Changing out old or worn-out flooring at home can be frustrating. Replacing furniture or wall paint? That’s relatively inexpensive, but floors take time and money. And you can’t expect cheap flooring to last, especially in high-traffic areas that demand durable materials.
Fortunately, there are many great (and affordable) flooring options for the busiest areas in your home. Here are some materials that stand up well to the test of both time and traffic.
6 Durable Flooring Options for Your Home’s High Traffic Areas
Are you looking for flooring that is both stylish and tough? Here are some options to help you pick the best one for busy areas in your home.
Hardwood flooring is versatile and durable. When cared for properly, it can last for decades. While susceptible to water and moisture, hardwood is easier to maintain than other flooring materials and fits in with any decor.
If you’re looking for durable hardwood, you need to choose the right species. For instance, Brazilian redwood is sturdy, whereas pine is soft and dents easily. You also need to pick a suitable finish as this can play a huge role in the flooring’s durability. If you’ve had hardwood flooring for a few years, refinishing and restaining can ensure it lasts many more. Remember, all flooring materials need to be cared for and maintained, including hardwood.
2. Porcelain or Ceramic Tile
Tile has been a popular flooring material in kitchens and bathrooms for a long time and is becoming increasingly common in hallways, mudrooms, entryways and dining areas. When thinking about style and colour, tile is a versatile material as there are many varieties available. Homeowners can find everything from large format and wood-like tiles to tiny mosaics.
Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles are durable and require little to no maintenance, making them suitable for any home. However, the grouting should be cleaned and sealed periodically to prevent staining.
Although not difficult to install, tile requires an appropriate subfloor with a tile backing or cement board base. This is why it’s best to leave the installation to a professional when dealing with tricky or large tiles.
Since tile is cooler than other flooring options, like vinyl, it can be cold underfoot, so be careful when installing it in bedrooms, formal dining rooms and family rooms. Also, when selecting tile flooring for wet areas such as bathrooms, entryways and mudrooms, make sure you get the anti-slip variety to keep the area safe.
If you’re in search of a durable flooring material that is also comfortable and affordable, laminate is a good choice. However, it’s best not to install it in areas that experience moisture and humidity. Advances in technology enable laminate to imitate hardwood and natural stone without costing as much. However, it’s best to examine the laminate before purchase to ensure its quality.
Many manufacturers produce laminate using chemicals commonly referred to as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These can be detrimental to you and your family’s health. So, it’s best to find a laminate that is either VOC-free or contains a very small amount.
Although there are many varieties available at different price points, laminate is still a cost-effective flooring option. This makes it suitable for high-traffic areas. Its durability allows it to handle wear and tear, and it performs better than other materials in areas of high humidity. It’s also easy to maintain, but spills need to be cleaned up promptly to prevent staining. You can either install it yourself or have a professional do it for the best results.
Bamboo is a type of grass which, when used as flooring, looks like hardwood at a fraction of the price.
It’s gaining in popularity as an eco-friendly flooring option because it grows faster than most woods and so absorbs carbon in the atmosphere quicker. It can also thrive in a variety of climates.
Like most wood flooring, it’s available in both engineered and solid strip planks and comes with patterns that can display the grass grain in varying ways. For instance, end-grain bamboo generally has multiple short strips; vertical-grain has long narrow strips that are packed together; while flat-grain bamboo comes with darker stripes present across the plank. It’s a sturdy flooring material, making it suitable for high-traffic areas, and comes in various easy-to-install options.
Bamboo can be used in all the same areas where wood flooring is used, such as bedrooms, living areas and hallways but isn’t recommended for use in mudrooms or kitchens.
Are you in search of an eco-friendly and durable flooring? Then you can’t go wrong with cork. Its softness makes it a quiet surface to walk on and its springiness means it rebounds well from minor dents and high usage.
Since it’s much softer than other flooring materials, homeowners need to treat cork with care. Heavy items, high heels and sharp objects should be kept away as they can damage it. A little attention and care, however, ensures that it lasts a long time. Cork flooring is also easy to maintain, and weekly vacuuming and mopping is all that is required to get rid of dirt and debris. However, cork flooring does need to be re-sealed with a wax or protective coating finish regularly to keep it in good shape. You should also consider using protective coasters or felt pads under heavy furniture to avoid dents due to excessive weight.
Carpets are one of the most versatile flooring options as they come in various styles, colours, textures and patterns. They’re easy to install and add warmth and texture to any room.
Carpets are also quiet and soft, which is what makes them great for family rooms, living rooms and bedrooms. If you have a multi-storey home, they’re a great option for rooms on upper levels.
Avoid using them in kitchens and bathrooms, though, as frequent exposure to moisture and spills can ruin their look and feel. Moreover, it’s better to have them professionally cleaned to ensure all dust and dirt are eliminated properly.
All flooring options are not meant to endure high traffic. You need to look for one that is sturdy and worth your money. The pros and cons of the flooring materials explained above will certainly help you invest in one that’s most suitable for your home’s busiest spaces.