Different Flooring Materials And Advice From Experts

Confused about what kind of flooring is best for your home? Don’t know what is the difference between various types of flooring options and their pros and cons? If yes, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will present a comprehensive guide about the different types of flooring options available to you and how they compare with each other. Their various pros and cons can help you decide which particular type is ideal for your home based on your choice and preferences.

Various Kinds Of Flooring Materials

In Singapore, if you are looking for the types of flooring to suit the preferred style of your home, there would be six main flooring materials to be chosen from!

Vinyl

Vinyl is a man-made, synthetic material that is an economical option and has a range of aesthetic designs.

Pros:

Vinyl floor is easy to install and can last a few years if you take care of it. There are water-resistant and hence users do not need to worry about it getting wet. Maintenance is something you do not need to worry about as cleaning is easy! Furthermore, vinyl provides a plethora of designs and colors for you to choose from that can mimic stone and wood.

Cons:

Unfortunately, this flooring cannot handle heavy flow traffic and they are prone to get physical damages such as dents and scratches. Furthermore, some people may not favor the plastic feel that it has.

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Laminate

Laminate flooring is a more affordable alternative to wood flooring and it comprises synthetic material where composite wood is glued together. A wood image is embossed onto the top layer to achieve the desired wood effect.

Pros:

You do not have to pay the high price of a wood floor to achieve this wood effect. Furthermore, it has a simple installation which is through the tongue and groove system. Furthermore, there are a lot of different types of finishes for you to choose from. It has a decent lifespan if maintained properly which is 25 years and above and is environmentally friendly

Cons:

Unfortunately, this flooring has the disadvantage of getting damaged by water and scratches fairly easily. In terms of maintenance, it requires moderate care if not the flooring may be discolored or worst case, it needs to be replaced.

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Wood

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Wood floors are usually made from traditional hardwood floors such as Indonesian or Burmese teak. They provide a very natural and elegant style to your indoor spaces. Besides hardwood, there are newer engineered wood options that are cheaper but offer the same look like hardwood. They are comprised of layers of different types of wood together.

Pros:

Due to their hardiness, they are able to last for a very long time (usually 30 years and beyond!). Furthermore, they add warmth to indoor areas which many homeowners desire.

Cons:

The maintenance would require varnishing, sanding, and sometimes polishing. This would mean that this adds more financial strain for those who are on a lower budget. Furthermore, the installation of the wood is relatively difficult when compared with vinyl and laminate flooring.  Unfortunately, this material is susceptible to moisture and physical damage.

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Parquet

Parquet flooring is basically a type of wood flooring in which the wooden planks are placed in specific patterns and designs to form geometric designs to add uniqueness and aesthetically pleasing visuals to your house. These planks can be made from either solid wood (such as teak, cherry, and maple) or engineered wood. A difference between parquet and wood floorings is that the parquet floor planks’ sizes are smaller than wood floor planks which give you the option of arranging them in different geometric and decorative patterns.

Pros:

This flooring is relatively easy to maintain and sweeping and mopping the floor is sufficient for cleaning. Furthermore, this material can last for many years if taken care of properly.

Cons:

In terms of cost, it is considered to be on the pricier end and this is because its installation is more difficult. Even though it was mentioned previously that the flooring is easy to clean, certain upkeeping processes such as occasional polishing and varnishing to keep the floor retaining its quality. Lastly, since it is wood, it is not water and scratch-resistant.

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Marble

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Marble flooring is one of the most costly floorings in the market. However, it is prized by many due to the quality and classiness that it exudes. They are not just offered in the usual color of white, but they have many types of marble that can be in dark brown, black, and even pink! Hence, they are able to suit your housing theme.

Pros:

It is easy to maintain and you can easily clean it on a daily basis to retain its shine. It is quite strong and durable which can sometimes be a problem since anything that falls on it can break easily.

