The Home Flooring Guide provides comprehensive information about hardwood, laminate (and vinyl flooring) as well as alternatives like tiles and bamboo floors.
Laminate flooring has proven to mimic the beauty of most hardwoods while remaining durable easy to maintain. Laminate flooring also has the luxury of being stain, warp, and buckle proof. In its production, laminate flooring is coated with an aluminum oxide solution which gives the material a high degree of scratch resistance. These features, and the fact that laminate flooring is waterproof, make it suitable for heavy foot traffic for any area in the home, including kitchens and bathrooms.
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Solid hardwood floorings have been around for centuries giving a touch of warmth and style to each room it is installed. The majority of hardwood flooring is either: strip, plank, or parquet.
Like all woods, hardwood flooring has the tendency to expand and contract depending on temperature and humidity of its surroundings. This is compensated for during installation by leaving a gap for this expansion to take place.
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Vinyl flooring has probably got the worst reputation of all the flooring types available. Most people view vinyl flooring as being cheap and nasty. Modern technology and the introduction of a vast new range of vinyl flooring styles has led to a resurgence in the vinyl market. Not only is vinyl flooring the most water resistant of all the flooring materials it is also very durable and able to handle high traffic areas better than it has ever done so before.
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Carpet flooring is probably the most popular type of flooring used in most homes. It is widely available and comes in a great range of fabric types to suit almost any budget. The most common types of carpet fiber are: Nylon, Polyester, Olefin, and wool. Each fabric has its advantages and disadvantages, and all are greatly varied in price.
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Tile flooring is another popular type of flooring that is easy easy to maintain and relatively cheap to install. A great range of tiles can be found these days to suit any budget. Tiles are commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms because they are very hard to stain and do not absorb odors, fade, or burn. The most common types of tile flooring are ceramic and porcelain tiles.
Used in Asia in the construction of buildings for centuries, bamboo flooring has only recently become a hit. Bamboo has a very unique look and feel that would complement most homes. You may also be surprised to learn that bamboo is not wood. It is in-fact a type of grass. As you might expect this means that bamboo isnt nearly as hard as your typical hardwood floors. As bamboo grows very quickly it is a truly renewable resource. This is good news for environmentalists.
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Like bamboo, cork is also a renewable resource. Cork trees are harvested regularly every five or so years without cutting down a single tree. Cork flooring has a natural ability to resist mildew growth and has an uncanny ability to absorb vibrations. Cork is also a great insulator keeping your house cool in summer and warm in winter.