GNcareers, from Gulf News

Choose the perfect flooring for your home

Choose the perfect flooring for your homeImage Credit: Supplied

Creating a beautiful home is not just about what is placed on the wall or the floor, but it is also about the flooring itself. To enhance the flooring, materials used range from carpets, area rugs to linoleum, wood, stone, and ceramic tiles.

Vinyl is one of the most popular choices as it is low on cost and maintenance, and a boon for DIY fans. Available in a variety of styles, colors, and in tiles and sheets, it is, however, vulnerable to scratches, stains, and wear and tear.

Linoleum is a natural product composed of flax and natural resin and is, therefore, biodegradable and hypoallergenic as it does not trap dust or bacteria. Linoleum is low on maintenance, durable and mildew resistant.

Porcelain tile looks like stone, costs much less, and is available in a huge selection of colors and designs. It is stronger than ceramic, and also low on maintenance. However, like ceramic, it can cause back and leg pain after prolonged standing.

Laminate can replicate the look of wood, stone and ceramic, and is resistant to stains, scratches, dents, and cigarette burns. Easy to install and dismantle, it can last up to 25 years. However, it is not recommended for bathrooms.

Concrete is very popular currently, and provides an industrial look. Available in a good selection of colors and finishes, it requires annual resealing. Also, installation is not that easy as the surface receiving the concrete must be properly prepared.

Hardwood is available in semi-gloss and gloss finishes. Hardwood floors in oak and maple are very popular. Hardwood is ideal for a warm and cozy look, and has survived different fads and trends. If properly maintained, it can last long. It, however, needs resealing every few years and can trap dirt in the joints between wood.

Natural stone like slate, granite, marble, limestone, and sandstone provide beautiful, natural-looking floors. A natural product, some of the slabs can contain imperfections. Additionally, stones like marble are maintenance intensive and need regular sealing.

Other flooring options include ceramic tiles, bamboo, cork, and engineered wood.

Handy Hints:

• Vinyl flooring is a popular option among DIY fans as it comes in various styles.

• Laminate flooring is easy to install and dismantle, and can last up to 25 years.

• Hardwood, designed for a cozy look, comes in semi-gloss and gloss finishes.

Source: Binu Sivan, Special to Classifieds

The writer is a freelancer