Today’s homeowner has lots of wonderful choices when it comes to floor coverings. Wood remains popular, whether it’s a hardwood like oak or softwood like pine. Wood floors are sanded and finished in place after installation. Be prepared to stay at a friend’s or a hotel for the night to avoid fumes during finishing.
Laminate flooring is a relatively new choice in American homes, although it’s been available in Europe much longer. The quality of laminate flooring continues to improve and a protective coating designed to resist abrasions and stains makes good quality laminate flooring wear-resistant. Be aware that lower priced products don’t perform as well as their higher priced counterparts. The old saying “you get what you pay for” especially applies here. Wood-look designs have been the most popular, but now stone and tile patterns are gaining in popularity.
Tile has always been a popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms. Be sure to choose a tile that is graded for floor use. A slightly textured surface and a matte finish will reduce the chance of slipping. Keep in mind that the grout needs to be sealed periodically. Have your contractor install radiant heat under the tile to take away the chill of stepping out of the shower onto a cold floor.
Vinyl flooring comes in sheets and tiles. The sheet product can be a good all around choice in areas where water is a concern. The grades vary widely and durability is directly tied to price.
Ask your design/build professional which floor covering is best in your situation.