Exploring the Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring: Beauty and Durability Combined

Flooring Middletown NY is one of the most important design elements in your home. The right floor can bring your interior together and create seamless room-to-room continuity.

Consider how much you’re willing to spend and the level of maintenance needed. Site-finished solid wood floors require more work than factory-finished laminate and engineered hardwood.



Wood flooring brings a natural, warm and classic look to your home. It is longlasting and a timeless choice for most homeowners.

It can be installed in a wide variety of patterns and styles to suit different decors from modern to classical. Wood floors can also be sanded and refinished over time to keep your floor looking fresh and new.

Different species of wood have their own characteristics. Some are harder and more durable, others have a beautiful grain pattern or are more colour variant. Oak, for example, has a strong character and a gorgeous grain, with an elegance that only gets better with age. Other wood species such as birch are softer and more colourful with a rich golden hue that changes with the seasons. Hickory is another hard wood with a varied grain and rich hue that can lean red or orange depending on the stain used. Pine is a softer wood with a traditional look that has beautiful grain and characteristic knots that get even better with age.

A wood floor’s sheen level determines how easy it is to maintain and the amount of light it reflects. The options are matte, satin, semi-gloss and glossy.

The installation method for wood flooring can be either click fitting or tongue & groove, with the latter being more traditional. The tongue on the plank fits into the groove on the other side of the board to create a tight fit and no visible gaps between the boards. The tongue and groove system can be fitted over underlay which provides insulation against sound, heat and moisture.

A wood floor’s dimensional stability is affected by humidity. Too much moisture in the air can cause the wood to swell and crack. In extreme cases the flooring can even delaminate. It is therefore important to keep a good level of humidity in the home, which can be done by installing an efficient dehumidifier or by using underlay with a built-in dehumidifier.


Tile is a classic flooring material that can be used in many different ways. Its most common use is in kitchens, but it also works well in mudrooms and entryways as an alternative to expensive hardwood. Tile is a durable option that can handle heavy foot traffic, and it can stand up to years of wear and tear. It is naturally water-resistant and is an ideal choice for bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Tile comes in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. It is an ideal material for achieving a custom look, and its versatility allows homeowners to find the right style to complement their design aesthetic. The layout and installation process also have an effect on the appearance of a tile floor. For example, using smaller mosaic tiles in between the primary tiles can create a distinctive pattern that adds visual interest to the space.

Another advantage of tile is that it is easy to clean. It won’t harbor dirt, dust, pet dander and other allergens like carpet fibers, and it is resistant to mold and mildew growth. Furthermore, most tiles are fired at high temperatures, reducing the production of Volatile Organic Compounds that can contaminate indoor air quality.

The disadvantages of tile flooring include its hardness, which can make it uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time and make dropped items more likely to break. Additionally, grout lines can collect dirt and stain over time, requiring regular cleaning and occasional regrouting. Finally, tile can be more expensive than some other flooring options.

With the right planning and professional installation, tile is a great option for any home renovation project. It is an especially good choice in high-traffic areas, as it will withstand the stomping of boots, the kicking of soccer cleats and other daily wear and tear. In addition, it is a good choice for bathroom and kitchen areas because of its durability, resistance to moisture and ease of maintenance. However, for bedrooms and living spaces, other flooring options may be more comfortable and offer better sound absorption.


Vinyl is a versatile flooring material with an attractive blend of aesthetics, durability, and affordability. It can mimic materials like wood or stone, and is easy to install and maintain. However, it can be scratched by heavy objects and may fade under intense sunlight, and some types produce high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — although there are low-VOC alternatives available.

The production of vinyl is an interesting story, starting with the discovery of the chemical PVC by a German chemist named Eugen Baumann in 1926. He had left a flask of vinyl chloride out in the sun, and when he returned, a white solid polymer had formed inside. He had no idea that he had stumbled upon an incredibly useful new product.

In the following years, researchers developed various processes to mold this new polymer into different products. One such process was to add carbon, which gave the vinyl a distinctive black color and improved its electrical properties. This was used in the production of vinyl records, which were colored black to reduce the amount of static electricity generated by their rotation and playback.

The most common use for vinyl today is as a floor covering. It is durable and relatively inexpensive compared with other flooring options, but it is not inherently water-resistant and must be sealed to protect against moisture damage. Some varieties of vinyl are made with a protective top layer that is resistant to stains, making it easy to clean.

It is important to note that most vinyl products are manufactured to look the same so that one section will look the same as another coming out of the boxes. This means that when installing the floor, it is best to work out of 2-3 boxes at a time and pay close attention to placement or you may end up with a section that looks identical to the rest.

When properly cared for, vinyl is extremely rugged and can last for decades if not longer. It is also easy to clean, requiring little more than a broom and mop. It can be damaged, though, so it is important to protect your vinyl by using rugs or mats in high-traffic areas, and placing felt pads on the bottom of furniture legs.


Carpet is a popular flooring choice for many homeowners and builders. It is comfortable and warm underfoot, provides sound-absorbing qualities, and comes in a wide variety of textures and colors to match any decor. However, it is also prone to staining and requires regular upkeep and cleaning. As a result, it may not last as long as other types of flooring.

When choosing a new carpet, it is important to consider the room in which you will be installing it. Typically, heavy use areas like stairs and hallways require a higher face weight or “pile” of fibers per square yard. This helps the carpet resist flattening caused by foot traffic and furniture over time. It is also important to keep in mind that the type of fiber used in a carpet has an impact on durability.

Aside from fiber type, the way a carpet is constructed also impacts its durability. Tufted carpets have an upper layer of pile that is attached to a secondary backing. This backing is made of either a tough, woven material or a durable plastic. This material is used to reduce the risk of the carpet becoming soiled or damaged by moisture, odors, and mold.

While many homeowners choose carpet for its versatility and style, it is not ideal for every room in the home. If not maintained properly, it can harbor dirt and allergens deep within its fibers. These contaminants can trigger hay fever and allergies in sensitive family members. Additionally, if water or other liquids seep through the carpet and its backing, mold and mildew can grow, which is not only unsightly but can pose health risks for your family.

If you’re interested in installing carpet, speak to your local Flooring America sales professional about the various options available and how each type of carpet performs in different environments. They will be able to help you choose the right carpet for your needs and advise you of any additional maintenance requirements.