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Choose natural flooring materials for a more refined look

Written By: by Hilary L

Wood, ceramics and stone provide some of the most beautiful flooring options available for any home or business owner. These materials also deliver a higher degree of functionality over carpet and PVC tile. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

Enhanced aesthetics – Natural materials (i.e. woods and stones) make an excellent choice for flooring because they can fit into any decor, from a rustic French country house or a traditional New England Cape Code home to a glass and steel post-modern structure. Mostly available in muted colors, there are some more colorful options available as well. In addition, these materials mesh well with other woods, glass, stone and even steel, as well as some of the more outlandish color schemes. In any event, natural flooring creates a beautiful backdrop in any room.

Increased durability – Natural stone and ceramic tiles are among the most durable flooring materials available and hardwood flooring is not far behind. Not only can they all withstand the daily abuse of constant footsteps, but stone can even handle the worst that Mother Nature can deliver in the way of wind, water and sunshine. In addition, stone and ceramic tile can also be finished in a “burnished” style to provide the safest of walkways, even when wet, while wood can be finished with a shine that is still quite easy to tread.

Environmental friendliness – The fact that natural flooring materials are made without the use of chemical epoxies and additives means that they can be recycled into a new floor or disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. In short, stone, wood and ceramics as opposed to petroleum-based carpeting are essentially neutral from an environmental standpoint, fr
om the beginning of their manufacturing process until their ultimate disposal.

A safer home – Stone is essentially fireproof and wood will burn, but not with the ferocity of petroleum-based flooring products, such as PVC tile. Using stone to line walls in the kitchen or around fireplaces also creates a firebreak that will slow the advance of a fire, if not actually stop it. Also, it is a good idea to consider stone floors and walls for outside areas that contain a grill or firepit, as it resists heat well and is immune to any sparks or embers that may strike it.

Unparalleled affordability – Stone, ceramic tile and wood flooring certainly cost a little more to install than carpeting, making the initial price a little more expensive for the homeowner. However, a look at the total cost of ownership – installation price, maintenance costs and usable lifespan – shows that these natural materials cost 20 to 40 percent less on average than carpeting, PVC tiles and other non-natural flooring materials. In short, if the homeowner plans on staying in their home for 5 or more years, natural materials make for the least expensive flooring option.

The bottom line – There is no denying the natural beauty of stone and wood. It has been used for centuries as a building material for this very reason. Combined with their natural resilience and affordability, stone or wood should be the first choice of any homeowner or designer when it comes to flooring. Take a look; you may be surprised at what you find.