Considering common home improvement methods, finding the most popular flooring in new homes is one method that is significant during the process. Every room needs flooring, and your choices should depend on quality, affordability, and effectiveness.
If you’re someone who is into household trends, and you’re on a mission to gather ideas that will help you give your home a modern appeal, those ideas should be best suited for smooth transitional DIY methods to add an amazing yet authentic touch without the help of a professional.
What is the Most Popular Flooring in New Homes?
After you purchase a new house, you may want to perform a renovation to change certain features. Choosing the right flooring can be difficult because there are a variety of styles that fall under a couple of types, and some aren’t recommended while others lose their popular status as time passes. You can fall behind if you don’t become familiar with what works and what can defeat your intention to be unique yet also realistic in terms of your choices.
Hardwood flooring is practically required and can either stay bare or covered with wall-to-wall carpeting or with medium to large-sized area rugs. You need to think of durability because the flooring can endure much stress in just a short period. Whether it’s caused by constant walking, dragging, or activities that contribute to gradual wear and tear, the strength level of flooring can be a hit or a miss.
If you’re a first-time homeowner, it’s wise for you to know the most popular flooring in new homes to get a good idea of what types are trendy and in demand for your interior decorating needs. Two types of flooring are popular for bedrooms, living room entryways, and dens.
Two common types of hardwood flooring are:
- Engineered Hardwood
- Solid Hardwood
Engineered hardwood flooring (also referenced as composite hardwood flooring) is known for its easy installation. The planks are bonded by self-adhesive tape or glue to prevent the shifting of the planks. Although they’re individually aligned in different directions, this method should be done as accurately as possible. Another method is ‘floating’ which consists of the interlocking of each plank which is similar to puzzle pieces.
When in need of maintenance, this flooring is less time-consuming to remove and has less of a chance of breaking, or splintering, during the process.
Solid hardwood flooring is nailed down plank by plank to a plywood subfloor. This method provides the ultimate security and the proper tool to use is a nail gun. It’s more effective compared to a swing hammer because it forces each nail down into the subfloor.
What is Vinyl?
Vinyl is a plastic material that is versatile and can mimic various textures, styles, and designs of various surfaces and objects. From plastic wrap to furniture, vinyl can achieve an artificial version on a budget when compared to expensive methods.
What is a Laminate?
While often compared to the finish of engineered hardwood flooring, a laminate can add a glaze to various types of surfaces and objects. It penetrates wood under clear layers that protect the grain. Unlike vinyl, a laminate isn’t made of plastic, it’s often confused with polyurethane because it has the same glossy finish. Also, it can mimic other flooring types such as ceramic and marble.
Laminate flooring requires an underlayment which is a thin material that has to be installed on top of a subfloor. The ‘floating’ method depends on the underlayment and it provides a form of stability as well as noise reduction.
This flooring is easier to clean compared to engineered hardwood flooring and solid hardwood flooring. Although it’s still vulnerable to excessive damage by moisture and humidity, it’s considered to be a more convenient yet custom DIY method.
Consider the Flooring Color as the First Step
Color can make a significant difference in terms of the appearance of a room. Dark hardwood colors tend to give the illusion of an isolated, smaller area while light hardwood colors give the illusion of a spacious area. Not only do you need to know how to distinguish the difference, but also how to reject certain colors that are nearly similar to others.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to follow common interior décor rules that are suggested to other new homeowners, especially when it comes to choosing colors that aren’t recommended. You may want all of your rooms to have dark hardwood flooring or you may want to have a mix starting with light or perhaps neutral shades. But if you’re looking for suggestions in terms of choosing colors that blend well, then you’re better off applying ideas with the use of colors that will help you achieve them. It’s all a matter of what is comfortable and convenient for you as the beginning of the process of choosing the most popular flooring in new homes.
Popular Hardwood Types and Colors
- Brazilian Cherry
Brazilian cherry hardwood is naturally red (or perhaps even a shade of wine) and was extremely popular a couple of decades ago. Although dated to a certain extent, it’s still a popular choice to add a regal touch. It’s also one of the more expensive hardwoods but long-lasting and can be refinished when needed.
To convert this hardwood type from red to brown, a stain that contains a greenish tone is perfect and ideal. The result won’t be intense, but when stained, it will be more subtle.
Maple hardwood flooring is best suited in contemporary and traditional areas due to its earthy yet natural color. It’s often used to make cabinets, desks, and other types of residential furniture.
This hardwood type is quite difficult to stain because of its thick grain that absorbs poorly. A dark stain would give the hardwood a cheap appearance, yet a light stain may or may not do the trick.
Among other types of hardwood that have a high level of sustainability, walnut is a popular choice due to its endurance. Its shadings range from light to brown with highlights of yellow. Household items include dining tables, coffee tables, and bedroom nightstands.
Oak is a durable hardwood that maintains its grain for many years and is favored as being above the other hardwood types. While known to live a long life, it’s sophisticated and rich in appearance as it livens dull spaces. It absorbs finishes well and can handle intense carving. When stained, the product has to be set completely into the grain to reveal a color that may be slightly different when dry. Even so, it manages to maintain its high-quality appearance and durability.
