Choosing what floors are displayed in a home is an extremely difficult decision. Do you go with hardwood floors? Would carpet be a better option? What about laminate flooring? There are countless options when it comes to what you walk on. How does one decide the proper route to go? Well, knowledge about each product can certainly lead to an informed decision.
Hardwood floors have been around for centuries. Only the wealthiest people could afford them because expert craftsmen labored for years on the same floor, meticulously cutting each intricate inlay or pattern by hand. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the wood industry started to resemble what we see today. Hardwood floors are still regarded as the highest quality option by many people and can give any home a classic upscale look.
Cleaning hardwood floors is easy to do, which is good because it needs to be cleaned very frequently. Dirt can be swept quickly and liquid messes can be cleaned up without leaving a permanent stain. If your home is drafty though, the floors can be chilly without shoes on.
Carpets have also been used for centuries. It keeps a floor warm and comfortable to walk on, and can be visually stunning with the right pattern. Wall to wall carpeting has become very popular in the 20th century with the ability of mass production.
Carpets are generally preferred over hardwood floors in apartments due to its ability to make foot traffic very quiet. Maintenance is also much less demanding because dirt is less noticeable, however stains can absolutely destroy a carpet. Carpets generally cost less than hardwood floors, but don’t have the same life span. Generally carpets should be replaced between five to ten years with normal use.
Laminate flooring is a much newer option compared to hardwood and carpets. It was invented in 1977 by the Swedish company Perstorp, and was introduced to Americans in 1994. Due to laminate flooring being a printed strip of vinyl over a composite board, many textures and styles of flooring can be replicated.
Laminate flooring is a much more affordable option and is very easy to install. It is packaged as a number of tongue and groove planks, and is clicked into one another. If damage occurs, you can simply replace the damaged planks with new ones. This method of repair will only look good if the other planks still look new. You also cannot clean with wet methods because the liquid will cause damage by soaking into the composite portion, which causes warping over time.
Each flooring option has unique benefits and challenges. A hardwood floor lasts the longest, but is also the most expensive. Carpets are more affordable, and require less maintenance, but become stained easily. Laminate flooring is very cost and labor efficient, but can be damaged easily and warp.
If your budget can afford hardwood floors, and you want a natural look, hardwood would be a solid option. If comfort is your top priority, carpets would serve you well. If you want a floor that can be repaired without spending a large amount of money, laminate would be your choice. People’s needs are as different as the floors they walk on. In the end, pick the floor that suits your needs best!