When choosing the type of flooring material for your home, there are five essential things you need to keep in mind: durability, exposure to moisture, cost, maintenance and difficulty of installation.
Here are brief pointers on these considerations:
• Essentially, durability involves knowing who will be living in the home to determine the degree of foot traffic. If you are a large family or if you entertain guests all the time, durability should be your top priority in choosing flooring. You also need to note critical home residents, such as children and pets, who will be contributory to the floor’s natural wear and tear.
• Moisture presence will depend on where the floor will be installed, or where the home would be built. Will the room be in the basement, close to the home’s foundation? Will the home be built in a city that receives more than the fair amount of rain or flood? In these cases, your floor should be fixed and durable. Also have flooding-protection measures in place. Low-moisture rooms can accommodate any floor type.
• Cost is a natural deal maker or breaker. Often, the culprit in expanded budgets is installation. Flooring material prices are upfront; you can predict the total amount you will spend based on the floor material’s unit price. If you can’t handle installation (which is most of the time), a building contractor will have to be called in. Make sure you know the correct installation cost to avoid misunderstanding.
When considering material only, laminate flooring is the way to go. Quality laminates are offered on bargain in some shops. Ceramic and porcelain tiles, and resilient tile and sheet flooring, are among the lower-priced options. Next in line are engineered wood, solid hardwood types, and higher quality laminates. The most expensive are the exotic hardwood, such as mahogany, and plank laminates.
A builder of new homes in Minneapolis, such as JPC Custom Homes, guides the homeowner through the process step-by-step. The owner gets to choose the materials and supervise installation. No flooring will be set without the approval of the homeowner, so costs are kept within what the homeowner can afford.
• In terms of maintenance, laminate, tile vinyl and concrete are the best options. While concrete is cold and hard, you can “set it and forget it” as they say. Wood requires a lot of maintenance, but in terms of beauty, it is still the best. To protect wood floors, place area rugs, carpets or runners in critical areas.
Don’t belittle floors just because you step on them. Your flooring’s functionality and lifespan are critical to a lasting home, more than the aesthetics. In building new homes, flooring should be one of the first items you should decide on.
How to Choose Flooring, homerenovations.about.com
Vinyl Flooring Buying Guide, www.lowes.com
Picking the Perfect Floor, www.thisoldhouse.com
Guide to choosing your floor, www.karndean.com