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Tile, Hardwood, Laminate and Carpeting: The Skinny on Flooring

The Skinny on Flooring Tile, hardwood, laminate or carpet? Which flooring is right for you?
When it comes to choosing the perfect flooring for your home, the options can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to choose from tile, hardwood, laminate and carpeting, but there are dozens of other categories within those types of flooring as well, all making your job just that much harder!

To help ease the process of making this tough decision, one that inevitably sets the tone for the décor of your entire home, we’ve broken it down, piece by piece, to help you decide which option would be best to implement in your home.

Tile Flooring

Tile flooring is one of the most popular styles of flooring in Arizona. It comes in a variety of styles and options, and allows you to customize the look and feel of your home. This type of flooring gives you the option to make your home look as pristine or as casual as you would like, as tile flooring comes in a wide variety of price ranges.

The Benefits of Tile Flooring:

If you are looking to install tile in your home, there are unlimited benefits that come along with it, ensuring that you will be happy with this choice for your home. Some of the primary reasons why people so regularly choose tile to put into their homes include:
• Versatility
• Readily available
• Wide selection of colors, textures and sizes
• Easiest flooring type to clean
• Does the best job of keeping your home cool

When the weather is as hot as it is in Phoenix, AZ, there’s no arguing that the benefit of keeping your home cool ranks highly in the decision process of what types of products you choose to have in your home. With the added benefit of being easy to clean, it’s not hard to understand why not just Phoenicians, but many people across the country, prefer having tile in their home.

If tile flooring is the direction you want to head with your home, there are still many options to choose from within this broad flooring category. The different types of tile flooring include:
Travertine
Slate
Marble
Limestone
To find out more about these individual types of tiling, check out our Design Center article, Floor Tiles 101: A Designer’s Dream Floor.

Choosing tile for your home

If you are looking for a type of flooring that is durable, easy to clean and keeps the temperature of your house down, tile is perfect for you. It is one of the most commonly used flooring choices across the globe and has been used in the construction of many monuments. Everything from the Coliseum, to the Statue of David and the Great Pyramids of Giza, and now in your home.

Hardwood Flooring

In every home design and home buying show, it seems like hardwood floors are always a must-have on their list of items to have in a dream home; so much so, that many people consider it a deal breaker if the home doesn’t have it. Since hardwood flooring is so elegant and durable, it’s easy to see why many homeowners insist on having it. It portrays a classic and sleek look that is unparalleled by any other type of flooring.

What are the different types of hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring can be broken up into two different categories:
• Type of wood
• How the floor is manufactured

Hardwood can be made from many different species of wood, including:
Oak
Hickory
Acacia
Cherry
Walnut
Maple
Birch

Hardwood flooring can be manufactured two different ways:
• Solid hardwood
• Engineered hardwood

Different types of wood

Even though all hardwood flooring is durable and long lasting, it is sometimes difficult to know which coloring would work best for your home. It’s important to assess the qualities of each type of wood before making a decision.

Cherry wood varies from rich to reddish brown, while Walnut has a rich, dark brown tone. Maple has more of a delicate and uniform coloring and Hickory has more of a smoky coloring. Birch is a straight-grained wood with a uniform texture, while Oak is also straight-grained, but ranges in color from light-to-dark-brown. Acacia has a very unique grain with beautiful knots in its wide range of brown coloring.

Different types of manufacturing

Knowing how your wood is manufactured helps you to better understand the strengths of your flooring and how you can best take care of it.

Traditional solid hardwood floors are made up of a single piece of wood that has tongue and groove sides. Most of these types of hardwood flooring come unfinished, however there are many that come pre-finished as well. One of the biggest perks of solid hardwood flooring is that they can be refinished and relocated multiples times throughout their lifespan, which can be decades or longer.

Engineered hardwood flooring has become a popular hardwood flooring type, primarily because it can be used in many areas of the home where solid hardwood is not recommended, such as areas where there are high levels of moisture, i.e. bathrooms or laundry rooms. Engineered wood floors are constructed of three or more thin sheets of wood that are laminated together to form a single plank. These sheets are usually laid in opposite directions to each other during the manufacturing process. A huge benefit of engineered hardwood floors is that they can be installed practically anywhere, including over wood sub-floors or concrete slabs.

Choosing hardwood for your home

Hardwood flooring is another wonderful option to choose when flooring your home. It comes with its own set of benefits and has a wide variety of options. It has a wide range of prices to choose from, so depending on how much money you are looking to spend, different types of hardwood can fit budgets of any size.

To find out more about choosing hardwood for your home, check out our Design Center article Wood Flooring 101: Why Choose Hardwood.

Laminate

Laminate flooring has many similarities to hardwood, but is much more budget friendly and easier to maintain than hardwood. Depending on who you ask, some people say that they can see visible differences between hardwood flooring and laminate flooring, while others would never be able to tell the difference.

Depending on your own personal preference and the price point you are looking to spend, laminate may just be the perfect option for you.

What are the differences between laminate and hardwood?

The primary difference between these two types of flooring is that hardwood is made from real and natural wood products, while laminate is essentially a faux-wood product. Laminate is created using a photographic applique which is sealed under a tough protective film, then glued and pressed to a high-density backing board.

Choosing laminate for your home

If you choose to install laminate in your home, there are many benefits that come along with it that other types of flooring do not have:
• Lower cost per square foot
• Requires little maintenance
• Large selection to choose from
• Very close resemblance to hardwood
• Long lasting and durable
Find out more about laminate flooring in our Design Center article, Laminate Flooring 101: The Perks.

Carpeting

Carpet is the age old go-to when it comes to flooring. It’s reliable, it’s durable, it goes with any type of décor, and it is the most comfortable type of flooring out there. In recent years, people have been moving away from choosing carpet in their home for various reasons, the primary one being the amount of cleaning it requires. But what most people don’t know is that many types of carpet have been revolutionized to become stain resistant and come in darker colors and textures that do not show stains quite as obviously.

Why you should choose carpeting

The days of green shag carpet are over, and the age of brand new, softer and cleaner carpets has arrived. Many people envision carpet as something they only see at their grandmother’s house, but it is making a comeback in the form of new technology, coming with a wider variety of looks and textures.

Some of the primary benefits of choosing carpet for your home include:
• Safety: carpet is not slippery and is much safer for toddlers or elderly people who are prone to falling.
• Noise reducing: carpet changes the acoustics in your home to help make it that much quieter.
• Improves air quality: many people don’t know this, but carpet traps allergens and keeps them from circulating through the air in your home, making your air quality better than ever.

Carpeting is a type of flooring that can fit any price point. Whether you’re looking to save some money, or spend big on high-end material, carpeting has every option you can imagine. You are able to choose neutral colors and textures that go with any type of décor, or you can choose bolder colors that will set the tone for the décor in your home. No matter what you choose, you simply cannot go wrong with carpeting.

For more information about choosing carpet for your home, take a look at our Design Center article, Carpet 101: Why It’s Right for Your Home.

Making the final decision

Now that all of the options have been laid out, and you are more educated on flooring than ever, take the first step in deciding which type is right for your home. Browse the products section of our site or visit one of our two Arizona locations. Choosing flooring for your home can be a long and grueling process, but hopefully this information has made the process easier and allowed you to now consider yourself a flooring expert!