The Most Durable Types of House Flooring

By: Robert Thomson


One of the most important factors to selecting a floor is durability. Flooring manufacturers understand this and are continually improving the construction of their products to meet consumer demand. Unfortunately, homeowners are not just looking at durability, but other factors as well. In addition to having a strong floor, homeowners also want house flooring that looks attractive, matches their existing decor and adds value to the home.

Flooring manufacturers are constantly redesigning floors to offer the market what they're looking for. With the addition of such flooring types as laminate, engineered wood and luxury vinyl, it has never been easier to select a durable floor that won't compromise aesthetic appeal. But if you want to get down to the basics and choose house flooring that offers supreme durability, concrete flooring is the optimal choice.

At first thought, you may not consider concrete to be an attractive floor, but it does offer some flexibility. Concrete can be stained or have a decorative overlay added. Decorative overlays are produced using acid stain and will need to be carried out by a professional. If you want to handle the job on your own, use a concrete etching solution instead. With these simple touches, you won't know the flooring underneath is concrete, and you can enjoy a floor that is both beautiful and exceptionally durable.

Concrete may be strong, but it can also be cold and unforgiving on slips and falls. If you're looking for a floor that is hard-wearing but homey, laminates may be your answer. Laminate flooring has made drastic improvements over the years and is very tough flooring that offers a quiet sound, especially when installing a quality underlayment. The key is to invest in high-end laminate that has a strong core, exterior and backing. When put together, these components complete a flooring that won't scratch or dent and is ideal for homes with kids and pets. Best of all, laminate can be made to look like anything, including wood and stone.

Wood is another excellent choice, even though it will scratch and dent. Even the strongest of woods are vulnerable to this type of wear, but the good news is that wood looks its best when it has been aged. If you choose a wood that is distressed, you have even more flexibility to add a few dents and scratches without anyone knowing the difference. And if the flooring ever receives too much abuse, it can be sanded down and refinished, looking like new all over again.

Ceramic and porcelain tile are resilient and ideal choices for the kitchen, bathroom or entryway. Tile is also resistant to moisture, so you never have to worry about leaky faucets or puddles. While tile does require grouting, with proper care it can last an extended lifetime. Ceramic and porcelain tile is so robust; it's even used in other applications such as backsplashes and countertops. The only drawback: Drop a glass jar in the kitchen and it's bound to shatter.

Similar to ceramic and porcelain tile is natural stone. Natural stone can come in the form of tiles or be mismatched shapes and sizes, offering an organic appearance in the home. There are differences across the stones however, so it's important to choose the stronger varieties if durability is what you're after. For example, marble loses its color and wears down faster than travertine, which is very similar to concrete in terms of toughness. Just remember that when installing something like travertine, you're installing it for the long haul.

A final option for durable house flooring is vinyl. Vinyl used to be considered a cheaper floor, but today's vinyl selections are much improved. They not only come in self-stick tiles, but also sheets. Sheet vinyl has one seam at most and creates a seamless look in the home, while the tiles show the seams between each piece. Vinyl is moisture- and scratch-resistant, and homeowners like that it's softer and quieter than tile or natural stone. It handles foot traffic well and is a favorable choice for busy families.

It's important to recognize what you're looking for in terms of durability. Some families find it most important to select house flooring that involves little maintenance and continues to look brilliant, while other families want flooring that handles foot traffic from kids, pets and visitors. With durability being a top factor in floor selection, flooring manufacturers are reaching new heights with stronger, more resilient floors for the home.

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Darrell Potter writes out of Vancouver about a variety home decor tips, and gives advice on how to maintain house flooring. Always looking for the highest quality materials at the lowest cost possible, he tends to end up shopping at www.flooringcanada.ca more often than not.

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