Types of Flooring

Flooring Fairfield NJ is one of the hardest-working surfaces in your home. Grit-covered shoes grind dirt into it, raincoats drip on it, and heavy cans crash onto it.


But some floors stand up to dents and moisture better than others. And some are hypoallergenic, resisting the buildup of allergens like dander, pollen and mold.

Wood floors are classic and versatile, adding a timeless appeal to any room. They can be customized to suit your design style and are available in a variety of colors, grains and species. Solid hardwoods are hygroscopic, meaning they expand and contract with changes in moisture. If exposed to too much water, the boards can warp and become damaged. This is why it is important to keep humidity in mind when choosing a hardwood floor.

When choosing a solid wood floor, consider the demands it will need to endure, such as foot traffic and pet activity. Each type of hardwood is given a Janka hardness rating that determines how well it will resist dents and scratches. The hardest domestic woods are hickory and oak, while softwoods like southern yellow pine have lower ratings.

Other options include cherry, birch and maple. These hardwoods have a lighter color and may have a more intricate grain pattern. They also tend to show scratches and dents less than other types of wood. When selecting your solid wood floor, it is also important to consider the finish and stain you want to use. You can choose to have the surface brushed for a more distressed look or apply a hand-scraping technique to create an antique finish.

Engineered wood flooring is a good alternative to solid hardwood, as it is more durable and can withstand more wear and tear. This type of flooring is made up of several layers. The core layer is constructed of a fiberboard material that contains wood byproducts, and over this is a design layer that has been printed to look like either hardwood or another type of material. This layer is then protected by a clear wear layer that offers good resistance to scratching and stains.

Solid wood is generally installed at or above grade, although it can be laid over existing flooring. It is not recommended for a basement or any area that will be exposed to standing water, as the wood can swell and warp. Solid wood can be installed over radiant heating, but it is important to use a vapor barrier to prevent condensation from building up under the floor.


Carpet is a warm, comfortable flooring option that can add texture, softness and color to a room. It’s also durable and offers thermal insulating properties, keeping rooms warmer and conserving energy. It’s also a good sound absorbing material, ideal for households with active kids or pets. The type of carpet you choose depends on your needs and tastes; there are many fiber, texture, color, style and padding options to choose from.

The different types of carpet are differentiated by the way the fibers are looped or tufted together. The tufting process can be done on a loom or by a tufting machine, with both methods providing different results. The primary and secondary backings of a carpet are made from synthetic or natural materials. Backings help to hold the fibers in place, as well as provide additional comfort and durability.

Among the most popular options for carpet fibers are nylon, polyester and polypropylene/olefin. These manmade fibers are heat-treated, allowing them to resist staining and other damage. These fibers are available in a wide range of colors and patterns to complement any design aesthetic. Another option is wool, a natural fiber that’s dyed to create vibrant, enduring hues. However, because of its expense and delicate nature, pure wool carpet is often blended with synthetic fibers for added strength and longevity.

Cut-pile carpets have short, tightly wound fibers that are dense and hardwearing. These are ideal for high-traffic areas as they can withstand wear and tear, stains and dirt. The tufts are generally bent to hide footprints and vacuum marks, making them a great choice for hallways and stairs.

Other types of cut-pile carpet are frieze, which has twisted fibers that stand straight up to form an elegant, textural surface. Its durability makes it an excellent option for high-traffic and commercial areas. Other styles include saxony, which has long fibers that are kinked and curl erratically to make for a luxurious, fuzzy surface. It’s also highly resistant to stains and can hold color for years.

The face weight of a carpet refers to the amount of fiber that’s on the surface. A higher face weight tends to be more durable, but it’s important to consider the fiber type, texture and color when choosing your floor.


Tile is one of the most versatile decorative flooring materials. From traditional ceramic and porcelain to stone, cement and even metals, tile flooring is able to add a wide range of colors, textures and sizes to your home. From linen-textured sage greens to modern geometric shapes, there is certainly a style and color of tile that will suit you and your decor. Tile is also hardwearing, water-resistant and can withstand high levels of traffic and humidity.

Traditionally tile is manufactured by baking or ‘firing’ clays in a kiln. The most popular type of tile for flooring is ceramic, which is available in a huge variety of colors and designs. Ceramic tiles are generally less expensive than other types of flooring tile but do have a tendency to crack and chip. They may also need to be sealed and resealed periodically to protect from staining, as they are relatively porous.

A more durable option is natural stone tile. Marble, slate, granite and travertine are all examples of natural stone tiles which can be used for flooring. Natural stone tiles are harder and more durable than ceramic, but their natural beauty can also make them vulnerable to scratches and stains. As well as needing regular resealing, natural stone tiles are typically more expensive than ceramic tiles.

Other tile options include cement, which is extremely durable but can be cold and unyielding on the feet. Mosaic is another option which combines different kinds of tiles to create patterns and a distinctive look. Mosaic tiles are usually made from glass, porcelain and glazed ceramics as well as natural and precious stones.

Carpet tiles are a great choice for busy homes as they can be laid individually and are easy to replace. They are also a good choice for those with pets as they can hide accidents easily and be easily cleaned. Carpet tiles have been used in airports since the ’50s and are very durable, making them perfect for areas of your home that will see a lot of foot traffic. They are also easy to clean and water-resistant and can withstand a good amount of humidity.


Updating the floors in your home can be a costly and labor-intensive project. Manufactured options like vinyl make it possible to create the look of pricey hardwood or stone tile without these hassles. These flooring products are durable, easy to clean and come in a range of styles and colors. Wood-look vinyl planks and tiles can be as long as three to four feet and offer realism that belies their vinyl construction. Many of these newer products also feature special coatings and embedded wear layers that protect against germs and bacteria.

There are several different types of vinyl flooring: sheet vinyl, vinyl tile and luxury vinyl tile (LVT). Each type features a different installation method, surface texture and backing. Sheet vinyl features a waterproof layer of phthalate-free PVC bonded to a fiberglass cushion and a high-resolution printed design layer that resembles wood, marble and stone. This type of flooring can be installed with full glue-down or by “floating” over an underlayment.

Vinyl tile and LVT are similar, but they have a thicker core that makes them more rigid than traditional vinyl. These products are often a floating floor and can be installed with or without adhesive, depending on the brand and installation technique. This flooring is available with a no-wax, vinyl no-wax or urethane finish that requires periodic polishing to maintain luster.

These flooring products are a great choice for bathrooms and kitchens where spills and moisture are common. They are also affordable and practical for children’s rooms and play areas, where crayon scribbles can be easily wiped away.

Some vinyl flooring comes with an interlocking system that allows for a quick and DIY-friendly installation. With the right tools, this is a job that even some novice installers can tackle. Other types of vinyl are glued to the subfloor with a trowel-applied adhesive or can be “floated” over an underlayment. It is important to acclimate the floor and prep the area before installing any type of vinyl flooring, as the process can take some time. It’s also a good idea to have the work done by a professional.