General Notes on Flooring Concepts

All you need to know about flooring materials before you make a decision.

Scroll through this page for the relevant topics, explanations, pros, and cos of many types of flooring materials. You may want to know about how to maintain - cleaning and shining of some floor types.

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Wood-Based Flooring

Natural hardwood flooring

  • Hardwood floor is normally made from solid wood floorboard. It is usually the most expensive and regarded as a luxury kind of wood flooring.

  • The complete natural wood pieces are sawn from hard timbers such as oak, maple and walnut.

  • Artificial wood or Engineered hardwood floor looks like a hardwood floor but the wooden material is a combination of several raw materials including hardwood.

 

Other wood (non-hard or semi-hardwood) floor: These are semi-hardwood which have hardwood top layer fused to a base that could be plywood or similar material. They 

  • Have a feel and aesthetic like those of hardwood flooring. 

  • Are cheaper than the first two types of wood flooring

  • Are more resistant to heat and more suitable for use in different types of room.

 

The Non-wood flooring that looks like wood (wood-effect) are other flooring types that provide similar aesthetics as natural wood flooring.

 

If you are experiencing budget constraints, you may consider any of the following flooring types below for use as good alternatives to wood flooring.

Pros and cons of hardwood flooring

The pros of hardwood

  • It improves the value of the property,

  • It can be refinished and sanded many times over the useful life.

  • Hardwood flooring has the greatest durability

The cons of hardwood:

  • It can expand and contract under changing temperatures causing loosening of parts,

  • If an allowance is not given between the wall and the floor, it may become a small problem,

  • A wood floor is not suitable for water-laden areas such as balconies, bathrooms and kitchens and also to install; so better to use the service of professional,

  • Not recommended for installation over concrete slabs because humidity will damage the wood.

Please, visit our service for installation and maintenance services that we offer.

Bamboo flooring

A matured bamboo stick flooring is arguably harder than the real hardwood flooring. This means that bamboo has a greater scratch-resistance than wood.

Bamboo is not ordinarily categorised under wood because the species is not considered to be a tree and hence, not a wood.

 

Engineered bamboo using the strand-woven process creates even tougher products for flooring with extra-high scratch resistance more than most materials. Top-quality bamboo flooring compares strongly with hardwood flooring in durably also.

 

However, some bamboo flooring materials may present poor quality finish which certain impacts on its characteristics features, yet present very unique decoration style for some people that like things exotic.

 

Cleaning attention is easy for bamboo flooring because a mop with mild soapy water can do the job.

Bamboo flooring planks are increasingly being used as an alternative to wood flooring because of their physical similarities to real hardwood.

 

Improving manufacturing technology is also promoting the use of bamboo over hardwood because better quality products are coming out.

Pros and cons of Bamboo flooring

The pros of bamboo

  • Compared with hardwood flooring, bamboo flooring is more affordable but it is slightly more expensive than laminate flooring.

  • Strand woven bamboo flooring is a high-quality type that is extremely durable, more dent-resistant than vinyl, and even more than hardwood.

  • It has a comparable lifespan with hardwood flooring.

  • Bamboo flooring is recommended for other qualities including strength, eco-friendliness, resistance to insects and moisture.

  • Bamboo flooring can be sanded like wood to remove the old faded finish, dents, scratches and stains. A finish can then be applied to improve colour and longevity of bamboo floor.

  • Cleaning attention is easy for bamboo flooring because a mop with mild soapy water can do the job

The cons of bamboo:

  • A cheaper and lower quality bamboo flooring has less resistance to scratches.

  • Generally, bamboo is not rated under the Janka scale. So getting the right quality can be difficult.

Please, visit our service for installation and maintenance services that we offer.

 

Parquet flooring

In the era of engineered wood flooring, technology has enabled the manufacture of parquet flooring from both wooden and non-wooden raw materials.

 

The engineering process also makes it possible to produce smaller tiles of the same size that can easily be installed to produce an even surface floor. Prior to recent years, parquet flooring used to be made from hardwood only.

The small rectangular tiles of parquet flooring can be arranged into different styles such as the herringbone pattern.

 

This is a pattern created by arranging the wooden blocks of rectangles together in different geometric styles as seen in many pedestrian walkways in busy urban shopping streets.

 

Other popular patterns include, chevron and brick weave, basket and versailles.

The origin of the word parquet dates back to the 1600 from the French word "Parqueterie"

Parquet flooring describes the geometric designs of floor by arranging wooden blocks in a geometric pattern.

