Flooring Ideas

Buying guide: 11 flooring options

Buying guide: 11 flooring options Author: Style At Home

Flooring Ideas

Buying guide: 11 flooring options

1 Vinyl
Pros
• Huge selection of styles and colours. Available in tiles or sheets.
• Low price, low maintenance. Double-thick vinyl is ideal for damp areas like bathrooms. Tiles are easy to DIY if the subfloor is level.
Cons
• Vulnerable to scratches, tears, stains and wear.
Cost: $2 to $9/sq. ft.

2 Linoleum
Pros
• Huge selection of styles and colours. Available in tiles or sheets.
• Natural, biodegradable and hypoallergenic, composed of flax and natural resin. Does not trap dust or bacteria, which helps air quality. Low maintenance, durable and mildew-resistant.
Cons
• Does not suit all decors.
Cost: $6 to $13/sq. ft.

3 Ceramic tiles
Pros
• Huge selection of colours, styles and sizes.
• Can easily be coordinated with tile backsplash.
Cons
• Can cause discomfort to legs and back after prolonged standing.
• Not all tiles are equally wear-resistant; high-traffic areas like kitchens call for stronger ceramic. Can crack or chip. Needs a level subfloor.
Cost: $5 to $20/sq. ft.

4 Porcelain tiles
Pros
• The look of stone, for less! Huge selection of colours and designs.
• Stronger than ceramic; durable and low maintenance.
Cons
• Can cause discomfort to legs and back after prolonged standing.
Cost: $6 to $14/sq. ft.

5 Laminate
Pros
• Great selection of styles and colours. Looks like wood, stone, ceramic.
• Resists stains, scratches, dents, even cigarette burns. Relatively easy to DIY, often directly on top of existing floor.
• Click-into-place styles can simply be dismantled and taken with you when you move. Good-quality laminate can last up to 25 years.
Cons
• Not recommended for bathrooms or other damp areas. Must be replaced when worn.
Cost: $4 to $10/sq. ft.

6 Hardwood
Pros
• Oak and maple are the most popular. New : pre-oiled exotic woods, now available with semi-gloss and gloss finishes.
• Creates a warm, natural atmosphere. Never goes out of fashion. More comfortable for legs and back than harder surfaces. Durable if properly sealed. With oiled floors, a sanding and a coat of mineral oil will hide scratches. Look for longer boards to avoid a patchwork effect.
Cons
• Requires resealing every few years, but floorboards with a factory-sealed finish can be extremely resistant if they're good quality. Dirt can accumulate in too-wide joints between boards.

Cost: $6 to $15/sq. ft.

7 Engineered wood
Pros
• An alternative to hardwood and laminate, it is also a more versatile option.
• Produced by adhering sheets of real wood to a composite surface. Does not expand or contract with temperature changes. Sold prefinished. Can be glued or clicked into place directly over concrete or an acoustic underlay.
Cons
• Less durable than hardwood. Cannot be sanded more than twice.
Cost: $7 to $20/sq. ft.

8 Bamboo
Pros
• Gives decor an exotic accent. Beautiful blond tone with natural striations. Carbonization process deepens grain and colour. Some natural shades available.
• Environmentally friendly: Bamboo is a renewable, rapid-growth plant. Harder and more resistant to dampness than wood, making it particularly suitable for the kitchen and basement.
Cons
• Relatively limited selection of shades.
Cost: $7 to $10/sq. ft.

9 Cork
Pros
• Available in either tiles or interlocking planks to make a floating floor. Good selection of colours and styles, allowing you to create a one-of-a-kind design.
• Warm and cushiony on bare feet. Hypoallergenic and mildew- and dent-resistant, making it suitable even for bathrooms. As durable as wood, but an extra application of sealer is recommended in damp rooms.
Cons
• Does not go well with all decors. Less popular than wood.
Cost: $7 to $16/sq. ft.

10 Natural stone
Pros
• Slate, marble, limestone and sandstone are popular choices.
• Slab marble and limestone are not especially hard-wearing, but tumbled (travertine) marble is highly durable.
Cons
• Can cause leg and back discomfort after prolonged standing. Because it is a natural material, stone can contain imperfections (texture, colour, veining).
• Needs regular sealing.
Cost: $10 to $30/sq. ft.

11 Concrete
Pros
• Provides the industrial look that's increasingly popular.
• Perfect for lofts. Good selection of colours and finishes.
Cons
• Can cause leg and back discomfort after prolonged standing. Surface receiving the concrete must be properly prepared.
• Needs yearly resealing.
Cost: About $13/sq. ft.

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Flooring Ideas

Buying guide: 11 flooring options