not leave marks.

4. Wood: Key Feature: Great dance floor.

Advantage: it is easier on the back than tiles or stones. 3/4 “allows multiple repaints. The way a tree is cut determines the appearance of the grain.

Con: Not good for radiant heating systems. Maple is difficult to stain; White oak is the most versatile. Cherry and walnut are among the most popular. Elm, while tough and durable, is rare. Wider planks, which require fewer nails, are more susceptible to moisture.

Maintenance: Area rugs limit nicks and scratches. Buff before reapplying polyurethane coats. Mop up the dust regularly.

Surface Protection – Choose padded floor protections if budget permits. Glued floors must be breathable, so Surface Liner Vapor or Surface Pro is recommended for cushioned protection or Ram Board for non-cushioning. Non-stick hardwood floors can be protected with a leak-resistant floor protection like Clean & Safe.

5. Carpet: Key feature: Classic, comfortable.

Advantage: The wool variety is great for the home and feels wonderful underfoot. It is also sound absorbing, easy to clean, and generally durable as long as you buy good quality rugs and threads.

Disadvantage: Avoid nylon varieties, which generally have a latex backing, which crumbles easily. The choice may not be eco-friendly. Natural trap for dust, dirt and dander particles. It tends to retain moisture, a breeding ground for mold.

Maintenance: Steam clean annually. Vacuum twice a week.

Surface Protection: Short Term Carpet Cling Film is available for up to 45 days.

6. Ceramic tiles: Key feature: Durable.

Advantage: low maintenance; ceramic holds up well in high traffic areas. Great investment, many design options available. The most common and effective floors for radiant heat systems.

Con: Not an ideal surface for homeowners with arthritis. Difficult to install. It can easily crack and chip. Sometimes it feels cold to the touch.

Maintenance: While expensive, professional installation is highly recommended. Use a mild cleaner to clean the grout and retain the mold resistant sealant.

Surface Protection: Various surface protection products will work, including floor protection films, textiles, and paper-based products like Ram Board.

7. Decorative concrete: Key feature: Modern, popular in condominiums.

Advantage: simple and inexpensive maintenance. It absorbs heat from the sun in winter, reducing the need for heating and keeping interiors cool in summer. It does not harbor dust moths; ideal for homeowners with allergies or asthma. Durable; never needs to be replaced.

Con: Hard on the joints. Magnify the sound. Installation requires professional experience, which can be expensive.

Maintenance: reseal every two years. Clean with a vinegar and water mixture or a mild floor cleaner.

Surface Protection: New concrete protection products include EZ Cover or Tuf-guard that provide impact protection and allow concrete to cure.

8. Natural stone: Key feature: Beautiful.

Pro: Covers granite, marble, travertine, limestone, soapstone, and slate. It lasts for centuries. Great value and eco-friendly too. Stain resistant. Expensive installation. Options include matte, glossy, and textured finishes.

Con: Hard on the joints. May need substantial underlayment. Marble absorbs dirt; slate and limestone collect it. It feels cool underfoot, which can make it a great option in hot weather, but less so in cold weather.

Maintenance: requires stain resistant sealer. Avoid chlorine on marble.

Surface Protection: Various surface protection products will work, including floor protection films, textiles, and paper-based products like Ram Board. It also protects the grout from stains.

9. Leather: Key Feature: Luxurious appearance.

Advantage: the homeowner can install leather tiles; They come in like linoleum. Smells wonderful, feels good, gains patina with age and use. Excellent for sound insulation; it does not conduct heat or cold.

Disadvantage: Do not install in a place with high pedestrian traffic; they are best in extremely dry rooms such as bedrooms, living rooms, libraries, and even recreation rooms with lots of sunlight. Expensive.

Maintenance: Some leather tiles are treated with wax and a waterproof solution. However, any mistake is costly, so a professional can ultimately prove cheaper.

Surface Protection: Choose a padded textile floor protection like Surface Pro or Surface Liner Vapor to allow the leather to breathe.

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