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Three of the Best Alternatives to Hardwood Floors

May 16, 2017 at midnight

Just because hardwood floors have become the gold standard of flooring doesn't mean they're the perfect choice for everyone. Sure, they are classic, versatile, and alluring; however, they are also pricey and not always appropriate given the circumstances. Whether your bank account is begging you to reconsider hardwoods, your floors are susceptible to moisture, or you want flooring that absorbs sound, there are many high-quality alternatives to hardwood flooring.

Here are three of the most popular options that not only have the beauty of hardwoods, but also some extra features that make them worthwhile.

Ceramic/Porcelain "Wood" Tiles

Designed to mimic wood, these tiles have realistic grain patterns and textures. And since they come in long planks, it's easy to avoid the look of tiled flooring. In fact, they bear such a close resemblance to actual wood that it is difficult to tell the difference at first glance. However, appearance is where the similarities end. Ceramic tiles can handle areas of high moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. They are also easy to

clean and maintain. Moreover, if one is damaged or needs to be replaced, doing so is easy without tearing up the entire floor.

With nearly every finish you could ever want at your fingertips, wood tiles can match any interior decor. They are also durable enough to withstand the busiest of homes.

Laminate Options

Long gone are the days when laminate flooring was prone to upcurled edges and a cheap, plastic appearance.

In the past decade, laminate has surged in popularity thanks to its versatility, affordability, and relative ease of installation. Now, it comes in a variety of colors and patterns so that you can replicate any hardwood flooring you can wish for. Unlike hardwoods, though, laminate flooring is water-resistant, making it an attractive (and safe) option for bathrooms, laundry areas, and kitchens. When the flooring is installed with a pad underneath, it provides a convenient sound barrier as well.

When shopping for flooring, keep in mind that not all laminate products are created equal. Since the advent of laminate, manufacturers have tried to mass produce it on the cheap. To be sure that the laminate you intend to buy is made to high quality standards, check that they have the seal from the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA).

Cork

When most people think of cork, images of office cork boards or wine bottles often spring to mind. It may come as a surprise, then, that cork is actually a durable, comfortable, and renewable source of

flooring. Harvested from the bark of cork oak trees, it has recently gained popularity among American consumers courtesy of its "green" qualities and other unique features.

Cork comes in a variety of colors and can be stained as well. It provides a cushioned surface since it "gives" when compressed; it doesn't emit gas or microfibers; it is impermeable to liquids and gas, and it resists cracking and breakage. More, it will melt or ignite only in the highest temperatures, while generating less smoke and substantially fewer toxins than vinyl flooring options.

CRT Flooring Concepts features a variety of flooring options that are affordable, durable, and beautiful. Check out the showroom to see for yourself the huge number of attractive in-stock and special order options available.


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