Ceramic tile floors look spectacular, and they are durable. At the same
time, they tend to be cold, they conduct sound, and they are expensive.
Upon installation, they are evenly spaced and then the joints are filled
with grout. These joints are then sealed.
Resilient floors include vinyl, linoleum, cork, and rubber. They are
comfortable underfoot and easy to clean. They are impervious to
water--except at the seams or where torn. Depending upon the material,
resilient flooring comes in either large sheets, which need to be cut to
size, or easy-to install tiles. Resilient floors are often cost
effective and are available in a staggering number of pat terns and
colors. They are usually thin, which means the subfloor must be level.
Manufactured wood flooring materials include: fiberboard surfaced with a
synthetic laminate layer (right), plywood topped with a thin hardwood
veneer (center), and parquet tile made of wood strips (left). Wood
floors come in planks or strips. The planks fit together with
tongue-and-groove joints or square edges and, depending on manufacturer
recommendations, they float on top of the subfloor or are secured in
place with nails, staples, and or glue.
Carpet is the most popular choice for living rooms and bedrooms because
it produces a warm, comfortable environment. It is available in
convention al, cushion-back, or tile forms. Wall-to-wall carpet is laid
with fittings, such as tackless strips and padding. Cushion-backed
carpet is glued directly to the subfloor.