The wide range of flooring options available today makes it easy to find the perfect floor for every room in your home or office. You can choose from wood or wood laminates, tiles in ceramic, slate or stone, vinyl flooring in tiles or sheets, carpets, stone and marble, to name just a few. And if that weren’t enough, the choices available in each type of floor are nearly endless — not just wood, but maple, birch, beech or teak; not just marble but black, white, Connemara, rough finish, or polished. Your choices are limited only by your tastes, your budget, and the needs of your family or environment.
Take a look at some of the most popular flooring options below for a quick overview of the wide range of options that are available to you.
Wood laminates are a popular alternative in room that are poor settings for solid wood floors. They come in the same wide range of colors and species of wood, and in all the same styles — strip, plank and parquet, but their construction makes them more durable and able to withstand moisture and traffic than most wood floors. If you’ve always wanted a wood floor in your bathroom, but were afraid that the moisture would make it impossible, a good acrylic impregnated laminate might be just the right choice.
You thought linoleum wasn’t made anymore? Think again. Linoleum is an all natural flooring material made from linseed oil, cork, stone and natural resins. It comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and it wears like iron. Exposure to sunlight, which fades most other flooring materials, can make the colors in a linoleum floor richer and deeper. It’s easy to care for, doesn’t show wear and lasts for decades. What better choice is there for a kitchen floor?
Vinyl tiles are possibly the most commonly used flooring choice for kitchens, bathrooms and family rooms. Inexpensive, easy enough for a do-it-yourselfer to install, and able to mimic nearly any other material, they also wear well, and are relatively easy to care for. The range of patterns and styles available is almost dizzying — from classic to rustic, from colorful to pure white or black, you’ll find something that’s perfect for your floor.
Want pure, decadent luxury? Ceramic tiles have come a long way from the bathrooms of your youth. Today’s ceramic tiles feature rich, jewel-toned colors, and a depth of patterning that’s hard to imitate with any other material. They make excellent bathroom and kitchen floors, or beautiful flooring on a patio or poolside.
Another affordable flooring option is slate tile. Slate has the look of stone — because it is — but has a number of qualities that most stone floors lack. Its composition gives it a smooth surface that holds a glossy finish well. Because it’s porous, the gloss doesn’t build up, but is absorbed by the stone instead. It’s ‘soft’ in comparison to most other flooring materials and comfortable underfoot. The colors of the natural tile range from black to gray, green or red depending on the silicates present in the stone.
What can you say about wood that hasn’t been said by the best designers? Wood floors are versatile, durable and beautiful. Depending on the species of wood and the style of the floor, they suit any style of decorating from ultra-contemporary to rustic country. With proper care, a wood floor lasts a lifetime and beyond.
A sub-style of wood flooring, parquet floors are a particularly elegant and stylish alternative. Different colors, types or species of wood are cut and stained and fitted to create a pattern. The pattern may be overall, or it may be used to accent a border, corner or center of the floor.
Marble, slate, limestone, travertine — stone floors are another option that is growing in popularity. Marble is especially popular in public buildings, but can be a beautiful choice for a formal parlor or foyer. The care required depends on the type of stone chosen.
Wall to wall carpets never go out of style. Today’s choices include all natural wool or cotton, acrylic, olefin and nylon, as well as jute and other natural materials. There are colors and styles to suit almost every budget and taste.
Floor and area rugs can warm a cool room or brighten a dark one. They can add a touch of whimsy, luxury or elegance, depending on the color and the style. Mix and match them with wood, stone or tile floors to accent areas of your room.