Types of Winter Flooring For Your House

Types of Winter Flooring For Your House

Flooring
By Alex Mikayelyan December 07, 2021

There is a lot to love about the winter, but a cold floor is not one of them. Whether you’re getting a glass of water or sneaking into the kitchen for a midnight snack, the second you put your foot on the floor it’s going to feel like you stepped onto an ice rink. Cold floors also go beyond being unpleasant, they can also be harmful to your health, as stepping barefooted on freezing wooden floorboards or tiles is a very easy way to catch a cold.

If you’re building, renovating, or are looking to refloor your home with winter preparation in mind one of the best places to start is to learn about the various floor types that are warm even in the winter. So, the next time you sneak into the kitchen for a quick snack or come back in from the freezing cold outside, you won’t have to worry about getting cold feet (the literal kind).

Carpet Flooring

The Warmest Flooring Option On the Market

The Warmest Flooring Option On the Market

It is no secret to anyone that the best flooring for cold weather is carpet. Unlike the glossy surfaces of other types of floors, the carpet’s plush texture and the underlying padding keep it warm even in the coldest months of the year. This is why so many homeowners choose carpet flooring for their bedrooms, living rooms, and halls when they wish to maximize warmth and comfort. Even in the dead of night, when it’s freezing outside, you can comfortably walk on the carpet without getting cold. The carpet can be so warm, that you can even lie down on it without getting cold whatsoever. The way carpet is installed and layered lends to its warmth and softness. Between the carpet and the subfloor (the base of your flooring onto which other layers are installed), there is a layer of padding. The thicker the padding, the softer and warmer your carpet is going to be. 

Durability and Maintenance

Carpets are notoriously hard to keep clean. The absorbent plush material soaks up any dirt and spillage, especially during the winter with all that slush and mud. Carpets need deep cleaning at least twice a year, but for the more superficial dirt and spills, a weekly cleaning should get the job done. Also, depending on the tightness of the plush weave, the carpet is also prone to tearing. Pull furniture around one too many times and the carpet fibers will come loose. With enough loose fibers, you can leave patches of bare carpet on the floor which will require replacement. 

Price

But don’t let the high maintenance requirements put you off carpeting as there is another reason that homeowners prefer it to other flooring types: the price. Carpet is often more affordable than the standard hardwood floor and tile be it ceramic, porcelain, or marble. For a standard 12 by 12 bedroom, you can expect to pay anywhere from $700 up to $1,500, with the price of carpet coming to more or less $2.50 per square inch depending on the quality of the weave. 

Modern Vinyl Floors

The Many Conveniences of Modern Vinyl Floors

The Many Conveniences of Modern Vinyl Floors

Vinyl flooring is one of the country’s most famous flooring types to use. Thanks to the way it is engineered, vinyl is quite durable, able to withstand a lot of wear and tear before needing to be replaced. Also, thanks to the special underlayment that is layered under the vinyl flooring, it can cushion the sound of impact when something drops onto the floor, giving it noise reduction capabilities. Vinyl is also engineered to be heat retentive, meaning it absorbs a lot of heat throughout the day and slowly disperses it at night. 

Durability and Maintenance

Vinyl is renowned for being very durable. It is engineered to withstand a lot of damage and can take quite a beating before needing to be replaced or repaired. Maintaining vinyl flooring is also somewhat easy, as it only requires regular dusting and washing to prevent the accumulated stains from overstaying their welcome. Soapy water can get most of the superficial dirt off vinyl flooring and more specialized cleaning products can get to the deeper stains. But it is highly recommended not to use steam mops on vinyl flooring as they may weaken the planks and reduce their longevity. 

Price

The nationwide average price of vinyl flooring ranges from $2 to $6 for the square foot, depending on the quality of the flooring material. Vinyl flooring is also quite easy to install yourself as it comes with easy-to-use tongues and grooves on each panel that can be installed even with limited DIY skill. This means that the flooring installation cost is quite low or even non-existent if you can do it all yourself.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

The Advantages Engineered Hardwood Has Over Solid Hardwood

The Advantages Engineered Hardwood Has Over Solid Hardwood

Another warm flooring option you can try out in a variety of rooms like the bedroom, living room and hallway is engineered wood. What sets engineered wood apart from the traditional solid hardwood flooring is that it is designed to be more rigid and won’t expand or shrink with the foundation as the temperature changes. Solid wood is a great option for flooring, but it will shrink or expand as the temperature outside changes, allowing the warm air to escape through the opened slits between the wooden boards. Engineered hardwood is manufactured to withstand the changes in temperature and retain its shape, keeping its tight formation and being more heat retentive.

