As one of the most permanent finishes in your new home build or renovation, selecting your flooring will be your most difficult and costly decision.
It is therefore important to evaluate how and where you live, and what type of ambiance you want in your home, to decide what type of floor finish is best for you. Traditional flooring types include wood, tile and carpet. Each brings its own set of characteristics to a home.
Wood floors bring warmth and can make a home take on a historic look or modern feel, simply by what type of wood is selected and how it is finished.
With age and wear, wood floors take on their own characteristics.
Dents, scratches and a little wear don’t bother some people but for those that can’t take the marks, they are easy to repair and refinish.
Solid wood floors are typically installed on floor joists and engineered floors on concrete slabs with a moisture barrier between the two.
Both options are available in many finishes, and samples are readily available for selection, so take some home and live with them for a while. Take the time to be sure.
Once installed, an engineered wood floor can be difficult to distinguish from a solid plank floor. But believe me, even a trained eye can be fooled.
Even though both types of wood floors bring the look of natural wood into a home, they are very different things.
Engineered wood floors behave a little differently than plank floors do; they tend to be easier to install and they’re usually less expensive than solid planks.
Wood floors are a classic addition to any home. Barring damage from fire or flood, a well made and correctly-installed solid wood floor will add warmth, character and value to your interior as long as you’re in your house.
Tile floors or natural stone selections can take on a life of their own.
Our bathrooms and kitchens typically have tile or stone finishes, and the selections are endless.
The combinations of colours, styles, and shapes for flooring are huge.
There is a tile for every traditional, contemporary, and modern style-loving person out there.
When you’re choosing a floor tile, try not to put aesthetic at the top of your list. It can be tempting to automatically choose a style and look at everything else after that.
But if a tile isn’t durable or of high quality, it will chip and wear in no time, making it lose any aesthetic value it had very quickly.
Evaluate your lifestyle, and the area that you want to use floor tiles in.
Is it a high traffic area? Is it outdoors? Will it be exposed to moisture on a regular basis?
Deciding the location, and the type of wear and tear that this tile will experience is absolutely vital before making any type of design decision.
Porcelain tile or ceramics are great choices for any area that’s going to be exposed to moisture (bathroom, kitchen), outside elements (entryway, patio), or a lot of foot traffic.
Granite, marble, slate and other natural stone tiles are extremely durable and hard.
They are more on the expensive side, and may require some type of treatment, so be aware of what’s involved before purchasing them.
But nothing in my mind beats the natural patina and colour variations that stone brings to a space.
The size and shape of your tile partly depends on the look you’re going for.
You can achieve a very different ambiance with a set of small mosaic-like tiles, and larger white subway tiles.
Think about the pattern that you’ll be laying these out in, and what will make the most sense.
Do you have a square shape set aside? Or are you trying to go for a more intricate pattern?
This can help you determine shape, and which size will look best.
Carpeting, the third flooring type, is a wonderful flooring alternative.
In Bermuda however, most homeowners I find are keeping carpet to a minimum due to UV rays and fading, as well as allergic reactions in our humid environment.
But it does have its place for some homeowners. It feels great to walk on, and thanks to modern developments in stain protection, is relatively easy to clean.
Like any type of flooring, deciding on the right kind of carpeting for your house is about evaluating your lifestyle.
Do you have children, pets, or host a lot of gatherings?
Or do you live in a household that’s a bit smaller, with less traffic roaming the hallways?
Making these kind of distinctions will help you decide which carpet is right for you.
Determine your high traffic areas to determine which kinds of carpet will work best for your home.
Wool is an extremely warm natural fibre that wears well and is very durable.
It holds dye very well, and is naturally flame and fire resistant.
However, it’s one of the more expensive fibres and may be best selected as an area rug.
Mix it up on wood or tile and bring in your style with a combination of flooring materials.
Buy Bermuda. We have great dealers and installers right here to save you time and money.
Michele D Smith is managing director of OBM International/Bermuda. Contact 278-3550.