Choosing a surface for us to have underfoot in our homes can be a daunting task due to the number of choices we have. It’s important to combine practicality, function, and style.
The most popular flooring choices have always been carpet, hardwood and tile. Homeowners are also drawn to natural stone like marble, travertine or slate mainly for their beauty and style. These options can be costly, and speaking from experience, not very durable in a home with lots of kid traffic. In Calgary, we have to think long and hard about floor surface we use and where they are placed primarily because of our ever changing and harsh climate. Snow, ice and rocks get tracked into our homes during those long winter months.
Science is on our side and continues to provide us with some wonderful choices and alternatives in flooring. These innovative floor surfaces are definitely worth considering because of their beauty, cost and durability. Many look exactly like the natural materials they are trying to emulate.
Technology has managed to give some vinyls a facelift. At its most basic, the process of producing it amounts to taking a photo and printing it into the significantly less expensive vinyl flooring, usually in the form of squares or planks. Anything you can take a picture of you can make into vinyl flooring. It can emulate wood, marble or any other type of natural stone. It can take on a rustic, contemporary or traditional look with lower cost and higher durability. We can use this flooring anywhere in our home and know it will stand up.
Glass flooring makes an exciting design and environmental statement. A natural choice on countertops and backsplashes, glass tiles are an eye-catching choice for bathroom floors. A surprisingly practical choice, glass can be used just like any other tile. It’s easy to clean, and most types are texture to prevent slipping. Want to go green? Choose tiles crafted from recycled bottles and jars.
Available in sheets or tiles, this resilient floor option is sleek, contemporary, and comfortable underfoot. Colors vary from earthy to bright and, like linoleum, run all the way through for a hue that won’t fade or wear. The surface comes in a variety of patterns and textures and finishes vary from glossy to matte. Rubber is extremely durable, and is easy to clean and install. Rubber is ideal for hardworking and high traffic areas such as kitchens, baths, entries, exercise rooms and offices.
Like vinyl tile, porcelain can be manufactured to emulate just about any material. It has a richer feel than the vinyl floor and can be easily used in spaces that transition to the outdoors. It can also be heated which is lovely in a bathroom space! Not only is it popular on the floor, but trends now have it adorning the walls too. Check out the show room of Porcelanosa here in Calgary.
Cork flooring has soared in popularity over the last several years but as a flooring choice it has been around forever. Natural cork is made from bark from cork trees that regenerate their bark after it is harvested. For this reason, it is often the choice of those working towards a sustainable home. Cork is beautiful and has some similar variations as wood. It is durable, however, care should be taken not to put it in areas exposed to moisture. Like wood, cork can be damaged when furniture is dragged across it or heavy items are dropped on the surface.