Choosing the Right Flooring
Flooring covers a large area of your home, so your choices will have a lasting impact on its appearance.
In addition to other factors, such as appearance, try to narrow down your choices based on room and location. For example, just as hardwood is not recommended in damp areas such as bathrooms, vinyl would not be ideal in bedrooms if comfort is preferred.SHOP ALL FLOORING
The following chart can help determine the main types of flooring that would work best in areas of your home.
|Room Type||Tile||Carpet||Laminate Flooring||Hardwood||Engineered Hardwood||Vinyl|
|Basements (below grade)|
Flooring: Room by Room
Carpet is the traditional choice for bedrooms when it comes to comfort. However, hardwood and engineered hardwood have become popular alternatives, providing both fashion and function, and an upscale appearance. Laminate flooring is another smart, cost-effective solution.
Flooring that can withstand humidity from running faucets and showers are crucial in bathrooms. Vinyl flooring and ceramic tile have been the flooring of choice for some time. However, newer versions of laminate flooring that can handle the excessive moisture are a growing trend.
The two biggest trends in living room flooring are hardwood flooring and wall-to-wall carpeting. However, engineered hardwood and laminate are other viable options for living rooms that can be accented with area rugs for a chic look.
If your dining room is used frequently at mealtimes, look for a stain-resistant material that can stand up to accidental food spills. Carpet is one possibility, but stay away from light colours as it might show stains more readily. Wood, laminate and vinyl flooring are also good options that will help create a warm atmosphere for more formal occasions.
As the social hub of many homes, your kitchen is prone to regular foot traffic and common cooking spills. Tile, vinyl, laminate and engineered hardwood flooring are prime choices because they're simple to clean, come in a variety of styles and can be easily matched with a tile backsplash.
Family room floors endure lots of footsteps from family and friends, so consider flooring that's durable, but also comfortable. Carpet is a good fit, as is hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood and laminate flooring, which combined with area rugs, put forth a relaxing impression.
Basements are especially susceptible to moisture and cold, so you'll want to ensure your subfloor is well insulated. Carpet makes any basement floor feel softer and more comfortable. Engineered hardwood can be used, in addition to laminate or vinyl flooring.
Types of Flooring: An Overview
Tile is durable and available in a variety of colours and styles, such as ceramic, porcelain, glass and natural stone. Tile is also moisture and stain-resistant, making cleanups a breeze, and is a suitable choice for basements and master bathrooms.
Carpet comes in an array of textures and fibres, and adds a comfortable, decorative touch to any room. On a cold day, there's nothing like getting out of bed and stepping onto a warm carpet. While tile is durable, wood is traditional, and vinyl can be colourful and low-maintenance, carpet is the flooring that invites you to walk barefoot or stretch out in front of the fire.
Laminate flooring has proven to be an innovative and cost-efficient alternative to hardwood flooring, and is available in a wide selection of colours and grains. It's also more scratch and dent-resistant than hardwood, making it the perfect choice for active households, and can be installed below grade because it's moisture-resistant.
Solid hardwood never goes out of style, and is a fashionable choice for every room of your home. Hardwood is renowned for its warmth and elegance. If properly maintained, it can last for more than a lifetime and increase the value of your home.
Engineered hardwood can be a more cost-effective solution than solid hardwood, and at the same time provide the same appearance of real wood. Engineered hardwood can also be used in kitchens and installed over concrete slabs in basements because of its moisture-resistant qualities.
Vinyl comes in a variety of patterns and colours, and can also mimic the appearance of other flooring, such as ceramic tile and hardwood. It's also durable, but soft on the feet. With so many choices, it's the perfect choice for almost any room, including kitchens, bathrooms and basements.
A Word About Grading
Before you finalize your floor plans, make sure the material you're interested in is appropriate for the grade level where the floor is to be installed.
Many types of flooring are suitable for on grade (ground level) or above grade installation, such as carpet, hardwood, engineered hardwood, laminate, tile and vinyl. Although floors installed at ground level will have moisture concerns that need to be addressed, this is largely a concern for basements where the potential for flooding and damp conditions are greater. For this reason, it is often recommended that solid wood floors not be installed below grade.
Keep Your Floors Looking New
Tile will sparkle with simple household cleaners. For gentle cleaning, plain hot water can sometimes do the trick. A professional cleaning may also be required to thoroughly clean the grout between your tiles.
A vacuum with adjustable, rotating brushes that's strong enough to pull air through the carpet backing will help loosen ground-in soil and remove it. Occasional steam cleaning is also recommended; however, check with your manufacturer beforehand to ensure your warranty will not be voided.
Vacuum, dry-mop or use a soft-bristle broom to clean your laminate floors. When washing, mop with a no-wax cleaner, rather than regular detergents and soap products, in order to maintain its shine.
Dust or vacuum your hardwood regularly, and remove spills immediately with a damp cloth. Buff with a soft, dry cloth to bring back a shine. Once a year, clean with a solvent-based cleaner (not water-based), then wax and buff the floor.
Vinyl tends to provide a good shine with little maintenance. If you want your vinyl flooring to have a high gloss or shine, use an appropriate floor polish.