The Best Floor for Your Home: Is it Carpet, Hardwood, Vinyl, or Tile?

Flooring choices are a main design feature in any room. It literally gives you a platform to build your style upon. It also impacts everything from energy use to upkeep costs. This is true if remodeling a room or the entire property. Finding the best types of flooring for your home is a must.

What to Look For When Buying New Flooring

Maybe you’ve recently moved into a new home. Or you simply need to give your existing property a little TLC. Especially after years of overlooking the interior design. New flooring can have a huge impact on the overall results. However, only the best flooring type will do. 

When considering any flooring style, you must ask the following questions;

  • What room is the flooring for?
  • Is the flooring durable enough to suit my family needs?
  • Will the flooring texture and color match the room style?
  • How hard will it be to maintain?
  • Does the flooring represent value for money?

With those questions as a guide, knowing what to look for is easy. The next challenge, then, is to find a solution that ticks every box.

The Best Home Flooring Materials Explained

Flooring choices will be influenced by the size and style of the property. Your budget and personal tastes are also factors. The most sought after materials on the market are as follows:

Carpet

Carpet is a popular flooring material for bedrooms, lounges, basements, and dining spaces. This is due to its soft touch and homely vibe. It also helps reduce noise. This makes it an ideal solution for rooms situated above the ground floor. Parents like to install carpet in their kids rooms to reduce noise. The softness also helps soften impacts from rough play. Pets appreciate the added traction for their paws. It’s all around a great choice.

Carpet installation using Mohawk carpet, Cali Bamboo Longboard Osprey Oak, and Leggett & Platt rubber padding.

Carpet keeps the warmth in. That means it can add comfort and save energy in winter. In addition, the wide range of carpet fibers ensure it can be tailored to match tastes and budgets. Nylon and wool are two of the most durable fiber types. Whether choosing the Southwind or Phenix brands, this affordable luxury is a hit with many homeowners. Carpets are now made with allergies or stains in mind. This means they’re even more durable. 

Luxury Vinyl Tiles & Planks

Once upon a time, vinyl was one of the least attractive options on the market. Advancements have made it one of the most versatile solutions. They offer an affordable durability that is waterproof, pet-friendly, and kid-friendlyThe wood look is especially popular in apartments. This is because a scratched up floor is preferred over a stained carpet. There are many price points for vinyl products. This makes it popular all around. 

Is it vinyl? Actual hardwood? These waterproof SPC vinyl planks are the perfect flooring option for busy households that want that barn wood look.
This is a sample of some Cali Bamboo Cali Vinyl Pro Classic Mesquite Waterproof Plank flooring we were installing in 2017.

Luxury vinyl is available many forms. One is 100% virgin vinyl. Another is SPC (Stone Plastic Composite.) And yet another is WPC (Wood Plastic Composite). It is made by reputable brands such as Southwind, Cali Bamboo, and Phenix. They can be purchased as stone look tiles or wood feel planks. The possibilities for styles and looks are endless. They can also be super affordable. A big part of your project is labor. This will help you decide which plank will best fit your budget. 

Laminate

Laminate is another popular flooring option. It’s a super affordable option. It offers a range of properties from warmth to scratch resistance. Most laminates not waterproof. However, it still works very well. UPDATE: New laminates are increasingly water resistant. 

An example of Shaw Laminate Hardwood look flooring at LaValle Flooring Inc.
Is it hardwood, vinyl, or laminate flooring? It’s hard to tell! Shaw Acacia Hardwood Look Laminate Flooring.

The flooring choice can take into account a range of design styles. Laminate is commonly found in kitchens and living rooms. Despite the qualities that it does not offer, laminate can last for a decade or longer when treated with care. It has the best scratch resistance behind tile floors. The looks and pricing of most laminates make it a popular option. 

Hardwood

Hardwood is a flooring material that can be completely customized. It offers a classic look. It’s also Eco-friendly due to the use of renewable materials. Research by the National Association of Realtors highlights that it provides a positive return on investment. This makes it an ideal choice from a financial point of view. Hardwood is one of the oldest materials used for flooring. This can be seen in old buildings which have original hardwood floors. 

