HOLMES: The Amazing DIY Cover Up

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Floors are an important part of any home; it not only has a functional purpose, but also has a major influence on the decoration of your home. If you’re renovating your home, you’ll find a wide variety of flooring alternatives, including vinyl, hardwood, tile, and even specialty products like cork and bamboo.

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I am a sucker for new ideas, and in the case of flooring, technology has enabled manufacturers to come up with innovative solutions to bridge the gap between design, function and price. Vinyl floors can resemble hardwood and porcelain tile can be made to resemble Calacatta marble or hand-scraped hardwood. Engineered wood has the same appearance as real wood, but is cheaper.

So, what are the best flooring options for your home? Well, that depends on what part of the house you’re considering, as well as living situation, budget, installation needs, style and maintenance.

The most common flooring materials today are hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, vinyl or linoleum, porcelain or ceramic tile, natural stone, and carpet. Each of these options has its own look and feel, durability, cost and function.

Solid hardwood or tile (ceramic or porcelain) are great if you want to use the same flooring material throughout your home, as they are sturdy and perform well in most locations. Concrete and vinyl are also great alternatives. Some of the most durable alternatives to hardwood floors include bamboo, travertine, and vinyl (also known as luxury vinyl).

Cork and bamboo, both made from renewable materials, are two emerging eco-friendly flooring solutions. These materials provide excellent additional insulation and can be used in a variety of areas in your home, but they tend to be more expensive.

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I always prefer waterproof, low-maintenance, and easy-to-clean options like porcelain or vinyl in areas of your home that are more exposed to water, such as your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and utility room.

Compared to other flooring options, porcelain offers higher scratch and dent resistance, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas in your home, especially if you have children or pets. Tiles are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, allowing homeowners to mix and match to create unique designs that will stand out in their home.

Ceramic tiles are another excellent choice, especially for those who suffer from allergies and asthma, as the surface does not collect dust or pollen. The glazing finish also acts as a protective layer, making it easier to wipe up spills and splashes.

Most of you know that I am also a big fan of using a waterproof decoupling membrane designed for ceramic and stone tile installations on floors. The membrane protects the substrate against water and moisture damage by preventing the breaking of tiles and grout. It also acts as a waterproof layer. It will be an additional cost, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Vinyl is a great choice if you are looking for a less expensive solution. It’s also easy to assemble, so looking for a DIY project can save you money and time. Since vinyl is not as durable as other materials, I recommend adding felt bumpers to your furniture legs and keeping some extra shelves to ensure a perfect match in case of damage. Vinyl floors are resistant to stains and water, making them easier to clean.

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While carpet may seem outdated and difficult to maintain, it is an excellent choice for those looking for a durable floor with warmth and comfort. And personally, I’m still a fan, especially in bedrooms (although Sherry and Michael may not agree) – it’s warm and pleasant, and it helps reduce noise.

Even when properly completed, your basement is susceptible to moisture, which can range from moisture penetrating through subfloors to significant water damage caused by storms or plumbing issues. That’s why I’d choose vinyl or ceramic, as it’s water-resistant and less prone to moisture damage. However, I would also recommend installing some sort of floating underfloor system and perhaps underfloor heating in areas such as a basement shower room or laundry room for added comfort.

Laminate is another inexpensive flooring option that is easy to install and maintain. Despite the fact that it is made to resemble wood, you can tell the difference. That’s why I recommend it for low-traffic areas, like the basement or bedrooms, where you want something stylish and durable while staying within your budget.

There are a number of excellent flooring materials available for your home and more than one option to choose from. However, when considering new flooring options, consider not only the material, but also your lifestyle, budget, installation requirements, style and maintenance.

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