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CERAMIC OR PORCELAIN TILE

Description

Hard glazed squares typically made of ceramic or porcelain. Tile has been used for centuries to provide a durable coated surface that is hygienic and easy to clean, for indoor and outdoor environments.

Pros

Strong, durable, wide vaiety of colors and designs, stain resistant, easy to replace sections if chipped or cracked. Imperfections are hard to detect. Easily cleaned and easily sterilized.

Cons

Grout can attract stains and can be difficult to clean. Very rigid, hard underfoot, not suitable for comfortable living area. Almost all brittle items(glass, plates) will break if dropped on tile surface.

Features

Cost: ✓✓
Installation Difficulty: ✓✓✓✓
Durability: ✓✓✓✓
Cleaning Difficulty: ✓✓

FLOATING WOOD TILE

Description

Floating wood tile is a relative newcomer to household flooring.Composed of a synthetic material that simulates a wood (or something stone) appearance, which is then laminated.

Pros

Extremely simple installation, some laminate tiles have a T&G (tongue and groove) system, which locks into place and eliminates the need for adhesive. Stain resistant, easy to replace , easy to clean, very hygienic.

Cons

Hard underfoot, synthetic is not genuine wood and as such it cannot be sanded or refinished. Can also be very slippery when wet (though slip resistant layers are available) shows scuff marks.

Features

Cost: ✓✓
Installation Difficulty: ✓✓
Durability: ✓✓
Cleaning Difficulty: ✓✓✓

CARPET

Description

Designed for warm dry applications. Synthetic options are conventionally made of polyester, nylon or polypropylene while natural carpet can be made of wool, comes in many patters, colors and styles.

Pros

Creates a comfortable atmosphere and acts as insulation to retain war air in cold months. It also acts as a noise dampener and can even improve indoor air quality by trapping pet dander or debris.

Cons

Can stain relatively easily when compared to other flooring options, can become difficult and costly to clean, also carpets placed in high traffic tend to wear out if made of cheap material.

Features

Cost: ✓✓✓✓
Installation Difficulty: ✓✓✓
Durability: ✓✓
Cleaning Difficulty: ✓✓✓✓✓

HARDWOOD

Description

Any flooring that is milled from a sing piece of timber. Oak, walnut maple and hickory are common types of wood used for Hardwood flooring.

Pros

Extremely durable, hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished many times over their lifetime. They are also extremely easy to clean, sturdy and very wear resistant. Hard wood floors give a house a very earthy yet luxurious feel.

Cons

On the more costly end of the flooring spectrum, and can be labor intensive to install. Do not retain heat and will not damper sound. Hardwood floors also may shrink or expand depending on season and temperature.

Features

Cost: ✓✓✓✓
Installation Difficulty: ✓✓✓✓
Durability: ✓✓✓✓
Cleaning Difficulty: ✓

ENGINEERED WOOD

Description

Sometimes called composite wood, engineered wood differs from hardwood in that it is a veneer of hardwood on top of several wood layers underneath. It is processed or machined to have a specific look and feel, and typically comes pre-laminated.

Pros

Can be ideal for below grade installation (basements) as it is much more resistant to the effects of moisture than Hardwood. Extremely fast installation. Can be installed over any subflooring type (padding, concrete) with relative ease.

Cons

Quality and durability can very greatly according to brand, and there are limited refinishing options available as engineered wood can typically only be sanded and refinished once. Edges of the panels can lack a finish and can fray or allow water in. Does not last as long as real hardwood.

Features

Cost: ✓✓✓✓
Installation Difficulty: ✓✓
Durability: ✓✓✓
Cleaning Difficulty: ✓✓

VINYL

Description

Vinyl flooring is a fully synthetic polymer flooring option with pigmentation added for color. Flexible and non-porous.

Pros

Extremely inexpensive and easy to install. Can be glued or nailed over a sub-flooring. Durable an flexible, easy to clean and highly also water-resistant.

Cons

The process and chemicals needed to make vinyl flooring can emit VOC’s into the air over time. The soft quality of vinyl flooring means sharp objects can easily gouge it, after which it is extremely difficult to repair.

Features

Cost: ✓
Installation Difficulty: ✓
Durability: ✓✓
Cleaning Difficulty: ✓