Pro’s & Con’s of Flooring Types

Choosing flooring for your home can be quite a feat with so many options on the market. There is traditional material that has withstood the test of time, but also more advanced materials that have been developed with new technologies. Whatever you decide, all flooring comes with a number of benefits that make it appealing to different homeowners. However, with benefits, there are always drawbacks that need to be considered before committing to one type of material. Throughout this blog we will identify the pro’s and con’s of the 4 most popular types of flooring on the market now: Marble, Ceramic, Laminate and Hardwood to try and help you make a more informed decision when the time comes.

 

Marble Flooring 

Pros:

  • Marble flooring has the advantage of being a completely natural material which gives it a large range of different types of colours, tones and patterns to choose from. All of the tiles are completely unique and no one looks the same. This gives it a very interesting charm and character that processed tile cannot achieve authentically.
  • Although it is natural, marble is a very sleek material that gives the look of luxury when used as flooring. It is often polished to a very high shine and can tolerate being polished on a regular basis to give it the continual finish.
  • Marble is a very strong stone with high density which enables it to be used in very busy areas of a home or business. It can withstand lots of foot traffic without being damaged or worn down.
  • It is also considered more environmentally friendly than processed material because no chemicals are needed to produce the tile.
  • The look of this high end material speaks for itself once installed into a space and can give a luxurious feel to any room.

Cons:

  • Because this floor is so sleek and can be polished regularly, it can also get very slippery when wet. This could be a hazard in a home or business. A person walking across a wet marble floor could easily slip and lose their balance. This issue can be avoided if a spill occurs by moping or wiping it up right away.
  • Although Marble is considered a high density material, it is still very susceptible to scratches and stains. If furniture is being dragged across a marble floor it could damage the tile. Anything with acid of any kind in it can also stain or discolour the material if not cleaned right away or properly.
  • Some may not consider this a ‘con’ however, we feel we would give a fair warning about the annual maintenance of this product. To protect and retain the original look and colouration of the marble, it must be resealed every year.

Installation

  • Because Marble is prone to chips and cracks during installation it is highly recommended that you hire a professional to install. This will ensure that the entire floor will not be ruined during installation or replacement of a tile if damaged.

Price

  • On average $10-20 per square foot for professional installation.

Ceramic Tile

Pros:

  • Because this material is manufactured it can be completely customized. The style, colour, shape and design of this type of flooring can be produced based on your desired look.
  • Ceramic is also completely resistant to stains and water. This material will not be damaged or distorted by contact with any liquids, this is why it is often chosen for moist environments. In addition to being stain and waterproof, Ceramic flooring also resistant to humidity and high heat.
  • Colour will not fade with this product, and is extremely durable and very hard to chip or crack, although, not impossible. If a tile is damaged, ceramic is fairly easy to replace without damaging the rest of the flooring.
  • Because of this strength and resistance to moisture, Ceramic is often the flooring of choice in bathrooms, kitchens and mudrooms.

Cons:

  • Because ceramic is manufactured, but cannot have an underlay installed like its competitors, laminate and hardwood, the flooring can be uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time.
  • The material does not retain heat very well, which makes it a very cold flooring to have in the winter months or near exterior doorways.
  • When choosing what colour, pattern, texture and design you want your ceramic to be, you must be very careful to ensure it does not look synthetic. Some ceramic tiles can have a very noticeable artificial look that is detrimental to the entire design of your home or business.

Installation:

  • This flooring does not require a professional to install it, however, it can be very difficult to install without professional assistance. Depending on the cut and layout of the tile, a professional may be needed to ensure that no issues arise during installation.

Price:

  • Between $3-10 per square foot, however, professional installation costs can raise the price significantly.

 

Hardwood

Pros:

  • As like all of the flooring on our list, hardwood also provides a large variety of options when choosing a colour, tone and size. Also, there are so many different wood types that you can choose from when deciding on hardwood.
  • Hardwood is a very durable material for flooring, but does need to be maintained to keep up its appearance. It can scratch from moving furniture, high heels, pet’s nails etc…however, it is easily repairable by sanding down the marks and re-staining the floors. Go with a hard poly finish to make your hardwood more durable to these types of damages.
  • It is very easy to clean and conceals dirt and imperfections well because of its natural finish.
  • Hardwood is known for adding a significant amount of resale value to your home. Buyers favour homes that already have installed hardwood.
  • Not only do the colour tones of the wood create a warmth, but also the material itself. Unlike ceramic, wood flooring retains heat very well and gives a comfortable feel throughout a home or business.

Cons:

  • Although hardwood is durable and easily fixable when it comes to dents and scratches, moisture is a different story. Hardwood flooring is very vulnerable to humidity and water damage. With this being said, spilling a glass of water on the floor and wiping it up fairly quickly will not be a problem. Real issues arise if there is a leak of any kind that penetrates the hardwood. It can damage the finish of the hardwood as well as cause problems underneath the flooring.
  • All types of wood naturally expand and contract with heat exchange. Because of this unavoidable movement with heat, you should make a point to keep rooms with hardwood at a consistent temperature as much as possible.
  • To keep the hardwood looking clean and high end, occasional maintenance is recommended. Refinishing hardwood every few years really brings life back into your floors.

Installation:

  • To ensure that all flooring is level and installed correctly, a professional is needed.

Price:

  • Hardwood flooring prices vary drastically based on quality of material and installation. The average floors range from $3-15 per square foot.

 

Laminate

Pros:

  • Because Laminate is manufactured and not a natural product in any way, it can be manipulated so that certain aspects are more user friendly
  • It is completely stain and scratch resistant and most laminate flooring comes with a 10 year warranty so if any damages do occur it will be covered by the production company.
  • There are no natural defects in this flooring as you would see in hardwood. It can be produced to look like a variety of different types of flooring i.e. hardwood, stone, tile etc…
  • Although laminate is not 100% water resistant, it is not as sensitive to moisture as materials like hardwood
  • It is also manufactured to be completely resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria.
  • Laminate can be placed over existing flooring like carpet or tile and can also be installed with an underlay to create a softer and more comfortable floor.

Cons:

  • Although laminate is harder to damage than its competitors, it is harder to fix than hardwood when damages do happen. Hardwood can be sanded and refinished, but that is not an option for laminate. The damaged flooring must be ripped out and reinstalled.
  • Laminate does not have a strong re-sale value like other, more expensive types of flooring.
  • Although laminate can visually mimic other types of flooring, it is very obvious it is synthetic when walked on. The appearance can also be an obvious giveaway if the laminate is a lower grade product.
  • If you are looking for a flooring that is environmentally friendly, cross laminate off your list. This material consists of many different chemical ingredients, making it impossible to biodegrade in landfills. Also, some still contain formaldehyde and other materials that release harmful toxins into the air overtime. New regulations have limited the amount that companies can use, but has not eliminated it completely.

Installation:

  • No professional needed! This flooring is very easy to install without professional experience. Many are manufactured with a “click and lock” system and the material is so thin that it can be easily cut with a hand saw.

Price:

  • Between $1-5 per square foot without underlay and $2-8 per square foot with underlay included. This is the most affordable flooring option on our list!

 

Now that you are equipped with information about many different flooring options, it’s time to get shopping! Do your homework, look into the manufacturer and company that you are getting your product from as well as the type of material, and make sure you hire a reputable installation company. Happy building!