The floor you choose needs to reflect your lifestyle to ensure home remains a place of comfort, relaxation and enjoyment. In high-rise living your lifestyle should also recognize that one’s floor is another’s ceiling. For high-traffic common areas chosen flooring should be designed to perform in commercial settings.
Under-pads are an important part of all flooring. With carpeting, under-pads provide comfort and performance. For hard-surface flooring specialized under-pads are necessary to provide sound insulation, protect the moisture barrier and extend the life of the floor.
Increasingly, hard-surface flooring is preferable to carpeting in the home. It offers greater diversity in terms of colour and tone. Pests such as bed bugs are less likely to nest in flooring. You can achieve virtually any desired colour, style and look.
While hard-surface flooring is easier to keep clean it is not maintenance free. All flooring will wear. Choosing flooring with ultraviolet (UV) protection is advisable for areas exposed to the sun and without UV-blocking window coverings. Flooring without protection can discolour, fade, change colour or delaminate when exposed to excessive sun.
Historically solid wood flooring has been popular. Maple is considered to be a harder surface more resistant to damage. Red oak, a softer wood, is more durable in a household setting. For resales, some claim that homes with wood floors sell faster and for more money. If you intend on living in and enjoying your home it makes more sense to focus on your needs, interests and enjoyment.
Engineered hardwood will soon replace solid wood as the flooring of choice. It is better engineered and offers greater flexibility. Most can be sanded and re-stained however you desire. There are numerous style options.
Flooring is a major investment. A design specialist can assist with identifying the best flooring for a location or purpose. It is best to rely on a professional installer to ensure flooring is installed properly, retains the warranty and performs as expected. Proper installation helps to avoid soft spots, squeaking floors and other post-installation problems.