What Types of Flooring Are Available?

Flooring Fairfield NJ is a major investment, and the right choice can impact how long it lasts. It’s important to understand what is available, especially when it comes to sustainability and adherence to codes.

The room’s function and location will influence what type of surfacing is best. Hardwood floors refinish easily and can last decades, while cork is an eco-friendly choice.

Hardwood floors can add elegance and character to your home, and they can also increase the resale value of your property. But before you pick a hardwood, consider its thickness and hardness as well as the design aesthetic that fits your space. Generally, harder woods are more durable, and they stand up to more abuse than softer woods. Examples of hard woods include oak, maple, hickory, and birch. Softer woods include pine, cedar, and fir.

Another important characteristic to look for in a hardwood is its graining, which determines how much it shows scratches and marks. A grainier hardwood like hickory or oak will show less markings than a smooth exotic or domestic maple, and you can further reduce the appearance of scratches by opting for hand scraping or other slight distressing techniques.

Aside from color and graining, the species of wood you choose is an important factor in determining how durable your hardwood will be. Domestic woods such as oak, maple, and hickory are incredibly strong, while walnut and cherry offer beautiful color variations. And if you want something even stronger, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats and axe handles. It’s also the hardest domestic hardwood, with a Janka hardness rating of 1380.

You can purchase both solid and engineered hardwood flooring, and each type offers a different return on investment depending on your preferences. Solid wood is the traditional hardwood option and consists of solid planks of the desired thickness that can be sanded down and re-stained, but you can also buy pre-finished floors to save time on installation and maintain a consistent look throughout your home.

Most hardwood manufacturers source their wood responsibly, and you can check for this with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label to ensure that you’re buying a sustainable product. However, some exotic hardwoods aren’t certified as sustainable, so you may want to do a little research before purchasing these products.

Once you’ve selected the wood species and grade, it’s time to decide whether you’ll opt for solid or engineered hardwood flooring. Both are durable and beautiful, but engineered wood has many layers of wood glued together, which increases its stability and moisture resistance.


Carpet is a popular, soft flooring option that adds warmth and texture to rooms. It also helps to reduce noise and provides acoustic benefits. It is available in a wide variety of colors, materials and styles to complement any design aesthetic. While it’s not as durable as hard surface flooring, with proper care and maintenance carpet can last up to 25 years.

When designing your carpet, consider the fiber type and color to help create the look you want. You can also choose from a range of textures to suit your space, including plush, saxony, frieze, cable and sculptured. The pile height determines the level of comfort and durability in your carpet. The heavier the twist in the individual fibers, the more resistant it is to matting and crushing. The pile also creates the texture of the carpet, which hides dirt and wear.

The tufts in a carpet are held in place with a layer of padding, which is installed under the carpet to provide cushioning, insulation and shock absorption. The padding can be made from a number of materials, but foam rubber and polyurethane are commonly used as they offer good cushioning, abrasion resistance and tuft bind.

Another type of padding is the barrier pad, which is designed to protect the subfloor from moisture and prevent stains from penetrating the underlying floor. The barrier pad can be made from a variety of materials, including polyethylene or vinyl.

Patterned carpeting uses varying shades of the same color to create a textured appearance that helps hide soiling and wear. The pattern is usually repeated over the length of the room to create a consistent, finished appearance. The color is then matched across the seams, either in a set match or drop match.

Olefin (polypropylene) carpets are an alternative to wool carpets. They are more affordable than wool, but don’t offer the same level of performance and appearance retention. In general, olefin carpets are best for areas where the budget is a major consideration and long life expectancy is not an issue.


Tile flooring is tough and long-lasting, a great choice for high traffic areas. It is available in a wide variety of colors, textures and materials. It’s a popular option for kitchens and bathrooms.

Whether glazed ceramic, porcelain or natural stone, tile is extremely versatile in terms of color and design. It can look sleek and modern or rustic and old-world. It is a great option for those who want the beauty of stone but prefer something more durable and cost-efficient than marble or granite.

The advantage of tile is that it’s naturally water-resistant, which makes it a good choice for bathrooms and kitchens. It also resists stains better than other types of floors, making it easy to clean. It does not support the growth of viruses, fungi and bacteria, so it’s an excellent choice for those concerned about health issues like allergies.

It is relatively easy to maintain, requiring only regular wiping and sweeping. It is also highly durable, resistant to scratches, scuffs and other damage. If you choose to install tile on an upper floor in your home, keep in mind that it is heavy and needs a stiff floor framing to prevent cracking.

Because of its hard surface, tile does not amplify noises in your home, such as footsteps or rambunctious pets. However, some people do not like the feeling of tile underfoot. In such cases, it may be a good idea to add thick area rugs to the rooms in your home with tile floors.

To lay tile, first make sure the surface is clean and dry. If necessary, patch the floor to even out any unevenness. Then apply a thin coat of adhesive with a trowel. Next, place spacers between the tiles and use a level to ensure they are perfectly straight and even. Begin laying the tiles from one wall (call it A) to the other wall (call it B), working in small sections at a time. After adjusting the A-to-B line, mark a straightedge parallel to and against the center tile on one of the walls (call it C). Repeat the process with the other straightedge (D) for the other side of the room.


Your home takes a lot of wear and tear, so it’s important to have durable flooring that can withstand a busy lifestyle. Vinyl is a versatile and inexpensive option that comes in a wide range of styles to suit your decor. It resists scratches, dents and stains, making it easy to clean and safe for kids and pets.

There are two main types of vinyl: standard and luxury. Both can be purchased in either tiles or planks, but the differences lie in the construction and design. Standard vinyl, usually referred to as vinyl composition tile (VCT), has a layer of clear protective coating over a photographic design layer that can resemble stone or ceramic tile, or even wood.

It’s available in a variety of textures, colors and patterns. Some have a heavily antiqued or distressed look that’s peppered with nail holes and scrapes to replicate the appearance of old floors. It’s also available in a number of widths to eliminate seams and match a room’s dimensions.

Standard vinyl is a resilient floor, which means that it’s warm on your toes and absorbs shock, making it comfortable to walk on for long periods of time. It has a good lifespan and can be installed in high-traffic areas without worrying about the wear and tear.

Luxury vinyl plank, or LVP, has a waterproof core to prevent swelling and damage from moisture. It can be made to resemble the appearance of wood, stone and ceramic tile, and is available in both rigid and flexible planks. It’s a top choice among homeowners and has many of the same benefits as hardwood, including durability and ease of maintenance.

Both are produced by heating small pieces of PVC, then pressing them into thin layers that can be glued to form sheets or cut into tiles. The tiles can then be interlocked to form a floor, or they may be grouted. Vinyl can be made to look like ceramic or porcelain tile, natural stone, or hardwood, and is available in both click-together floating floors and glued down installation options.