Technological advancements have improved flooring so much that the old standards no longer apply. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding what is the best flooring for a family room. It is a much more personal decision based on your style, needs, and budget. Let us dig a little deeper into the positives and negatives of various flooring options.
You would be remiss if you are doing a first floor remodel and do not consider hardwood flooring when thinking about what is the best flooring for a family room. Your family room has many challenges between furniture, pets, toys, and heels. However, homeowners really enjoy the look of hardwood floors. Today, they are available as solid wood or engineered wood. In addition, a custom home builder often chooses hardwood floors.
Positives include hardwood floors that increase your resale value and look great. They provide excellent insulation and make your home a little more energy efficient. You can easily customize hardwood flooring to suit your tastes. Hardwood comes in various finishes and wood types. Negatives include the fact that they are not the most durable flooring type. It is easy to damage them. They are easily stained by water and liquid. In addition, they can be expensive to install. When they are damaged, they may need to be resurfaced or have new portions installed. Both of these options can have a hefty price tag.
Carpet and Tile
When it comes to deciding what is the best flooring for a family room, ceramic tile is not high on the list. Carpet, however, is usually one of the top options. Carpet has been used in homes for generations. The synthetic fiber of carpet makes it affordable and reliable. While it is not quite as popular as it once was, it is still a top option for homes, especially a finished basement.
The positives you can expect from carpet include the softness it provides beneath your feet. It has a uniform feel regarded of the outside temperature. You can find carpet in a wide variety of colors, styles, and textures with affordable price points. It is easy to clean with simple vacuuming and occasional carpet cleaning. The carpet is able to absorb sound helping your room sound quieter. The negatives associated with carpeting include the fact that they can stain. When they do stain, they tend to be difficult to remove. They may require an intense area rug cleaning. Carpet will not last as long as other options. It can quickly look dated and old. Carpeting is not ideal for those with allergies to pet hair, dust, and other common allergens.
Concrete has not always been a popular answer to what is the best flooring for a family room, but it is rising in popularity. Concrete comes in a wide range of textures and colors. It can add a fair amount of warmth to a room. It is perfect for rooms where a large amount of entertaining happens. Concrete is incredibly durable. It is hard to scuff or scratch it. It can reduce heating and cooling bills because it is an excellent insulator. Because concrete is not combustible, it increases the fire protection in your home. It is a smooth, flat surface making floor cleaning a breeze. It requires very little, if any, maintenance.
There are some negatives to concrete, including that it is hard and standing on it for too long is uncomfortable. When your room has concrete floors, it sounds loud because the concrete does not absorb the sound. The sound bounces off of it, which makes the sound even louder. While concrete is durable, it can get damaged. When it does, it is challenging to fix. You cannot just put a small patch on the area where it is damaged.
Vinyl has come a long way and most likely is not at the top of your what is the best flooring for a family room list. However, it serves a purpose, and it is good to know all of your options. This flooring is often found in kitchens and bathrooms, but because of the significant advances it has made recently, vinyl tiles are used in more places. Vinyl can look like wood or have bright colors or patterns.
Some of the positives about vinyl include that it resists water. It is incredibly easy to clean with a broom and mop. It stays warm in the cold month. Vinyl is difficult to damage. Pet stain removal is super easy with soap and water or vinyl cleaner. However, there are some negatives that make vinyl a non-starter for some homeowners. These include the chemical used to make vinyl flooring. Those chemicals release volatile compounds that can irritate the eyes and harm the lungs. In addition, vinyl is hard to repair and often needs to be ripped out, and a new floor must be installed.
Even though ceramic tile is not commonly used in a living room, it is still worth mentioning when considering what is the best flooring for a family room. Ceramic tiles are made from a combination of materials like sand, clay, and water. They are molded into a tile and baked at high temperatures. They can have a matte or glossy finish. Ceramic tiles often have a unique glaze applied to protect them from damage.
The highlight of ceramic tiles is their durability. They are resistant to scratches, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. You can find ceramic tiles in many colors and designs. This flooring is excellent for households with pets or small children. They do not show wear and tear. They are easy to clean and resist germs. The downsides to ceramic tile are that sunlight can damage them. The pattern on ceramic tiles fades with time. They can be slippery, making it difficult for the elderly and children to walk on them, especially when wearing socks. Ceramic tiles do not have a lot of give and can be uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time. Ceramic tiles tend to remain cool, and when the outside temperature is cold, so are they. They are not comfortable to walk on barefoot in the winter.
