With thousands of colors and styles to select from today it can seem like a daunting task to make the right flooring choice. To narrow the field down it is recommended that you select a flooring style that complements your overall interior design style. Nothing will look worse that a glaring clash of styles, so make sure your new flooring complements your existing (of planned) interior design. Look here for a quick summary of matching hardwood floors and their design styles.
Almost every install will have physical or functional requirements that will further narrow down the scope and selection of an appropriate hardwood or laminate flooring system. Here is a brief summary of factors to consider:
FLOOR TRAFFIC EXPECTATIONS
The quantity and type of traffic you expect on your floors will impact the flooring material you can choose. Laminates offer high durability, as well as wood species that have high “hardness rankings” on the Janka scale. Softer woods are generally not a good selection for high traffic areas.
The quality of any new hardwood flooring installation can only be as good as the subfloor underneath. For the best outcomes, the subfloor should be dry, stable, and level. Concrete subfloors generally are only acceptable for laminate installations, but you should be mindful of installing a quality underlayment the provides an appropriate moisture barrier as well as good sound installation. Poor laminate installations will sound very hollow when walking on it.
HUMIDITY AND TEMPERATURE
To prevent warping and cupping of floors make sure there is adequate ventilation and regulated temperatures thought the year. Laminates work best in areas that experience higher humidity levels.
The time and cost of installation is an often overlooked factor in floor selection decisions. Glueless click-style floating laminate floor systems can be a weekend project for experienced do-it-yourselfers, and can save a lot of installation labor. Other flooring installation methods are generally more complex and will require professional installation in most cases.
Making a successful claim under a flooring warranty often requires that you can demonstrate the product was installed exactly as per the manufactures recommendations and that the damage is not a product of wear and tear or poor workmanship. Hiring a professional installer and dealing with a large brand name product that has an established track record is your best protection.