• TriniHelper

All About Flooring

Choosing flooring

Few places in a building are as susceptible to wear and tear as a floor.

Just think about it. It is the most well-used area, prone to dust and dirt, damage from furniture, scuff marks from shoes, stains and spills.

It is for this reason that flooring type is such a crucial choice in home construction and design.

Many people make their choice based on what looks good while neglecting durability. Some choose based on which type is easiest to install, maintain and clean.

The truth is, whichever type of flooring you choose will require a degree of maintenance to ensure it looks its best for a long time.

TriniHelper wants to help make your choice easier.

There are six popular types of flooring which each have their benefits and drawbacks.

Choosing the right one depends on several factors including budget, functionality and personal preference.

Ceramic tile

Why choose tile for your home? Ceramic and porcelain tiles are versatile, durable and stylish, one can choose from hundreds of colours and styles to make any room look its best. From wood-look to polished to contemporary to the timeless look of stone. We have explored some reasons why you should choose tiled floors: 1. Variety, and many price options

The amount of different types of tile out there may be daunting at first, here at TriniHelper our Tilers are ready to answer your questions and guide you when selecting the right tiles. Tiles might be one of the most economical flooring types, with hardwares and tile stores across Trinidad, you are sure to find tiles to suit your budget and taste.

2. Tile Flooring is very resilient

Compared to other types of flooring, ceramic and porcelain tiles generally last longer, and are more resilient. Most types of tile will last for upwards of 10 years if taken care of properly. Maintaining your tiles is as simple as using non-acidic and non-abrasive products to clean, and having the tiles properly installed.

3. Air Quality, and cleanliness

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are very hard, and don’t attract dirt, allergens, or pollen. Another great benefit to hard tiles is the ease of cleaning. It’s very easy to simply grab a mop or even just a broom to clean any dirt or mess off the tile.

Hardwood flooring

More and more homeowners are turning to hardwood flooring because of the unique, rustic feel it provides.

Not to mention experts say hardwood floors can significantly increase the value of your home due to its elegant look.

Solid hardwood flooring planks are made from a single piece of wood.

Like tile, hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain as the material, once it is covered with sealing agent, is water and stain resistant.

Without a sealing agent however, hardwood flooring will absorb any liquid and become warped with time.

Even with a sealing agent, it is not advisable to install hardwood floors in bathrooms or areas prone to moisture. This type of flooring is best suited for living room, dining room and bedroom areas and hallways.

It can be installed over concrete, tile or any type of floor.

The disadvantages of this hardwood flooring is obvious.

For one, wood has an acoustic quality which can amplify sounds in a room. Picture high heels walking across a wooden floor. Every step is amplified. This can be a turnoff for some people and annoying to persons below if hardwood is installed on a second storey floor.

However, installing cork or foam underlayers can help to minimize sound.

Hardwood floors are also prone to scratches and scuffs which can look very unattractive. These are easy to fix with occasional buffering, re-staining or refinishing.

Engineered hardwood

Most people don’t realize that there are two types of hardwood when they decide on hardwood floors. The first type, solid hardwood mentioned above, is the more popular type, but engineered hardwood has its benefits too.

Engineered hardwood floors are made up of layers. The top and bottom layers are 100% natural wood. The middle layer however is a core made from multiple layers of plywood that crisscross in different directions.

The purpose of this is to create a more durable core that is less likely to warp with exposure to moisture and humidity. This makes engineered wood flooring a much better choice for bathrooms that solid hardwood.

Bamboo flooring

If you like the look of hardwood floors but want something more environmentally friendly, bamboo flooring may be just the thing for you.

Bamboo flooring is made from bamboo rods which regrow very quickly. Unlike hardwood harvested from trees that can take upwards of 20 years to regrow, bamboo plants regrow in just about three to five years.

The material is durable and attractive and provides a sleek, shiny surface. It is easy to maintain and can be cleaned with a mop or polished for an extra shine.

It is not water resistant and is most suited for bedroom/living room areas.

One drawback is the material can become discoloured over time and with exposure to sunlight. It is easily scratched by dragging furniture, pet claws or shoes.

Re-sanding and refinishing can however bring bamboo floors back to pristine quality.

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is among the cheapest types of flooring to install and also very attractive.

Laminate planks are designed to mimic the look of hardwood with a literal photograph of real wood covered with durable materials.

It is therefore more resistant to moisture than hardwood floors but it is not completely impervious and will swell and warp if water get below the surface.

Laminate flooring is easy to clean and does not require waxing or other costly maintenance. It can be slippery when it becomes wet.

Unlike wood, which can dent and scratch, laminate flooring is difficult to scratch as it has a “wear layer” that protects the material underneath.

This type of flooring is easy to install and does not require messy grout like tiles. It comes in both snap on or glue on varieties.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl flooring is the most popular type of resilient flooring, it is durable, with low maintenance, and easy on the budget. Vinyl floor has more depth and texture today than it did a generation ago, so it can look like hardwood, tile, and stone, and it comes in a variety of colors. Vinyl is soft underfoot, so it is comfortable to stand on for extended periods. It's also warmer to the touch than hard surfaces like tile. Vinyl comes in various levels of gloss, so you can get a range of looks It comes in strips and you can find this product in a number of styles, each mimicking a specific type of wood, from oak to hickory and beyond. Because vinyl plank imitates hardwood, you’re sure to find a version that matches the rest of your home’s decor. Additionally, vinyl is the budget-friendly choice for renovators who want the look of hardwood without the challenging installation process.

Carpet flooring

No other type of flooring provides the cushiony comfort of carpeting.

There is nothing like the feel of a soft, fuzzy carpet between your toes on a chilly day. It can give a room a cosy, homely feel.

Carpets are a great choice because they come in a wide range of colours and styles and can be easily installed and replaced.

Carpeting cuts down on noise which make this type of flooring perfect for apartment buildings and other multi-storied buildings where it is necessary to muffle the sound of footsteps. This is the reason why many hotels and commercial building choose carpet flooring.

Carpeting is recommended in homes where there are toddlers or elderly persons prone to falling as the soft material can help to cushion a fall.

But carpet flooring can be quite a hassle too.

For one, cleaning requires the use of a vacuum cleaner and may even require frequent washing to remove stains and doors.

Carpeting is prone to staining and light coloured carpets can become ruined from food or wine stains or become discolored in well-worn areas.

Carpeting also absorbs any fluid and hides dust and pet hairs deep within the fibers. So while it may look clean to the naked eye, it may be harboring many impurities.

For this reason, it is one of the hardest types of flooring to maintain.

Despite this, with frequent care and cleaning, carpeting can last for many years.

Truly, there is no “perfect” type of flooring. Each type has advantages and disadvantages so choosing the right type for your home means you have to take each factor into account and weigh the benefits.

We hope we have helped to make your decision a little easier and we are one phone call away when you are ready to get started on your flooring project.

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