 

This arrangement serves a geometric mosaic of wood pieces showing beautiful decorative effect.

The pros and cons of Parquet flooring

The pros of parquet flooring:

  • There are many options to choose from

  • A good percentage of parquet flooring content is hardwood. This gives it a durable quality

  • It adds value to the property with its good aesthetics and modern feel

  • Because it mainly wooden in composition, parquet preserve heat and that means it a good option in cold regions

  • Fairly easy to install.

The cons of parquet flooring:

  • Poor installation may result in pulling off of some parquet tiles

  • Parquet tiles could be scratched with hard objects

  • It is not the best recommendation in wet areas

  • Sanding and refinishing works is complicated and are better handled by experts

Cork flooring

Cork flooring tile which is made with milled oak bark mixed in glue and then baked in a furnace. The main raw material for the manufacture of cork flooring is the bark of the oak tree.

 

The oak wood defines the eco-friendly and sustainable quality of the cork flooring material because the bark of the tree trunk has the capability to re-generate after each harvesting.

Of recent, cork flooring has increased in demand as a result of the increase in the demand for wood-based flooring which can improve property value. In particular, corking flooring has advantageous features that are attractive to homeowners compared with other flooring types.

 

Among other features comes the fact that it can be installed in any part of the house, comfortable underfoot, warm and durable. Installation of cork flooring is easy likewise maintenance which simple and cheap.

 

Cork flooring actually has its unique quality in that it does not emit any gaseous elements. Besides, it has the quality to suppress the growth of mould and mildew and repels allergens

The pros and cons of cork flooring

The pros of cork flooring

  • Due to its regenerative ability of the oak tree, cork flooring material is considered eco-friendly

  • It is a very good floor insulator for cold regions; warm, comfortable, and salient underfoot

  • It can be installed in many parts of the house including walls

  • Installation is fast and not very difficult

  • It’s durable but less than hardwood and the cost of maintenance is low.

  • It does not support the growth of fungi and mildew or moulds

  • It can be sanded like hardwood flooring and it's sound absorbent.

The cons of cork flooring:

  • Cork flooring though durable but it is prone to puncture or dent if hit with a hard or heavy object such as a dropping hammerhead or furniture. Hardwood flooring is certainly better in this regard.

  • It is not waterproof. For this reason, it not the best recommendation for bathroom and kitchen or anywhere water might get on it such as balconies

  • Durability is in the range of 2 to 3 decades much less than hardwood which could last for more decades with good maintenance.

  • Cork flooring is expensive costing almost as much as hardwood. It is more expensive than most non-wood flooring materials such as linoleum.

  • Cork flooring may lose colour lustre with time.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring

Engineered or Artificial hardwood flooring is a flooring type that may look or feel similar to hardwood floor but the wooden material is a combination of several materials including hardwood. 

Engineered wood is nearly as hard as natural solid wood. the feel and look of engineered wood cannot be differentiated by the ordinary eyes when looking at the installed flooring materials.

 

Engineered hardwood a.k.a, mass timber, composite wood, artificial wood, man-made wood is manufactured from a range of derivative wood products bonded together under heat and pressure.

 

Some of the raw materials include hardwood components, wood particles, fibres or veneers or boards and adhesives. These are fused together in 3 – 5 layers of materials.

Laminate flooring is often confused with engineered hardwood because both have similar aesthetics. However, while engineered contain wood parts, laminate planks do not.

 

The wood-look comes from a photographic image of wood on the laminate planks during manufacture

Pros and cons of engineered hardwood flooring

The pros of engineered hardwood

Compared with natural hardwood flooring, engineered or artificial wood flooring:

  • Costs less and expands less under heat yet feels like real wood. These qualities support its popularity.

  • Better than solid flooring for installation over concrete slabs

  • Is more suitable for use in water-laden areas such as veranda, bathroom and kitchen. To improve this quality, it better to install with a water-resistant overlay.

  • It’s bonded over a high-quality plywood layer. This layer provides the flooring with excellent stability and durability lasting between 25 years.

  • More attractive than laminate flooring but a lot more expensive also. However, it adds good value to a home like real wood.

The cons of engineered hardwood:

  • Compare with tiles, engineered hardwood flooring are not that moisture resistant.

  • The cost of maintenance is higher than solid non-wood floorings such as tiles, terrazzo and porcelain.

  • compared with natural wood, it fades faster over time especially if exposed to sunlight.

Please, visit our service for installation and maintenance services that we offer.

