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Comprehensive Guide to Selecting Flooring for Your Home

Which type of flooring is the right choice for your new house or apartment? Vinyl, tile, laminate, hardwood, or eco-friendly options like bamboo or cork? Picking a new flooring might be a daunting task for many people since there are so many materials to select from and each kind has a variety of features and designs to go along with it. What's more, depending on the flow of traffic and area of your house, there are many important factors to take into consideration. In this short guide, we will explain to you the 8 most popular types of floorings in Singapore, where they are best used as well as the pros and cons, to help you make a better purchasing decision.

Flooring for home

1. Laminate

Laminate flooring is probably one of the most popular material options in Singapore and other countries. The main reasons are because it is much less expensive and very easy to set up compared to a solid-wood hardwood floor. The name laminate comes from its elements, which consist of various wood-based materials that are laminated or layered together, and then topped with the wood grain imprints at the face of all boards.

A variation on the standard laminate floor is the engineered wood floor. Basically, engineered wood is composed of a real hardwood veneer fastened to a couple of plywood layers. It is a little bit more expensive than standard laminate since the top layers are real wood instead of the photographic imprints. This wood layer on the top gives the engineered wood floorings a much more convincing look, feel, and sound than laminate.

2. Hardwood

If you are a beginner, let's have a look at the traditional option: hardwood. Due to hardwood's natural, warm feel, and durability, it is always a favorite choice of flooring in many households. Among the hardwood varieties, oak is definitely the most popular woods, but other woods such as cherry or imported exotic materials like Tasmanian oak and Brazilian cherry are worth considering. Hardwood floors are available in a variety of designs and styles, including pre-finished, parquet, and plank boards which you can set up on your own.

Flooring for home

3. Bamboo

Unlike the hardwood floor, the materials used to produce bamboo floor do not come from a tree, but actually bamboo - a type of woody grass that can be found in many areas in Asia. This regenerating, fast-growing, and lightweight plant comes with the tensile strength of premium steel, which allows for an extremely durable floor that is able to resist contraction and swelling with changes in the humidity. In most cases, bamboo floorings are engineered with groove-and-tongue joints and pre-finished, just like traditional solid wood materials. Bamboo is often grown in some controlled forests and just takes 3 to 5 years to reach its maturity, in comparison with old-growth hardwood which might take nearly 110 years to grow to its full size.

4. Linoleum

One of the most important reasons that make linoleum a popular choice in many modern households is that it is an eco-friendly flooring material. Linoleum is regarded to be green simply because it is made from an all-natural formula, including wood flour, rosins, and linseed oil, and doesn't deplete the forests. Since linoleum is mainly composed of all natural properties, it does not create any adverse health problems during the process of production, setup, usage, and disposal. What's more, the bactericidal components of natural linoleum help to prevent microorganisms from growing. Therefore, you will often see the use of natural linoleum floorings in the hospitals.
In addition to its health benefits, linoleum floorings are also anti-static, which can reduce the risks of electric shock. Moreover, it is scratch-resistant, ding-resistant, waterproof, comfortable underfoot, easy to clean, and available in tiles with a wide variety of bright colors. Thus, you can create distinctive and unique patterns by combining these pieces.

5. Cork

Similar to bamboo, cork is also a green option for floorings. What makes this material different from other choices is its honeycomb-like cellular structure, which gives it a feeling of cushion underfoot. Also, this unique structural feature allows cork floorings to absorb sound and vibrations, and they will bounce back when being dented. In most cases, cork floorings come with pre-finished tiles in a variety of finishes. These tiles are designed with a non-slip, natural surface which makes cork materials great for wet areas in your house such as bathrooms or kitchens.

6. Vinyl

Vinyl is perhaps one of the most value-conscious choices of flooring these days. It is an especially ideal option for areas that are vulnerable to moisture issues, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Also, vinyl is softer underfoot and easy to clean than tiles. This type of floor material is often available as self-stick tiles and sheets, and you can purchase them in a variety of thicknesses and widths. An important rule to consider when choosing vinyl is the thicker they are, the more traffic they can withstand.

Flooring for home

7. Porcelain

Another popular choice of flooring is porcelain, which is quite like terracotta or natural stone, including slate, travertine, granite, and marble. When choosing tiles with a tight budget, this material is definitely the most cost-effective option. Porcelain combines the hardness and beauty of stone, but considerably costs less than its counterpart. What's more, it is much easier to maintain and clean than marble materials, which are porous and should be resealed periodically. Glazed porcelain tiles are durable and sturdy enough to withstand heavy-traffic areas and also available in a variety of finishes, textures, and hues.

8. Concrete

Concrete is perhaps one of the hottest options for flooring today. With the variety of specialty stains and sealers available on the market, gray and plain concrete could be stained and stamped to emulate brick pavers, tumbled stone, polished marble, or anything you want. There is no limitation to the design options, that is the real beauty of a concrete floor. In terms of durability and maintenance, there are no options better than this type of floor. Therefore, express yourself with concrete materials because they will enable you to make your house floor a work of art.
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