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Comparison of Flooring Types

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Top Five Flooring Types
By Juan Rodriguez, About.com Guide
The type of flooring could make a significant difference in the appearance and finishing of your project. Good looking flooring could enhance the value of the home and could possibly attract new customers. Let’s read about the most popular flooring types from which to choose for your home.
1. Hardwood Flooring
One of the favorites types of flooring. Hardwood flooring presents a combination of beauty and durability that you would rarely have on a flooring type. Hardwood flooring comes in Maple, Pecan, Beech, Cherry, Oak, Pine, Birch, Walnut, Hickory and more. This type of flooring provides a long-lasting product, wear resistant surface that could be refinished if necessary. However, certain types of hardwood flooring might darken with age and some others could shrink and expand creating gaps in the floor surface.
2. Bamboo Flooring
One of the latest additions of flooring types, the bamboo flooring could be a greener solution when compare to traditional flooring materials.Bamboo flooring is durable, elegant and comes in a variety of colors usually ranging from honey brown to light tan. It provides a strong, clean surface, but could darken over time or when exposed to sunlight.Bamboo flooring should not be left wet. Manufactured bamboo floors are typically made available in planks with either vertical or horizontal-grain orientation. In vertical bamboo floors, the component pieces are stood vertically on their narrowest edge and then press laminated side to side. The effect is a lined, almost uniform look to the surface of the finished floor plank. In horizontal bamboo floors, the slats are arranged in a horizontal direction, on their widest edge, and then joined side by side with adjacent pieces using a high-pressure laminate system.
3. Ceramic Tile
When selecting flooring type that requires waterproofing, ceramic tile is the best alternative. Ceramic tile could be used as floor tiles, indoors, or as counter tops. Some types of ceramic tiles with high gloss finish tend to scratch over the time. Ceramic tiles with unglazed finish are the best alternative for outdoor flooring because of the possibility of standing water. Finishes available are: matte, embossed, glazed and textured ones for anti-slip. Ceramic tiles made of porcelain color through tile body, are the best to hide scratches or damages due to their composition. One of its biggest drawbacks is that grout lines could be very hard and difficult to clean and low quality tiles may chip.
4. Laminate Flooring
One of the cheapest flooring types available, laminate flooring are very easy to maintain. Laminate flooring provides a strong, durable surface that can resist burns, scratches, and chipping. It is an excellent solution for high traffic areas, resembles natural materials and comes in a wide range of colors and designs. However, laminate flooring could not be refinished and can be scratched easily. For installations in high-moisture rooms, select laminates designed for this use. Laminate flooring has grown significantly in popularity, perhaps because it may be easier to install and maintain than more traditional surfaces such as hardwood flooring.

5. Marble Flooring
Marble tiles are one of the most durable and versatile tiles to use. They can be used for your floors, walls and hallway columns. These tiles are easily cleaned and maintained. They are also very easy to engrave with stylish textures and designs that suit your artistic tastes. Marble tiles make an elegant foyer and come in many colors. It comes in a wide range of colors and variations and is used in such things as sculpture as well as architecture and a building material for thousands of years, but its main use is in flooring. The tiles come in different sizes, usually around 12×12″ and are easy to install yourself. http://construction.about.com/od/Finishes/tp/Top-Five-Flooring-Types.htm (July 5, 2013)
Comparison of Ceramic Tile Vs. Laminate Wood Flooring
By Kevin McDermott, eHow Contributor
Both ceramic and laminate flooring are essentially imitations of nature. Ceramic is basically man-made stone, created by firing clay and other materials at high temperatures. Laminate flooring is generally particleboard topped with hardwood laminate to make it look like solid hardwood. Laminate flooring generally has a 20-year lifespan, while ceramic can last almost indefinitely. On the other hand, the installation process for ceramic flooring for can feel like it lasts forever, while installing laminate flooring is almost as simple as rolling out a throw rug.

