When it comes to transforming an interior, it’s always a good idea to circle back to the basics to think about visual effects, long-term durability, and short-term performance. You’ve heard from us here at BuildDirect on the subject of flooring quite a bit.
But, in today’s guest post, recurring poster, designer, and writer Jessica Ackerman outlines the subject of flooring from a designer’s point of view, always keeping the practical needs of homeowners with busy families like you in mind …
Although there are plenty of beautiful flooring materials available today, durability is always at the top of my list when it comes to comparing the options. If you have children and pets in the home, it’s important to find flooring that is designed to stand up to a lot of foot traffic and abuse. Fortunately, there are plenty of flooring options that can work wonderfully for busy families. I have found the following flooring materials to be especially tough and durable, in addition to being beautiful.
Ceramic tile is a beautiful flooring material that is quite durable. It comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, so it’s very easy to find a style that will work well with the rest of your décor. This flooring material is one of my favorite choices for high-traffic kitchen and bathrooms. Of course, when selecting your tile it’s important to understand the difference between ceramic tile designed for walls and those that are designed to be used as flooring. Although they can look similar, flooring tiles are thicker and harder.
Tile is graded according to hardness. The relatively soft Grade 1 tiles are designed for walls. For floors, you’ll want to look for Grade 3 or even Grade 4, which is the rating for commercial-grade ceramic flooring tiles. When installing your tile, choosing a darker colored grout will keep your floor looking great longer, since white or light-colored grout will show dirt faster. It’s also important to seal the grout in order to prevent it from absorbing grease, dirt and other materials.
Bamboo flooring is exceptionally hard and durable, making it a great choice for busy homes. Bamboo has a very high fiber rating, so it will wear well and last a long time. It’s also very beautiful, making it a great flooring solution for dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms.
I also like the fact that bamboo is a very quick-growing and sustainable plant, so you can feel good about helping the environment when you choose a bamboo floor for your home.
Stone tile floors
If you are looking for the ultimate in durability, it’s hard to beat the permanence of a stone tile floor. Granite is one of the hardest stone flooring materials, so it’s a great choice if you want to avoid the possibilities of scratches, which could happen with softer stone materials such as marble.
Carpeting and rugs
Although carpeting is obviously less durable than the other options I’ve mentioned above, some rooms just seem more comfortable and inviting with carpet. When choosing carpeting, the trick is finding the most durable option. Any carpeting you buy should be stain-resistant in order to help it look great longer.
Although you don’t see the padding, it’s an extremely important factor if you want your carpeting to wear well. Carpeting designed with short pile won’t show footprints or vacuum marks as much as the plusher styles. If you have pets, it’s usually best to avoid carpeting with a looped pile, as their claws and toenails can cause unsightly snags. It’s also important to pay attention to the material the carpeting is made from. Nylon can be quite durable, while polyester is a great choice if stain resistance is important to you.
Before you buy carpeting for your home, take a look at how tightly the fibers are attached to the backing, as well as how closely packed the fibers are. You should be looking for tightly attached, closely packed fibers if you want the ultimate in durability.