Oak, maple and other hardwood flooring materials were once viewed as the gold standard for homes and office buildings. Although there are numerous emerging materials being used, hardwood floors remain durable and luxurious.
- Pros: Hardwood flooring is rugged and adds an old-world luster to a room that can rarely be duplicated by other products. The material remains relatively easy to maintain, simple sweeping or mopping with an approved wood floor cleaner will work. Traditional hardwood or engineered wood floors require sanding and refinishing only every 15-20 years.
- Cons: Installing a hardwood floor tends to run on the expensive side of the industry. They can be labor-intensive, and the total investment can run upwards of $12 per square foot.
- Trending: Contemporary hardwoods are no longer just natural wood with varnish. Many modern properties are embracing deep, colored stains, distressed finishes, and whitewashes. This trend has helped rank hardwoods among the dynamic new flooring options.
Ceramic Tile Flooring
Another traditional flooring material that has enjoyed a modern-day renaissance, tile installations often require specialized labor. But, if you have the budget, they can be well worth the investment.
- Pros: Tile flooring provides durability, stain resistance and will not be damaged by water. As many homeowners understand, water penetration remains one of the greatest threats to a property’s structural integrity. Cleanup is simple, easy and minor maintenance can help tile retain its allure.
- Cons: Ceramic tile installations can run from $1 to $20 per square foot, depending on quality and labor. Hard impacts can crack or damage tiles. They can be difficult and sometimes costly to replace. One caveat property owners should be aware of is that tile is often manufactured by “lot.” The color of each lot can vary slightly. That’s why it’s important to purchase and store replacement materials with the initial order.
- Trending: Ceramic tile makes an excellent flooring choice for bathrooms and kitchens, among others. New lines imitate faux finishes, enjoy unique finishes and mood-setting colors. Some of the styles that are trending include mosaics, retro revival, seamless surfaces, and metallics. Tile has made tremendous style leaps.
One of the alternative flooring options that has garnered attention is flexible cork. It has been incorporated into areas where people stand for extended periods of time, such as the kitchen, and provides foot comfort.
Pros: This environmentally friendly material comes from natural tree bark. Harvesting the Cork Oak bark does not damage the tree and therefore maintains forest integrity. The flooring material absorbs sound well, provides cushion for foot impacts and is hypoallergenic. It also has a lovely appearance and is relatively easy to clean. It tends to be inexpensive, running $2 to $8 per square foot, generally.
- Cons: The soft texture means it can damage more easily than some other materials and requires sealing to avoid swelling. Excessive light can cause discoloration.
- Trending: Cork floors can be quite versatile. Installations include numerous, small circular tiles, 12X12 squares, and materials that mimic traditional hardwoods.
When making a decision about a new flooring installation, consider your budget, activities in the space and impact they will have on the materials. Also, think about how much cleanup and maintenance is reasonable for your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and speak with a flooring specialist about options.
Want to know what we think of a few other very popular solutions such stained concrete and luxury vinyl plank? Let’s talk!