How to Choose the Right Flooring for Your Home

Flooring Fairfield NJ can dramatically change the look of a home and add value. But how do you know what material is best suited for your family’s lifestyle?


Each material has its strengths and weaknesses. Some are eco-friendly, some are softer and warm underfoot, others are less expensive and more durable.

Bamboo flooring offers a more contemporary look and feel than wood floors, while providing an eco-friendly alternative that’s dimensionally stable. It’s also a good insulator, keeping rooms warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Typically, solid bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) flooring is produced in a click-and-lock engineered style that requires no nails to secure it to the subfloor. This allows the floor to be refinished, but this type of installation may not provide the same level of stability as nail-down wood floors.

The natural color of bamboo is warm and light, but the material can also be stained dark or neutral to suit a variety of design styles. Staining can also help mask the distinctive knuckles and growth rings of the bamboo poles, resulting in a more uniform look.

Because it’s a fast-growing, renewable resource, many homeowners opt for solid bamboo floors made of Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), which can be harvested stalk by stalk without clear-cutting. The regrowth time for this species is about six years, making it an excellent choice for those looking for an environmentally responsible and sustainable product.

When selecting bamboo, it’s important to choose a quality manufacturer that sources their materials from responsibly managed forests and uses only low-VOC adhesives that don’t off-gas formaldehyde. If you want to reduce your exposure even further, select a GREENGUARD or FLOORSCORE certified bamboo product.

The proper care of bamboo floors includes regular cleaning with a hardwood floor cleaner, mop and cloth, as well as the use of rugs and mats in high traffic areas. Rugs and mats can shield your bamboo floors from abrasive dirt and debris, and they can prevent the legs of tables, wheels of wheelchairs or dirt on shoes from causing scratches in the surface.

Keep in mind that bamboo can be damaged by excessive moisture, so using a dehumidifier or humidifier is recommended. In addition, extreme heat or dryness can cause bamboo to expand or shrink. This can lead to cracks in the floor, so adjusting your heating or cooling system is important. Finally, don’t place abrasive pads or furniture protectors on your bamboo floor. This will damage the floor over time, and it can create dents that can collect dust, sand or other debris.


Tile flooring is a broad term for any tough floor covering that has been cut into tiles with the spaces in between filled with grout. It is commonly made from ceramic, stone and porcelain although technological advances have also created rubber or plastic floor tile options. They are used for both residential and commercial applications.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the most popular type of tile flooring due to their durability and beauty. They are available in a wide range of colors and textures, making them versatile for use in various home decor styles. They are often glazed to increase their strength and lifespan, and they can be made to look like natural stone. They are durable enough to withstand the stomping of snow boots, soccer cleats and other forms of heavy foot traffic without becoming scratched or dulled.

Regular sweeping and mopping are all that is needed to keep tile flooring looking its best. A soft bristle broom or vacuum cleaner is ideal for this task to remove dust, debris and dirt. A bucket and mop are helpful tools to have on hand as well for mixing your cleaning solution and distributing it onto the surface of your tile floors. You can find a variety of commercially made cleaners to use on your tile flooring, though many recommend the simple solution of water and vinegar.

Because of their hardness, tile floors can be cold to walk on in winter and don’t muffle sound as well as carpet does. To help make them more comfortable, add doormats and area rugs to high traffic areas of the home. You should also put pads under furniture to prevent it from sliding on tile floors and damaging the corners and grout lines.

Tile is a great choice for those with allergies, as it doesn’t trap pet hair or dust mites and it is easy to clean. It’s a great option for kitchens, baths, laundry rooms and other areas where spills are likely to happen. It is also a great choice for high humidity areas, as it is moisture resistant.


Hardwood is a timeless flooring material beloved for its natural look and feel. Today, many choose to pair this natural elegance with the engineering of engineered hardwood to maximize its versatility and durability.

Wood floors come in a wide range of shades, textures and species, including oak, maple, hickory and others. Each variety has a unique grain and color that can complement or contrast with the rest of the room’s décor. Darker shades tend to have more character and richness while lighter shades offer a cleaner, simpler appearance.

Whether you choose solid or engineered hardwood, it’s essential to properly care for this organic product. Wood responds to moisture in its cellular structure and this can cause swelling, warping and cracking over time. Keeping your home’s humidity in the ideal range will prevent these problems.

The choice of hardwood is also based on the level of resistance to wear and tear you desire. Most domestic hardwoods rank high on the Janka hardness scale, which helps determine how resistant it is to dents and scratches.

Both hardwood and engineered wood can be used interchangeably in most homes, although engineered is a better option for areas prone to water damage such as basements and bathrooms. Pre-finished wood also has a lessened chance of moisture damage, since the finish protects the surface.

Scratches are a common problem, especially if you have young children or pets that tend to drag furniture across floor boards. To reduce the risk, enforce a no-shoes policy in rooms that have hardwood floors and place mats at all exterior doors to prevent dirt, sand and abrasives from tracking onto the flooring. Felt pads can be placed under the legs of chairs, sofas and tables to minimize scratching as well.

Keep in mind that regular cleaning and maintenance will extend the life of your wood floors. Vacuuming regularly, sweeping with a soft brush and dusting with a wood flooring specific vacuum attachment can help minimize sand and grime buildup. Using a commercially available stain/polyurethane combo will provide your floors with a protective coating against moisture, sun exposure and stains.


Carpet is one of the most popular floor coverings for homes because it adds warmth, softness and sound absorption. It also has the advantage of being easy on the feet and back. When properly cared for, it can last a long time and still look great.

There are many things to keep in mind when selecting a carpet for your home including color, fiber pattern and pricing. Stain resistance is an important consideration for any homeowner and there are stain-protection treatments that can be applied to any type of fiber.

Some of the most common fibers for carpet are polyester, olefin and wool. Polyester and olefin are highly stain-resistant and hold up well to moderate foot traffic, while wool is naturally soil resistant but not stain-proof. The best choice for your home depends on your lifestyle and the needs of your family.

In addition to determining what type of carpet to purchase, you’ll want to consider pad and cushion options. These will vary by brand and model. They can also have a significant impact on your carpet’s warranty.

Carpet can be manufactured on massive looms similar to woven fabric, produced using needle felts or knotted by hand (in oriental rugs). Machine-woven carpets are the most widely used for residential use. These are made with their pile injected into a pre-woven backing material by using needles, which are then held in place by underlying loopers. This method of construction allows for the creation of a wide variety of patterns and colors, and is the most economical for larger areas.

Needle felt carpets are more technologically advanced and are made by intermingling and felting individual synthetic fibers with barbed and forked needles, which creates a very durable product. Hand-knotted wool carpets are expensive and most often found in private residences.

Another factor when choosing carpet is face weight, which refers to the number of fibers per square yard and does not include the weight of the backing. Typically, a higher face weight carpet has greater durability and is more resistant to flattening due to furniture or foot traffic.