Every homeowner has a unique preference when it comes to their ideal type of flooring. Figuring out this preference is never an easy task; neither is taking the step to invest in new floors. Many consumers do not know the difference between the multiple flooring options; some also never do research before buying floors.
Many flooring experts and flooring companies will walk homeowners through the process, even if the homeowners are not quite sure what they want.
The three types of flooring that tend to confuse customers the most are engineered hardwood, laminate and hardwood. These options are all aimed at the homeowner who wants to replicate a natural look inside their home.
“Representing 27.4 percent* of the market, hardwood flooring is the fastest growing segment in our industry,” says Tom Sullivan, founder and chairman of Lumber Liquidators. However, hardwood floors are not right for everyone. The homeowner should reflect on multiple factors before deciding on which type is right for them, including their lifestyle, budget and personal style.
Engineered hardwood floors make an excellent choice over concrete sub-floors, radiant heat or areas with high moisture. Engineered hardwood floors are usually offered in glue-down or nail-down and handscraped/antique options. Engineered hardwood flooring is produced by adhering a layer of real hardwood to a plywood backing or MDF.
Since it is bonded together, this type of flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity, making it perfect for areas with high moisture such as bathrooms and basements.
Laminate floors are durable and low-maintenance, making it a good choice for those high-traffic rooms. They are also nice for the homeowner on a budget. These floors mimic the look of hardwood at a more reasonable price. Laminate flooring is typically constructed with a high density fiber board core, sandwiched between a melamine laminate backing, high-quality photographic paper with an image of wood and a ceramic finish, abrasion-resistant laminate top. Laminate floors are often available in multiple widths.
Hardwood floors give a home the look of luxury and are typically found in living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. Solid hardwood flooring is milled from one thick piece of wood. It can be sanded and refinished several times. Hardwood floors are available in multiple finishes: pre-finished domestic floors, pre-finished exotic floors, pre-finished stained floors, unfinished floors and hand-scraped.
In addition to engineered hardwood, laminate and hardwood, many companies offer alternative types of flooring. “Cork and bamboo are two types of flooring that are becoming very popular in modern homes,” says Sullivan. "We attribute this popularity to the recent trend of homes “going green” as more and more homeowners are being conscientious of the environment while considering the design of their home."
As homeowners look to update their homes this spring, they should consider the many flooring options and what might be best for their home before they buy. Prior to heading to the store, homeowners should ask friends and family about their flooring, check out industry websites as resources and put together a list of qualities they are looking for in a floor.
This article was provided by Lumber Liquidators. Lumber Liquidators is the largest independent retailer of flooring in the United States. They enjoy helping customers during the learning stage, and are always happy to help people find the floor that is right for them. Visit them at www.lumberliquidators.com today.
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