Durability and Maintenance

Engineered hardwood has the upper hand over solid hardwood in both durability and maintenance. As far as durability is concerned, the biggest issue with solid hardwood is that it bends and warps, something that engineered hardwood doesn’t have to worry about. Maintenance is less of an issue with engineered hardwood, as the factory finish and paint can last for up to 30 years without needing to be redone.

Price

Because there are so many manufacturers of engineered hardwood, the pricing and quality vary greatly. For example, lower-end engineered hardwood goes around for $3 to $5 per square foot, whereas the more expensive options may start at $8 and go up to $13 per square foot. You may also need to hire flooring services to ensure the surface is smooth after installation, so this may also affect the overall hardwood floor installation cost. However, engineered hardwood is known to be quite convenient to install yourself so you can save on labor costs, but it is recommended to have someone by your side who is experienced in DIY and especially in flooring installation. 

Rubber Epoxy Layer

The Rubbery Warmth of Epoxy Flooring

The Rubbery Warmth of Epoxy Flooring

One of the best flooring options for your garage and basement is rubber epoxy. Rubber epoxy is a chemical solution that is layered over a concrete floor, giving it a soft and springy finish. You will commonly find rubber flooring in more industrial interiors, where the epoxy layer protects the concrete underflooring from the impact of heavy falling objects. But epoxy is also quite heat-retentive, so it’s definitely a much warmer option than leaving bare concrete floors that can get quite cold throughout the winter. 

Durability and Maintenance

For maintenance, rubber epoxy flooring needs to be regularly cleaned with a dust mop. Unless you spill some corrosive chemicals onto the floor, epoxy flooring will not stain easily. To wash epoxy flooring, you can simply hose it down or use a wet mop. As for its durability — rubber epoxy flooring is designed to withstand heavy impacts in industrial areas and is also commonly used inside gyms. So if gym floors can withstand the impact of your average show off dramatically dropping their oversized dumbbells, it will most likely handle whatever you throw at it. 

Price

Expect to pay $3 to $12 per square foot for epoxy flooring, with the price varying depending on the quality of the material being used. You should also take labor costs into consideration when planning your budget because epoxy flooring is very difficult to install without the help of flooring contractors

Tile Flooring

The Coldest Flooring Option with a Warm Twist

The Coldest Flooring Option with a Warm Twist

At the bottom of the heat chain is tiled flooring, be it ceramic, porcelain, marble, or any other type you can think of. Natural stone is an excellent heat conductor and no, in this case, that’s not a good thing. It means that heat easily passes through tiles and they get cold very easily. This inability to retain heat makes tiles the coldest flooring material out there unless you live on an ice rink. However, there are special underfloor radiators that can warm the tiled floor. This will cost you extra to install and the price depends on what kind of heating you're looking for. Hydronic radiators will cost you $10 to $16 per square foot, whereas electrical ones go for $16 to $25 per square foot. 

Durability and Maintenance

While tiles may be naturally cold and not very heat retentive, they come with the benefit of being easy to clean, very durable, and require little to no maintenance. Since tiles are not absorbent, the only time they can get damaged is if you leave a corrosive substance on the surface for too long. Most stains can be easily wiped up off the glossy and smooth surface. Grout cleaning is also a crucial aspect of tile maintenance, though, with the right grout sealer you can expect to be cleaning it far less often. Tiled flooring is also very durable. With the exception of a few minuscule scrapes and scratches, it is very rare to drop anything that is heavy enough to cause extensive damage to tiled flooring. 

Price

Since there is a wide range of flooring tiles to choose from, there is no one set price for all of them. Currently, the three most popular tiles are marble, ceramic, and porcelain. Marble typically costs anywhere from $5 to $10 per square foot and ceramic tiles come pretty close to with a $4 to $8 per square foot price tag. Porcelain is the more expensive option, with $15 to $20 per square foot.

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Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan

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