Your floor takes a beating more than any other part of your home. Spilled food, daily traffic, kids and pets, and MORE - all of these things can take their toll on your flooring, and nothing shows it off more than carpeting. Ready to move to hard flooring? Here's your primer:
If you're looking for lower cost options in the hard flooring section, laminate is your best bet. Many people love laminate floors because their easy to install on your own and they're laid above the existing floor, so there's no need to tear out what you have, aside from the carpet and pad. Laminates come in a variety of colors and textures, made of pressed plywood or compressed fibers, with the top layer being made of plastic.
Engineered woods are a step up from laminates for pricing and quality. The top piece of the plank is made of real wood, while lower layers are made of recycled wood fibers and plywood. There are some engineered woods that "click" into place as they're installed, making them a DIY-friendly option.
Of course, most of us think of hardwood flooring when we think of moving away from carpet. Just as the name says, they're made of real wood. And there's a hardwood for everyone. Oak, maple, pine, and black walnut are just some of the woods that are readily available in the United States. More exotic floors are available as well. Hardwoods are definitely not DIY-friendly! Each piece must be nailed to the floor beneath it.
Bamboos and Cork
Cork and bamboo flooring have grown in popularity in recent years. Bamboo has a similar look to laminates, engineered and hardwood flooring, but it's actually a type of grass plant. What makes bamboo a popular choice is its durability and color and texture options. Cork comes from the bark of the tree and is harvested every few years, leaving the tree intact, and thus, being a very eco-friendly, sustainable choice.
Sources: HGTV.com, flooranddecor.com