Choosing between types of flooring is no easy feat with all the options available today. It’s not simply a matter of choosing the flooring that you think will best suit a Boston triple decker. Instead, you’ll need to think about factors like wear and tear, traffic, moisture and even issues like floors that flex as you move over them. Here is a guide to the most popular materials that will show you how to choose flooring for your project!

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are ideal for living spaces, bedrooms and other low-traffic areas. These floors are relatively durable and they don’t require much maintenance so long as they are cared for properly. Hardwood floors also add a warm feeling to a room, something that is tough to replicate with other flooring types. The one drawback to hardwoods in living spaces is that they can scratch easily, so you will want to think twice about hardwoods if you have pets.

In the kitchen and bathroom, hardwoods are another story. The problem with hardwoods in these rooms boils down to moisture. Hardwood flooring is not moisture resistant and will take damage over time in damp areas, which means that you should definitely choose something more moisture resistant for these spaces.

Laminate Flooring

Among all of the different types of flooring, laminates are the floors that are gaining the most in popularity. These floors mimic the look of hardwoods perfectly but they come with a few extra advantages. First of all, this type of floor is something that most homeowners can DIY. Additionally, laminates offer increased durability over traditional hardwoods, making them the ideal choice in a home with pets.

Laminate flooring still isn’t as resistant to moisture as other types of floors, however, which means you’ll want to look at other options for kitchens and bathrooms.

Linoleum Floors

Linoleum floors are coming back in style in a big way and there are several good reasons for that. These types of flooring are the ultimate in versatility. Linoleum lets you add pops of color to the floor and it is flexible which means that unlike ceramic tile, your flooring won’t crack or pop up if your floors shift slightly as people walk across them. Linoleum is also highly moisture resistant, making it perfect for the bathroom.

In the kitchen, you’ll want to think about how much abuse the floor might see. Linoleum can be a good choice but anything from dropped dishes to chairs or stools scooting across the floor on a daily basis can leave scratches, dings or wear marks.

Ceramic Tile Floors

Ceramic tile is one of the most durable types of flooring that you can choose and it is by far the most moisture resistant. This is why it is often the top choice for kitchens and bathrooms — that and it comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns!

As with other types of flooring, you’ll want to think about a couple of different factors before installing ceramic tile. First, if your floors creak and shift with traffic, you’ll either need to stabilize the floor before installing ceramic or you’ll need to choose a type of tile that flexes with the subfloor. The other issue with ceramic tile is that it can shatter if something heavy like a pot or pan is dropped on it.

Vinyl Flooring

For a long time, vinyl flooring had a reputation as the cheap (and not so good) option. Over the last few years, that has changed and vinyl floors have risen to a place of prominence. Vinyl tiles are easy to DIY and they come in many styles, some of which mimic the look of stone or ceramic perfectly. These tiles are flexible, moisture resistant and durable — though not quite as durable as ceramic. As with linoleum, however, vinyl is more likely to tear or become scratched then ceramic, laminate or wood floors.

For triple decker owners that are wondering how to choose flooring, the most important thing to remember is the type of use that the floor will see. Choose floors based on moisture resistance, scratch resistance and other factors to make sure that you have the right material in every room of the home!

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