CERAMIC/PORCELAIN TILE FLOORING
Ceramic tile is a combination of clays and minerals that after being pressed and shaped are fired at extreme temperatures. High temperatures at firing will make the tile both harder and denser.
Porcelain is a type of ceramic tile that incorporates a mixture of very fine clays and minerals. Temperatures used are even higher than that of a typical ceramic tile, making a porcelain tile denser than a standard ceramic tile.
- Requires the least care of other natural stone or wood flooring products
- Contains a protective glaze that is resistant to stains, odors, and bacteria
- Involves little maintenance and is easy to clean
- Offers moisture resistant capabilities
- Can be hard and uncomfortable on the feet
- Provides little insulation and is cold to the touch
Shade or Pattern Variation in Tile
Tiles can very dramatically or are fairly consistent from one tile to the next. Be sure to know what type of variation pattern the tile has that you are thinking about using. The variation can significantly change the look of the tile.
Low Variation - Consistent shade and texture variation. The constant color and texture results in a look that is more formal or contemporary.
Moderate Variation - Moderate variation in shade and texture. Constitutes a more formal or contemporary look.
High Variation - Texture and shade variation is high throughout. This more diverse look tends to appear more casual, rustic, or country in style.
Random Variation - Dramatic differences in shade and variation. This type of tile typically has the appearance of a natural stone product. Generally a random variation tile will have a more informal or rustic look, but the style of tile will also dictate its feeling. A random tile imitating travertine would have a more elegant appearance than one reproducing slate.
NATURAL STONE FLOORING
Natural Stone flooring blurs the line between the inside and outside world, bringing natural beauty into your home.
- Represents nature and brings inside the distinct and unique characteristics of natural products
- Offers a timeless look and therefore less need for expensive remodeling
- Contains through-body color, meaning that coloring continues all the way through the product
- Shows areas of flaking stone
- Varies from one sample to the next, making it difficult to choose and know the exact look upon completion
- Requires more maintenance than other types of flooring surfaces
- Is susceptible to damage from household acids
- Offers limited stain resistance especially without proper maintenance
- Involves more expense than most types of flooring
As a natural product, wood can create a feeling of integration between indoor and outdoor spaces. It can create a feeling of warmth and cleanliness in your home. If you have allergies or asthma, you may want to consider wood flooring to reduce your symptoms.
- Offers a timeless look and therefore less need for expensive remodeling
- Provides natural warmth and variety
- Presents more decorating possibilities with its flexible look
- Can last a lifetime with proper care
- Cleans easily and does not harbor dust particles
- Needs maintenance over time
- Amplifies sound
- Involves more expense than carpet and some ceramic tiles
Engineered Wood vs. Solid Wood
Wood that is engineered is typically composed of 3, 5, or even 7 layers of wood that are stacked in a cross-grained pattern and with heat and pressure are bonded together. Because each layer will reinforce the next, a higher ply will give the floor additional strength.
Advantages of Engineered Wood
- Expands the area of use to any area of your home- below, on, or above grade
- Offers increased stability
- Allows for installation over a variety of sub-floors
- Tolerates changes in humidity in your home, resulting in fewer gaps and spacing
Disadvantages of Engineered Wood
- Decreases the amount of times you can sand your floor, if the top layer thickness before the tongue is not comparable to that of a solid wood floor.
Solid wood flooring is exactly what it implies. Each piece is 5/16" or 3/4" thick and is one continuous piece of the wood species. When we think of solid wood flooring, we often think of the traditional 2 1/4" strip, but plank floors are also now popular, ranging from 3-6" wide.
Advantages of Solid Wood
- Offers a possibility of additional sandings and refinishes
Disadvantages of Solid Wood
- Requires a wood sub-floor for nailing
- Expands and contracts with the changes in your home's relative humidity
- Shows more spacing and gapping between planks
Factors to Consider in Selecting your Wood Species:
Relative Hardness of a Select Wood Flooring Species
- Visual - Each species has a distinct look that can complement the style of your home. Dark stain colors in general will bring a richer more formal look to your home while lighter stain colors have a more informal appearance. Besides the stain color, wood species, plank size, and finish will all come together to get you the look you want. Smaller plank sizes- under 3"- reflect a more traditional style while larger planks typically feel more rustic or country oriented. Some woods are finished to be smooth, while others have a hand-scraped appearance. A smooth finish will give you a more traditional or contemporary look while hand-scraped wood floors can be more rustic, country, or casual.
- Hardness - You will want to take into account your lifestyle while considering the type of wood species to install in your new home. Pets and children will create more traffic and possibility of wear and damage. If you have pets or children or an active lifestyle, consider a harder wood species. If your lifestyle does not constitute heavy traffic in your home you can worry less about the degree of hardness and concentrate more on the look you are trying to achieve.
Carpets offer both versatility of style and added comfort and warmth to a space. With such flexibility you can find a carpet to match any style. The soft fibers of carpet not only feel good on your feet, but can reduce the noise level of your home by absorbing some of the sound.
