Anyone can have beautiful, functional floors—once you review your options. For example, you may have your heart set on hardwood, but laminate may be a better option given your lifestyle. Alternatively, you may admire tile floors, but you might be a lot happier with luxury vinyl tile (LVT).
In order to make the right decision, consider three key factors—budget, wearability and maintenance.
• Hardwood floors are a great choice under the right conditions. Nothing compares to the natural beauty, color, intricate graining and depth of shine of a hardwood floor. Not only easy on the eye, hardwood floors tend to be warm underfoot too. Quality hardwood flooring is a big investment but will last a long time and add real value to your home.
Hardwood is timely and timeless and completely authentic, and it comes in many colors, from nearly white to practically black and various warm shades of brown in between.
Though there are many pluses to hardwood, there are some minuses to consider when deciding whether it’s right for you. Bear in mind, all hardwood is not the same; quality and pricing are big factors. Depending on the species, some hardwood floors can take a great deal of wear and tear and still look good. Others, though beautiful at first, show the signs of wear very quickly. In any case, you have to clean and care for it properly. This includes not using ammonia cleaners, oil soaps or a wet mop; using a professional hardwood floor cleaner to remove scuffs and scratches; and cleaning spills immediately. For these reasons, hardwood might not be the best fit for every home.
• In some cases, laminate is a great alternative. Fortunately, for people who really like the look of wood, there’s an excellent—and much less expensive—alternative: laminate flooring. Through highly detailed digitized photography, laminate floors of today duplicate hardwood with tremendous realism that allows for a lower initial cost. What’s more, an inner cork subfloor on some laminate products helps tone down the noise and echoing attributes associated with laminates of yesterday.
You can find further facts on floors and decorating advice from the experts at the World Floor Covering Association at www.WFCA.org and (800) 624-6880.