This article comes from The Spruce.
When you’re in the market for upgrading your flooring, it is difficult to figure out the best flooring for your house.
When you look at the big picture, tile is one of the best flooring choices you can make: It is readily available, cost-effective, and offers versatile options. Tile flooring comes in different materials, from ceramic to stone varieties.
Great Range of Sizes
The amazing versatility of tile floors comes from the sheer number of options at your disposal. Tile size can vary from the tiny mosaic types—some of which are less than an inch square—to large (12″) and even oversized tile squares.
As for ease of maintenance, tile can hardly be beaten. Rather, it’s the grout that poses the problem. Even those issues of staining and chipping can be mitigated by proper maintenance, sealing, and even choosing to go with an epoxy-based system, thus eliminating the need to be concerned.
Wins “Best Flooring Award” for Repair Ease
Another huge plus of tile is that repair is relatively easy. Did you know that on most tile installations, extra tiles are left behind expressly for this purpose? So, if a tile develops cracks—usually due to an improper substrate or improper adhesive for the substrate—then you merely replace it.
Stains and water damage are a moot point when it comes to non-porous ceramic tile. But natural stone such as marble may need to be sealed to prevent this problem.
Finally, if you like a warm floor in the winter for your bare feet, you can always install tile over a radiant heated floor, which comes with thermostat controls like an HVAC unit. Tile remains one of the best flooring solutions in any budget.
While commonly confused, there is all the world of difference between linoleum and vinyl flooring.
Linoleum is included in this list of best flooring options because it remains one of the most beautiful and durable flooring options, with over 150 years of history.
What Is Linoleum?
Linoleum is composed of linseed oil and is therefore waterproof, as well as being environmentally friendly. Sheet linoleum is ideal for use in the bathroom and kitchen, though you will need to seal around the wet areas where water from tubs and sinks may spill with a silicone caulking. Standing water isn’t an issue on linoleum unless it can penetrate to the substrate underneath the linoleum. In that case, the water damages the substrate and can also cause the linoleum to peel, so sealing the perimeters is a good caution against that damage.
Best Flooring for Retro Looks
Linoleum’s beauty can be enhanced with inlays and various borders, giving it extra versatility. As retro 1950s and 1960s remain the vogue, linoleum is here to stay.
Maintenance is very simple. Dents or dings (if small enough) can self-heal. For resilience alone, linoleum remains one of the best flooring materials.
If you have ever caught an episode of This Old House or similar restoration shows, then you’re familiar with the new homeowner who buys an older home and decides to rip up the outdated, worn carpet only to reveal hardwood flooring.
Best Flooring for Majority of Homeowners’ Needs
In most cases, the homeowner begins to ask how they can overlay or remove that floor to lay down tile or some other floor, only to be told by the contractor that it would be insane not to simply re-finish the old floor, saving tons of money and becoming the envy of friends and family in the process.
Hardwood flooring is a classic example of style done right, a perfect balance of the best of all worlds. With its warmth, character, and ease of maintenance—especially when you consider that sanding and refinishing costs are minimal compared to installing new floors—hardwood flooring remains one of the best flooring options of all time.
Patterns, Inlays, and Species
With the hands of a fine craftsman, fancy inlays and patterns can be achieved. With the right species of wood, scratches from pet claws and high heels aren’t an issue. Mixing species of wood can also achieve dramatic results, but care should be taken to ensure that the cellular structure of the species has similar expansion and contraction rates. Scratches can be sanded out and refinished, as can most any dent or ding.
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