ashion often competes with function when it comes to choosing flooring for your new log home. What’s comfortable to the touch and appealing to the eye, will have to be weighed against cost, safety, durability and resistance to stains or water damage. If you start to get lost in all the variety of flooring products out there, remember that the most important thing is to choose an aesthetically pleasing product that fits the function of the room.
Hardwood flooring complements the natural beauty of logs and it’s warm to the touch. Common options include oak, cherry, hickory and maple. Wood flooring is durable, since it can be sanded and refinished many times. The downside to wood flooring is that it can be scratched, it can be slippery, and excessive water exposure can cause warping. Cost for hardwood flooring ranges from $7 to $15 per square foot installed.
Many home owners opt for stone flooring, such as slate, limestone, marble and granite. It’s popular because it imparts a sense of quality that is timeless. While stone is naturally durable, softer varieties can be scratched, and stone does require application of a sealant periodically. Safety can be a concern with polished varieties, which can be slippery when wet. Consider a rougher textured stone that will aid in traction. Stone flooring ranges from $10 to $20 per square foot installed.
Ceramic tile has the benefit of offering nearly limitless design possibilities with a variety of textures, colors and patterns available. It is also durable, stain resistant and repairable. If a tile is damaged, you can pull it out and install a new one. Ceramic tile is unforgiving when it comes to dropping plates or glasses, however. It’s cool to the touch, toounless you are installing a radiant heat system in the floor. Cost ranges from $7 to $16 per square foot installed for ceramic tile.
Resilient flooring is popular because it is more forgiving than tile or stone when it comes to dropping breakables on it. Plus it’s far less expensive. The most popular product in this category is vinyl, which comes either in tile form or by the sheet (either 6 or 12 feet wide).
While durable, vinyl can be damaged when moving appliances or dimpled by pebbles or high-heeled shoes.
If a petroleum byproduct underfoot is unappealing, alternatives include linoleum or cork flooring, which are environmentally friendly. Cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork tree. Linoleum is made from cork chips and linseed oil.
The main advantage for resilient flooring is its price, ranging from $2 to $10 per square foot installed.
Laminate flooring has the look of wood or stone at a much lower cost. It is installed as either square tiles or rectangular planks over top of a cushioned pad, similar to what’s installed under carpet. However, laminate does sound hollow when walked on when compared to hardwood floors and it must be replaced rather than refinished if damaged.
Provided it isn’t exposed to too much water, laminate is durable. Most manufacturers warrantee their products for at least 10 years. Costs range from $6 to $8.50 per square foot installed for laminate flooring.