Cons:

As mentioned previously, this flooring is expensive and would not be a suitable option for them financially. Furthermore, installation of this stone flooring is difficult and requires the services of professionals. Lastly, maintenance of its beauty is ongoing as they are acceptable to staining and even chipping, hence polishing and other care processes are needed.

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Linoleum

Linoleum is an environmentally friendly and economical flooring that is made up of natural elements such as linseed oil and other tree substances.  They offer a similar wood aesthetic to that of other wood floorings.

Pros:

They are not too expensive and are more easily installed. Furthermore, since they are natural, harmful toxic substances are not emitted out that could be hazardous to your family. Furthermore, this flooring has a decent lifespan of up to 25 years at least where scratches are well hidden due to their thorough pigmented coloration.

Cons:

The design options are much more limited. Furthermore, it is prone to get scratched and a process called ‘ambering’ refers to its discoloration when exposed to constant sunlight. Furthermore, if a part of a linoleum sheet gets damaged, the whole sheet needs to be replaced, which is troublesome for some.

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Comparison Of Various Flooring Materials

When you want to redo your floors, you might find yourself in the dilemma of which floor to choose. Each one has its own pros and cons which make it difficult to decide which one is best for you. Often you find yourself stuck between two options that are somewhat similar to each other.

In this section, we will provide a comparison of some of these flooring materials to identify their pros and cons to give you a better idea about each flooring type. That will help you in deciding which floor is best for you.

Vinyl Vs Laminate

Vinyl and laminate both appear to be quite similar in appearance and style. They both are synthetic flooring materials with almost similar costs with laminate being slightly cheaper. They are both easy to clean and maintain and they both can be scratched easily with heels, heavy furniture, and pet nails.

However, vinyl is superior to laminate because of its water-resistant properties. Vinyl will not get damaged with water or liquid spills. Unfortunately for laminate, its lower layers will get damaged by moisture.

Vinyl can be repolished to retain its shine whereas laminate cannot be polished; if its top protective layer wears out, there is nothing that can be done about it.

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Engineered Wood Vs Laminate

The main difference between engineered wood and laminate is that engineered wood has a pure wood top layer whereas laminate has a photographic layer with a top covering for protective purposes. Comparatively, engineered wood is thicker, sturdier, stronger, more durable, and has a higher resale value than laminate. It also offers a better appearance and moisture resistance as compared to laminate but it is also expensive. On the other hand, laminate is cheaper, easy to maintain, and can be installed as a DIY project.

Hardwood Vs Laminate

The similarity between hardwood and laminate floors is that they may resemble each other in appearance but are quite different in their composition.

A hardwood, made from pure wood, is quite expensive but offers great elegance, style, and aesthetics. Furthermore, it is more durable and has higher longevity than laminate flooring.  Definitely, it is able to mimic the visuals of hardwood, however, in terms of quality, it falls short.

Laminate flooring is much more affordable; thus it gives you the option of achieving a hardwood floor effect to some extent at a cheap cost. It is easy to install and is quite versatile in the design options it offers.

Vinyl Vs Linoleum

When you consider vinyl vs linoleum, they are somewhat similar in the type of design and colour options that they provide. However, they are completely different in composition since vinyl is purely synthetic whereas linoleum is made from natural substances.

Both of these floors are water-resistant but linoleum floors can get damaged by floods and humidity and need periodic sealing to maintain their water-resistant properties.

Linoleum floors are more durable than vinyl floors since they can last for about 20-30 years whereas vinyl floors have a lifetime of 10-20 years. Vinyl floor is very easy to install as compared to some types of linoleum flooring which require some professional help. Standard grade vinyl is relatively cheaper than linoleum flooring, so if you have a tight budget, then vinyl floor is the way to go.

Conclusion

These are some of the comparisons between the most commonly used types of floors in Singapore. Some are quite similar to another in one aspect while vary greatly in other aspects.

You can base your decision of choosing a particular floor based on factors such as cost, appearance, durability, strength, ease of maintenance, and installation. When you weigh their various pros and cons against each other, you would be in a better position to select the one which is best for you.

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