Updated: Jan 1
There’s no home decorating challenge quite so frustrating as old, worn-out floors but replacing an entire floor is a much bigger and costlier job. That doesn’t mean you just have to live with your ratty old carpeting or scuffed-up vinyl. These days, there are lots of different flooring options, including several that are very affordable. Vinyl, laminate, and ceramic tile can all cost as little as Rs 300 per square foot. So before you get started on your flooring project, it pays nothing to do a little research on the different kinds of flooring and learn about their costs and benefits. Then, you can find a floor that fits both your space and your budget.
Types of Flooring to Consider:
Solid wood has been one of the most popular types of flooring all over the world for decades. Its construction is about as simple as you can get wooden boards or planks about 0.75 inches thick, which are installed by nailing them to a wooden subfloor.
People love solid wood flooring because it looks great in any style of home with any decor. It’s also very long-lasting since it can be refinished up to five times to remove surface scratches. Experts say adding hardwood floors can increase the resale value of your home as well. Wood floors are fairly easy to clean; just sweep them regularly and mop up all spills promptly. And installing them yourself is a reasonably easy DIY project, allowing you to save money on the job.
The biggest downside of hardwood floors is that they don’t stand up well to rough handling. They can warp if they’re exposed to moisture for a long time, making them a bad choice for bathrooms or laundry rooms. They can shrink and swell due to changes in temperature, and they’re vulnerable to scratches and dents. As a result, they need to be refinished as often as once every 10 years to maintain their looks.
Wood flooring is best for spaces that don’t get lots of traffic, such as living rooms, halls, and bedrooms. It is recommended as the overall best choice for living rooms, dining rooms, and family rooms.
Ceramic tile is made from a mixture of clay and shale that’s fired in a kiln like pottery. It’s a hard material that comes in a huge variety of colours, shapes, and patterns. It’s important to make sure the ones you buy are rated for use on floors and not on walls. The ceramic tiles have the ability to give an upscale look & feel to any area. The strength, durability and easy maintenance of these tiles makes them stand apart in comparison of others.
These tiles comes in many colours and shapes, so it can fit in with any style of house. Thanks to modern printing technology, it’s also possible to create ceramic tile with virtually any pattern. It can mimic the look of natural stone or even wood, though it won’t feel like wood underfoot. Porcelain tile to be the most durable type of flooring, resistant to scratches, dents, and moisture. It’s also very easy to clean. Glazed ceramic and porcelain tile require very little maintenance, though other types need more.
These tiles feels cold and hard underfoot, and it makes footsteps sound louder. Glazed ceramic tile can also be slippery unless it’s coated with a special anti-skit finish. Durability varies depending on the type of tile you choose. Terracotta tile requires regular sealing. Glazed tile is easy to clean and maintain, but the lines of grout between the tiles can stain if you don’t seal them regularly and although tile is a durable material, it’s not that easy to fix if a single tile happens to crack.
Porcelain tile is the best choice for high-traffic areas, such as kitchens and play rooms, as well as for wet rooms such as baths and laundry rooms. It’s also ideal for an enclosed balcony and terrace.
Laminate flooring is constructed much like engineered wood, with a thin veneer over layers of plywood or compressed fiber. However, the top layer is not wood but a photograph under a clear plastic coating. That means laminate can look like wood, stone, tile, or just about any other material.
Laminate can mimic the look of wood or stone for much less money. It’s also easy to clean and requires very little maintenance. It’s a hard material that resists scratching and scuffing better than real wood. Laminate is easy to install over an existing floor, saving you time and money on your flooring project. The material is easy to install yourself, but cautions that it takes “patience and ingenuity” to fit the planks around corners and through doors.
Like tile, laminate can be slippery when wet. Also, if water stands on it for any length of time, it can get in between the layers of the material, causing the planks to warp. Unlike real wood, laminate can’t be refinished when it wears out, only replaced. That can make it a less cost-effective choice than wood or tile over the long term.
