Hard surface flooring has proven to be a smart move for resale, as well as for durability. There are several things to consider when choosing a floor.
Gone are the days when the average homeowner immediately went to the carpeting section of the home improvement center when deciding to replace his flooring. Also gone are the days when the only options for the main living areas of a home were either hardwood or carpeting.
While hardwoods are still a popular option, especially environmentally-friendly options like bamboo, laminate flooring is growing in popularity and design. Similarly, while tile floors used to be reserved for wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens, an increase in product design and selection makes tile an increasingly popular choice for living areas as well. There are several factors to consider when deciding which hard surface flooring is the best option for you.
Comparing Prices of Hardwood, Laminate, and Tile Floors
The price of hardwood floors runs on average between £9 and £12 a square foot, installed, depending on type and finish of wood. Compare that to an average of £2 to £3 a square foot for uninstalled laminate, with an additional £2 to £3 a square foot for installation, and one can see why a homeowner may decide to go with the less expensive laminate. Also, with a few crucial tools, a floating laminate floor can be a great DIY project, saving the homeowner the cost of installation as well. For more prices, see http://www.thelondonfloorcompany.co.uk.
Probably the most expensive of the options is tile. While there is a tile for every budget (ceramic tiles can start as low as $1 per square foot, while stone tiles and art tiles can go as high as £25 a square foot), the installation of a tile floor is highly labor intensive and costs on average between £5 and £10 a square foot.
For the budget-conscious homeowner, laminate can provide the best bang for your buck. Available in a wide variety of styles and finishes, the floating system makes the installation one that the average DIY’er could accomplish. However, in addition to the initial price, a homeowner should also consider durability and maintenance.
Comparing Maintenance and Durability of Hardwood, Laminate, and Tile Floors
For durability, no flooring can beat true hardwood. When installed and finished correctly, hardwood floors should outlast the mortgage. Once installed, hardwood floors can be cleaned easily with a barely damp mop. Also, if damaged, hardwood flooring is relatively easy to repair by removing and replacing the damaged board or boards. Contrast that with laminate.
Laminate floors can be cleaned and maintained as easily as hardwoods. However, while hardwoods will last a lifetime if well cared for, laminate flooring has a general life expectancy of less than 20 years. On the other hand, laminates tend to be more impact, scratch, and UV resistant than hardwoods. Overall, despite the growth in the variety and styles of laminate products, it is generally agreed upon that true hardwoods have a richer appearance.
Tile is also a good option for a hard surface floor. Similar to both laminate and hardwood floors, tile is easily maintained and cleaned. However, where there is tile, there is also grout, and while the actual tile is easy to clean, grout can be next to impossible to maintain pristine. Also, depending on the type of tile, cracks can be a problem, either as a result of improper leveling of the subfloor, or as a result of items being dropped on the tile. However, much like hardwood flooring, tile floors can be simple to repair by chipping out the broken tile, laying a replacement piece, and regrouting the area.
Overall, the decision to go with a hard surface floor is a good one. With proper maintenance, all three options will far outlast even the best of carpeting choices. Also, as families are made more aware of allergens and breathing problems, replacing carpet with an easy-to-clean tile, wood, or laminate can be a wise health decision as well. A homeowner must consider price, durability, and his or her ultimate design goal when making a flooring choice.2017-09-04