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When it comes to choosing a floor covering for your home there are a number of different types to select from, all coverings have different good and bad points to consider so it pays to do a little research when making your decision. You want the floor covering to look good and be durable to high traffic, as it is one of the main focal points of your home. You want it to be comfortable because you will be spending many years walking around on it. And you want it to be easy to maintain and clean. The most used floor coverings would be carpet, ceramic or porcelain tiles and solid or laminate timber.

Carpet has been used in homes since the eighteen hundreds and still one of the most popular floor coverings used today. Carpet comes in many different styles and colours and compared to solid timber or porcelain tiles is less expensive to purchase and install. Carpet is normally laid with a padded underlay which makes it easy on the feet and even soft enough to sit or lay around on and is also nice a warm for those colder climates. It also provides a soft impact for young children still crawling or learning to walk. However there are some downsides to carpet, it can stain quite easily if you happen to spill some wine or food on it and every time the kids run into the house with mud and dirt on their feet is a worry. A carpeted floor that is not regularly cleaned and vacuumed can harbour dust and dirt and other nasties that are not kind to people with asthma or allergies.

Ceramic tiles have been used in ancient times for thousands of years and are still used today, porcelain tiles are probably more common today as they look more classy and stylish than ceramic tiles. Tiles are very easy to keep clean, usually a quick sweep and mop is all it takes and unlike carpet, tiles don’t hide any dirt or food. Most ceramic tiles are pretty resistant to stains but some porcelain tiles will require sealing after installation. Summer times are great for tiles are they are nice and cool but in winter times you may need to get around in your slippers. Tiles will generally not change after many years and thousands of kilometres of walking on but they are susceptible to chipping or cracking if you happen to drop something heavy on them like a large pot or a heavy china bowl. Porcelain tiles can be expensive to purchase and expensive to get installed, but over the years porcelain tiles have definitely got cheaper.

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Solid timber floors in my opinion are the most stylish and classy of all floor coverings, they have that look and feel of warmth and are quite soft and forgiving on the feet. Timber floor are also easy to keep clean, any spilt food or drink is easily swept or mopped up without too much fuss. However solid timber floors are more expensive to purchase and install than most other floor coverings as generally the timber had to be sanded and then coated with urethane after installation. Also timber floors start showing signs of wear after a while with scratches and dents which are more visible on the highly polished floors.

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Source by Shannon J Handley

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