Laminate is a good material for high-traffic areas, such as kitchens, foyers and playrooms. It’s also a reasonable choice for basements as long as they have no problems with leaks or standing water. It’s best to avoid this material in wet rooms, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Vinyl is a type of resilient flooring, a flexible material that feels a bit softer underfoot than rigid wood or tile. It’s made from a layer of PVC (short for polyvinyl chloride) plastic over a layer of felt. Cushioned vinyl has a thin layer of foam as well, making it more comfortable to walk on. Thicker vinyl flooring can have a textured surface to make it look like wood or stone.
Vinyl is a tough material that stands up to both moisture and heavy traffic. It’s comfortable to walk on and warmer on bare feet than tile. It’s also inexpensive and durable and a good-quality vinyl floor can last 20 years. Like tile, vinyl comes in a wide range of colours and patterns. It can convincingly simulate the look of almost any other material. Plank vinyl and peel-and-stick tiles are easy to install, though sheet vinyl can be difficult. You can install vinyl over an existing vinyl floor as long as it only has one layer. Plank vinyl is also easy to repair just remove and replace a damaged plank and all types of vinyl flooring are very easy to clean.
Vinyl flooring varies in quality. You’ll have less choice of colour and pattern with cheaper types, and they often have a fake look. Although vinyl is more durable than it used to be. Also, if you install it directly over a subfloor with no under layer, it can have a hollow, echoey sound when you walk on it. One of the biggest complaints about vinyl is that it’s not eco-friendly.
Vinyl is appropriate for kitchens, baths, and other wet rooms. It’s also suitable for rooms that get a lot of traffic, such as play rooms. As the best choice for a basement since it can tolerate moisture and doesn’t feel as cold as tile.
Linoleum is another type of resilient flooring that’s been around for nearly 150 years. Unlike vinyl, it’s made from natural, renewable materials, including cork powder and linseed oil. For decades, it mostly disappeared from homes as vinyl became more popular. However, concerns about the chemicals in vinyl flooring have revived interest in this old-fashioned alternative.
Linoleum flooring is even more durable than vinyl. A linoleum floor can last up to 40 years with proper care. Like vinyl, linoleum feels soft underfoot and comes in a wide range of colours and styles. However, unlike vinyl, it’s an eco-friendly material that produces no harmful emissions. It’s also easy to install if you choose snap-together flooring.
Although linoleum stands up well to normal wear, it’s vulnerable to denting from high heels and tears from sharp objects. It can also fade or turn yellowish in rooms that get a lot of sunlight. However, a protective coating can help prevent these problems. Linoleum isn’t as water-resistant as vinyl, so it’s not suitable for bathrooms or laundry rooms. It’s also stiffer than vinyl, making sheet-type linoleum very difficult to install yourself. Coated linoleum is low-maintenance, but uncoated linoleum needs regular waxing to maintain its sheen.
Linoleum flooring is a good choice in living spaces such as kitchens and family rooms. It can also work well in a bedroom or basement that doesn’t have any moisture problems.
Carpet and Rugs
Wall-to-wall carpet is a perennial favourite for bedrooms and living areas. It’s made by pulling soft fibers, such as wool or nylon, through a woven backing, then gluing on more layers of backing to strengthen the material. You install it by nailing it down over a layer of padding, which adds cushioning and prolongs the life of the carpet.
Many people like carpet because it feels soft and warm underfoot. It’s also quiet, slip resistant and fairly easy to install.
Carpeting is more difficult to clean than hard flooring. Even with regular vacuuming, it can still harbour dirt that only steam cleaning can remove. It’s also vulnerable to staining. The soft fibers of a carpet can harbour allergens such as pollen and pet dander, making it a bad choice if anyone in your home suffers from allergies.
Carpet is most appropriate for areas such as bedrooms and living rooms, where less dirt gets tracked in and nothing is likely to be spilled on it. Polypropylene carpets can also work in outdoor spaces such as enclosed porches.