The color of this hardwood type ranges from red to golden and is quite expensive because of its high demand.
Get to Know Textures
Smooth textured hardwood is the standard that isn’t grainy, has a sleek appearance, and has endured enough sanding to create such smoothness.
Textured hardwood flooring is also referenced as ‘hand-scraped’ because it has a weathered texture that is achieved with a knifing tool. It gives the illusion of an aged surface but is also considered to be stylish. A historical museum is a perfect example of where this flooring can be found because it most likely hasn’t endured any remodeling and the flooring has never been refinished.
The texture can also be achieved by a machine, but by hand is considered to be ideal for authenticity. Also, it was the original method before mechanical tools were invented to do the job.
When hardwood flooring is wire-brushed, it develops a rustic appearance that is often found in barns. It creates an aged texture that is worn by usage over a long period. This texture is similar to hand-scraped flooring because its distressed and is reminiscent of high-traffic usage.
Choose an Effective and Attractive Finish
Considering the types of finishes that are available, there has to be one that fits your preference. Depending on the type of finish you want to apply, you’re bound to find one out of the bunch that can meet your expectation. If you want your flooring to be reflective, then a gloss finish is for you. But if you opt for one that is more natural rather than flashy, then one that is less noticeable is the better choice.
You need to know the difference between finishes, what to expect based on your choice, and how you can apply one that you’re certain will do the job. Not every finish can be made noticeable with multiple coats because it simply isn’t capable of maximizing the appearance. For example, you won’t achieve an intense gloss with a matte product nor will you achieve a slight matte with a gloss product.
These three finish types can help you avoid a mistake. The last thing you want to do is apply the wrong finish accidentally because you’d have to wait a long period to perform a refinishing job. This is the final step in terms of choosing the most popular flooring in new homes. So, you need to take your time to make your comparisons.
A matte finish is often considered to be dull and unappealing. However, not everyone prefers a shiny, perhaps nearly blinding, gloss finish. Not only is a matte finish natural, but it’s also a form of concealer in terms of imperfections.
Unlike a gloss finish, a matte finish won’t draw attention to scratches (caused by pets and furniture) and dents. It doesn’t require tedious maintenance and is long-lasting even in high-traffic areas. This is a suitable choice for a finish that is less dramatic and still durable as well as high-quality.
However, the subtle appearance can make the flooring appear flat and, in some cases, unnoticeable. Stains can be difficult to remove because the finish is absorbent and wiping or mopping can lead to streaking.
A gloss finish is reflective with an ultimate shine that catches attention quickly. Although flashy, it’s commonly used on marble flooring and ceramic flooring aside from hardwood flooring. Polyurethane is commonly sought-after because it provides a beautiful yet classic high-gloss finish and it’s also waterproof. However, it exposes damage and other imperfections. There are other similar finishes, but they lack the same strength.
Gloss finishes can also be non-polyurethane-based. However, they’re effective in terms of mimicking polyurethane while they don’t rely on some of the more complex minerals that contribute to the gloss.
Hardwood flooring with a gloss finish should be protected and cleaned often because dirt and dust can also ruin it aside from scuff marks, scratches, and dents.
A stain finish is neutral between a matte and gloss finish. It isn’t subtle yet it also isn’t shiny but it’s still noticeable and also a high-quality choice. However, it maintains the same neutral effect on all hardwood types and colors.
Other Popular Flooring Types
- Porcelain Tile
Ceramic flooring has a high level of durability, is affordable, and has been a staple for many years. It has a luxurious yet elegant appearance.
This flooring is made by heating clay until it’s refined. But it’s vulnerable to excess moisture which can cause it to weaken and then chip. If chipping is severe, another color can be found under the color of the top layer.
Unlike porcelain tiles, ceramic flooring is thin and is more likely to crack or break. When glazed, it’s protected from damage and deflects mold, dirt, and grime. But when unglazed, too much stress can require the flooring to be reinstalled.
Linoleum is common for kitchens in terms of flooring. It’s available in many patterned styles, design schemes, colors, and is durable with a life span of 20 – 25 years if handled with care.
As a popular choice of flooring for bathrooms, porcelain tiles are dense and don’t absorb an excessive amount of water. It’s more durable than various other flooring types that are used as alternatives.
Porcelain tiles can be cleaned with a solution that is specially made for its type. Considering it’s susceptible to mold, mildew, and grime, the solution has to be sprayed directly on the filthy areas to prepare for a spot cleaning job. A soaking wet mop can affect the grout filling joints that would have to be resealed in such a short period. So, a damp mop is better because it gets the job done using a gentler method.
Concrete is a long-standing surface that is used in basements, for patios, and a one-car or two-car garage aside from its reputation as an outdoor surface. However, it can crack or break completely over a period despite its hardness, especially when in contact with excessive rain, snow, and other weather elements.
Cork isn’t a hardwood floor type but rather a material with a spongy surface. Although less durable, it’s installed as kitchen flooring using the floating, taping, or gluing method. Cork is environmentally-friendly, especially considering its tree relation.