Wood-Look Flooring

 

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is mistakenly believed to be plastic but it is actually made from compressed fibreboard plank. The plank is made to serve as a film strip on which a photographic image of wood is cast.

 

The whole material is then protected with a protective overlay. Laminate flooring looks like a wood floor but doesn’t feel like one.

Laminate flooring is suitable for high traffic areas and also areas that need frequent cleaning. Examples include living rooms, libraries, playrooms, high-traffic workplaces such as saloons, corner shops, etc.

 

The category of laminate that contains a waterproof core would be suitable for water-laden areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Pros and cons of laminate flooring

The pros of laminate flooring: 

  • Affordability compared with other flooring types

  • Wide range of choices to select from

  • Easy installation

  • Resistant to wear and tear

The cons of laminate flooring:

  • The feel may reveal its artificial nature

  • If not expertly installed, it could pull out of position

  • Damaged laminate could be hard to repair and cannot be sanded

  • Moisture may cause swellings.

  • Refinishing work cannot be done on laminates.

Please, visit our service for installation and maintenance services that we offer.

Vinyl plank flooring

Vinyl flooring is commonly known as wood-effect flooring or Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). This type of flooring emulates the aesthetics of wood flooring without any noticeable difference.

 

Vinyl plank flooring material is manufactured to look similar to laminate flooring which presents natural wood-effect aesthetics. Vinyl plank is composed of a durable fiberglass layer.

 

Vinyl plank is different from vinyl sheet flooring, which is a sheet of flexible material foldable into a row like a pipe prior to installation.

It’s been argued that wood effect vinyl is much better than solid or engineered wood in many ways. These include appearance, physical properties and price besides being a good option for short-term and flexible flooring needs.

A variety of effects exist for shades, species and designs for creating modern and uniform premium-grade appearances for different environments such as homes, offices and public areas like reception rooms.

Pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring

The pros of vinyl planks flooring: 

  • Compare with natural wood-based flooring including real wood

  • This property provides excellent value for money

  • Economical – ease of maintenance and low cost.

  • Vinyl material is resistant to scratch marks, moisture, humidity and stains

  • Minimal expansion due to temperature changes hence it is suitable for use in the kitchen, bathroom and conservatories.

  • There exists a large option for user preferences in different environments

  • Easy installation and removal can be another desirable advantage.

The cons of vinyl plank flooring:

  • If the glue is used to install it, vinyl removal can be difficult

  • Non-eco-friendly as the material is not easily biodegradable

  • A very sharp object can damage the material

  • Long exposure to the sun can lead to fading with time.

Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Versatile vinyl sheet flooring material is a soft and foldable product that is great for any room in the house. It can be installed on any part of the home.

The pros and cons of Vinyl Sheet

The pros of vinyl sheet flooring:

  • It can be installed on any part of the home including wet areas.

  • A good choice for high-traffic areas

  • A cheap alternative to other flooring types where the cost of investment is restrictive

  • It can be easily installed

The cons of vinyl sheet flooring:

  • Once damaged, the vinyl sheet cannot be repaired.

  • The material contains and emits some organic compounds that might be comfortable for some people.

  • Durability is nothing compared with the rest of the flooring types

  • It can actually reduce the value of the property in terms of resale value particularly when the flooring is old.

  • In cases where an adhesive was used during installation, removal could difficult.

  • This product is not environmentally degradable. Not eco-friendly.

 

Non-Wood Flooring

 

If your preference is comfort and warmth, carpet flooring is the best option. However, this means trading off maintenance simplicity and low cost. 

 

Carpets are made from soft, comfortable and inexpensive material that could be synthetic fibres (e.g., nylon and polyester) or natural fibres (such as cotton or wool).

 

They come in varying qualities, colours and texture, these features affect their prices, comfortability, durability and maintenance characteristics.

Many carpets are resistant to water damage due to synthetic fibre raw material used in making most modern carpets.

 

However, it's recommended to prevent water from seeping into the bottom layer of the carpets. Water will support the growth of mould under the carpet.

For installation and maintenance services that we offer, please visit our service pages.

The pros and cons of carpet flooring

The pros of carpet floor:

  • Easy to install, particularly where the floor is uneven

  • Soundproofing – carpet is soft and hence absorbs

  • Can easily be removed by workmen such as plumbers, carpenters to do work underneath 

  • It can reduce damage due to accidents by providing a non-slippery and cushioning surface for dropping objects and people.

