There are countless flooring materials in the market that choosing one can be overwhelming. You can go for the usual choice, like hardwood or vinyl, but if you’re seeking durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal, there are many other materials worth considering too.
Your family room, after all, requires the type of flooring that will endure wear and tear well, given that it’s a high-traffic area. If the room is adjoined by the main spaces of your home, such as your kitchen or living room, then it would probably look best if it has the same flooring as those spaces. But if it’s a separated area, like a basement or a loft, then you may have more liberty in choosing a material.
Without further ado, let’s walk through your best family room flooring options:
Laminate isn’t just popular for its low price tag, but also for doing a brilliant job in mimicking natural stone, wood, and tile flooring. If you won’t pay too much attention to the details, you’ll never notice its repetitive patterns, which betrays laminate’s faux-ness.
But this affordable flooring’s best quality isn’t its appearance. It’s its toughness. On the website Consumer Reports, laminate usually earns “Very Good” ratings for being scratch- and dent-resistant. It also performs excellently against foot traffic, stains, and sunlight. Suffice to say, laminate is an affordable, low-maintenance option perfect for families with active little kids.
We may not see a lot of tiles in new homes anymore, but porcelain remains a classic flooring material that resists the effects of wear, moisture, stains, scratches, and dents. The material also earns good ratings in Consumer Reports, praised most for its superb performance against foot traffic, stains, and sunlight, just like laminate. The only downside of porcelain is that it’s difficult to install. A professional is usually hired to do it, even if you’re just replacing one tile.
There are plenty of reasons people love vinyl floors. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, a breeze to maintain, and can look high-end, particularly if you choose luxury vinyl planks.
Vinyl can also mimic the look of natural stone, tile, and wood flooring very well. Premium brands can even copy the look of oak as good as the real thing. But on top of that, consumers also give vinyl high ratings for its durability and longevity. It barely discolors from prolonged sunlight exposure and can stay pristine in a high-traffic area.
Polyurethane or urethane surface coating is typically used in industrial spaces, but they work well in homes too. They are applied over concrete flooring, so this may be a workable option only for unfinished basements, garages, or lofts.
Polyurethane coating offers all the qualities of the other three flooring materials listed above. However, it will leave your floors a little shiny, as there is no matte finish available. If you want a minimal shine, choose a satin finish. It is generally the most complementary to concrete floors since the semi-gloss and high-gloss finish are usually too shiny for a typical homeowner’s liking.
If you’re going to coat your floors yourself, all you need to do is wipe the floors thoroughly, including the areas underneath the furniture and below the baseboards. Once your surface is clean and dust-free, start pouring the polyurethane into a painting tray, and use a paint roller to coat your floors evenly. At least three coats are recommended for the best results.
5. Carpet Tiles
If your little kids like to run around, their safety should be your priority. Carpet tiles will eliminate fall and slip hazards from your floor. What’s more, they’re easy to install, inexpensive, and stylish.
The carpet is pretty versatile too. It suits both formal areas and casual spaces. But for a family room, a frieze carpet will work best. The fibers on it are thicker and sturdier and don’t compress and flatten over time, unlike the old-fashioned shag carpets.
Furthermore, you don’t need to heat your floors anymore if you’ve got carpet. It has a high R-value — which is a material’s insulation value — so it will stay warm even during the coldest weathers, and stay cool during a heatwave. As such, you’d be able to save on HVAC costs too.
And as long as you vacuum your carpet floors daily, you and your kids can lie down or roll around on it. Also, the victorious noises you’ll make won’t disturb the neighbors, because the carpet absorbs sounds instead of carrying them to other spaces.
With these five flooring materials in your options, making a choice won’t be an overwhelming task anymore. You may have some fun too because even if they’re few, they can test your creativity and style pretty intensely. But even if you put aesthetics on top of the function, none of these flooring materials will fail you, because they offer both equally.