Not only do hardwood floors add warmth and beauty to a room, they also increase the value of your home. There are many styles of hardwood flooring to choose from, including domestic and exotic species, bamboo and cork. Wood flooring looks great and is durable with proper care. Although they are susceptible to scratches, dents and moisture, hardwood floors can be refinished multiple times, often lasting the lifetime of a home. Less expensive engineered wood flooring is also durable, but isn’t as long-lasting since the top layer of wood can only be refinished one to three times. Though initially expensive, wood floors can add to the value of your home. Professional installation is usually recommended.
It would be difficult to find a flooring product that is tougher and more versatile than laminate. It’s available in a variety of colors and finishes, and is quicker to install. Plastic laminate flooring doesn’t look as nice as a hardwood or stone, but it can mimic the look for much less. Laminate floors are durable — resistant to scratches, stains, UV light and dents. However, they are susceptible to moisture damage, so they aren’t the best choice for kitchens or bathrooms. Laminate flooring uses floating installation, but it should be carefully installed, as poorly laid flooring detracts from the value of a home.
Stone flooring including marble, granite and travertine can look very elegant in the right home. Stone is an expensive flooring choice and, unlike wood, must always be installed by a professional, adding to the cost. ll stone floors also require periodic sealing to maintain durability, but once sealed, stone floors are easy to clean and maintain. Stone works well in kitchens and bathrooms, but can feel cold to the touch and can be slippery.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Floors
Tile is often considered as elegant as stone, but it’s less expensive. Tile is stylish and relatively durable, but it is also hard and noisy and can be prone to chipping and other signs of wear. Glazed tiles available in most popular types offer the best durability and easiest maintenance. Ceramic tiles are the most popular, though other types are available. Porcelain is baked at higher temperatures and is therefore considered to be superior to ceramic.