New Orleans HardwoodSuccess in home décor requires intelligent choices in flooring for each room and area of your home. The most popular flooring types we’re seeing right now are hardwood, laminate, and vinyl, which all have distinct advantages and weaknesses. You’ll want to balance your preferences and budget with the use and location of the room. The experts at Floor Coverings International Metairie share an overview of the pros and cons of some of the most popular flooring materials:

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood is the most time-tested flooring material and has been in use for hundreds of years. Modern innovations in milling and finishing have made it more durable and beautiful than ever before.

Strengths: Wood is known for its warm, natural appeal. It is available in a variety of grains, colors, stains, finishes, and plank widths. It’s quite durable and can also be sanded and refinished multiple times over its lifespan. Some hardwoods can be somewhat pricey, but the cost is linked with product quality.

Weaknesses: Solid hardwood can contract or expand as conditions and humidity levels change. While wear-resistant, it can be dented and scratched. It can also become faded or discolored from exposure to sunlight. Solid wood is not a good choice for rooms prone to wetness, moisture, and humidity.

Laminate Hardwood

A hardwood alternative, laminate hardwood is made from densely constructed fiberboard or cork that features a photographic layer on top that looks like wood. The photograph is then coated with a clear protective layer.

Strengths: The photographic layer allows laminate to simulate just about any wood look. Laminate tends to resist scratching, denting, and fading better than real wood. It is also much less expensive than real wood.

Weaknesses: If you look closely, you can find signs that it is not genuine wood. Also, laminate cannot be refinished like real wood can.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring is similar to solid hardwood, but is comprised of a thin veneer of real wood attached to a lower layer of plywood.

Strengths: It is more affordable than hardwood and is still 100% real wood.

Weaknesses: It is not as durable as either solid hardwood or laminate flooring, and can only be sanded and refinished a few times.

Vinyl and Luxury Vinyl

Vinyl is a synthetic type of flooring that is available in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. Luxury vinyl makes use of advanced scanning and printing technologies to simulate just about any flooring look or texture you can imagine, including wood.

Strengths: It is affordable and easy to install in the form of tiles, planks, and rolls. It has a lot of style variety and is durable, fade resistant, moisture resistant, and easy to clean.

Weaknesses: Close scrutiny of the floor will reveal that it is a simulation on vinyl.

Of course, there are other options besides wood, laminate, and vinyl; carpet offers a plush alternative, but some types can be prone to staining and difficulty in keeping sanitary.

Tile is an attractive, time-tested option ideal for areas prone to moisture, but it will be more expensive than vinyl. Linoleum is an eco-friendly alternative to vinyl, but it is not available in as wide a variety of styles and colors.

Use this discussion to help get you started in making your flooring decisions. Before making your final decision, give the experts at Floor Coverings International Metairie a call to schedule your free in-home design consultation. We proudly serve the greater Metairie and New Orleans area.

Photo Credit: RomanR