Nylon is a carpet fiber that is padded with rubber which protects hardwood flooring. To keep the finish untouched, this material is suitable to take extra precautions. It’s a good method to avoid maintenance or refinishing and is often used in fitness gyms.
What Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages?
The most popular flooring in new homes is suitable, but there are also certain flaws, aside from the benefits, that you should consider. This pertains to finishes, colors, and textures. You need to know that a certain flooring you choose may be perfect for other homeowners but not for you. However, the advantages should be considered along with the disadvantages because it wouldn’t make sense to choose the flooring that isn’t ideal.
Solid Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood: Advantages and Disadvantages
Solid hardwood can last from 30 years to an entire century which means it’s highly durable and can last longer if cared for properly.
Considering hardwood types such as Maple, Oak, Walnut, and Brazilian Cherry, when installed as solid hardwood, the result can range from exotic to vintage due to their versatility. They’re also among the most popular flooring in new homes.
Solid hardwood flooring can be difficult to remove because the installation method requires nails. Also, the planks can suffer damage if removed improperly.
Engineered hardwood flooring has a life span of 20 to 40 years. Although its life is shorter than solid hardwood, it lasts far longer than non-wood flooring types.
Due to the easy installation of engineered hardwood flooring, the floating, glue, and tape methods are less reliable compared to solid hardwood flooring. However, removal isn’t difficult and is less time-consuming.
Engineered hardwood is considered to be a ‘starter’ method because of its ‘snap and go’ installation style.
Many designs can be installed with both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. One popular design is herringbone due to its V-shaped pattern.
In terms of paint, one that is oil-based can be used on solid hardwood and engineered hardwood for the best result.
Textures: Advantages and Disadvantages
Textured hardwood flooring can be difficult to clean because dirt can accumulate and has to be removed with more than just a slight rub with a cloth.
A texture can be chosen depending on how slight or how intense according to a certain preference. It’s perfect for a realistic appearance.
Wire-brushing can add a manual touch which allows control during the process while a machine can become defective and can cause an unwanted result. However, excessive scraping by hand is possible and can ruin the hardwood.
Smooth hardwood flooring is considered to be ideal because the texture is clean and has been used in homes for many years. But considering it lacks a texture, it’s also often viewed as a faux version of hardwood.
Colors: Advantages and Disadvantages
Depending on the color of a hardwood type, it may or may not respond well to certain stains. Maple is a strong example because of its complexity and experimentation is needed to determine what stain is effective.
Regarding durable hardwoods, their initial color can stand out more with a stain that can perform as an enhancer.
Finishes: Advantages and Disadvantages
A matte finish is a perfect concealer for flooring. It has a slight shine but is not enough to be categorized as glossy. Stains can be stubborn which is an example of why a matte finish is difficult to clean.
A gloss finish is easy to clean due to its slippery nature. However, it isn’t the type of finish to choose if there are significant imperfections on a hardwood floor.
A satin finish isn’t as reflective as a gloss finish but isn’t subtle compared to a matte finish. It’s also easy to clean, but it doesn’t conceal imperfections and is difficult to refinish.
Recommended Natural Products for Household Flooring
After you’ve chosen and installed the most popular flooring in new homes, it still needs to be cleaned. Environmental products can clean surfaces and furniture without toxic chemicals and harmful fumes.
The Champion Super Yellow Mop is deep-cleaning and powerful while working to clean filthy areas. Compared to the low-quality materials of many store-bought mops, the material of this mop is high-quality, absorbent, and gathers every drop of a spill and every trace of dirt. While easy to wring, it won’t leave any residue behind and only needs a small amount of cleanser spray to begin its job.
This mop is versatile and works on hardwood, ceramic, porcelain tiles, and linoleum flooring (which are among the most popular flooring in new homes.) When dirty, it can be machine-washed on the delicate cycle and then placed in a ventilated storage area to air-dry.
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The Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop attracts dust like a magnet with its fibers and then releases it with just a few shakes. It works on various surfaces and removes even the smallest dust particles without spreading them into the air. Unlike artificial, low-quality brooms that don’t do a thorough job, this dust mop performs its job well and won’t blow dust onto other surfaces.
It works great in hard-to-reach places such as wooden ceiling fans and doorway arches that can also collect dust.
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The Champion Ultra Concentrated Degreaser isn’t like the standard store-bought degreasers that have a plethora of harsh, toxic chemicals. It’s biodegradable, phosphate-free, and cuts through dirt, oil stains, grease, and can also be used to remove stains from laundry. Also, it will give silver cookware a freshly polished appearance as it works gently to remove every last bit of stains that don’t respond to products that contain ineffective ingredients.
When this degreaser is combined with water, it can make 256 ounces of cleaner which is far more than its initial 32 ounces. This ensures there will be enough of the solution to handle an entire cleaning job along with having a significant amount left for more cleaning later.
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Allow this article to give you the inspiration you need to choose the most popular flooring in new homes to complete your home flooring project effectively and successfully.