Choosing the Best Flooring for Florida Homes
Living in Florida presents a unique set of challenges when the time comes to select a flooring option. Choosing from hundreds of different styles, designs, colors, pricing, and availability are just one set of concerns, but living in a tropical zone means you have to take into account the high humidity and heat as well as the sand that can’t be avoided.
These factors will narrow down your flooring choices, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great options left to choose from. Regardless of why you’re shopping for a new floor covering, you need to know what to look for and what to avoid before deciding on the best flooring for Florida homes.
Flooring Requirements for Tropical Climates
Florida’s high humidity is not a friend of flooring and whether you live in the panhandle or Miami Beach, you will have to deal with excessive moisture. In addition, many of the homes in Florida have been built on concrete slabs. Concrete looks solid, but it is porous and will absorb (and release) water. Any floor covering you choose for this region will need to have the following characteristics:
- Easy to clean surface.
- Mostly waterproof.
The good news is that there are a variety of floor coverings that are mostly waterproof that will work very well on wood or concrete subfloors. Let’s take a look at some flooring ideas that can be utilized in Florida:
The Best Flooring for Florida Homes
Waterproof Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring has remained a top choice among homeowners for decades because of its inherent beauty, instant eye appeal, and the fact that it almost always raises the value of a home. Unfortunately, hardwood and humidity are not a great match, so hardwood flooring in South Florida would not be a wise choice. In addition, hardwood flooring is not the best option for a concrete slab.
However, there is a solution that combines the beauty of hardwood, the moisture resistance of laminate and will easily install over concrete slabs: engineered hardwood floors that are mostly waterproof.
The genius of the product lies in the material that makes up the core – HDPC – high-density plastic composite. It makes the flooring twice as hard as solid core hardwood flooring and provides the best of rigid core flooring and the beauty and character of real hardwood without the repeating patterns of some laminate products. The rigid core is what makes engineered hardwood flooring moisture resistant and gives it the flexibility to be installed over almost any subfloor – including concrete. The HDPC core also makes the flooring more resistant to denting than conventional solid core hardwood flooring.
The bottom of the engineered hardwood plank contains a thick pad which eliminates the need for additional underlayment and also makes the floor much more comfortable to walk on. Consider the following additional benefits:
- Competitive with solid hardwood flooring
- Looks like real hardwood because it is
- Can be easily maintained with regular sweeping and damp mopping
Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring has taken on a new look over the years and has become a favorite floor covering for the remodeler as well as the new home buyer. It is available in tiles or planks and mimics the appearance of almost every conceivable natural product on the market. Vinyl flooring gives you the look of wood, marble, and stone at a fraction of the cost and is easy to install. Manufactured in layers, it is extremely durable, holds up well to the elements, and will last for years.
Its popularity is due to some unique characteristics:
- Huge selection of designs, styles, and colors
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to install – a great DIY product
- Scratch-resistant – a protective barrier against sandy feet.
- Won’t transfer the cold from the concrete to your feet.
- Waterproof, in most cases. Ideal for applications in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms as well as over concrete.
- Very easy to clean and maintain with regular sweeping and light damp mopping.
Considering how much rain Floridians deal with, vinyl tile could be the best flooring for Florida weather.
Laminate flooring is often confused with vinyl flooring because both products have an authentic top layer that resembles many natural products, but it does one thing really well: it imitates wood flooring. Laminate flooring is an economical alternative to vinyl and hardwood, often retailing for half the price. Laminate flooring can be used in Florida as long as the product is kept out of high moisture areas. Though some types of laminate are water-resistant, they cannot have water sitting on them for an extended length of time.
Laminate flooring is a great way to achieve durable, water-resistant flooring at an affordable price point. Featuring: Lamton Laminate American Ingenuity Collection in Bridge Wood. SKU: 15270331
Laminate is a great choice for living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and hallways, and it is easier on the feet than vinyl due to its thicker composition. However, this product should not be installed on concrete slabs nor any room that will expose it to high humidity. The other negative about laminate flooring compared to vinyl is that it normally needs replacement within ten years. If you have a tight budget, laminate flooring will give a great look at a great price.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are considered the best type of flooring for south Florida homes. They share similar characteristics such as they are mostly waterproof, scratch-resistant, available in multiple colors and shapes and they are both easy to clean. Tile flooring also can be found on the exterior of homes in many parts of Florida that never experience temperatures below freezing. Ceramic tiles, generally speaking, should not be exposed to freezing weather as they can absorb small amounts of water that could cause them to crack if they freeze and expand. Porcelain is denser, and therefore, a better option for outdoor use.
Since it is primarily made from clay, tile flooring is well-suited to high heat and humidity, and it is extremely durable. Tile flooring is used extensively in all parts of Florida and it is often used to cover the entire floor of a home. With designs, shapes, and textures that look like wood and natural stone, you can have all the advantages of tile without sacrificing your design theme. Another benefit of tile flooring is that it will not trap allergens dust or dirt, helping to keep allergies at bay.
The Best Place to Shop for Durable Flooring
BuildDirect is your one-stop resource for top-quality flooring featuring waterproof engineered wood flooring for south Florida, vinyl flooring, hardwood, laminate flooring, and ceramic and porcelain tiles. We have an experienced customer service staff ready to assist you with product selection and our website is full of helpful videos and pdfs to make installation quick and easy.
For the professional flooring installer, we offer the PRO Rewards Program that customizes your experience with us. It’s easy to join simply by becoming a verified BD PRO. Once you join, you will enjoy:
- Up to 5% credit on qualified purchases
- Flexible on-site delivery
- Unlimited free samples
- A dedicated sales concierge
- Our 30-day money-back guarantee
Our professional customer service department is available from 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 10:00 AM till 6:00 PM (EST). Contact us today to start the process of becoming a verified BD PRO.