Making or renovating a house or a commercial space is a long drawn process, involving somewhat infinitude decisions. One of the multitudes of questions that perplex most to be homeowners / commercial space buyers, happens to be about the kind of flooring they need to settle for. The market is flooded with an overwhelming variety of options, which makes it even more difficult to choose the right flooring option for your space. In this Part, we shall be discussing the four most sought after flooring materials and their pros and cons so you can take a well-informed decision.
- Tiles. Tiles are usually made with a mixture of clay, which is shaped, cured in a scorching kiln, and finally glazed to impart shine and a protective layer. They are usually of two common types, namely, ceramic and porcelain. Porcelain happens to be the more durable one as it is made out of more refined clay and baked at a higher temperature. But, ceramic, on the other hand, is more budget-friendly and lighter in weight, making it suitable option for walls. Which one suits you more? Lets deal with it.
Points to ponder:
- As one would have experienced in day to day life, maintenance is effortless when it comes to tiles, and there is no fear of staining the floor, all because of the liquid glass glaze on the tiles. All one needs is a damp mop to clean up any accidental spills or the regular mess.
- They can withstand harsh weather conditions and fluctuations. Mostly they don’t lose color easily.
- They are available in a wide range of colors, textures, designs, styles, and sizes.
- They are one of the most affordable option in this list.
- Owing to their supreme hardness, tiles can turn out to be quite brittle and develop cracks if a very heavy object is dropped on it from a height.
- Marble. Marble is a natural metamorphic rock formed naturally by subjecting limestone to immense heat and pressure of the earth. The natural beauty is now used extensively in the construction business for flooring.
- Marble instantly imparts a sense of opulence and elegant style when used for flooring.
- It can be polished to achieve an unrivalled gleam and sheen on the natural stone, which can light up the entire space. Moreover, whenever one feels the beauty of their flooring has dampened over time, they can revive its former beauty with rubbing and
- They are very good conductors of heat and are conducive to the installation of the heating system underneath them in chilly climates.
- They are very environment-friendly.
- Good quality marble is costly.
- They are fragile and may develop cracks over a period of usage & dark lines could be seen in the crevices.
- Marble is porous in nature, thus, making it susceptible to stains.
- Hardwood. Hardwood flooring gives a very cosy yet modern vibe to the home and is appreciated for its beauty all over the world.
Why & why not:
- They are highly durable and can last beautifully over decades, with proper maintenance.
- Abundant variety of natural textures and colorsare available to fit your preference. They can even be stained to achieve a different hue in the future.
- They can be refurbished and polished easily to pretty them up after continuous use.
- Wood is biodegradable.
- They do not go well with moisture and in the areas with high humidity.
- They are the most expensive option on this list.
- They need some Tender Loving Care regularly, ie, high on
The climatic and weather conditions, are instrumental in deciding our flooring options to a great deal. In Scandinavian or Siberian region any floor which gives a psychological warm feeling may be more suitable; wooden / carpet flooring could be a preferred option. In Sub Saharan deserts or Middle East, marble or stone may be preferred. There are many other options, which your designer may guide you to use. We shall be covering other options in Part II.
- Vinyl Flooring. Vinyl floors are a popular option among homeowners, particularly in kitchen and bathroom applications. A synthetic cousin of linoleum, vinyl flooring is water-and stain-resistant, versatile, and provides good durability for the cost. These are 100% Moisture Resistant, have long life as has a wear layer. However, they are difficult to remove if glued down, can get punctured if any sharp object is rubbed and can get dents by heavy objects. Environmentally not recommended as they are not biodegradable.
- Carpet flooring. Carpet Flooring uses soft floor covering made of fibre either bounded or stapled. Generally has a beautiful upper layer attached to a harder, stronger backing. Apart from reducing the sound of boots, they are a good insulator, which save energy specially in cold climates. It also gives a psychological warm feeling. They are comfortable to walk on being soft and easier on the feet. One can even lie down on these if in the bedroom or living.
- Glass flooring. Glass floorsare used only at specific spaces and could be Transparent or Translucent, depending on the usage. Mostly, these are transparent glass when the need is o view something from above or below the floor. The translucent types are used when there is no such need. In both the cases, toughened glass is used to prevent breakage and long life. Glass floors make the space room optically more spacious. The high quality ones have good shelf life and are reliable. It can be well mixed with aesthetic lighting for great effects. They are costly in terms of manufacture, as also installation. They are often slippery and prone to accidents. Most are not scratch resistant and lose their shine over a period of time.
- Brick flooring. One of the original flooring option, this still finds place with quality Designers, in lieu of natural stone. Mainly made of clay, these come in various shapes and sizes. These come cheap and are durable and easy to clean, environment friendly, having insulating properties and skid resistant. As they are baked in fire, the surface is hard and often rough, catches stains of paint, oil etc. Inter brick space needs good sealing to prevent mites etc making the space their home.
- Cement flooring. These are basically cement based, and could be of various types, like Interior Stained Concrete, Metallic Epoxy, Overlays, Garage Floors, Quartz Flooring, Epoxy Chip Flooring and Standard Epoxy.It is a very common type of flooring used in all types of spaces, as its non-absorbent nature is very useful for water stores, durability, smooth and decent looks, good wearing properties, easy maintenance and is economical
- Terrazzo flooring. These are composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. They consist of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cement type binder (for chemical binding), polymeric (for physical binding), or a combination of both. They are very durable with endless design options, Environment friendly. Can be used for internal / external spaces and recommended where one prefers cold floor .
There are other not that popular options too, which your designer my guide you to use. So, if you were wondering which is better tiles or marble flooring or wooden for your residential building services, then make a decision based on these factors above and your daily lifestyle.