This is an example of an engineered Wickham hardwood installation we did in Fargo North Dakota.
Custom-Engineered-Handscraped-Hardwood-Installation-Fargo-North-Dakota

Hardwood materials can be engineered or solid. They can also have different finishes. These include aluminum oxide or oil. Hardwood also has a  range of natural woods of varying thicknesses and looks. Cali Bamboo and Wickham are two manufacturers known for producing quality hardwood flooring. If you want your hardwood to last a lifetime, picking the best quality materials AND installation are a must. 

Tile

Tile flooring is another option that delivers great ROI. It is suited to a range of rooms due to the flexibility of design. It can be printed to match the look of wood, stone, or a range of other materials in various colors and pattern styles. Tile can be made of different materials. This includes stone, ceramic, metal, and plastic. The material is made more beautiful by the choice of grout. Grout and tile can be designed in beautiful patterns. The options are nearly endless. This can affect the price of your material and install. 

A brickwork tile installation performed by LaValle Flooring in Fargo North Dakota on a bar backsplash.
Jeffery Court Tile install in Fargo, ND.

Some tile makers are Emser Tile and Dal Tile.  They are proven to create the perfect tile flooring solutions. This is made better by the fact that it can last a lifetime. The durable nature is popular in busy homes, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

Other Key Considerations

When selecting a flooring style and material, it’s important to consider the full picture. This includes production and delivery times. Ease of install should be factored into your decision as well. It’s important to choose from respected brands. In addition, you want to ensure you understand how your product will be installed. Whether you’re doing it yourself or having a company do so.

You’ll want to ensure manufacturer instructions are being followed. As well as those of professional trade organizations such as Certified Flooring Installers or Carpet & Rug Institute. If you’re having difficulty finding a reputable installer, click here. We will help you understand how to pick a reputable flooring installer. 

A premium quality new floor can completely transform the look of your home. It can also help with energy and upkeep costs. Color and style preferences plus the material will always be the base of a winning choice. To discuss the options in full detail, get in touch with LaValle Flooring today.

Carpet has remained one of the most popular flooring options in our part of the country due to it’s warmth and noise reducing properties. Most people would consider Fargo, North Dakota as a cold state six months out of the year, so carpet really does shine compared to other flooring options such as ceramic tile. Due to it’s popularity coupled with a skilled installer shortage, we’ve found that most carpets are not properly installed. One of the most skipped steps is properly power stretching the carpet.

 

 

     If your carpet is meant to be stretched but your installer says it’s not necessary, you may want to reconsider having them do your carpet installation. Power stretching carpet has been around almost as long as modern constructed carpets. Brands such as Shaw, Southwind, Mohawk, and Axminister actually require it per their installation instructions. A knee kicker does not apply the same amount of force as a power stretcher does, since the knee kicker can’t hold the wall to wall stretch that the power stretcher can. 

Man improperly installing carpet with no power stretcher
Man installing carpet properly with knee kicker and power stretcher

In the two photos above, you can see that two different individuals attempting to install carpet. Use of a knee kicker without assistance of the larger power stretcher will not only leave your carpet improperly stretched, but will also be much harder on the body and knees. This can potentially lead to injuries with a reduced ability to perform future carpet installations. 

 Power Stretching Helps A Carpet From Developing Wrinkles

A power stretcher helps keep a carpet from developing wrinkles, which means it stays looking and feeling newer for longer. Wrinkles or simply improper stretching can damage the bond between the primary and secondary backings in your carpet. Once your carpet starts to develop damage between it’s two backings, this can lead to what’s known as delamination which would make it next to impossible to stretch as the carpet can no longer attach properly to the tackstrip which holds it in place. 

 

Power Stretching is one of many steps required to properly install your carpet. There are other factors that help determine the longevity of your carpeting, such as carpet padding, fiber type, density, etc. We will cover that in future posts. If you have any questions, feel free to fill reach out to us via our contact us page! 

 

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