High traffic areas in your home or in your commercial space must withstand the constant wear and tear that comes with frequent footfall. It’s a simple enough characteristic in theory. But combine aesthetics, budget and practicality and suddenly, you are left with minimal choices. Today, we take a look at some of the most popular flooring materials
that are used in high traffic areas.
Mention ‘Tile’ for flooring and some homeowners cringe at the thought. Isn’t ‘Tile’ a very dated flooring choice? Of course it is. It has been around for almost 5000 years. And there is a reason why it has managed to outlast a lot of other materials. Its because it is extremely durable. Something that you’d very much want from your flooring in a high traffic area. You can use the PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) chart to check the rating of different tiles. Anything that is rated 4 and above is considered to be a good choice for such areas. Tiles are moisture resistant, impervious to damage and there are thousands of colors and designs to choose from.
If concrete makes you think of your sidewalk, then you obviously haven’t seen some of the newer flooring designs made of concrete. Concrete is an extremely resilient flooring option that can now be modified to look like natural stone or tiles. It can be etched, acid-stained, tinted or stamped to customize the look. You no longer need to worry about stains, dents or water spillage.
If any flooring retailer dares to tell you that natural stone is not a good choice for a high traffic area, then they are either misinformed or are trying to sell you something else. If you have the budget, then go for natural stone. They are extremely resilient and can easily be resealed or refinished once every few years to retain that perfect shine and glossy look. Once again, there are a wide range of choices like marble, granite, limestone, sandstone and quartz to choose from.
‘Wait! You’ve got to be mistaken. Doesn’t wood get scratched and damaged very fast?’ No. It doesn’t. There are newer varieties of engineered wooden flooring
which are as hard as stone and offers years of maintenance free performance. When it comes to the aesthetics, nothing beats wood. In fact, you can also choose from harder exotic species of wood which are resilient and ideal for usage in high traffic areas.
Laminate offers the aesthetics of tile, wood or stone clubbed with the extreme durability of a synthetic material. It has an additional wear layer of melamine which can be chosen according to the room in which the flooring is being installed. For high traffic areas, 12-15mm Laminate flooring is a perfect choice. Laminate will not darken with age, will not dent or crack, will not harbor mold or mildew or get damaged with water exposure.
These of course are just some of the options to consider. There are newer flooring materials like leather, steel, glass and cork which can also be good choices for your home. Speak to an expert to understand the various features of each flooring type.