When considering renovations or upgrades to your homes flooring, many homeowners have a tough time making a decision. There are multiple options for flooring to chose from. In the USA, 86% of homeowners make their choice between carpet, wood and tile. Each option has it’s own advantages; carpet provides lush comfort under your feet, wood flooring is classic beauty and tile is durable. Like everything in life, each option has its ups and downs. Lets examine them now.
As the most inexpensive option of the 3, carpet can add a pleasant feel to any home. One of the great things about carpeting is options, style and versatility! Since carpeting comes in thousands of different colors, textures, and patterns, shoppers can find soft flooring that fits their sense of style perfectly. With such ease of installation and low prices, it’s the best option for homeowners or anyone who likes to change their home decor every few years. In today’s age, most carpets are made stain resistant- making it more difficult for stains to pass below the surface- allowing easy clean up. Carpeting is great insulation during the winter and summer months too. It assist in keeping cold air, drafts and heat from seeping into the floor- making it great for keeping heating and cooling cost down. Lastly, carpets are also a great sound barrier, reducing sound from TV’s, human conversation and squeaky old floors.
Beside the fact that carpeting cannot be consistently applied in the entire home, such as bathrooms and kitchens, one major drawback to carpeting is the material is much more dense than the other options, allowing it to absorb all kinds of invisible floaters in the air. For a shopper with allergies, carpets may be the wrong choice as the carpets fiber can catch and hold dust, dirt, bugs, hair and bacteria. Carpets can also hold scents that become oblivious to the homeowner. For example, if the homeowner is a smoker inside the home, visitors and guest maybe greeted with its stench while the homeowner is so use to it that they do not even notice. What about your pets? Your cat Jerry, has decided to spray the entire carpet during its heat stage, or pull up the carpet corners as it sharpens its paw nails. Lastly, if you live in a flood zone, carpeting is not for you. When carpets get damp and are not dried out properly and completely, you can look forward to 2 gifts, mildew/mold & stench!
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then trees everywhere must be blushing. Although wood itself is extremely beautiful, wood laminate flooring are becoming more popular due to there “realistic” looks and low cost. Traditional wood planks made of oak, maple, and other types of hard woods are still popular though. Besides being beautiful and classy, hardwood floors are fairly easy to keep clean and maintain with the simplicity of a broom, mop and wood cleaning solution. If allergies are an issue, hardwood floors do not allow room for allergens to hide like a carpet does. Another great option with wood floors is the versatility to change a rooms style, feel and look by adding a rug or larger carpet on top of the wood. This not only can protect the floor, it also can give your feet a nice surprise when barefoot.
Although they look great, wood flooring has its drawbacks. Like carpeting, it cannot be installed everywhere throughout the home. For example wood floors in a bathroom or kitchen are not ideal because the moisture can cause the boards to lift, crack or rot. If you are a dog owner and love your dog, know that your dog will hate your wooded floor because their padded paws cannot grip it. Another drawback to wood flooring is constant creaking. There is no such thing as quiet walk in a wood floored home. At one point or another, the floor will squeal and squeak to let anyone in the home know someone is moving around within it. Also, any other sounds, including TV, conversations, radio etc, will seem louder in a home with wood flooring because the lack of insulation allows for the sounds to vibrate off the wood floor.
With tiled flooring, the possibilities are endless. It not only looks clean and elegant, it is also very durable and easy to maintain. For the creative homeowner looking to bring out their interior designer side, tile gives you the versatility needed to complete any creative design. Tile, unlike it two main competitors wood & carpet, can be put throughout every room in the home. It is easy to maintain and to keep clean using a simple broom and mop or swifter sweeper. The floors are non-toxic and excellent for anyone who suffers from allergies. Because there are many different types and styles of tile to choose from—including ceramic, porcelain, quarry and marble—homeowner scan easily find a flooring solution that meets design needs and budget.
The one drawback of tile is that it’s very durability makes it hard on the human body; hours of standing on ceramic tile can lead to aching feet and backs., tile that is not installed over a radiant floor heating system offers a cold, hard walking surface. If you live in a cold-weather climate and don’t have radiant floor heat, you will need to wear slippers on cold winter mornings. Unlike carpeting, tiling requires no insulation, therefore it does not regulate or dampen the sound in a room. Lastly, grout should be non toxic and well sealed to ensure its durability.
Making the Final Decision
When it comes to making a final decision, prepare to finalize your choice by comparing this list below and deciding what works best for your family’s needs, your vision for your home and your budget:
- Price – Based on quality and style, expect for prices to increase from Carpet to Tile to Wood respectively.
- Installation – Carpet & tile can be self-installed, but special power tools are required to cut the tile and care must be taken to create a level floor. Because of the expense and special skills needed, hardwood floors should always be installed by professionals for the best result.
- Comfort – The plush feel of new carpet wins this race every time. Hardwood floors can be cold on bare feet during the winter, but the organic materials do allow hours of pain-free standing and walking. Of the three choices, hard, ceramic tile provides the least comfortable surface.
- Durability – When properly installed, ceramic tile will last for a lifetime. Hardwood flooring offers the next level of durability, but it can be effected by water damage or become scratched with wear. Even with proper care, most carpeting will last for up to 10 years.
- Maintenance – All types of flooring require some form of maintenance. Tile flooring and laminate can be simple care with a basic sweep and mop. Hardwood floors require more specific chemicals and eventually sealing, waxing, and refinishing. Carpeted floors should be vacuumed on a regular basis, spot-treated as needed, and shampooed at least twice a year.