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Guide to Selecting Flooring (page 3 of 3)

Which flooring is right for you? Hardwood, laminate, tile, vinyl or eco-friendly choices like cork or bamboo? Our experts explain the 8 most popular types to help you choose.

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Linoleum

Linoleum's current popularity is primarily due to its appeal as a green flooring choice. Linoleum is considered eco-friendly because it's made from all natural materials and does not deplete forests. It's made primarily of linseed oil, rosins and wood flour. Because linoleum is composed of natural materials, it creates no adverse health issues during production, installation, use or disposal. The bactericidal properties of natural linoleum stop microorganisms from multiplying, so you often see natural linoleum floors in many hospitals.

In addition to the health benefits, linoleum flooring is antistatic, reducing the potential for electric shock. Linoleum is also water-, ding- and scratch-resistant, easy to clean, comfortable underfoot and is available in tiles in a wide range of vibrant colors, which can be combined to create distinctive patterns.

Tile

Porcelain is a popular choice as is terra cotta and natural stone, such as marble, granite, travertine or slate. When selecting tile on a budget, porcelain is the most cost-effective. It combines the beauty and hardness of stone, but costs considerably less and is much easier to maintain than marble, which is porous and must periodically be resealed. Glazed porcelain tile is durable enough to handle heavy traffic areas and is available in a wide range of hues, textures and finishes. Unleash your creativity and combine tiles of various sizes, colors and textures to create a one-of-a-kind floor.

Vinyl

One of the most value-conscious flooring options today is vinyl. It's an especially popular choice for rooms that are prone to moisture problems, such as basements, bathrooms and kitchens. Vinyl is also easy to clean and softer underfoot than tile. Vinyl is available as sheets and self-stick tiles, and it is sold in a variety of widths and thicknesses. One rule to remember when selecting vinyl is the thicker it is, the more traffic it can bear.

Concrete

Concrete is one of the hottest flooring options today. With the wide range of sealers and specialty stains currently on the market, plain and gray concrete can be stamped and stained to resemble polished marble, tumbled stone, brick pavers or really anything you wish. There's no limit to the design possibilities, that's the real beauty of concrete floors. You want long-lasting durability? Concrete holds up like no other flooring. You want low maintenance? Concrete is as low as it goes. It's also the perfect flooring for radiant heat. So, express yourself, concrete allows you to make your floors a work of art.

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