- Works well on all types of subfloors
- Absorbs sound and acts as sound barrier between floors
- Provides added warmth in cooler environments
- Offers more comfort than hard surfaces
- Presents a variety of choices of style and color
- Grants safety and protection in comparison to hard, sometimes slippery surfaces
- Collects dust which can enhance symptoms of allergies and asthma
- Shows wear patterns
- Holds odors in and occasionally needs to be professionally clean
- Can shed fibers when first installed
When choosing carpet for your new home, take into consideration the following factors that determine the performance and durability of a carpet:
Type of Fiber
All of America Home Fashions carpets are made with durable nylon, the most desirable fiber in carpet manufacturing. Nylon is incredibly durable, resilient, and resists matting. It also shows color well and is still soft.
- Loop - There are both level looped carpet and patterned looped carpet.
The surface of both of these types of construction is dense and firm since the yarns have not been cut. This type of carpet is durable and great for high-traffic homes.
- Cut Pile - The loops are cut in a cut pile carpet. The manner in which they are cut creates the looks listed below.
- Texture: This style of carpet is a type of cut pile construction with a smooth level cut. Each yarn has more twists than that of a plush or Saxony carpet, creating a less formal look.
- Frieze: The yarns of this type of cut pile product are longer with more twists, offering a more comfortable and casual appearance.
- Plush/Saxony: Like a texture carpet, this type of construction has smooth level cut. Fewer twists distinguish the more formal look of this style.
- Shag: Yarns in this cut pile carpet are longer than in any other style. The long yarns create a casual appearance, but because the yarns are so long they can mat down easily.
- Cut and Loop - Some carpets combine the looks of the loop and cut pile styles. These types of products create a geometrical or floral pattern in the carpet.
Density improves both comfort and performance. Yarns that are closer together can support one another to enhance performance. Check the density of the carpet by pushing your fingers into the backing. If you have difficulty reaching the backing, the carpet is very dense. You can also bend back the carpet slightly to see how much of the backing shows; a dense carpet will not show as much backing. Generally, the more dense the yarns are in a carpet the better its quality.
Higher twists within a yarn can help resist crushing and matting. Compare the twists within the yarn to the coils in a spring. A spring with more coils offers more support and resistance while fewer coils can more easily collapse. A more durable carpet will have more twists and therefore will hold up better against pressure.
Each carpet in the Design Center has been assigned a performance rating. You can use this helpful tool to find a carpet to meet your quality and budget needs.
Every carpet sample is rated on a scale from 1 to 5, the higher number being more durable. Often, just because a carpet is a more expensive carpet doesn't mean it is more durable than a less expensive one. Style, along with comfort and softness, also plays a significant role in the cost of the product.
Tactesse is a new technology in fiber that combines finer fibers with a uniquely soft touch. Carpets with tactesse will have an overall softer feeling and will lose fewer fibers over time. Tactesse helps eliminate carpet shedding and fuzzing, and also retains colors for a longer period of time.
Layers of paper are bonded together under pressure and high temperature after being impregnated with resin. Together, these steps form a firm plastic laminate sheet.
- Involves less expense than other countertop options
- Offers a variety of colors
- Cleans easily
- Resists staining and discoloration
- Melts easily if hot pans are placed on surface
- Can scratch and dull the finish with abrasive cleaners
- Scratches easily with sharp objects
- Exhibits problems with warping after prolonged wetting
- Reveals noticeable seems
Solid surface is a man-made product composed by mixing a mineral compound with polyester and/or acrylic resins. These materials make solid surface non-porous and therefore it can be more sanitary than natural products used for countertops surfaces.
- Resists most food and liquid stains
- Provides a non-porous and sanitary surface
- Cleans easily
- Offers a seamless surface
- Repairs easily without professional help
- Appears uniform and has consistent coloring
- Allows for an integrated sink with no seems
- Scratches easily
- Has an unnatural plastic appearance
- Burns easily if hot pans are left on surface
Granite countertops are made from natural rock and are naturally beautiful. Besides its matchless beauty, granite has some definite advantages.
- Resists scratching
- Allows hot pots to be placed directly on surface
- Can be protected from stains and bacteria if sealed properly
- Is more difficult to damage
- Offers a natural appearance and uniqueness to your home
- Requires professional care if damaged
- Needs to be maintained by resealing every couple of years
- Involves less expense compared to other door options
- Increases the amount of color options available
- Has a smooth finish
- Dents easily
- Decreases the amount of energy efficiency
- Increases energy efficiency
- Looks new longer
- Requires minimal maintenance
- Has an unnatural wood grain appearance (more obvious when stained lighter colors)
- Offers unmatched beauty and unique character
- Connects to natural surroundings
- Requires occasional care and maintenance
- Shows cracking and splitting
- Is less energy efficient compared to fiberglass doors
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