Discover different flooring options for your home

For years, wall-to-wall carpeting was the top choice of many homeowners. Recently, though, people have been trending towards more creative flooring options. While hardwood flooring retains its classic appeal, other variations have become more popular and affordable than ever before.

Because flooring is expensive, and any mistakes you make will be virtually irreversible unless you plan to spend a lot more money, it's vital that you take the time to plan the job right. You should start by familiarizing yourself with the various flooring materials, patterns and textures available on the market.

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Flooring Materials to Consider

If you're looking for an alternative to hardwood flooring, bamboo flooring has some unique features to offer. It has a tropical appeal, shines brighter than pine and is lighter than oak. The grain of bamboo flooring is highly detailed, and it's strong enough to last for decades.

Cork flooring is available in a rich and diverse palette of colors, and it offers comfort and resistance to wear. Because cork can be harvested – and trees don't have to be cut down to obtain it – people with environmental concerns tend to favor cork flooring.

If you have some money to invest in your floor, marble flooring has an elegant appeal no other material can offer. Though it's expensive and high-maintenance, it increases the value of your home significantly and is sure to make a lasting impression on visitors. Limestone and granite flooring offer similar benefits at a reduced cost.

On the other hand, if you're seeking discount flooring options, ceramic tile and laminate flooring are two low-maintenance and cost-effective alternatives. Both of these are available in literally thousands of prints, colors and textures, giving you the freedom to mix and match with the rest of your decor with unparalleled freedom.

Shopping Wisely for Flooring

Generally speaking, it's best to choose economical discount flooring options for high-traffic areas exposed to a lot of wear. Garage flooring, for example, needs to stand up to heavy use and industrial chemicals and compounds. It doesn't make sense to finish your garage with an intricately patterned selection of tiles, as they'll rarely be seen and will quickly turn the worse for wear. Most people wisely stick with simple concrete for their garage flooring. If you're going to splurge on marble flooring or granite flooring, confine it to small but prominent parts of your home, such as the vestibule inside the front door.

Regardless of the material you choose, shopping around is a must. Prices can vary dramatically from one provider to the next despite little, if any, quality variation. With some patience, you can find a bargain.