Flooring replacement is a home improvement element that is very often needed, and too often overlooked. An outdated carpet can negatively impact the overall look of your home, as well as serve as a haven for dust mites, grime, and unpleasant odors. A good rule of thumb is to remember that the average lifespan of moderate-grade carpet is about 8 to 10 years, but factors like heavy traffic patterns, maintenance, pets and children can dramatically shorten that window. You can try hiring a steam cleaning company to freshen it up, but if those factors remain in place – how long will it last? New carpet is just one of many options available to you, Highlight Homes list our top five picks for you below:
1) Hardwood Flooring: Perhaps the most beautiful (AND most expensive) option in flooring, hardwood adds a sophisticated, timeless look to any home. Available in a wide variety of colors based on the natural wood and stain utilized, hardwood does require a certain degree of upkeep – anywhere from buffing and polishing in order to maintain its original sheen to stripping, sanding and refinishing to repair fading, scratches and unsightly nicks. The use of purposefully imperfect, eco-friendly reclaimed wood and the trendy yet durable bamboo are rapidly gaining favor among consumers. Hardwood floors can dent and scratch rather easily – so it might not be the best option around kids or large dogs that fall into the rambunctious category, unless you like your floors to have a little “character”. Engineered wood – a real wood veneer over a plywood base – offers the look and feel of hardwood at a more palatable price. Unfortunately, they don’t hold up quite as well as the real thing.
2) Laminate Flooring: This popular synthetic flooring option can mimic the look of natural materials such as wood or stone, is more durable than carpet, and often falls into a mid-range with regard to price – depending on your choice of manufacturer. It’s considered a wise choice for families with small children and pets because of its resistance to stains and proven record of superior wear. Top notch manufacturers like Armstrong and Pergo offer warranties, and boast that their laminates stand up beautifully to regular household use with minimal care and cleaning.
3) Ceramic Tile: One of the most ancient forms of flooring, the use of ceramic tile in architecture dates back many centuries. As the name implies, these tiles are made of clay that has been fired in a kiln to increase their durability and enhance their beauty. Resistant to stains, fading, odors and allergens – ceramic tile is not only practical but can provide a lovely, clean look to the interior of your home. Manufacturers like Mohawk have been hard at work in their laboratories in recent years playing around with the look and feel of ceramic tiles in an attempt to mimic natural materials such as marble, travertine and slate. A chic twist on an old classic, ceramic tile can be found in great rooms, kitchens, foyers and hallways of multi-million dollar estates all over the world. A couple of drawbacks that bear mentioning include its inability to provide the same warmth of a carpet or hardwood, the fact that the grout that surrounds it is not resistant to stains and may not be quite so durable, and the ease to which it can crack when the house settles or something heavy is dropped on it.
4) Linoleum: Depending on the manufacturer, linoleum can either be derived from natural renewable materials such as linseed oil and wood products like cork or synthetics such as polyvinyl chloride or PVC. PVC linoleum tends to be one of the least expensive flooring options, offering a wide range of color and pattern choices. Check out Mohawk’s Congoleum and Armstrong’s Linoleum for some very attractive options. Both manufacturers also offer a wide array of sheet, tile or plank vinyl crafted to have the appearance of natural materials – at nowhere NEAR the price. Bear in mind that the less expensive you go, the less likely your flooring will hold up over time. While durable and stain resistant, inexpensive linoleum can scratch and scar easily.
5) Carpet: And so we come full-circle! While we may curse the occasional carpet stain, vowing to get hardwoods and never look back – the truth is that nothing quite compares with the softness and warmth of wall-to-wall carpeting. With so many colors, textures and patterns – from berbers, to frises, to shags – it’s no wonder why it continues to be a major contender in the flooring business. Manufacturers have really begun wising up, and have started marketing entire lines of stain resistant carpeting. It’s far better suited for impromptu wrestling matches between brothers or an all-girl slumber party. The higher the grade of carpet AND the pad underlay, the longer the life expectancy. If stains are of particular concern, you’ll definitely want to consider a stain resistant variety and might even explore a multi-colored short-pile for a little added “camouflage”.
When you’re ready to select the ideal flooring to fit your family and have it installed by a team of professionals, call Highlight Homes at 678.873.9234. We can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our simple-to-complete online contact form. We look forward to helping you and your family update the ground beneath your feet.