With the wide array of flooring options, this article explores factors to consider when choosing hardwood or carpet flooring.

These days, many homeowners are opting to remodel their homes; in the process, they are also discovering the difference flooring can make in the overall look, feel and comfort of a room. In Cincinnati, flooring options are plentiful, so you'll likely need to educate yourself before heading out to select new flooring. Here are some things to evaluate, though, when you're considering Cincinnati hardwood flooring versus Cincinnati carpet flooring.

In Cincinnati, carpet flooring is not only comfortable, but its wide variety of colors and styles also makes it a fashionable addition to any room. The fact that it insulates well makes it a continually popular choice for Cincinnati's bitter cold winters.

Carpet fiber is the actual material (natural or synthetic) that the carpet is made of. Nylon is the most common fiber available on the market today. It is the strongest carpet, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. (Carpet strength is measured in density and is determined by how close the individual fibers are packed together; higher density equals stronger carpet.) Other 'pros' for nylon: it's durable, soil resistant and non-allergenic. However, some nylons and be prone to static.

Other synthetic Cincinnati carpet flooring fibers include: olefin, polyester and acrylic. Olefin is largely praised for its durability and wool-like feel; however, the pile (height) of some olefin is prone to flattening over time. Acrylic is closer to wool than any other synthetic; it is fade-, soil- and static-resistant. Of course wool is naturally soil and stain-resistant and has long been praised for its durability. It is also the gold-standard for carpet and is, in most cases, the higher-priced option.

It's important to note that Cincinnati carpet flooring is available with stain-resistant fibers and finishes which supplement the carpet's natural resistance. The treatments added during manufacturing are more effective than those applied later. Also critical to your Cincinnati flooring decision: the carpet padding. Padding is vital to a quality installation--it provides both cushioning and insulation and increases the life of the carpet.

On to the factors to consider in Cincinnati hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring is available in a wide variety of colors and grains and is known for its ability to add unique beauty to your room while increasing your home's overall value. Hardwood floors often last for more than a century; thus its price and installation is generally higher than other flooring options.

In considering the various Cincinnati hardwood flooring options, you'll first need to consider the Janka Hardness Rating for each type of wood. The hardness rating speaks to the wood's resistance to indentation; the higher the rating, the harder the wood. Because hardwoods are natural, they are, indeed, prone to indentations that generally are not covered under warranty. There are several different wood species available on the market today--from the popular domestic options of oak and maple to the more exotic options like bamboo, cherry and cork. While many of the do0mestic options are stained, most of the exotic species come without any stain because their natural colors and grains are so popular.

Because hardwood floors can be installed on any level of the home, it's important to consider moisture in the area in which the flooring will be installed. In some cases, your installer may recommend installing a moisture barrier. The thickness of the hardwoods must be considered with regard to the subflooring it will adhere to. Engineered hardwoods are generally more cost effective and environmentally friendly.

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