Flooring Material

What is the Best Flooring Material for your home?

Flooring your home can affect your health and quality of life as well as your style. It helps you keep your environment clean while providing comfort and safety under your feet. It sets the mood for the whole house and expresses the personality you choose. It also adds to the value of your property.

In this article, we will introduce 7 different materials for flooring in Mission Viejo so you know your options and choose intelligently for your need and style.

 

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl flooring is an innovative material that mimics the rich look and feel of natural materials such as high-end stone or hardwood with a lower price tag. Despite being highly resilient and non-scratch, it feels soft, comfortable, and non-slippery. Its many designs are strikingly beautiful. Shapes, colors, and textures are varied and the installation method is also flexible meaning you can choose a diagonal or brick arrangement. There are edge finishing options too for example beveled edge has a distinct line between planks to create a realistic look while a micro-beveled edge creates a seamless look.

It is generally made of 4 layers namely wear layer to protect from scratches and damage, image layer to contain the printed pattern, PVC layer to provide cushion effect, and back layer to provide strength and density. It is also stain resistant which makes the cleaning effortless. It is waterproof and maintains integrity when in contact with water; therefore, it is ideal for the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and basement.

Luxury vinyl is available in formats such as plank (LVP) and tile (LVT) both of which are easily installed and maintained. Plank sizes are often 6*36 inches but 7*48 and 9*60 sizes are also available but tile sizes are 12*12, 12*18, and 12*24 inches. They have the flexibility of floating installation which doesn’t require any adhesive. You can also choose the glued option or go with click-lock method to overlap the edges and provide more protection against moisture. It is recommended to consider the area size when installing luxury vinyl. Larger areas should be installed glued down but small rooms such as a bathroom can easily work with the floating installation.

Carpet

Fabric carpet flooring provides thermal and sound insulation. It is cushioned, comfortable, non-slippery, and non-noisy which makes walking and dropping objects much safer especially for children. It often receives stain, static, and dust resistance treatment to protect your health. Styles, patterns, colors, and textures are varied and prices depend on the fiber type and quality of construction.

Most carpets in the market are made from 4 types of fiber each of which has its own features. Wool is a natural material that provides warmth along with a natural feel and looks. It is dust resistant and durable but doesn’t perform well with stains! Polyester has a variety of colors, patterns, and styles with a luxury look that doesn’t come with a high price tag. It is durable enough for homes with average traffic. Nylon is known for its strong durability and stain resistance which makes it an ideal choice for homes with children, pets, and lots of traffic. Olefin (polypropylene) is moisture tolerant but it is not durable as other synthetic fibers.

There are 2 dyeing methods with the solution-dyed method being done before weaving the carpet and the continuous-dyed method being done after tufting. The former makes the carpet resistant to fading, stains, and chemicals while the latter makes stronger colors.

Carpet is constructed by tufting machine which has hundreds of needles to create loops of fiber into backing material so the face surface of the carpet is created. Construction of carpet is as influential as fiber type on the quality and price. The denser the loops are, the higher the quality of the carpet is. The average twists per inch are 3 to 6 but higher quality carpets have up to 7 to 9 twits.

The texture is very important in determining the look and feel of a carpet. There are 3 different textures: cut pile texture is when loops are cut at the end to create soft and luxury feeling under your feet. Loop texture has the uncut fiber loops in various highs from low to high. It affects the strength of the carpet and becomes a good choice for high traffic areas. The cut-loop texture is something in between when high cuts and low loops are mixed in different ways to create various patterns and durability.

 

Natural Stone

Natural stone flooring has a luxurious look and feel that uplifts any home. It includes marble, granite, travertine, limestone, sandstone, and slate all of which have their own character and features. Their looks are unique as they have the pattern of million years of evolution printed on them. They are the most durable material and that is why they usually have the highest price too. Their roughness might not be so soft on children’s tough.

There are different sets of factors to consider when choosing natural stone specifically for outdoor areas. The absorption rating of a stone depends on its porous nature which makes it vulnerable to stains and also cold conditions. Sandstone is the most porous natural stone while granite is the least. Travertine, slate, and limestone are middle range. The more polished they are the less absorbent they become. The absorption rating terms are Non-vitreous, Semi-vitreous, Vitreous, and Impervious in order of highest to the lowest level. It means the higher ratings are least suitable for moist environments.

