When it comes to wood flooring, there are many varieties to choose from depending on the flooring surface, cost, type, grade and choice of the design – strips or parquet. Softwoods, such as redwood and pine, are easy to carve into floor boards and less expensive than real hardwood flooring. However, they are not suited for high traffic areas and where heavy furniture can dig into the wood. Hardwoods, such as birch, oak and maple, are more likely to withstand high use but not abuse. Most often than not, real hardwood flooring is used to convey feeling and tone rather than bring in color to a room. In general, this flooring type in light tint is used to make the room feel more informal and create a feeling of openness, whereas dark tinted wood is intended for use in traditional and reserved areas to create an intimate feeling by lessening the effect of a large space. You can choose the color, tint or wood according to your personal preference, taste and budget. When it comes to maintenance of wood flooring though, not much upkeep is needed except vacuum-cleaning and dust mopping. In essence, promptly cleaning the surface of any gritty material, sand or gravel will make wood flooring last a lifetime.
Laminate flooring is inexpensive compared to wood flooring. They are made from paper infused with organic resin and bonded to a core of fiberboard or particle board. This type of flooring, unlike the former type, can be installed on any surface including , but not limited to, ceramic tiles, vinyl types, concrete and carpets. They are also known as faux wood or faux stone depending on the end result. Laminate flooring has the ability to provide any desired look along with the practical aspects that you want it to have. It is particularly suited for areas that are susceptible to scratches and stains. Maintenance involves quick clean up of the floor when it is dirty or dusty. Most manufacturers of laminate flooring offer up to 15 years of warranties against cracking, peeling, staining and scratching of laminate surface. However, you can expect a good quality laminate material to last only between 25 and 30 years. On the plus side, this flooring type is great when it comes to creating a customized look.