Your home’s flooring does more than provide you and your family with a comfortable surface. It’s an extension of your personal style and taste. It says something about you and your home to everyone who walks in the door.
Selecting the right floor for your home isn’t easy. Chances are if you’ve visited your local flooring retailer, you’ve found yourself wandering through a sea of options, evaluating different materials, designs and overall durability and function.
The question is: How do you choose when everything looks so good?
You need to consider a few factors, including your style, budget, where the flooring will be installed, traffic flow and performance concerns.
Cost is often a deciding factor. Set a price range and begin evaluating the features of products in that bracket. If you’re not planning to install the floor yourself, don’t forget to factor in the installation costs, which often are in addition to the square-foot cost.
Appearance is the first factor to consider. The flooring you choose should blend with the style of your home, whether that style is contemporary, Victorian, eclectic or country. Also keep in mind the size of the room where you plan to install the flooring. Tiny tiles will be too busy in a large room, while large-scale products will overwhelm a smaller space.
While many homeowners immediately gravitate to such attractive natural materials as slate, stone, bamboo and hardwood, don’t limit your options simply to those for mere aesthetics’ sake. Modern flooring technology such as resilient and laminate offers the best of both worlds — good looks, comfort, function and easy maintenance.
“Today’s laminate and resilient flooring options offer many attractive features that rival, and even surpass, those of their natural counterparts,” says Gary Finseth, Tarkett Residential marketing director. “Not only do laminate and resilient flooring cost less than wood and ceramic tile, they come in a wide range of colors and patterns that authentically mimic traditional wood grains, natural stone, ceramic and even metallics. There’s something for every decor.”
Beyond aesthetics, contemporary flooring options also hold up to the demands of everyday living comfortably. Comfort of flooring refers to how it feels underfoot. It also includes its insulation properties and whether or not it carries sound. Other products, such as resilient and laminate flooring, have been engineered to provide the best of both worlds.
FiberFloor resilient flooring from Tarkett, for example, features more than 200 distinctive colors and designs, including natural-looking wood grains like oak or exotic teak, rustic tiles and earthy stone looks, but also offers improved foam density for added performance and durability, as well as warmth, comfort and a quiet living space.
It’s a given that hardwood or tile floors look great in most spaces, but too often, these floors don’t hold up to the rigors of everyday traffic and living. Consider how the flooring you want to install will react to such factors as direct sunlight, water spills, furniture scrapes, tracked-in dirt and ongoing foot traffic and how they will hold up to cleaning, too.
For those who seek a true visual match to real wood, consider installing laminate flooring. In addition to providing high style, this flooring reflects the look of real wood yet holds up to extensive wear and tear.
Tarkett laminates feature an AC4-rating for the commercial wear layer, which means this flooring protects against wear, fading and stains 60 percent better than ordinary laminate flooring. The design layer replicates the beauty of natural wood grains, while the Americore layer, the inner core board manufactured with only cherry and oak chips, provides superior indentation resistance.
Some floors are easier to install than others. Hardwood and tile floors are among the most difficult to install and generally require professional expertise.
Thanks to its multi-layer construction, resilient tiles simply can be set in place. And because of its layered construction, this flooring will not expand or contract. It also lies flat and stays flat by “floating” in place, without the need for glue. Laminate flooring also requires no glue or nails unlike traditional hardwood.
Flooring systems that don’t require glue aren’t just easy to install. They also help the environment. All Tarkett resilient and laminate products are FloorScore certificated for meeting rigorous indoor air quality standards.