The cons of carpet flooring

  • Carpet is not recommended for wet areas

  • Carpets have a very short lifespan compared with many types of flooring materials.
  • Carpet can be damaged easily by fire or hot objects such as cigarettes and hot pots.

  • Carpets, particularly when old or dirty, may emit particles that could be irritating to some people’s respiratory systems.

Linoleum flooring

Lino is a floor covering type made from solidified linseed oil, pine resin mixed with materials such as ground cork dust, sawdust and calcium carbonate.

Most people believe lino is out of fashion and longer in use. It is one of the earliest flooring materials ever used by modern man. However, it’s making its way back into the market as more people are beginning to discover some of its advantages.

 

Improved production technology has helped in the re-introduction of this flooring material by reducing its price and increasing its durability, resistance to scratches, easy maintenance cost, etc.

 

Today, resilient lino material has been developed into authentic and multipurpose uses and as a very durable floor covering.

The pros and cons of Linoleum

 The pros of linoleum:

  • In terms of cost, Vinyl and lino are low priced flooring options compared with the other types

  • It does not have Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

  • They have a very low need for maintenance because they can be easily cleaned

  • It can withstand wear and tear to some extent

  • There is a wide selection available for users

  • Installation is easy

  • Compare with synthetic-based vinyl sheet, linoleum sheet is eco-friendly because it is made from biodegradable natural linseed oil, pine resin mixed with natural materials

 

  The cons of linoleum:

  • They can sustain permanent stains and prone to wear and tear

  • Some level of installation difficulty.

  • Difficult to get compared with vinyl which the closest substitute despite both not being made from similar raw materials

Terrazzo flooring

The terrazzo floor is made of composite material and delivered by pouring it into its permanent position or as precasts used for floor and wall treatments.

Terrazzo consists of small pieces, fragments or chopping stone, marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable materials oftentimes recycled from other building sites. These are mixed with cement or other adhesive agents to bond materials together.

 

Simply put, terrazzo is manufactured by allowing hard marble pieces to appear on a concrete surface. The surface is then polished to smoothness. Terrazzo can be made on the floor or as pieces of different sizes and shape like tiles.

The best place of use of terrazzo floor is in public buildings such as schools, government buildings, community hall, etc, which

admits very many people. This is because terrazzo is very durable, strong and resistant to wear and tear, and very easy to wash.

The pros and cons of Terrazzo

 The pros of Terrazzo:

  • Terrazzo floor is a strong floor that is hard enough to resist the constant foot action of a multitude of people as in educational environments, public buildings, and corporate offices. It is known to last over 70 years of useful life.

  • Made mostly from recycled materials such granites, marbles, etc, it is environmentally friendly and economically rated better than some flooring types

  • There are many good designs to choose from with nice aesthetics and easy to clean no matter how dirty.

  • It's resistant to mold, stains and water; therefore, it's suitable for installation in places such as bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors.

 

  The cons of Terrazzo:

  • Terrazzo floor installation requires expert handling because it is difficult and involves the use of machines and technical knowhow

  • More expensive than a few flooring types but its durability compensates for this cost because some flooring types of the same range of cost have reduced durability.

  • Terrazzo floor could be very cold during cold seasons. It cannot retain heat as much as carpets or wood flooring

 
 

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are generally durable materials even in public places where human traffic is high. Ceramic is almost permanently resistant to water impact.

Ceramic tiles can be used in any room or location, indoor or outdoor. It has not uncomfortable smell or irritation and can be cleaned easily. These qualities support the huge usage in healthy homes

In hot climates, ceramic tiles are a good option because it absorbs heat keeping the room cool.

The pros and cons of ceramic tiles

The pros of ceramic tiles:

  • Very durable and affordable

  • Low cost of maintenance combined with durability and affordability, ceramic tiles is very economical

  • Non-liquid absorbent

  • Easy and cost-effective cleaning

  • several choices for buyers

  • can be installed on high traffic and wet areas - kitchen, bathroom, public places like classrooms

The cons of ceramic tiles:

  • It absorbs heat and makes room colder. Not a very good in room for cold regions

  • Hard surface - may increase damage due to accident e.g. dropping fragile goods get damaged

  • Being hard and cold, it's uncomfortable underfoot.

  • installation is difficult and time-consuming

Porcelain tiles

The pros of porcelain tiles:

More text, coming soon

The cons of porcelain tiles:

More text, coming soon

 

The pros and cons of porcelain tiles

The pros of porcelain tiles:

  • More text, coming soon

The cons of porcelain tiles:

  • More text, coming soon

 

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