Hardwood flooring is beautiful, classic, and allergy-friendly. Unfortunately, it isn’t the best option everywhere. Here’s where hardwood flooring belongs and where it doesn’t.
The Worst Rooms
Because of its superior qualities, some install hardwood flooring everywhere in their home and regret it. Here are our recommendations.
Bathroom: Water is like kryptonite to your hardwood floor. If you choose hardwood for the bathroom, expect to repair and replace it often.
Foyer: Nothing good happens to hardwood in the entryway. Dirt and sand are tracked in. Water and moisture from wet shoes seeps into crevices.
Laundry room: Opt for laminate or tile in this room. Done and done.
The Best Rooms
Dining room: Hardwood flooring will enhance your dining room’s design and maintain durability over time. Styles can complement your vibe whether formal or casual. Using soft pads on furniture will reduce noise and protect the hardwood finish.
Bedroom: Hardwood’s rich, appealing and romantic feel will complement your master suite lovely.
Living room: Hardwood stands up well to traffic, more-so if you maintain a no-shoes policy. The occasional spill won’t be a threat when if it’s cleaned quickly.
Home office: Increase productivity and provide an environment condusive to schmoozing with luxurious hardwood floors. It’s worth a shot!
Den: Hardwood floors accented with a large, comfy rug create a calm and cozy setting for unwinding with a book, casual conversation or a favorite show. It is safe to set your bookshelf on top of hardwood floors, and, as long as you don’t spill your wine on the floor, it will likely remain stain-free.
What About the Kitchen?
Hardwood has a place in every home, but not every room. Homeowners who love hardwood floors, especially with open floor plans. want to know if hardwood is okay for their kitchen. We say, “Do it… but consider the following.”
- Consider engineered hardwood. It has plywood base layers that resist moisture better than solid hardwood
- Always clean up spills quickly
- Follow the manufacturer or installer’s instructions and seal your floors regularly
Choosing the right flooring can feel like a headache. The wrong materials could lead to unexpected problems. Before making a decision, consider which materials work best in your climate.
Porcelain, Ceramic, and Stone Tile
Tile is suitable in almost any climate, but homes in colder regions might want to install heating underneath. That cool touch is a great in hot climates, including desert, humid, or tropical areas. Most tiles are water resistant and stand up to years of abuse, so you can mop to your heart’s content. While tile can last for many years, movement of the substrate can damage it in areas prone to earthquakes.
Linoleum & Vinyl
People often use the words vinyl and linoleum interchangeably, but they’re different materials. Vinyl is synthetic, but linoleum is a natural product made from ground cork and linseed oil. There are various, high-quality vinyl flooring options to realistically reproduce wood and stone patterns. The color is solid throughout, so it doesn’t show damage as easily. While they’re suitable in any climate, they can feel a bit cold underfoot. Both vinyl and linoleum are available in tiles and sheets. They also clean easily with a damp mop.
Carpet is soft and cushy and adds insulation and comfort in colder climates. Available in rolls and tiles, fuzzy and short fibers, there’s something for practically any living environment where water isn’t present. Basements and other rooms with persistent damp conditions can lead to problems with mold and mildew because the fibers and padding retain moisture. Everyday cleaning requires vacuuming, but stains are harder to deal with. Steam cleaning and spot treatments are necessary.
Newer high quality laminates have come a long way. Realistic wood texture embossed into their coating makes them practically indistinguishable from real hardwood. However, the edges of laminates swell in excessively damp conditions. Once the damage is done, the panel needs to be replaced. Only mop with a barely-damp mop.
Damp or dry conditions can be an issue for hardwood in some situations. Excessively dry conditions can dry out the wood, but high-quality sealers help to resist cracks. Dampness causes wood to swell and buckle the floor. Use a dehumidifier to regulate the humidity and help the floor stay put. Hardwoods feel cool under your feet, good in warm climates. They can be good in colder areas too. Ask a reputable flooring contractor to recommend varieties that work with radiant heat.
Engineered hardwood resists swelling and shrinking and is a good option for all climates.
