There is nothing like a new floor to spruce up the interior of a home. Installing a new floor can add beauty and durability to an older home. Whether you’re adding a floor for a special event, or just because it is time to update, your new floor can be installed quickly and usually with little disruption to your home.

There are many types of flooring to choose from. Obviously your floor choice depends on the function of the room you are installing in. Most flooring changes and updates are made in kitchens, baths, and living areas of the house. For these rooms, solid surface floors are the best suited options.

A laminate floor is an economical way to quickly make an impression. These floors have the appearance of hardwood or tile and “float” over a foam pad installed on top of the existing floor. This type of floor is a good choice to lay over surfaces like concrete.

Laminate floors install very quickly, but they do have a few disadvantages. Laminate floors cannot support heavy objects (like very heavy furniture, kitchen islands, pianos, etc.). Since it is not attached, the floor must be allowed to move freely. As a result, an expansion space must be allowed around walls and adjacent floors, and transition strips must be used to terminate the flooring when butting to another flooring surface.

Duraceramic Tile

Tile floors provide lasting beauty. A solid ceramic tile floor is about as durable as it gets. Tile floors are labor intensive and more costly, but the end result is worth the price. Tile floors can be installed in a variety of situations and are ideal for kitchen and bath areas.

Tile floors tend to be cooler to the bare foot. Tubing heat underneath can make them more comfortable.

Another option in tile is the Duraceramic floor. This tile can be installed grouted or ungrouted. It has the look and feel of tile, but is made to flex.

If the house shifts (especially common in newer homes) due to humidity changes or settling, this tile will not crack like ceramic. It also is warmer to the touch and is not as labor intensive.

Hardwood comes in a variety of flavors. Solid hardwood is 3/4″ thick and is the most durable wood floor. Solids are nailed tightly into place using a special tool to tighten joints as it is nailed. Solid flooring can be installed prefinished or raw and finished in place. Prefinished flooring is much less disruptive to the home and has a harder, more durable finish baked on in a factory.

Engineered Hardwood

A carefully laid floor needs no transition strip

Hardwood also comes in an engineered form. This less expensive option has a hard shell veneer that cannot be refinished. This floor is 3/8″ thick and is stapled in place.

Sheet vinyl has come a long way. Removing older floors has taught me that America’s taste in floor design has improved dramatically. Lineoleum floors are now made to look like tile and even wood designs. Lineloeum floors have very few seams and install very easily.

The installation of flooring is key to its performance as well. Did you know that changes in air pressure and humidity can change the size of the materials in a floor? If you started installing hardwood, for example, as soon as it was delivered off the truck, the next day that floor could buckle or gap.

The floor must be allowed to acclimate to its surroundings, much like a pair of glasses must adjust to a warm room after being out in the snow.

It can take up to 48 hours for packaged flooring to equalize with its environment. Once it has obtained the same humidity levels of the rest of your house, it can be installed without any problems resulting.

Have you ever looked around at a new floor, taking in its beauty, and then stubbed your toe on a big fat transition strip? Transition strips are installed when two abutting floors are not the same height. This is a mistake that is not necessary. Planning ahead when installing a floor can eliminate these eye sores and provide a clean and seamless transition into the next room. Precise craftsmanship can blend almost any types of flooring together with the look of careful consideration and expertise.

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