The coefficient of friction is another grading factor that determines the slipperiness of a material. The higher the number is, the more friction it has. The humidity of the area determines the degree of coefficient required but the disability of the people living there is also important. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires flooring materials to have a minimum of a .6 dryness coefficient.

Another important factor is oxidation that can happen to stones with higher levels of Iron. This mineral provides a red hue in the stone but in open air, it rusts and ruins the whole stone.

 

Tile

There are 2 types of tile flooring both of which are made with clay. Ceramic tile is the clay processed at high temperature with glazing added to make it waterproof. Porcelain tile is more durable than ceramic because it has been mixed with resins before baking at higher temperatures. The mixing formula makes it waterproof even if it is not glazed. Generally, the color of the clay in ceramic is not the same as the glaze so, in case of cracking, a different color will be revealed. But porcelain has the same color all the way down to its core. They are both perfect choices for the bathroom and kitchen as they are water-resistant and durable at a lower price compared to natural stone. They are also easily cleanable and affordable but porcelain is often more expensive than ceramic.

They have a variety of styles to give you freedom to achieve your desired look. They can even mimic the look of natural stone and wood or they can have modern patterns. They come in different shapes and types in a variety of colors and sizes that make any flooring design possible. The sizes vary from large 15 inches tiles to 0.5 inches mosaics.

 

Hardwood

Hardwood flooring brings a natural ambience to any home and adds warmth and value. It is one of the safest materials for children and pets. There are 2 species: Exotic hardwoods such as Brazilian cherry, Bamboo, and Cork and domestic species such as oak, maple, and hickory. They have their unique grains and colors but exotic species are never stained while domestics can use coloring chemicals to achieve different colors and patterns. They can be pre-finished to make installation and cleaning easier. They come in different textures such as hand-scraped, distressed, smooth, and wire-brushed each of which creates different feelings.

The look of the wood determines its grade. The clear look with the lowest knots and defects is considered FAS or Sel grade but Cabinet grades have all the knotholes and streaks that cause more wasted material at the installation site. The grading system affects the prices accordingly.

They are also graded based on the Janka Hardness Rating where the harder wood has a higher number and becomes best suitable for high traffic and high-stress areas. The humidity of the area must be considered as well because hardwood can be affected by gapping and warping.

 

Engineered wood

Engineered wood flooring is made from stacked wood veneers to create the look and feel of solid wood. The top layer is often a higher quality hardwood and the core layers are MDF. Core layers are put perpendicular to each other to form a lattice structure for more strength. The core is waterproof and the top layer is pre-finished. It has a variety of colors, patterns, and textures just like hardwood but prices are affordable. It is good against impact stress while cleaning and maintenance are effortless. It is also safe for children and pets.

 

Laminate

Laminate flooring has the same structure as the engineered wood but with a thinner layer of real wood on top. The thinness of the top layer makes it not suitable for refinishing or sanding and lowers the durability but the pricing becomes much more economical. It has color and pattern variations as well.

 

Conclusion

Flooring is critical for your home as it has health, beauty, and budget effect. If you have a high-traffic place with kids, pets, and lots of entertainment you should consider highly durable and stain-resistant materials that are also safe.

Luxury vinyl can provide a natural look and resistance to any kind of damage with a lower price tag while being safe and comfortable.

Carpet is the most children and pet-friendly option with affordable price and easy style options but it is susceptible to staining.

Natural stone and hardwood are the most durable and sturdy options for party lovers but they are more expensive.

Tile provides the most freedom of design while maintains affordable price but it is not immune to high impact stress.

Engineered wood and laminate are great choices for natural wood lovers that don’t want to drain their budget but they require regular maintenance.

Only an expert on flooring in Huntington Beach can provide you with specific details of each option so you can choose the best flooring material for your home and enjoy it too.

Unique Kitchen & baths is a family-owned business that is committed to providing high-quality kitchen and bathroom remodeling, as well as flooring installations at affordable prices.