Choosing the flooring for your new home affects all aspects of the process: budget, upkeep, resale value, and much more.
Let’s take a dive into five common types of flooring, and analyze why we would choose one over another. We promise – it’ll be more exciting than it seems at first, especially if you are currently building.
1. Tile and Natural Stone
Natural stone tile is one of the most popular types of flooring. This is perhaps because it is one of the most durable and versatile flooring options. Natural stone is easy to clean, inexpensive, and aesthetically pleasing tile can handle high traffic and high moisture areas and can come in a variety of colors and textures. This makes it among the most versatile flooring options, making it great for those with children and pets.
The tile itself can be inexpensive, and it does not need to be replaced often. Despite this, installing tile can be among the most difficult of all flooring options. Tile is also heavy, meaning that those with multiple stories would be better off using it only on the first floor. Natural stone, as one would imagine, is also very hard and cold, meaning that standing on it for long periods can be uncomfortable. It can also be slippery when wet, meaning those who are older or have small children should be cautious about where they use tile.
Everyone loves hardwood, and for good reason. It’s a classic best known for its durability and visual appeal. Stained hardwood also comes in a variety of colors that all add natural warmth to a room. Hardwood can fit into virtually any style of home, making it one of the most versatile types of flooring. What else is hardwood known for? Being creaky, requiring extra care, and not always being budget-friendly.
Some types of hardwood can be inexpensive. But staining and sanding hardwood racks up costs quickly. Exotic wood is also not cheap. Hardwood needs to be kept in good shape through regular sanding and cleaning. Though, because it is solid wood all the way through, it can be sanded many times. Hardwood is best for living areas and bedrooms, as it is sensitive to moisture and, therefore, not ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. Hardwood can become creaky over time but the sounds can also be easily muffled with carpet or rugs, though covering hardwood can defeat its purpose. If you have small children or pets, hardwood may also not be the best choice. Otherwise, it can be one of the bragging points of your home.
3. Engineered Wood
Engineered wood, or composite wood, can be a less expensive alternative to hardwood. Although it takes about the same level of care as hardwood, it is easier to install and often easier on the budget. Engineered wood is actually mostly plywood, compressed with a thin layer of hardwood on top. This gives it a hardwood look and feels, though it is more versatile and doesn’t require as much care.
One of the main draws of composite wood is its easy installation. Hardwood is complex. It needs to be fitted, can’t be laid on certain surfaces, and requires active maintenance. Engineered wood can be glued or even nailed down, and only needs semi-annual cleaning. Engineered wood can also be used in areas with some (but not a lot of) moisture, like a kitchen. Engineered wood is prone to warping and other damage, and it can’t be sanded or refinished. Through regular maintenance isn’t needed, engineered wood may need to be replaced more often.
Most people have carpet somewhere in their home. Its range of colors, styles, and textures makes it a good choice for most rooms. It adds warmth and comfort to living areas. One frequent complaint against carpet is that it holds onto dirt and allergens. To avoid this, regularly clean carpets. Also, carpet can be difficult to clean and may even need to be replaced if stained. Weekly cleaning can be done through vacuuming, and bimonthly steam cleaning is recommended. For those with pets or allergenic family members, a carpet may not be ideal. However, high-traffic areas where moisture is not an issue could find use from this type of flooring.
5. Vinyl Tile
Vinyl tile is one of the most affordable options for flooring overall. Vinyl requires no special care or consideration for general care. Regular sweeping and mopping vinyl tile is a good flooring choice for homes that have children, pets, and a lot of traffic. Areas that require frequent cleaning are good candidates for vinyl tile. Vinyl tile is stain resistant and waterproof and isn’t as heavy as natural stone. Vinyl tile is still relatively new, so it is not seen as valuable as natural stone or hardwood. However, for those on a budget, it is an effective alternative that can be used to simulate either.
Which Is Right For Me?
At the end of the day, the type of flooring you choose should go beyond aesthetic appeal. Practicality is the primary concern when choosing your flooring. How well does it suit your living space and the room it’s in?
After that, flexibility is a follow-up concern. How do you envision this room changing in the next ten years? Can you change a bedroom into a study? If you want to convert your guest bedroom into a home gym, would carpet or tile make that problematic?
We recommend coming to us with your home plan and your flooring questions or concerns. We specialize in building custom homes and have over 40 years of experience helping clients in the Vero Beach, Port St. Lucie, and Melbourne, FL areas select the perfect finishes for their new home. Feel free to contact us for consultation. We can help make your dream home a reality. 772.388.8863.