Pros and Cons of 5 Popular Bedroom Flooring Materials
The bedroom floor is a particularly intimate surface. It’s the first thing you step on barefoot every morning and the last thing you touch before climbing into bed every night. The impact of bedroom flooring on a person is physical and psychological, making your choice of flooring materials an important design decision.
There are many criteria that can be used to choose the best bedroom flooring material. Some of them may be obvious, such as the feeling of the floor beneath your feet, or its visual appeal.
You may also be concerned about the environment – whether the floor emits chemical gases, whether it is created in a green manner, and whether it can be recycled when it is replaced one day. And there are also care and maintenance issues, as well as longevity to consider.
Some of these elements may be more important to you than others, but all should be considered when you make a bedroom flooring choice. Every flooring material has both pros and cons, including the five most popular options for bedroom flooring.
Video credit: D.Signer
Bedroom Flooring # 1 Carpeting
Image Credit: Home Stars
Carpeting is one of the most popular bedroom flooring materials, largely because it is soft and warm. This tactile comfort helps create a sense of lush luxury in the room and protects your toes from chilly mornings.
Comfort: Carpet provides a cosy and comfortable place to sit, play and work, an advantage over most hardwood materials.
Difficult to keep clean: Liquid stains can seep deep into the padding and remain permanently. And carpeting tends to attract both dust and small microscopic organisms, which can compromise the air quality of the bedroom.
Sound-dampening: In a room where you sleep, carpeting can absorb outside noises and keep a bedroom quieter. Carpeting is the very best flooring for this.
Longevity: Most carpets are manufactured synthetically, which tend to have a shorter lifespan than other flooring choices. Unlike carpet, flooring such as hardwood can last multiple generations.
Styles & Colours: You can literally choose from thousands of carpet styles and colours, so your living space can be personalized to your liking.
May off-gas chemicals: Although carpeting manufacturing processes are much better than they once were, some carpeting can still off-gas chemicals such as formaldehyde, especially when the carpeting is new. For people with chemical sensitivities, this can be a serious health concern.
Cushioned surface: This can be a matter of safety in bedrooms used by children or older adults since a fall on carpeting is unlikely to cause injury the way that a hardwood floor or other rigid surface does. A good-quality pad beneath the carpet can increase the cushion.
Usually not recyclable: Although some installers will haul away old carpet when they install new flooring, this carpeting—and the synthetic materials used in its manufacture—are usually destined for landfills.
Bedroom Flooring # 2 Hardwood Flooring
Image Credit: Ferma Flooring
Next to carpeting, hardwood flooring is the most popular choice for bedroom flooring. Among real estate professionals, genuine hardwood is usually regarded as one of the best flooring materials. Not only is it beautiful and hard-wearing, but it’s also relatively durable.
Attractive surface: Hardwood flooring adds so much in looks to your bedroom, and can make any bedroom look amazing. They can give a room a warm, cosy, traditional feel or they can give a modern and clean look with a variety of colours and finishes to choose from.
Relatively expensive: Quality solid hardwood is one of the pricier flooring choices. Materials plus installation costs are slightly higher than other types of flooring, depending on the type of wood selected.
Improves real estate value: While it wasn’t always the case, in today’s real estate market, hardwood flooring is a much sought-after flooring, and homes with hardwood tend to sell faster and for a slightly higher selling price.
Harder than cork or carpeting: Although not a fully rigid surface, a child or older adult on hardwood flooring still runs the risk of injury from falls.
Durable, long-lasting material: When cared for properly, hardwood flooring can last as long as the house itself. It is unlikely your hardwood floors will need to be replaced unless you do it for aesthetic reasons.
No sound insulation value: Sounds within your bedroom will become much more noticeable. Older flooring also tends to creak due to its age. Even the most overlooked sounds and noises in your bedroom will become much noisier with hardwood floors.
Maintenance: Hardwood flooring are pretty easy to care for. With a quick daily sweep and wiping up spills as soon as they happen, these floors can stay looking close to brand new for years to come with very little maintenance.
Daily Cleaning: Hardwood flooring shows dirt and dust quicker than carpets will. This means it will require frequent and thorough cleaning to keep it looking fresh and clean.
Bedroom Flooring # 3 Cork Flooring
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Although it is still a relatively unusual flooring material, natural cork flooring is becoming more popular in bedrooms, where it has many virtues. One of its most important features is providing soundproofing while also keeping heat and air conditioning where it belongs.
Spongy and soft underfoot: Cork is a yielding surface that is extremely comfortable on the feet. Next to carpeting, this is one of the most forgiving floors when a person falls.
