When considering what kind of flooring to put over concrete, you will need to consider where the floor is, the amount of moisture the space gets and your personal style and budget. You have a number of options to choose from; some will require professional installation such as cork floors or carpet, but some such as laminate can be a weekend DIY project.
A good option to place over concrete is laminate, which is moisture resistant and can be a do-it-yourself project rather than having the added cost of a professional installer. Laminate can buckle or warp, so only choose this if your floors are very even and do not have cracks. Laminate is very resistant to stains, scratches and typical household wear and tear. Additionally, this floor covering is offered in squares and planks that mimic the look of hardwood.
Carpet offers a softer surface and can have additional padding underneath that has a moisture-proof seal. Carpet should not be installed in a damp area, making it a good choice for indoor living spaces such as a family room or living room, but it would not be a good choice for a basement or garage, which is more prone to moisture.
A renewable product that offers a soft flooring option for concrete is cork. Cork flooring, in planks or tiles, can be installed two ways, by either gluing it down or by using floating tiles that simply snap together without the use of glue. Cork flooring comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Vinyl flooring is stain and moisture resistant and would be an affordable option to use on top of concrete. Vinyl is durable and would work well in any room in the house. This flooring type can be installed with floating tiles that snap in place or laid in sheets that must be glued to the flooring underneath. Vinyl holds up well to scratches, shoe marks and stains. An added benefit with vinyl is that it is easily maintained, typically with a simple sweep and occasional mopping.
Because of its cushioning properties, linoleum is a suitable choice to put over a concrete floor in a room where you may stand for longer periods, such as the kitchen or a studio. Linoleum is made from linseed oil, flax and natural resin and has a porous nature. Because it is porous, linoleum should be sealed immediately after installation.
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