Floor covering, in general, refers to any; type of finish material applied over a floor structure to provide a walking surface. The floor under the floor covering is known as the subfloor and; is the one that supports the floor covering.
The flooring material is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to your home improvement. It will determine;
- The durability of your floor
- Cost of maintaining your floor
- Ease of installation
- Ease of maintenance
- The appearance of your floor
- Comfortability of your floor
- Cost of purchase
Take your time to choose the flooring material that best suits your needs.
In this article, you will discover some of the most common flooring types and their characteristics.
- Wooden Floorings
Wood floorings refer to all the finishing materials made from timber. Wood is popular because it comes in a variety of colors, design, and has a high aesthetic value.
There are two types of wooden floors;
- Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floorings; are made from solid pieces of wood cut from a tree of your choice. The common types of trees are walnut, cherry, and oak. The tree you choose will determine the level of hardness of your floor.
- Engineered Hardwood Floors
Engineered hardwood; is not made from pure solid hardwood. It is made up of one layer of genuine hardwood combined with many layers of ply plank underneath. Like solid hardwoods, you can also choose from the different types of trees.
2. Sheet Floorings
Sheet flooring material is common in commercial and domestic construction, but it is best suited for domestic use. The flooring sheets vary depending on the length, width, and especially thickness. The tongue colors are useful in identifying their thickness. A yellow tongue flooring indicates 19mm thickness, blue tongue- 25mm, and red tongue – 22mm sheets.
Advantages of sheet floorings include
- High durability
- High water and moisture resistance
- High termite resistance
- High resistance to fungi
3. Bamboo Floorings
Most people classify bamboo under hardwood probably; because they are both products of nature. But bamboo is not a tree. It actually belongs to the grass family.
Most of the bamboo floorings; are made from Moso bamboo, which comes from China. The plants take approximately five years to mature and are generally tall in nature. They are also as hard as any other hardwood.
One Major advantage of bamboos is that they grow back pretty fast when cut. That helps prevent soil erosion, which is harmful to the environment. And as a bonus, you do not have to spend any time and money replacing them.
Because of these qualities, bamboos are the most sustainable options for your flooring material.
4. Laminate Flooring
Wooden floors are generally the most expensive in the market. But they are so attractive. Everyone would want a wooden floor, and the only problem is that not many people can afford it. That is why Laminate floors are so popular.
Laminate floors look like wood; most people cannot tell the difference. But laminate floors are not made from wood. Instead, they are made from MDF (medium-density fibreboard) covered with a beautiful image on top. Laminate floors are the ideal option if you love the wood look but cannot afford it.
Advantages of laminate flooring are;
- Ease of installation
- They are visually appealing.
The major disadvantage of this material is that it is susceptible to damage by water and moisture and is hard to repair when that happens. Avoid installing the floorings in places such as; the bathroom or the kitchen, which are always wet.
5. Linoleum Flooring
Linoleum is one of the oldest flooring materials and is, in most cases, used in the kitchen. But you can also use it in the bathroom, dining room, laundry room, basement, and mudrooms.
Linoleum is a product of nature. It is made from jute, linseed oil, and cork and is the ideal flooring material for those who value renewable sources of material.
Most people love linoleum floors because:
- They are easy to install
- They are durable
- They have high moisture resistance.
- They are affordable
- They have a variety of options to choose from
- They are eco-friendly
6. Cork Flooring
Cork is another common flooring material that is friendlier to the environment. The material; is made from tree barks harvested without losing the tree. Once harvested, the bark takes about eight to ten years to regenerate and is ready to use again to make flooring material.
When it comes to appearance, cork has the same aesthetic value as wood and has some interesting patterns that make it unique. The material is available in planks tiles and is easy to install.
7. Ceramic Flooring
If you are confused about choosing the perfect flooring material, ceramics is the way to go. It comes in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and texture making it one of the most versatile materials available. It is one of those materials that can fit in just about every room in your home.
Ceramic tiles; are made from a mixture of clay and shale, which are then put in a kiln to dry. Different pigments are added to the mixture to produce a variety of colors that you can choose from.
There are so many different types of flooring materials in the market, and they all vary depending on use, text, visual appeal, cost, durability, installation, etc. You must first identify what you need before choosing a flooring material.