Less “green” than hardwood: While cork itself is a natural material that doesn’t pollute, the manufacturing process uses resins and adhesives that use synthetic chemicals. You may have trouble finding a recycling centre that will accept old cork flooring. But cork is still better for the environment compared to carpeting, vinyl, or laminate flooring.
Insulation value: Cork is filled with millions of tiny air bubbles, which serve to offer sound insulation value.
Easily scratched: The big problem with cork flooring is that it is a relatively soft material and will easily scratch from pet claws, furniture legs, and high heels.
Easy maintenance: Unlike carpet, which can be a chore to take care of, cork flooring is relatively hassle-free. As long as the surface seal is properly applied and periodically reapplied, the material itself will be virtually immune to stains.
Shorter lifespan than hardwood: Cork will have to be replaced periodically, although some products can be refinished a few times between installations. Well cared for, however, a cork floor can last up to 25 years.
Anti-allergy, anti-microbial: Cork is naturally resistant to microbes and dust-trapping static, which means that it doesn’t cause the same air-quality problems often caused by carpeting.
Relatively expensive: Cork is nearly as expensive as hardwood, with thicker, higher quality, longer-lasting cork floors costing as much as many hardwood options.
Bedroom Flooring # 4 Vinyl Flooring
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Whether it takes the form of sheet vinyl, vinyl tiles, or newer luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) tongue-and-groove planks, vinyl is a surprisingly versatile bedroom flooring choice. This is no longer a flooring reserved only for bathrooms and kitchens. A wide variety of looks is now available, with luxury vinyl products that are almost indistinguishable from wood, ceramic, or stone.
Nearly waterproof: Although this is more important in bathrooms and kitchens, the waterproof nature of vinyl may be of value in bedrooms with adjoining en suite bathrooms. The waterproof nature also makes this flooring easy to clean.
Not a “green” choice: The major drawback to vinyl is that it is relatively bad for the environment. Its production uses non-renewable petroleum resources and it requires considerable energy to manufacture.
Easy maintenance: Bedrooms are relatively low-traffic rooms, and vinyl is easily kept clean by sweeping and occasional damp mopping.
May off-gas chemicals: New vinyl installations, especially those that use glue-down application methods, may emit VOCs and hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde for several weeks after they are installed.
Easy installation: Vinyl flooring, especially tiles and luxury vinyl planks, are relatively easy for DIYers to install.
Not recyclable: When vinyl flooring reaches the end of its life and is removed, it is probably destined for a landfill, with its synthetic materials likely to last for centuries before breaking down.
Relatively long-lasting: Because bedrooms are relatively low-traffic areas, a good-quality vinyl floor can easily last 10 to 20 years.
Discolouration: If you buy low-quality vinyl flooring, it can become yellow over time. This discolouration can also take place because of direct sunlight. However, good quality vinyl floors are resistant to this.
Bedroom Flooring # 5 Laminate Flooring
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Laminate flooring is made from a thin layer of plastic laminate printed with a design layer, bonded to a base layer of high-density fiberboard (HDF), and topped with a clear wear layer. It is a remarkably versatile material that can be manufactured to look like almost any material, including hardwood, stone, or even metal. Laminate is probably the best option for a DIY floor installer as it’s made specifically for easy installation. It’s also a low-cost alternative that still offers an attractive appearance.
Easy to install: Laminate plank floors use a modified form of tongue-and-groove connections, sometimes known as “click-lock.” This is one of the easiest flooring materials for careful DIYers to install, though surface preparation is critical.
Can be scratched: Over time, it is almost impossible to avoid scratching the clear wear layer on laminate floors, as owners of active dogs with unclipped toenails can attest. Better quality laminates have thicker, more durable wear layers, but even with these, the floors will eventually get scratched.
Simple maintenance: Laminate flooring is easy to keep clean. Spills and marks can simply be wiped away with a soft microfibre cloth and it’s easy to sweep or vacuum away any dirt and dust.
A hard surface: Although they can closely resemble hardwood, laminate floors have even less resilience than wood, and a fall on a laminate floor will hurt and perhaps injure. This may not be the best choice in a bedroom for young children or older adults.
Many design choices available: Laminate flooring has been around for decades, and manufacturers offer an almost infinite range of styles and designs, many of which are fairly good mimics of hardwood or natural stone.
Difficult or impossible to repair: Unlike hardwood, laminate flooring is almost impossible to repair when the damage becomes extensive. While it is theoretically possible to disassemble and replace individual planks, it is more common for the entire floor to be removed and replaced. And unlike hardwood, which can be resurfaced several times, laminate flooring cannot be refinished.
Inexpensive: Laminate flooring can look and feel like the real material, but without the high price. This makes it perfect for the budget-conscious homeowner.
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