When you build a home, one of your biggest design decisions is what to put underfoot. Floors take a literal pounding — perhaps more than any other home component — so your choices should be smart and considered. But, you don’t have to debate them endlessly. Here’s a streamlined guide to choosing between three of the most popular flooring options for your new custom Florida home.
Wood: Real Vs. Laminate
Real wood floors are classics for a reason. If cared for, they last a long time, and their inevitable nicks, scuffs and scratches only contribute character. Their lifespan also can be economical. You don’t have to replace them as often, which offsets the up-front cost. Choices range from familiar oak and pine, to exotic species from all over the world — in myriad colors and grain types.
Laminate flooring looks like real wood — or tile or stone — but its appearance is taken from a detailed photo of real wood (or tile or stone). The photo is reproduced in planks of a synthetic material that’s harder than real wood and damage-resistant. Laminate flooring costs less than wood and is easier to maintain — a quick mop or vacuum and you’re done.
Carpet: Comfort Vs. Clean
Plush carpeting in a soothing color simply sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? Thanks to its softness and insulation properties, carpet is a popular flooring choice for bedrooms and more private areas such as home theaters and guest suites. It’s available in almost unlimited textures, colors and patterns, and today’s textile manufacturers produce carpet that’s tougher than ever. Carpet that’s “greener” — with less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can aggravate allergies and pollute indoor air — also is in demand.
Carpet traps dust, pet hair and other allergens like no other flooring material. And, it’s a stain magnet. Consider something else wherever moisture and messes are common.
How to Decide
Start by answering these questions: Is everyone in your household on the go? Are you (or are they) constantly tracking grime inside? Do you have pets whose claws might scar your new flooring? Will you have a pool (frequent wet feet indoors)? Do you want to vary your flooring? Perhaps use carpet in bedrooms and a harder surface in higher-traffic areas? Is there a family member who suffers from allergies or respiratory issues and would like carpet, but needs a type made from all-natural fibers?
Match your (honest!) answers to the flooring that both appeals to you and aligns with your family’s lifestyle.
The biggest question? How much maintenance are you willing do on your new floors? If the occasional sweeping, vacuuming and moping is your limit, then opt for a more durable surface. High-gloss heart pine probably isn’t practical. But, if that mahogany parquet in your new entry is worth the commitment to more frequent cleaning, go for it!
Need a home for your new flooring? ICI Homes is Florida’s Custom Home Builder. Talk to us.