Choosing the right flooring system for your home can be a bit overwhelming, simply because you have so many options available when it comes to residential floors. As a matter of fact, there are some options that you may have never heard of, and which can be more affordable and attractive than you realize! To ensure you find the right flooring materials for your home, note a few pros and cons of some popular options.
Laminate floors have a type of picture that is put over a subfloor material, and which is then protected by a tough, plastic upper layer. This upper layer makes laminate floors a good choice in any area with high traffic, or for a room with high humidity levels, such as a bathroom or basement. Laminate floor systems are also typically easy to install, and can even be installed over other flooring materials, such as tile or concrete, with little prep work. They're also lightweight, so these systems are good for older homes with weakened frames and subfloors. However, laminate will have an artificial look and feel that may not be the most attractive choice for a home.
Terracotta or clay flooring tiles
Clay flooring tiles are very soft and porous, so they may be more comfortable underfoot than a solid stone, while still providing a hygienic and water-resistant surface that is good for kitchens and bathrooms. Clay tiles are also more lightweight than stone, so you may not need to brace up the subfloor before having these installed; this also makes it easy to install terracotta tiles yourself, as other, heavier stone tiles typically need professional fabrication and installation. Note, however, that clay tiles will need consistent sealing to keep them from cracking and chipping, and may also need professional cleaning on occasion, to help remove dust and dirt that seeps into their pores and which can't be cleaned by standard mopping.
Engineered flooring materials are typically made with a certain percentage of natural materials, which then have plastic or other such substances added during the manufacturing process. Engineered wood floors then have some real wood along with plastic added, making them more water-resistant and denser than solid hardwood. Engineered tiles may also be made of limestone and other such natural stones, that are also mixed with plastic, PVC and the like. This makes engineered tiles easier to install and even softer underfoot, while still offering you the look of stone tiles or hardwood planks that you might prefer.