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Modern Flooring to Up-grade Your Home

By Lee Cameron Published 10/30/2007 | Home Improvement

Having your older home up-graded to include modern flooring can be a great selling feature. It improves the quality of your home without compromising the character of older architecture. There area lot of easy and relatively inexpensive modern flooring options.

Flooring is something that definitely deteriorates over time. If you have an older home and haven't replaced any of the flooring, chances are it looks as though it needs it. While linoleum and carpet were common floor coverings of the past, current trends lead towards cork, bamboo, tile or even restored hardwood flooring.

Many older homes have  beautiful hardwood underneath layers of carpeting, lino or laminate. This is sad, as the process of installing the carpet undoubtedly covered the original floor in hard-to-remove adhesive. ALso, the covering won't last nearly as long as the original hard-wood. But there is hope, and restoring hardwood floors can actually be easy. It can be done yourself, or by a professional, depending on your time and budget. Firstly, the old flooring will need to be removed. This can sometimes involve manually scraping glue off of the wood surface. A thorough washing with warm water can also help loosen glue. When all the adhesive is removed, a sander can buff your hardwood floors to a beautiful smooth consistency. After that, it's your choice for a finish, with many acrylic finishes being inexpensive and practical options.

If you want something warmer than hard-wood, consider a cork floor. A renewable resource, cork flooring is also often made of recycled cork, making it a great choice for the green-aware homeowner. Cork flooring usually comes in snap-together tiles, making installation super-easy. However you'll probably still want to spend some time and energy cleaning up the floor underneath. While you can install cork overtop of lino, you will probably want to remove any carpeting, if only to eliminate the dust and germs.

As cork insulates, it is popular in homes that typically have cold floors. It also insulates against sound, and is soft to walk on, so is ideal for upstairs suites.

A nice way to enjoy both of these options is to restore the hardwood, and then add cork mats in high-traffic areas.  Alternatively, bamboo mats are popular.

Bamboo is also renewable, as it grows very fast. It is also quite strong and durable. Bamboo mats are readily available, but a complete bamboo floor covering can also be installed. 

Ceramic tile is another popular flooring material. While it doesn't have the natural warmth of cork, heating pipes can be installed under tiles. One of the main advantages of tile is it is easy to clean and is very attractive. As tiles are available in a variety of styles, colors and surfaces, consider your needs carefully when selecting something for your home. As elegant as high-gloss white ceramic tiles are, remember that they'll show every bit of dirt. If you've got kids or pets, something darker and with a matte finish is probably more suitable.

Granite, slate and other stone tiles are also popular flooring material. They also make great counter-tops and kitchen or bathroom wall tiles. While stone tiles can be more expensive than ceramic, they are very attractive and tend to be long lasting.

If you are considering upgrading your floors, do a bit of research to find out which modern flooring meets your needs, and your budget.

Written on behalf of Lee Cameron, experienced Orlando, Florida Realtor®, your source for up to date Orlando, Florida MLS listings.