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  • Tim Kraemer

Material Breakdown: Flooring

Updated: Jan 27, 2019

What’s at the base of the home, the place that gets the biggest beating on a daily basis, that’s right we are talking about floors.  Floors can make your home look open and inviting.  They are a main feature in providing the look of your home.  And in Wisconsin they can also be a place of warmth or a cold, uninviting walk.  Last week we talked windows and doors and how they hold up in Wisconsin weather.  This week we’ll take a look at floors.

First on the list is concrete.  In today’s world concrete can be stamped and stained to give you a detailed look without the hassle of laying extra flooring.  Concrete is strong and can hold up to a lot of wear and tear.  Stamped concrete is a new go to for the basement level of newly built homes.  However, in Wisconsin concrete floors equal very cold floors, especially during the winter months.  To fix the coldness of concrete floors, radiant floor heating is the go to.  Radiant heating heats the home by warming everything in the room like surfaces, furniture and people.  Its energy efficient and does not need to blow air around-stirring up dust and allergens.  A down side to concrete floors, especially in Wisconsin is they don’t hold up well to salt.  During the winter months, it’s important to leave boots/shoes on an entrance rug, avoiding concrete flooring.

Second, vinyl flooring is an all-around Wisconsin friendly flooring as it holds up in any climate.  It’s durable and reduces noises from the flooring.  Vinyl comes in many colors and patterns, even woodgrain patterns.  It’s also less expensive than other types of flooring.  A downside to vinyl is that it can be damaged by sharp objects and heavy wear.  It is also susceptible to fading by sunlight.

Third, let’s talk carpet.  It’s a comfort to most people to have carpeted rooms in their home.  It’s quiet and gives off the feeling of comfort and warmth on your feet.  Remember that carpeted flooring will be damaged by moisture, and aren’t as easy to maintain as other floorings.  But in Wisconsin carpet can be oh-so-inviting on a cold winters day.  Radiant floor heating can be used under carpeting as well you just need to choose a thinner style of carpet.

Concrete, vinyl and carpet are our top three choices for flooring in Wisconsin this year.  Next, we’ll briefly cover some other types of flooring.

  • Hardwood: Sensitive to humidity, heavy traffic, and sunlight. Typically, is more expensive.  Gives that true wood look.

  • Bamboo: Has increased damp resistance, but decreased thermal properties.

  • Cork: Is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and temperature stable. Does not stand up to moisture.

  • Laminate: Gives the look of wood with more strength.

  • Ceramic/Stone tile: Lots of opportunity for design features.  Can be cold-radiant floor heating can be used with tile.  Lighter colored grout gets dirty easily.  Tile can range in prices.

Remember this list is not all inclusive, but rather meant to give you a quick overview and help you narrow down which flooring choices may be right for you.

If you missed last week’s blog about windows and doors check it out here:

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