"Hard flooring options that command a second look."
In general, the hard flooring category covers materials that are extremely rigid with virtually no flexibility at all. There are some very beautiful options including but not limited to:
• Solid Wood
• Wood Laminate
Many of the options in this category require a very solid, underlying surface like concrete backer board, for example. An exception would be laminate (floating) flooring. This kind of flooring is a relatively thin, composite material that is fairly forgiving if your floor is less than perfectly level.
Interlocking laminate flooring can be installed over existing wood, concrete or vinyl flooring. A thin foam padding which acts as a moisture barrier is placed on top of the sub-floor material. The laminate wood planks (or stone-like tiles) lock together and are laid on top of this pad, thus achieving the nickname “floating floor”. Laminate flooring is hard wearing and is an effective alternative to the more expensive solid hardwoods. I have found it to be fun and fairly easy to install. The results are visually impressive also.
However, something I’ve noticed with laminate wood floors is that they sometimes don’t sound as solid as real hardwood does when you’re walking on them. This is probably because the material is thinner than real hardwood and not nailed or glued down to the sub-floor. So, that’s something you might want to consider when debating between solid wood and “floating” laminate products. Make sure you go with a sound dampening pad for better results with laminate flooring.
Slate and marble tiles have a time honored attitude that comes right from the earth itself. Slate exhibits a natural look and feel that creates a certain ambiance. Marble on the other hand brings a level of glamor and shine but is expensive and easy to mar. Each brings natural beauty and style to a home.
Ceramic tile is available in various styles, colors and sizes. You can have a uniform, natural looking floor with ceramic or create a patterned design. Tiles can be installed in a diamond pattern for interest and a border can be created around the perimeter of a room using different shaped, coordinating tiles (as seen above).
In areas of seasonal temperatures especially, hard flooring can feel cold underfoot. This is often one of its biggest drawbacks. However, this challenge can be mitigated if a floor heating system is integrated prior to installation. Area rugs can be benefit while also lending a more sophisticated layered look to your interior.
Hard flooring offers some of the most beautiful options for stylish interior flooring.
Return from Hard Flooring back to Interior Flooring page.