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Maria E. Cipollone's Blog

By Maria Cipollone | Agent in Coral Springs, FL

Renovating Your Home Is A Huge Commitment

Comparing Floor Options

Today’s homeowner has a wide range of flooring options to choose from when designing their home’s décor. From plush carpets, classic hardwood and durable tile to newer eco-friendly flooring options like cork, each variation of flooring offers different pros and cons, which makes comparing what they each have to offer very important before settling on a particular floor for any given room.

Photo courtesy of Shaw Floors

In this comparison, we’ll look at how each type of flooring stands up to the following criteria:
Warmth Comfort underfoot Durability Resiliency Acoustic insulation Thermal insulation Resistance to insects Resistance to mold/mildew Resistance to fire Scratch resistance Ease of installation Ease of repair Ease of cleaning and maintenance All natural or synthetic materials How it affects home value Comparing Flooring – Carpet
Carpet ranks high on just four out of the fifteen total criteria used to compare flooring products. It is warm and provides excellent comfort underfoot and it is one of the most effective acoustic and thermal insulators.
Carpet scores negative marks on insect, mold, mildew and fire resistance, ease of installation, repair and maintenance and it does nothing to add or subtract value to the home. While some carpet manufacturers claim to offer carpets made from natural materials, the vast majority on the market are made from synthetic fibers.

Comparing Flooring – Hardwood
Hardwood provides a very rich finish to any room, but it too scores high on just four out of fifteen total criteria. Hardwood proves to be highly durable and easy to clean while greatly adding to the value of the home. It is also an all-natural flooring option.
On the negative side, hardwood is not resistant to insects, fire and mold or mildew; it is not an effective thermal or acoustic insulator and it is difficult to install and repair. While it looks luxurious, the surface is unyielding, cold and hard underfoot. Hardwood is also easily scratched.

Comparing Flooring – Vinyl

Vinyl is a traditional flooring option and a long-time favorite among American families, yet is also only scored positively on four of the fifteen criteria used to compare flooring option. Vinyl scored excellent marks for its durability, resiliency and ease of cleaning and maintenance. It is also a product that is resistant to insects.
On the other hand, vinyl flooring is challenging to install (in sheet form), difficult to repair and cold and hard underfoot. It is not resistant to fire or mold/mildew and it does nothing to add value to a home. While durable, vinyl can scratch or dent easily if something sharp or heavy is dropped on it and it is ineffective as a thermal or acoustic insulator.

Comparing Flooring – Laminate

Laminate tiles are fast becoming a favorite flooring option among value-conscious homeowners, but in truth, this option scored positively in just four of the fifteen criteria used. Laminate tiles are exceptionally easy to install, highly durable and easy to clean and maintain. They are also scratch resistant which adds to the long-life of this flooring choice.
Laminate flooring is cold and hard underfoot; most of it is made from synthetic materials and it is not a good thermal or acoustic insulator. Laminate flooring is also not resistant to mold or mildew, insects or fire. It is not a resilient flooring option and while it is easy to install, it can prove difficult to repair.

Comparing Flooring – Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile floors offer one of the better all-round choices for flooring as it scores positively on five of the fifteen criteria used to compare flooring choices. Ceramic tiles are very durable, easy to clean and compared with other flooring options, easy to clean. They are also resistant to insects and add value to a home’s resale price.
Ceramic tiles are not easy to install, however; and they are cold and hard underfoot, offering little in the way of acoustic or thermal insulation. Unless the tile is made from natural stone, it is more than likely made using man-made materials which are non-resilient, non-scratch resistant and non-resistant to mold or mildew. Ceramic tile is also not a good fire inhibitor.

Comparing Flooring – Cork

There is only one flooring option that scored positive marks in all fifteen criteria categories and cork is it. Cork is not only warm and comfortable underfoot, it is an excellent insulator for acoustics and heat. This flooring option is all-natural, easy to install, clean, maintain and repair and it is highly durable and resilient. Cork is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and insects and it is an excellent fire inhibitor.
Cork is one of the newer, sustainable flooring options and as such, it adds significant value to a home thanks to its excellent properties.
Consensus on Flooring Options
This article is in no way geared to convince you to choose one flooring option over another. It is simply designed to provide you with the information you need to help make your choice. Ultimately, a homeowner’s personal preference and the budget they have to work with will narrow their choices down to options best suited for their individual needs.


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