Wood or ceramics? Carpeting or stone? It’s about getting the maximum comfort in your home by making an investment that is usually important. Therefore, before choosing a surface, it is necessary to analyze the conditions of the home and its use.
An advice, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the basis on which the floor will be installed? You have to know if it is a level surface, more or less porous or wet. For example, stone and ceramics can only be installed on ground-based floors, never on an already installed one. On the contrary, the carpet or synthetic coverings adapt to any floor.
- What temperature and humidity should it support? Extreme temperature changes caused by radiant heating, for example, can contract and dilate unprepared wood that will end up opening and lose adhesion. If there is a lot of humidity, the wood will absorb it, it will bulge and rise.
- How much friction will you have to resist? The floor of a single floor will not suffer the same as that of a family with small children. Ceramic and stone are the most durable materials, and vinyl and synthetic paint are the least resistant.
- Is it difficult to install it? The more work required and the longer it takes, the more expensive the floor will be and, in addition, the more complicated and expensive its renovation will be. Placing a synthetic coating is simple and economical, just like the floating flooring, but not the tiles.
- How much light will it receive? Low-lit spaces require clear colors and surfaces that reflect light. To an indoor bathroom, for example, a living and polished ceramic would suit you, while a living room with large windows can support a dark and matt wood.
Even having made the decision to place a certain surface, we will find different qualities and characteristics. You have to know well what each one brings us:
Complex installation, but very resistant to use, both for transit and to withstand humidity and dirt. It is appreciated in warm environments. Another of its advantages is the wide variety of designs and textures.
There are several types of ceramic floors that we can choose: from terracotta to porcelain stoneware, going through the normal stoneware. Each one presents specific advantages.
1. Clay floor: Ideal to give a rustic look to our terrace, as it is more traditional and therefore has irregularities and imperfections that make it very special. Although it is resistant, and it require some treatment and care, since it is very sensitive to stains.
2. Porcelain stoneware: It is highly recommended for its durability: resistant to scratching and high and low temperatures. It is also very versatile and today you can find tiles with many shapes and colors, or imitating textures of other materials, such as stone, marble or even wood. It is easy to install, although you have to take into account a couple of details. As it is an outdoor floor, subjected to more sudden changes in temperature, it is necessary to leave expansion joints between the tiles.
3. Normal stoneware: It is cheaper and easier to place, but being thinner than porcelain is also less resistant on the outside.
The installation is difficult, except when it comes to floating floors (with adjustable sheets). Wood is a quality material that can withstand years in perfect condition, although it will depend on the use, the care – using cleaning with waxes and renewing the varnish -, temperature and humidity. A wood of low quality does not compensate the cost of the installation with the years of duration.
Stones Marble, granite, slate, sandstone…
All types of stone ensure durability and resistance to any condition. Its disadvantage is the price and the difficulty of installation.
A material that is respectful of the environment and visually very pleasant is natural stone. Both polished and irregular, the stone is a material of easy maintenance and great durability. Its uniqueness resides precisely in that, being a natural material each stone is exclusive and unique.
The most common types of stone for outdoor paving are:
1. Slab: Resistant to all types of weather, slab is highly recommended for the coldest places, since they are not so affected by the ice. A well-kept slab floor can be for life.
2. Granite: It is not the cheapest option, but it is one of the most beautiful. Highly recommended for warm areas, due to its resistance to heat, this material is also very versatile, since we can find it in different colors, sizes and shapes.
3. Slate: Very used in roofs, since it is a very impermeable material and therefore a good thermal insulator, the slate can also be a great option for the pavement. It has a gray color, ranging from lighter tones to almost black grays, which gives a very particular look to our terrace. An aesthetic option, but also very resistant.
Cement and concrete
The new architectural trends propose these building materials as alternative soils, which can vary in tone and reproduce designs. As resistant and easy to maintain as the stone, and just as cold and complex to install, although they are cheaper.
Synthetic coating and vinyl
It is very easy to apply and clean, resistant to water, adaptable to any surface, insulating from cold and heat, economical and offer original possibilities such as 3D designs. The main problem with this material is that it endure badly the intense or prolonged use.
It is the warmest choice and, also, the most used in places of low temperature. The carpet is easy to install, provides comfort, design and resists well the passage of time. Its main drawback is that it accumulates dirt and dust, so it requires continuous maintenance.
All floors must have a guarantee, like any other product, but in many cases to be effective, manufacturers require that the material be handled according to their indications and not suffer from a defective installation. So, when in doubt, let a specialist do it.