Beautiful Home Interiors Start at the Flooring Level
- Author Pat Boardman
- Published November 25, 2011
- Word count 563
The dream design of a home is usually limited by budgetary constraints for us non-millionaires building or doing extensive renovations on home under the gloomy shadow of a mortgage. This article discusses a range of temptingly classy flooring materials, some of which may drive a project over budget but that's what dreams are all about.
Not everyone can choose an expensive flooring material and then get the rest of the room to match so it makes more sense to choose something like laminate flooring where there are a wide range of colors and grains to match the decor. It takes some shopping around online and in person to view the many other selections and types of flooring.
There is the category of hard flooring, which includes expensive materials like marble, granite, slate, terra cotta tile, ceramic tile, mosaic tile, and polished concrete. Those of us with castles and manors would have a lot of this running through the rooms - a few thousand square feet of marble or granite flooring would run into the tens of thousands or more after installation costs are added.
Wood flooring gives many attractive options to the home owner. It is a category that includes bamboo floors, parquet, hardwood, engineered hardwood, plank, and strip. There is also a range of fiber flooring materials made of various synthetics that is cheaper, but wood is the traditional favorite. Real hardwood can get quite expensive so people are looking at the newcomer to the industry, bamboo.
A relatively new technology has allowed manufacturers to make a smooth flooring material from the eco-friendly bamboo stalk. Bamboo has the high-quality look of hardwood and equal durability at a fraction of the price. Like wood, there are different hardness levels depending on the species, but bamboo can score just as high as average tree wood in hardness and durability. For this reason people are turning to bamboo flooring for better value. Timber bamboo is easier to grow than trees; it's harvested between three to seven years depending on the species.
Laminate flooring is also grouped in the wood flooring category but rarely contains any wood. It consists of four layers: a base layer of fiberglass, the core layer of fiberboard, a thin decorative layer made to resemble types of grains and colors, and a transparent protective ambulatory layer. These layers are compressed at high temperature and pressure to bind together as a durable floor surface.
Hardwood flooring installation using real wood flooring is expensive but pleasing in its traditional role as the way to warm up a room's appeal. The home is a major investment so renovating part of it with hardwood increases the overall value so for many people the effort is satisfying. They can enjoy the luxury of the real wood and make the home more attractive to future buyers (provided that the wood is taken care of and maintained in pristine condition). Abuse of hardwood can bring out the grumpy old man in any homeowner, especially do-it-yourselfers.
For areas where the floors are bound to suffer from surface traffic and funds are limited, linoleum and vinyl floors can be the answer. They are cheap and durable so less worry has to go into maintaining the floor; if you drop a can of paint on it there won't be the accompanying near heart attack of shock at your beautiful floor being ruined.
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