It is fun to contend materials against each other since each of them has all their own pros and cons. They have distinctive weaknesses and yet, all of them are being availed by people. Which is very interesting since it will mostly depend on the buyer which will he/she use as a material for flooring.
Some people will base their decision on the overall cost; others will take a side of the conveniences of maintaining the materials. There are also people who based more on the durability and lifespan of the material. The rest will probably base on the aesthetic since they want a beautiful ambiance in their home.
Contender Number One: Tiles
Tiles are manufactured from natural stone and cuts into standard squares. Tiles have hard but smooth surfaces. It can be made from marble, ceramic, porcelain and other natural resources. But the commonly used is ceramic. Tiles, in general, are very durable, reproduce radiant ambiance, and have various patterns and colors. It is also not prone to moisture damage but needs to be regularly maintained to avoid staining of the surface.
It is much more expensive in comparison to other contenders since the material is from raw natural resources and it costs a lot to manufacture. You also need an expert to install the tiles properly which can be expensive. But it can be easily repaired and replaced tile by tile.
Contender Number Two: Laminate flooring
A type of flooring made with natural resources and synthesized in layers that are compressed to form strips. The outer surface has similar design pattern with wood or stones with very soft and smooth textures. It is very cheap and also available in various colors and pattern. For the installation, it is easy to handle and you can do it by yourself since it is placed with a foam underlay.
The maintenance is much easier in comparison in than tiles but it is weak against moisture that causes the strip to lose its color and if water seeps between the joints, it will cause swelling on the flooring. Hence, repairs may be tedious since it is usually placed in a tongue-and-groove pattern that interlocked each strip. If one strip is damaged, there is a possibility you will have to remove adjacent strips to repair them properly.
Contender Number Three: Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl is composed of a resin that mostly used in PVC materials and manufactured in a single rubberized stripped plank or square tiles. Its surface is dyed and reproduces an appearance of hardwood. Vinyl almost has the same price with laminate floorings but more resistant to moisture. It also has much softer surface than laminated.
The installation of vinyl is the easiest since it can be glued easily and has an expected life span of almost 50 years if installed properly. It is not demanding to clean and maintain. On the other side, there are concerns from the composition of vinyl, specifically the PVC resin used since it can emit volatile organic compounds (VOC) which can cause harm to our health. But most of the product is tested to qualify for a certification to regulate VOC emission into a small percentage.
Choosing a material to use is like any sport, even though there is no perfect team, we based our support on the combination of their strengths and weaknesses. Same with being loyal to certain brands of products, it all comes down to the preference of the end-user. But it is quite exciting to compare products that close in regards to competition within the consumers.