When it comes to flooring, there are a ton of options. Hardwood is a look many like to go with, but it’s price can sometimes be too steep for the average budget. Laminate, Tile, and Vinyl are good alternatives as they can be a bit more economical. If you’re considering going in one of these directions, here’s all you need to know about the three flooring types.
Laminate flooring is made up of 99% wood byproducts. Laminate boards are very thick, so they offer a bit more comfort. Since this flooring is made mostly of wood, it’s not recommended for bathrooms or other damp areas since it will soak up moisture easily and destroy the board. Laminate floors are, however, typically water-resistant, so they can be exposed to minimal water without damage. This means they are fine to be used near some water, like a kitchen sink, as long as the floors are only exposed to any water for short periods of time. Laminate comes in multiple aesthetic options to look remarkably like wood, stone, ceramics, or many other materials, but when comparing laminate to vinyl side by side, laminate will look more natural. Manufacturers recommend adding a foam underlayment before installation to reduce possible noise that may come from walking about this flooring type.
Vinyl flooring is made up of 100% synthetic materials. Because of the makeup, the floors won’t look quite as natural as laminate, but there are options that look pretty close. Newer vinyl floors are typically made to be completely waterproof, so it’s the best type of floors for bathrooms and other damp areas like basements. Like laminate, vinyl floors are many in many forms to look like wood, stone, ceramics and many other materials. Depending on the style you’d like, the price of vinyl versus laminate floor planks is pretty comparable. Vinyl floors tend to have a colder feel when walking barefoot on them, but tend to feel very comfortable and won’t transmit much, if any, sound.
Ceramic tile is made up of sand, clays and other natural products. Tile is 100% waterproof so it’s an excellent option for rooms exposed to high moisture, like bathrooms. Unlike laminate and vinyl, tile requires grout between tiles so installation and dry time will take longer. This grout, however, eliminates the possibility of water seeping in-between the tiles which could potentially penetrate the floorboards. Ceramic tiles come in hundreds of designs, but in general, will have a better overall appearance than vinyl or laminate as it tends to look more natural. Tile tends to be a bit more intimate with the design while vinyl and laminate are mass-produced, so you do tend to lose the personal touch. Because tiles are not as mass-produced as the others, you may see higher cost with tiles. However, there are many different price points for each flooring type to match any budget. Tile is installed and grouted very securely, so there should be no sound when walking over ceramic tiles.
Each flooring type offers its own unique opportunities to make any space your own. With innovations to each kind in the past few years, you can absolutely find the perfect floor for your space. If you’re ready for new floors in your home, give us a call. We will work with you to set up the perfect plan for you!