time, wood floors maintain their value. Today’s wood
floors are affordable, ecologically friendly and will look
beautiful and timeless.
Wood floors come in many styles, colors and species. You are
sure to find your color and style to fit your décor
with such choices as Oak, rustic Pine, exotic Wenge or trendy
Bamboo, just to mention a few of the wood floors available.
Do you want the beautiful appearance of a real hardwood floor
but with exceptional performance that will hold up from the
wear and tear from kids, pets, and spills? Laminate floors
offer many benefits for homeowners, including exceptional
durability, easy to clean surfaces, superior stain resistance
and superior fade resistance. It can be installed on all grade
levels, even below grade and over many different types of
sub floors, including concrete slabs. It offers great impact
and indentation resistance, exceptional realism at affordable
costs and is easy to replace latter on, if desired. The answer
many homeowners have found is choosing one of the many laminate
While these floors are similar in construction to the Formica
kitchen counter tops, they offer many added performance features.
Laminate flooring has a more durable finish to help protect
your floor from scratching and chipping. They also come in
planks and tiles with special tongue and groove locking systems.
Most laminate floors are secured together without any glue.
Some laminate floor collections are offered with pre-glued
edges while a few others do require special glue to secure
the planks together.
Laminate flooring originally came from Europe where they have
been used in homes for over many years. Although some laminate
floors are still imported, many brands are now made here in
the U.S.A. The performance differences between the brands
appear to be minor even though the construction methods that
are used may be slightly different. All the laminate floors
offer good performance characteristics and are often confused
with real hardwood floors by consumers. Our cross-section
diagram of a laminate floor should help you better understand
the differences between wood and laminates.
Ceramic tile varies in size from 1” x 1” to 24”
x 24”. The most commonly used sizes are the 12”
by 18” squares. Usually, larger tiles give an area a
larger, less busy look. Larger tiles also provide another
benefit – you will have less grout to keep clean.
When it comes to styles, the selection of ceramic tile is
practically endless. Stone-like tiles are among the most popular.
Their appearance is so realistic that they are often mistaken
for the natural stones they imitate. Many stone-look tiles
contain a mix of hues while others may exhibit shades of a
single color. Unless they are imitating a smooth surface like
marble, they will display a rugged surface.
If you prefer a more formal, classy look, look for the high
gloss, marbleized tiles. They will add a touch of elegance
to any home.
If your household includes active children or elderly family
members, high gloss surfaces can present a problem. They can
become extremely slippery when wet and thus present a hazard.
Ceramic tile texture is directly related to its style and
varies in degree of shine – from dull to semi-gloss