Bedroom flooring is a particularly intimate surface. It is the first thing your feet will step down on in the morning, and the last thing they will lift off of before climbing into bed each night. That means that the tactile and aesthetic effect that the floor will have on the space can also extend to the subconscious psyche of the person inhabiting it, making this a particularly important design decision.
Finding the best bedroom flooring material requires you to evaluate your options based on a number of different criteria. Some of these may be obvious, such as the feel of the floor, or how it looks. There may also be environmental concerns that you will want to explore, as well as issues of maintenance, and life cycle. The importance of these elements is based on the person who will actually be living there.
Bedrooms With Carpeting
Carpet is probably the most popular bedroom floor surface covering in industrialized nations where it is readily available. This is due chiefly to the fact that it is very soft and warm on a person's feet. That tactile comfort helps to create a sense of lush luxury in the room, while also protecting you from cold toes on chilly winter mornings.
Another benefit of carpet in the bedroom is that it can provide a certain amount of insulation for the space. This can help to isolate the room from outside noises, making it easier to sleep at night.
At the same time, carpeting will also insulate the bedroom against the loss of heat, ensuring that the space will remain toasty warm.
Price is another factor that makes carpeting in the bedroom so popular. In recent decades the manufacturing process has gotten so efficient that the cost for low-end materials is $2 - $3 per square foot.
However, the price for higher end specialty materials will be higher. You also have to consider that carpeting has a shorter lifespan than alternatives such as hardwood, so will need to be replaced regularly.
Drawbacks: The major drawback to bedroom carpet is the fact that it is very difficult to keep it clean. Liquid stains can seep deep into the padding and remain permanently. At the same time, carpet tends to attract both dust and small microbial organisms, which can contribute negatively to the air quality of the space.
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Bedrooms With Hardwood Floors
Next to carpet, hardwood flooring is the second most popular choice for a bedroom. While it’s not as soft as its padded counterpart, hardwood planks do have some yield and are both softer, and warmer underfoot than most tile and stone alternatives. This can be combined with throw rugs and area rugs to both gentle, and customize the look of the surface.
The thing that hardwood can really lend to a bedroom is the inherent natural beauty that can be found in each, individual piece. While the look will vary to some extent based on species, grade, cut, and stain, the material itself always maintains a feel of primal, basic beauty, which is inherent to the biological truths within each of us.
Drawbacks: There are several drawbacks to hardwood in bedrooms. First, it can be very noisy. Most hardwood floors have little or no insulation, which means that those dwelling below may be able to clearly hear every footstep you take. It also provides little in the way of heat insulation.
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Cork Flooring In Bedrooms
Cork is a relatively unusual flooring material, which is starting to gain popularity in bedrooms as it becomes more widely available. Very soft, spongy, and yielding beneath the feet, cork can help to make a bedroom feel luxuriously relaxing, as the floor rises up to cradle each step you take. At the same time, the cork itself is filled with millions of tiny air bubbles, which serve to insulate the bedroom against both heat and noise.
Unlike carpet, which can be a chore to take care of, cork flooring is relatively hassle-free. As long as the surface seal is properly applied, and the seal is periodically reapplied, the material itself will be virtually immune to stains. It is also naturally anti-microbial and anti-static, which means that it doesn’t cause the air quality problems that some carpets can in the bedroom.
Drawbacks: The big problem with cork flooring is that it is a relatively soft material, which will easily scratch and damage from pet claws, furniture legs, and high heels. It will also have to be replaced periodically, although it can be refinished a few times between installations. At the same time, it is also somewhat expensive, with thicker, higher quality, longer lasting cork floors costing as much as many hardwood options.
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Vinyl Flooring In Bedrooms
Vinyl is a great flooring option for bedrooms because it is amazingly versatile. With vinyl, you have the ability to get a floor that accurately reproduces the look of nearly any material, pattern, or color. This can be combined with underlayment padding to create a bedroom floor that can have the look of hardwood or natural stone, with the soft feel and warm insulation properties of carpet.
Vinyl floors are also very easy to care for. In a low traffic space such as most bedrooms, you will probably just have to sweep or vacuum the floor clean every week or so in order to remove loose debris. Vinyl also has longevity, and a well installed and properly cared floor can last upwards of ten to twenty years.
Drawbacks: The major drawback to vinyl is that it is relatively bad for the environment. Its production uses non-renewable petroleum resources while requiring the expenditure of energy. It is also associated with several toxic chemicals which are released into the air. At the same time, new vinyl bedroom installations can suffer from off-gassing, with Volatile Organic Chemicals released into the air for several weeks.
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Laminate Flooring In Bedrooms
With laminate flooring in a bedroom, you have the ability to achieve the look of hardwood, without paying the price or needing to worry about maintenance and damage issues. That is because, with laminates, the surface consists of a very thin piece of the natural material. However, rather than leaving it exposed, this is protected under an invisible wear layer, which prevents staining and damage to the piece.
Laminate allows you to accurately reproduce the look of hardwood, and even, to some extent, its feel. This can be combined with underlayment padding options, which can make the surface both soft, and insulated.
Drawbacks: The problem with laminate bedroom flooring is that it is not as resilient as hardwood or other hard surface options. The wear layer will fade over time, and it is not possible to get these surfaces refinished. That means that when the floor starts to show its age, you will have no option but to remove and replace it. Padding also has limited effectiveness, as the material itself is fairly rigid.