Time is the most precious commodity we have, and few want to waste it on floor maintenance. Here are six flooring materials that are easy to keep clean and maintain throughout their lifespan.
Luxury Vinyl Tile
Often referred to by its initials, LVT is one of the newer flooring types on the market, and it is getting rave reviews. It is much thicker than standard sheet vinyl, and it is typically produced in planks to look like wood flooring or in large tiles to resemble natural stone flooring. LVT is easy to install, very resistant to water, doesn’t buckle or warp like wood can and cleans up with a damp mop.
Vinyl Sheet Flooring
This is the low-cost favorite for kitchens, bathrooms, entryways and laundry rooms, costing less than $2 per square foot. You’ll find it in many attractive patterns including faux wood and tile. If the floor might get wet, vinyl sheeting is worth considering because it is waterproof even to standing water from spills and leaks.
If you’re looking for green flooring that is easy to care for, consider linoleum. Many confuse it with vinyl, but it’s very, very different. Made from linseed oil, wood powder and other natural ingredients, linoleum contains no VOCs and is biodegradable. Linoleum was the most popular flooring in American and British homes from the late 19th C until the rise of vinyl in the 1960s, but demand for ecofriendly, low-maintenance flooring is causing a revival.
This approach makes vinyl sheet flooring look expensive! For a couple hundred bucks, you can have a good-looking floor that cleans up with a broom and damp mop. Flooring that is often painted includes wood flooring that is beyond refinishing, laminate and subflooring. That’s right, some homeowners rip up the flooring and simply roll some paint right onto the O.S.B. or plywood beneath. In addition to being easy to maintain, painted floors can be given whatever creative style you can imagine including stripes, geometric patterns, faux marble speckles and your favorite color of the rainbow.
Laminate is made with a composite wood base covered by a photograph of wood or tile flooring topped with a very tough and clear plastic wear layer. The plastic is the key to it’s low-maintenance appeal, as it cleans easily with a damp mop or Swiffer-type device.
The beautiful thing about tile is that it is available in so many shapes, sizes, styles and colors that you can create a floor tailored to your design scheme. To make your tile floor easy to maintain, the grout must be properly sealed. Once it is, the tile floor will be impervious to water and spills. It’s a top choice in tiny bungalows to the most luxurious mansions.
Choose the low-maintenance flooring that suits your style, and you’ll have time to pursue the things that matter most.