Necessity, practicality, and aesthetics dictate what material to use on floors and the marketplace offers endless choices.
Hardwood provides some incomparable qualities. It’s natural, attractive, warm and easy to maintain, giving any home’s décor a rich and distinctive feel, while increasing resale value. Hardwood flooring helps create a healthy home environment by eliminating the allergens associated with dust-trapping carpet.
There are three types of hardwood:
Solid hardwood is made entirely of hardwood, generally ¾” thick. Unfinished hardwood comes as plain unfinished boards. After installation, a specialist sands the wood and then applies stain and three or four coats of varnish.
Prefinished solid hardwood is pre-sanded, stained and finished with factory-applied protection. This type of flooring is installation-ready. Installation is fast and easy, without the varnish odors that occur when finishing is done on-site in the home. You won’t have to leave the house during installation and you’ll be able to put your furniture back in place shortly after installation.
Glueless engineered hardwood boards are made of a high-density
fiber (HDF) base whose engineered edges fit together perfectly with a simple motion. This floor does not require glue, nails, or staples – hence the common term “floating floor.” This is an environmentally
friendly product that contains recycled content and can be removed from one room and re-installed in another room or building – making it a reusable resource and sound ecological choice.
Engineered hardwood combines a real wood surface with a solid plywood base. Created for environments with varying humidity, engineered flooring is more stable than solid hardwood flooring.
Boards can be glued directly to concrete and can also be stapled to a plywood subfloor. This type of flooring is ideal for condominiums, basements, or commercial use.
The species of each wood has a different grain, color, and texture. Personal taste dictates one’s preference for one species over another. Oak and maple are the best known and most popular species, followed by birch, cherry and walnut.
The finishes come in three categories:
High-gloss: Very shiny, smooth surface that reflects a lot of light but tends to amplify marks and scratches.
Semi-gloss: A medium shine, the most common for prefinished floors.
Matte: A satin or completely matte finish that reduces the appearance of marks and scratches.
The width of boards varies. Narrower boards make a room look longer, while wider boards make it appear shorter. Tight-grained woods like maple expands more with humidity, which may make narrower boards preferable for some uses.
Bamboo is a grass and may be viewed as an ecological alternative to global deforestation. It is a valuable material in the building market because of its durable and ecological sensible materials.
Difference Between Wood And Bamboo
Using wood means cutting down trees and, in many cases, this means deforestation of the tropical rainforests. We have all been informed of the consequences of the global deforestation for tropical hardwoods. Utilizing bamboo combats deforestation. Oak needs an average of 50 years to mature and several tropical hardwoods require between 80 and 100 years before they can be used. And, of course, you have to plant new trees to replace the cut trees. With bamboo this is not the case because bamboo is from the grass family and re-grows itself. The root systems run far below the surface and produce new shoots each season. The bamboo used for building materials can be harvested every 5-6 years. A new bamboo shoot grows to its full mature size in one season and replaces the cut lengths within months. No loss of bamboo forest is noticeable.
Bamboo harvests are regulated by the government. In assigned regions all new shoots are date marked to exactly map how much and when it can be harvested. The stocks of bamboo are so extensive that there is no danger of deforestation and can easily handle the steady increase in demand.
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- Bamboo flooring is ecologically friendly.
- Bamboo flooring is 27% harder than oak, for example.
- Bamboo flooring has a very low expansion and shrink rate and after finishing with oil or lacquer is very resistant to moisture.
- Bamboo panels and parquet are available in various styles and colors and can be a replacement for almost all wood types.
Cork flooring is another choice for entrances, hallways, kitchens, basements and family rooms.
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- Cork’s textured surface is both natural and comfortable
- Cork is 50 percent air
- Cork flooring is impact resistant
- Cork flooring insulates against heat and cold
- Cork flooring comes in a variety of patterns
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- Cork flooring resists scuffs and stains, and its textured pattern disguises dust
- Cork flooring is very comfortable under foot and is warm to the touch
- Cork flooring reduces noise
- Cork flooring is a natural insulator
- Cork is environmentally-friendly
- Cork floors are hypoallergenic
Tile floors are a popular choice for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Porcelain is more durable than ceramic and is a better choice for a heavy traffic area. Porcelain and ceramic tiles do not need to be sealed and are easy to clean. Grout, however, is porous and must be sealed. Look for floor tiles with a textured surface that will grip underfoot. The smoother the surface, the more slippery when wet.
Matching or complementing built-in accessories in the tub and around the sink help pull the look together. Always keep budget in mind, however. Adding borders, patterns, and diagonal field tiles adds to the cost, but if it works into the budget, the results are stunning.
Carpet, with its textures, colors, and patterns can create a pleasing and harmonious effect in your home. The interior of your home should be designed as an interrelated unit. Think of it as a whole, rather than a series of unrelated spaces. Your floors are the “fifth wall” of a room, connecting all design elements.
When choosing a color scheme, consider the walls, window treatments, and other furnishings, as well as any special effects you wish to create. For example, wall-to-wall carpet tends to expand the
space of a room. An unbroken sweep of color, especially a light color with a smooth texture, fools the eye into seeing more space than really exists. In very small rooms, paint the walls the same light color as the carpet. Cover the sofa or bed in fabrics of the same hue, varying the texture for visual interest.
Conversely, larger rooms can seem more intimate with a rich, deep color carpet. Upholstered pieces can be covered in contrasting or bolder colors or patterns that a large area can accommodate.
Carpet fiber and how the carpet is constructed affect the appearance, performance, and value of your carpet. During manufacture, fiber is converted into yarn, which is tufted or woven to form the pile – the surface you see and walk on.
Most carpet styles are made entirely of one fiber type – nylon, olefin, or polyester. Some styles may contain blends of these fibers.
There are two fiber classes – natural, such as wool, and man-made, such as nylon, olefin, and polyester. Each has different characteristics. The following can help you make the right choice for your needs.
Nylon continues as the ideal carpet fiber. It provides outstanding durability, performance, resilience, and appearance. It is available in an unlimited variety of styles and colors.
Polyester fiber produces carpets that are soft to the touch but not as resilient as carpets of nylon. Polyester is best suited for low traffic areas.
Olefin (also called polypropylene) is often used in indoor/outdoor carpet and in loop-pile carpets. Due to its relatively low resilience, its use should be restricted to areas of low traffic.
Wool is a natural fiber and presents a beautiful appearance in carpeting. However, wool may not be as resilient as man-made carpet fibers and is quite a bit more expensive.
Carpet Styles And Textures
Texture: Curled or twisted tufts make for a textured surface that helps mask footprints. It’s especially suited for less formal decors.
Frieze: A type of textured carpet with highly twisted tufts that curl at the pile surface. It is especially suitable for higher traffic areas.
Loop: This is a loop pile with tufts of equal height or multi level loops. Multi level loops form patterns using solid colors. There is broad application with durable wear in either construction.
Pattern Cut Pile: This is made using Saxony yarn, but generating a pattern look by tufting cut pile and loop pile with a level pile height. It’s appropriate for formal or informal room schemes.
Cut Pile Berber: This is a casual cut pile construction using a combination of big tufts and small tufts. This type of carpet usually contains small flecks of dark color on lighter shade background colors. It’s informal in construction, but can work in any room.
Saxony: This is a dense level-cut pile. Yarn tufts are closely packed, presenting a smooth, luxurious surface. It is generally used for formal settings.
Cut-loop: These are yarns that have been tufted into large islands of high cut tufts and lower loop tufts to form a sculptured pattern. It is more suitable in an informal setting.← Blog