Types of Flooring Materials

The floor is the center of your home. It is easy to replace furniture and fittings in your home, but flooring is something that is almost a permanent part and cannot be replaced easily. Changing floors is a difficult task. Moreover, it can be costly as well as costly in terms of hassle. Hence, you need to understand your flooring needs and choose from the very beginning.

Choosing flooring for your new home is a daunting task. Every flooring option has its pros and cons. However, there are a variety of flooring materials available in the market, so you have several options in your hand for your final selection. This is indeed a boon but at times too many choices can lead to dilemma… so be careful!

However, there is an old saying that “where there is a will, there is a way”. Let’s start by finding the popular types of flooring that you can happily choose from.

Choosing a flooring material usually depends on a personal decision. But more than craving and fancy, you should choose flooring based on the following criteria:

  1. Personal Preferences and Related Lifestyles
  2. Advantages of the flooring material that you have chosen with respect to its use and function
  3. Quality
  4. Ease or Difficulty of Installation
  5. Finishing
  6. Maintenance
  7. Budget
  8. Expected Load on Flooring

Here we have tried to define different types of flooring materials that modern homeowners prefer for their floors:

Different types of flooring materials

01. Tile Flooring

Among all the types of flooring used in the home, “tile floor” is a very common and popular choice. These tiles are available in a wide variety of colours, textures and patterns.

Flooring tiles are of different types like vitrified tiles, ceramic tiles, ceramic tiles, etc. We are giving a brief overview on different types of tiles:

A. Ceramic floor tiles

Ceramic tiles are made from a mixture of clay and water. These tiles are used for indoor as well as outdoor areas. Ceramic tiles are ideal to install in damp areas like bathroom, kitchen etc as these tiles are not very slippery as compared to vitrified tiles.

B. Vitrified Tiles Flooring

Vitrified tile is a type of ceramic tile with low porosity. Vitrified tiles are commonly used in areas like living room, kitchen, bedroom etc. These tiles are made with a distinctive glossy finishing as compared to ceramic tiles. However, these tiles are also available with a matte finish.

A wide variety of vitrified tiles are available in the consumer market;

01. Full body Vitrified Tiles:

Full body Vitrified Tiles: Display unique pigmentation throughout the thickness of the tile. Hence, these tiles are mostly of scratch proof type. Also, when cutting these tiles, you can create borders with a single tile: the same color and material in the border creates an overall nice effect.

02. Double Charge Vitrified Tiles:

Double charge vitrified tiles are made by means of a press that prints the pattern with a double layer of pigment (two types of dyes are put into the machine). Therefore, the upper layer becomes 3 to 4 mm thick. It is a viable option for heavy areas ranging from traffic areas in your home. Price-wise, these tiles are cheaper than full vitrified tiles.

03. Soluble Salt Vitrified Tile:

Vitrified tiles are printed using screen printing technology and then take a completely new look after polishing. Therefore, it is called soluble salt vitrified tile.

04. Glazed Vitrified Tiles:

Glazed Vitrified Tiles (GVT) provide a glazed surface that is compatible with a variety of designs, surface textures, etc. to be imprinted on. It can elegantly enhance the aesthetics of the room.

C. Porcelain floor tile

Porcelain tiles are a special type of vitrified tiles. At present, the use of these tiles has become limited. In recent times, porcelain tiles were being widely used in living rooms as well as bedroom floors. These tiles are stain-proof and moderately water resistant.

02. Stone Flooring

Stone flooring is natural, and beautiful, and stands the test of time unlike other synthetic or man-made stone products in terms of style statement. Natural stones come in different varieties such as granite, marble, limestone, slate, travertine, sandstone, etc. All types are known for their own unique characteristics. But they are hard by nature and naturally, and because of their hard surface, they are ideal for hot and tropical climates.

According to the ‘Natural Stone Council,’ “granite, marble, and slate can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance.” All natural stones require minimal maintenance such as polish to maintain their beauty. Cutting stones into different shapes can be a daunting task, requiring a sharp cutter. Being natural, shade and color variation is inevitable in different pieces. You’ll need to skewer the edges before applying it to the floor. Being heavy in weight, it obviously increases the immovable load of the structure.

A. Marble floor

Marble is a metamorphic rock. When finished properly, it transforms the look of a room in an eye-catching way. As stated by ‘Donald Watson’, (the famous author of Time-Save Standards for Building Materials), marble is classified into four categories: Category A, Category B, Category C and Category D. This category describes the quality of marble. Marble flooring is very common in residential and commercial buildings, temples, hotels, hospitals, etc. Marble comes in different colours, such as pink, white, grey, black, green, etc.