1. Characteristics and Applications * Ceramic is the harder of the two materials--it feels like slick stone, while laminate is softer than wood because of its foam underlayment. Ceramic is also moisture-resistant; laminate isn't. Thus, ceramic is preferred in high-moisture-areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Ceramic in a bedroom, on the other hand, might not be the best way to greet your feet in the morning, while laminate wood is almost as coddling as carpet.
Installation
* Ceramic is by far the more complicated material to install; only a very capable do-it-yourselfer should attempt it. It requires a solid cement board underlayment, then mortar to hold in the tile, which requires a special tile cutter or wetsaw for cuts. Then it has to be grouted and sealed. The whole process takes several days. Laminate flooring can be installed by almost anyone in an afternoon with a standard miter saw. It snaps together like a puzzle, sits on a layer of hard foam and isn't attached to the house in any way (it's just pinned under the floor trim).
Cost
* The cost of ceramic varies widely based on which tile you choose, but won't be as affordable as laminate in most cases. Generally, you can get good laminate flooring for $2 per square foot or so (as of 2009). Factoring in the underlayment, the project will usually be less than $4 per square foot total. Good ceramic floor tile will cost around $3 per square foot, and the other materials--cement board, mortar, grout, saw rental--can more than double that cost. If you use professional installers, you're talking a few hours' work for laminate, versus days for tile.
Maintenance
* Laminate flooring is marketed for its ease of maintenance. There's no regular sealing, waxing or other requirements, and it's cleaned with mild cleansers and very little water. Ceramic tiles are highly stain-resistant and easy to clean, but the grout between the tiles isn't; it requires scrubbing, bleaching, occasional resealing and sometimes removal and regrouting.
Repair
* Ceramic is less likely to suffer damage than laminate flooring, and easier to repair if it does. If something is dropped on ceramic and cracks it, the damaged tiles can be cut out with a grout saw and chisel and replaced without affecting the rest of the floor. If part of your laminate floor is damaged by trauma or moisture, there's no practical way to patch it or do a partial replacement, since the floor system is all locked together by tongue-and-groove connectors that have to be installed from one end of the room to the other.

http://www.ehow.com/about_5463757_comparison-vs-laminate-wood-flooring.html#ixzz2YF8ewmQf (July 5,2013)
PORCELAIN AND CERAMIC TILE FLOORING VERSUS LAMINATE FLOORING
March 15, 2013 · by besthardwoodfloor · in ceramic floor, laminate floor, porcelain floor
When people want flooring in trafficked areas, they often choose between three major types of floors. Ceramic flooring is dramatic and luxurious. Porcelain flooring is beautiful and unique. Laminate floors come in a range of colors and textures. Trying to choose can be difficult unless you know the basics about each type of flooring. An educated consumer can make the best choice based on their décor and budget.
Basics About Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic tiles have been used for flooring and walls for thousands of years. People today also use ceramic for countertops and backsplashes. Ceramic tiles are thin slabs made from clay or inorganic materials. The tiles are hardened by firing, much like clay pots or vases. Then the tiles are coated with a protective glaze. Ceramic tiles are very hard and durable. In some venues, they have lasted for hundreds or even thousands of years. They are an ideal choice for bathrooms and kitchens because they are a breeze to clean. Also, they do not harbor the germs that typically exist in these rooms. Ceramic tiles are affordable, simple to maintain, versatile and durable. However, the colors vary so it is important to get tiles from the same lot. For this reason, it is often best to hire a professional to install these floors.
Basics About Porcelain Tiling
Porcelain tiles are one of the hottest flooring options today. They are actually a type of ceramic tile. The way porcelain tiles are manufactured offers buyers a vast amount of design potential. While porcelain is used in a variety of commercial venues, its versatility makes it a top choice for residential buyers. Porcelain tiles are tough and high quality but they can be a challenge to install yourself. A flooring expert knows how to work with porcelain tiles to achieve flawless results in homes and businesses. These tiles are affordable and usable for all purposes. The multiple design options ensure they fit in just about anywhere.
Basics About Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a multiple layer synthetic product that is fused together by using a lamination process. The inside cor is typically made of fiber board and resin. The outer layers are an applique with a protective coat. Laminate flooring can simulate stone or wood for a much lower price tag. Laminate floors are also available in a wide range of patterns, colors and designs. This type flooring is extremely versatile and can be used in any space. It is also extremely affordable, making it possible to get a great new floor on the budget. However, it does not last as long as ceramic or porcelain floors. The benefits of laminate flooring include easy maintenance and simple installation. It is reasonably durable to use in rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom and living areas. The huge selection of flooring patterns make it easy to match any decorating scheme.
An educated consumer knows the basic differences between ceramic, porcelain and laminate flooring. This makes it a breeze to shop around for the best flooring based on your overall needs. A flooring specialist can help you select the ideal floor for your space. http://besthardwoodfloor.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/porcelain-and-ceramic-tile-flooring-versus-laminate-flooring/ (July 5, 2013)

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