When considering what is the best flooring for a family room, do not overlook laminate flooring. It is intended to look like wood but without the expense and increased durability. An image is printed onto a laminate which is then glued to a fiberboard. It can mimic any wood in which you are interested. You can even find laminate that looks like aged wood.
The positives associated with laminate include it is easy to assemble and care for. It is also incredibly affordable. The laminate sheets are built to fit together and typically be placed on top of an existing floor. The laminate snaps together; therefore, no glue or nails are needed. Cleaning laminate is easy as it only requires sweeping and mopping. The negatives about laminate are that it does not do well in an area with a lot of water, like a bathroom. It can resist small amounts of water, but not high water use. Laminate is not going to increase your resale value in the same way wood flooring will. Laminate wears down and requires replacement. It is manufactured with chemicals and releases toxic chemicals and formaldehyde.
When thinking about what is the best flooring for a family room, marble may not be an option as it is considered high-end. Marble is highly valued for its elegance and smooth finish. It comes in many colors and patterns. One of the positives about marble is it will increase your home resale value. It has instant appeal and makes any room look like it was custom-finished. It may have a heavy polish to it to make it shine. Some of the negatives associated with marble are it requires a large amount of upkeep, and it is expensive. It is easily damaged by water and stains. Marble chips easily and must be repaired, which is also expensive. Those with marble floors are constantly paying for upkeep and repair. Marble floors are slippery and often dangerous to walk on.
When thinking about what is the best flooring for a family room, linoleum may pop into your head. It is a timeless option and a close relative of vinyl. This is commonly used in high-traffic areas. There was a period when it was considered outdated; modern technology has created techniques that have drastically improved the look of linoleum. It is made from cork powder, linseed oil, and natural materials.
Linoleum is meant to last. When cared for properly, it can last for decades. It only needs to be swept and dry mopped. It does not emit any toxic chemicals. It is also biodegradable and not harmful to the environment. This is an affordable option. However, linoleum is easily damaged by sharp objects. It can be nicked or cut. It does not do well in areas where there is a lot of water use, such as a bathroom. If it is exposed to too much sunlight, over time, the pigment fades.
If you have not considered cork floor as a viable answer to what is the best flooring for a family room, you should. Cork is made from tree bark and is an environmentally friendly option. Cork is ground and bonded with resin. It has a natural texture and rising in popularity. Cork is soft and is comfortable to stand on for long periods of time. It can be resurfaced in the same way as hardwood. All it needs for resurfacing is to be sanded, then stained or finished. It does not accumulate hair, dust, or other allergens.
Cork does have some negatives. It is easily damaged. Sharp objects can puncture the floor even after it has been finished. Cork does not do well in areas with a lot of water or sunlight. Both will damage the cork. Humidity can make the cork buckle. Heavy furniture will leave dents in the flooring. If you were to consider cork flooring, you might need to visit a living room furniture store or a furniture refinishing service to get furniture that is not too heavy.
Bamboo flooring is a newer type of flooring option. Despite being new, it has become quite popular. Bamboo is grass that is manufactured into flooring. It is also used for other materials. Strands of bamboo are sliced and then pressed together to form the flooring. Bamboo flooring is found in different colors, grains, and styles.
Bamboo flooring is like hardwood and gives your home a modern look and feel. It can also increase its resale value. Bamboo floor is easy to repair because it can be sanded and refinished. It is durable and will last for a long time. However, you must be cautious because there are many cheap bamboo products on the market that will not last. It is essential that you do some research and determine the quality of the flooring before you buy it. Bamboo is damaged by water and does not respond well to humid areas.
Stone tiles are another option for consideration for a living room floor. They are a rock which makes them incredibly durable. Because they are rock, there are no two stone floors that look exactly alike. When installed properly, stone floors will increase the resale value of your home. They are environmentally sound because no manufacturing is required for these floors. However, stone tiles are an expensive option. Many of the stones are porous and absorb water, making them susceptible to water damage. In addition, stones are heavy and may add stress to the subfloor.
There are many options for consideration for your family room floor. Each one has positives and negatives. However, there is most likely one that is better for you based upon where you live, your budget, and the amount of traffic the floor has. Once you know all the differences in your options, you are better able to make the best decision for yourself and your family.