As per ‘CPWD Specifications’, the most popular marble categories available in India are Makrana Marble, Ambaji Green Marble, Kesariji Green Marble, Rajnagar Plain White, Udaipur Green Marble etc.

Italian marble is an expensive variety, but it is now available in abundance for use. Italian and Turkmenistan marbles are popular around the world for their glamor and excellent durability.

B. Granite Flooring

Granite is an example of an igneous rock. Granite flooring is a type of natural stone flooring and is ideal for installing in kitchens and surrounding areas. Granite is also used in outdoor areas such as driveways, stair treads, swimming pools, etc. Granite floors don’t get cold like marble.

Jhansi Red, Sindoori Red, Baltic Brown, etc. are some of the popular granites of India.

C. Limestone Flooring

Limestone floors are known to have naturally beautiful textures as they are sedimentary rocks in nature. Limestone flooring is a perfect choice for bathrooms, dining rooms and hallways. Neela Kota, Yellow Jaisalmer, Kala Natural, etc. are the popular limestone varieties available in India.

Listed below are the popular limestone used in most of the flooring in India:

i) Kota Stone Flooring:

Kota stone is one of the popular limestone varieties used for flooring in India. It is cheaper than marble flooring, and can be used in lobbies, sidewalks, etc. It is not as attractive as marble and granite flooring.

Cleaning a Kota stone floor is not difficult if the stones are sufficiently polished. Nowadays, with mirror polish, they look very attractive. This stone floor is known for its durability and longevity.

Generally, polished stones are slippery so it should be used with caution in public places like hospitals, corridors, schools. In such places, unpolished Kota stone can be used.

ii) Travertine Flooring:

Travertine is another type of limestone flooring. Nowadays, the travertine variety is one of the softest flooring available in the market. Its surface is characterized by clogged pores and troughs, although these discrepancies are often filled before polishing to obtain a smooth surface. This stone flooring is commonly used in modern flooring in kitchens and bathrooms.

Travertine flooring may be more susceptible to staining than granite or marble varieties. Hence these tiles demand periodic cleaning and other maintenance.

D. Sandstone Flooring

Sandstone is composed of loose grains of sand which are rough in texture. Because of its inherent natural beauty, sandstone is a great choice for interior flooring as well as exterior decoration including walkways, parking, etc. Jodhpur Pink, Agra Red, Dholpur Red, Rajula Pink, Dhrangadhra, etc. are some of the popular sandstones of India.

E. Slate Flooring

Slate paving is made of metamorphic rock that forms in layers and is now easier to split into thin sheets to be cut into tiles. The rugged surfaces of slate flooring are perfect for entryways, patios, and kitchens.

These floors are soft and delicate but do not last long though they look attractive with shine and texture.

Kund Rustic, Himachal Kala, Raja Lal, Shimla White, etc. are the popular slate stone brands available in India.

According to the ‘Indian Bureau of Mines’, slate, granite and marble alternatives have great strength and are a low-cost option. This is the reason why slate stone flooring is quite popular.

03. Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is an old traditional type of flooring material; However, it never got old because of its timeless appeal. It is used in special conditions such as in mountainous areas and damp places. Wood flooring is available in strips, thin blocks and planks of various softwoods and hardwoods.

Donald Watson’ (published in Time Saver Standards for Building Materials and Systems), with proper care and maintenance, wood floors can last 50 or more years. This option is quite expensive; So it is not for everyone. There are different types of wooden floors that are commonly used:

A. Solid Wood Flooring

Solid wood flooring is made from a piece of wood, and is generally made with a thickness of about 20 mm. Solid wood flooring is suited for any room, except in areas prone to moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements, wood floors are strictly prohibited.

B. Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring is basically made with plywood wood and a layer of solid wood attached on top of it. It can be installed in kitchen areas, apart from other rooms of your home. Engineered wood flooring offers an attractive look, which is more attractive than ordinary wood flooring.

C. Laminate floor

Laminate flooring is constructed by placing a layer of a photographic image of natural wood on a fiberboard. As it is a synthetic product, it does not give the look and feel of natural wood. Laminate wood flooring can be installed in any room except wet areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. their thickness is quite small; Hence laminate floors are lighter in weight.

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