Saturday, 23 April 2016

Tiles, Stone, Wood and more Flooring Options

Flooring is a big decision for any home-owner. i.e if he has an option! In most new constructions, builders compulsorily provide flooring as a part of the package and which cannot argued with, unless of course you are ready to pay a surplus amount for the flooring material of your choice.
If you are redesigning your home and re-flooring is a part of the plan, it makes a lot of sense to do a proper survey of the wide range of materials, textures, colors available to suit your requirement, budget, time-frame and aesthetics.

Let us check out some of the numerous options shall we?

1) Stone Flooring: 
These are the oldest options and still work wonderfully well! Stones are naturally-mined, cut and polished as per requirements. 

i) Marble:   



Marble is available as the indigenous or the imported variety. Available in several colors with natural patterns and grains. eg Makrana, Katni, Morwad etc.
High in  gloss, available in a variety of colors but requires repolishing after a few years. 
The indigenous marble varieties are much cheaper in comparison to the imported Italian varieties. 
Authentic good quality is very expensive but lends a royal look to any space! 
In case of Italian Marble, check for authenticity and slab treatment (most Italian marble slabs in the market are composed of several slabs and chunks of marble inlaid in an epoxy polymer to join them with a jute backing for support and further treated to seal and polish them) eg Travertino, Bottocino, Perlato, Bianco etc.

ii) Granite:

 


Extremely hard, chip and stain resistant, can be polished to different grades like high gloss, matte, sand-blasted, leather finish etc. Ideal for high traffic and usage.
Available in a wide range of colors, grains.
eg. Tan Brown, Black Galaxy, Madurai Gold, Imperial Red, Black Pearl, Pink Juparna etc.

iii) Sandstone:   


Creates a rustic look. Finish will be natural, rough and uneven. Durable flooring option though it requires sealant treatment if being exposed to moisture.
Popular colors are Pink, Red, Buff eg Mandana Red, Dholpur Pink/Beige

iv) Limestone: 
 




Limestones like Kota, Shahabad, Jaisalmer are excellent for home interiors, when well-laid and polished they can give a timeless classic look.
 

v) Slate:
 
Slate is now becoming a popular flooring option especially for areas like patios/terraces/balconies and toilets.
Slate is available in a variety of shades and its beauty lies in the naturally uneven finish and color of the material. eg Silver Grey, Panther, Deoli Green, Peocock etc.

v) Engineered/Composite Stone: 

Engineered stone is a composite material made of crushed stone bound together by an adhesive, (most commonly polymer resin, with some newer versions using cement mix). The two common stones used in producing these products are marbles and quartz. Very strong and durable, easy to maintain. Available in wide range of colors. Read more HERE



2) Tiles: 


These are the most popular options being readily available in all kinds of colors, textures, patterns, sizes to suit all kinds of budget. You could choose from super-glossy, matte, satin matte, rough, rustic textures in ceramic, vitrified, porcelain and an array of colors and sizes ranging from 1'x1' to 4'x2'. They can replicate a marble stone or a wooden floor in look and feel at a much lower cost.

3) Terrazo or Mosaic flooring: 
 

These are the amongst the oldest kinds of flooring that you probably remember from times spent at your grandparents. They are back in fashion!

Terrazzo is comprised of tiny chips of marble, granite, quartz, glass embedded into a cement base, then ground flat and coated with a topical sealer
They are extremely durable, hard, easy to maintain, unique in appearance, can be customized and have a long life.
Read more HERE

4) Cement Flooring:

Concrete is a material that contains cement, rocks, granite chips and other material. Flooring done in concrete is strong and probably the most durable flooring of the lot. The concrete flooring is largely damage resistant except slight chipping and scratching. However it needs to be well laid and looks best in outdoors or in contemporary settings.

5) Traditional Oxide colored flooring and Attangudi tiles:

Red-oxides on your floor are the glorious reds transporting you to nearly a century of rich tradition. Several parts of South India, especially Kerala, coastal Karnataka and interior Tamil Nadu, saw a gleaming spread of the oxide in shades as cherry, crimson, ruby or scarlet. Its uniform finish and joint-free stretches makes it more eye-catching, while the glow that the colour exudes with every passing year makes it special says a construction material specialist!  
Read more HERE
 


An alternative to coloured oxide flooring is the Attangudi tiles from Chettinad, Tamilnadu. These are handmade tiles made of cement and coloured oxides. They are beautiful, patterned tiles in a variety of colours and designs. Athangudi tiled floors do not need any polishing
Read more HERE

6) Linoleum:
Linoleum is made from sheets of biodegradable materials that are heated and compressed to form flexible sheets of flooring material in a wide variety of designs and colors. Linoleum is found in a variety of different colors and designs, depending on the materials used to make it and the dyes that are used to form patterns or color the entire sheet. The texture of linoleum is usually even and smooth, and the linoleum product is coated with a protective layer to ensure longevity.

Linoleum flooring is usually provided on a floor base which is already smooth and plain. It is suitable for interior locations in a building. Linoleum is a combustible material and should not be used in areas prone to fire etc. It should also not be used in areas which are likely to become damp over a period of time. It is a quick-fix and relatively cost-effective flooring solution.
Read Advantages and Disadvantages of Linoleum Floor


Vinyl floor comes in sheets and tiles and is manufactured using vinyl, felt, fiberglass and dyes. Modern vinyl floor tile is frequently chosen for high-traffic areas because of its low cost, durability, and ease of maintenance. Vinyl tiles have high resilience to abrasion and impact damage and can be repeatedly refinished with chemical strippers and mechanical buffing equipment. If properly installed, tiles can be easily removed and replaced when damaged. Tiles are available in a variety of colors from several major flooring manufacturers. Some manufacturers have created vinyl tiles that very closely resemble wood, stone, terrazzo, and concrete and literally hundreds of varying patterns. 

The chief health concerns most sources cite vinyl floor tiles appear to be health risks to the workers during production and health risks later (HCl and dioxin) if the material is burned as waste or in a house fire. Again a quick-fix and cost-effective floor.

Read Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring





 
Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials.
Laminate flooring offers all of the beauty of traditional hardwood, stone and tile floors with the added benefit of high durability and easy installation and maintenance. 
To help you decide, read THIS

9) Wooden Flooring:


 Image source: http://www.signaturehardwoodfloors.com

Wooden floors give your home the most natural, warm and sophisticated look. 
They are long lasting but require proper maintenance and regular upkeep in the form of repolishing.


Solid wood/hardwood flooring is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness varies from ¾” to 5/16”. Solid wood flooring can be installed above or on grade, and can be sanded and refinished several times during its service life.
Engineered wood floors are real wood floors made using multiple wood veneers. The veneers can be the same or different species. The grain of each veneer runs in different directions, which increases its stability. This means the wood will resist expanding and contracting during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. This type of flooring sometimes can be sanded and refinished, depending on the thickness of its top layer. 

10) Sustainable, eco-friendly flooring:



These are produced from sustainable materials (and by a sustainable process) that reduces demands on ecosystems during its life-cycle.

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