When choosing flooring for any room in the house it’s important to weigh your options. Carpeting is quiet, comfortable to walk on, keeps your feet warm, and so on, but should stay out of a few rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen. Consider the traffic and type of activity that will go on in said room. So what rooms are most popular for carpeting?
Warm and soft underfoot, carpet is a common choice for bedrooms. With carpet there won’t be any sudden chill when you first get out of bed like a chilly stone or wood surface. Choose luxuriously soft Plush & Texture Carpets for formal elegance or Frieze or Berber for a more contemporary, casual look.
Living rooms are often highly trafficked areas where family and friends gather to visit. A carpeted room provides a warm atmosphere for conversation. Talk to the Ventura Flooring’s carpet experts about finding a carpet that is extra durable.
While not technically a room, putting carpet on stairs is a great idea as it provides additional grip. By absorbing sounds, carpet muffles noisy feet going up and down.
Carpet is great for rooms where kids spend a lot of time. Any falls will be cushioned compared to hardwood or tile and they can use the soft floor for sitting.
Your home will benefit from the look of wood flooring; the decision whether to use hardwood or laminate may depend on if you have pets, young kids or high traffic.
Laminate wood flooring is made from composite wood pressed together at high temperatures. Then the image of hardwood is placed over the composite wood. Hardwood flooring is made of harvested trees. In general, hardwood is significantly more expensive to buy and to install.
Hardwood can get scratched and is susceptible to damage from excessive moisture and wearing in high traffic areas. If you have a lot of sunlight in your home be aware that hardwood can fade. Hardwood is gorgeous and can add considerable value to your home. However, laminate wood flooring has integrated UV protection into its surface. Laminate is more durable and resists moisture and wear and tear. Laminate flooring is also easier to clean. However, it’s not as visually appealing and low quality laminate may look artificial.
Flooring is one component of your home that will have to be repaired at some point. Hardwood can be repaired by sanding imperfections and refinishing. Laminate flooring doesn’t repair easily.
Each room in your home comes with its own challenges. A flooring material that’s perfect for one space may not work in another.
Laundry Room and Bathroom
Tile is a traditional choice in these rooms because it holds up well in wet places. Porcelain also allows for barrier-free, design-forward, showers, where the bathroom floor extends straight into the shower without any lip. Choose a more textured product rather than one with a highly polished surface to avoid slippery floors. An electric heating element under the tiles can also be installed and connected to a timer control.
Porcelain tile outperforms every other flooring material for resistance to scratching and denting. It’s a natural fit for high-traffic areas of the home. Plus, it comes in a range of styles to fit any décor. Tile is also low-maintenance. It never needs more than a vacuuming and mopping and will last a lifetime.
Sunroom or Enclosed Porch
Tile will stand up to most of the abuse it gets in these rooms. Porcelain tiles can be designed to look like handmade ceramic tiles in addition to faux wood and stone. Choose a tile that’s rated for outdoor use in your climate if your porch isn’t fully heated and protected from the elements.
The varnish-like layer applied to your floor is the finish. Each style of finish brings its own visual appearance to the wood and slightly different levels of protection.
Lacquers are a popular for creating a smooth, low maintenance finish. All lacquered finishes are more resistant to splashes and scratches. They also slow the color-changing effects from sunlight much more than oiled floors. The satin finish is slightly glossy.
Matt Lacquer finish looks like an oil or wax finish, but is more resistant to scratches. Lacquer finishes slow the color-changing effects from sunlight much more than oiled floors. This is the most popular way to finish your floor.
A beautiful textured effect can be created by treating each board with a wire brush. The finish makes the wood a little more resistant to scratches and gives it a deeper, more pronounced grain. This finish is often combined with a Matt Lacquer or a Natural Oil.
Distressed floors offer a unique, aged appearance but the process is time consuming and labor intensive. It involves carefully scraping and bashing the floor but this unique finish gives a real depth of character.
This is the most traditional treatment for flooring and gives a natural, classic look for your floor. Generally speaking, oiled floors offer less protection against sunlight and your floor will change its color much quicker than lacquered floors. Oil needs to be reapplied more often than lacquer, but luckily this is very easy to do.
Some of our floors are supplied unprotected, natural and ready for any finish you want to apply.