Which Flooring for What Rooms?

A long winter in West Valley City, Utah can show you what your floors are made of – and when it’s time to consider new flooring. What puzzles most people is what flooring materials are best for their home’s different rooms. Some just want hardwood or laminate everywhere, and others would just as soon have every square inch carpeted from wall to wall. As flooring professionals, we are here to tell you that there is no one fit for every room in the house. Particular materials are better in specific areas, so let us show you about five different types of flooring materials that are going to look great in your Utah home.

Choice #1: Hardwood

Hardwood floors are terrific for any style of home. They are durable and long-lasting, and as a bonus, they don’t trap dust, mold, and pollen. However, some people worry about the sustainability of hardwood forests and want some assurance that their floors are sustainably sourced. There is excellent news for you if this is one of your concerns. In 2008, the US banned the import of timber from illegal logging. However, consumers have to do their part, too. Asking where the wood was sourced is an excellent place to start – and if there’s no satisfactory answer, it’s time to move on.

There are also other options to FSC-Certified timber. The number of dealers using reclaimed, recycled, or salvaged wood is growing, and adds a stunning vintage look to your floors. Engineered hardwoods are increasingly popular choices as well. In an engineered hardwood, a base of up to one-eighth inch of hardwood is applied to a base layer of plywood. This material is a good substitute for hardwood floors in places such as basements and bathrooms where dampness or humidity is a concern.

Choice#2: Laminate

Laminate flooring is an inexpensive option when it comes to getting the look of a wood, stone, or tile floor. The base layer is chipboard or fiberboard, with a printed graphic of woodgrain, stone, or tile laminated on top. It has excellent resistance to spills and stains and in humid or damp conditions. However, they are hard to repair when damaged. These floors might sound cheap, but a high-quality laminate – if cared for and installed correctly can outlast the typical five or ten-year warranty. However, to be covered by the warranty, you need to install and maintain your laminate flooring to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Choice #3: Ceramic Tile

Want a floor to outlast your house? A fired-ceramic tile floor might be your best option, especially in high traffic areas that need frequent cleanings such as muddy entryways, and places such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. There are lots of styles and colors available, and even ceramic tiles that look like wood or natural stone. Even better for those cold winters, a ceramic tile installation over a radiant floor heating system means toasty tootsies on those biting cold mornings. The drawback is that ceramic tiles are very “live” to sound – such as singing in the shower. Ceramic tile installation should also only be done by experienced professionals.

Choice#4: Linoleum

Linoleum tile is something very different from vinyl flooring tile, and the two terms are used interchangeably when they should not be. Linoleum is made from felt, burlap, or jute and linseed oil that is mixed with other ingredients such as resins, wood powder, stone dust, and coloring agents. It is a favorite flooring material because it is resilient to walk and stand on (hence it’s popularity in classrooms), hardwearing, and available in a variety of colors and finishes – even wood or stone.

Choice #5: Carpeting

There have been some concerns about carpet installation in the home since the advent of “sick building syndrome” where off-gas from products like carpet, paint, and furniture might cause high levels of volatile organic compounds in the home. Low VOC and natural carpeting give the beauty and insulative qualities of carpet without the worries of formaldehyde and other toxic pollutants. Moreover, the installation products for carpeting have changed and become more eco-friendly in reaction to consumer concerns. Carpeting is available in rolls – the familiar wall-to-wall carpet installation – and even in carpet tiles that allow you to vary color and pattern in one installation. It is still a popular choice, especially in rooms that need a little insulation.

Which is Best?

  • Bedrooms: Carpeting. Hardwoods or laminates with area rugs.
  • Bathrooms: Laminate, linoleum, or ceramic tile.
  • Kitchens: Sealed hardwoods, laminates, ceramic tile, or linoleum.
  • Family Spaces: Carpeting, hardwoods or laminates with area rugs.
  • Formal Rooms: Hardwoods, laminates, or ceramic tiles with area rugs.

Workspaces: Workshops should use ceramic tiles or linoleum. Home offices can use carpeting, hardwoods, laminates, ceramic tile or linoleum.

At Utah Flooring and Design, we want to help you create floors that you can love and live with! Call us today to get started with a FREE estimate and see what almost twenty years in the flooring business can bring to the table – and the beauty of your West Valley City, Utah home.

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