Choosing the most appropriate flooring for the climate in which you live can save you money in long-term maintenance costs. Depending on the location, excess moisture in the air can cause faster deterioration and warping of certain types of flooring — both of which are expensive to fix. If you live in a humid climate, it’s important to select flooring that holds up well against high levels of ambient moisture. Not sure what the best options are? Here are some choices:
Ceramic tile holds up very well in humid climates because it is substantially harder and more compact than other flooring materials. Because ceramic tile is made at such high temperatures, it absorbs very little moisture from ambient air. Because this type of tile is typically glazed, it is impervious to water, warping, mold and termites — all of which are common in high-humidity environments. The glaze can also help to prevent issues like staining, as it keeps the ceramics from being permeable.
Vinyl flooring is both strong and water-resistant, making it a good choice for high-humidity environments and especially rooms where there’s lots of water, like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Unlike hardwood, vinyl does not readily absorb moisture from ambient air, making it much less susceptible to warping and shifting. Plus, when you install vinyl, you get the aesthetic appeal of hardwood, without the hefty price tag. Humid environments are also notorious for insects, especially termites. Wood flooring is essentially an invitation for these critters to feast on your home; vinyl flooring, however, doesn’t hold the same tasty appeal.
Laminate flooring is categorized into abrasion classes which you’ll see denoted as AC, followed by a number. The abrasion class is essentially a wear rating, which estimates the durability of different types of laminate. If you live in a humid environment, you’ll want to choose the highest abrasion class, AC5. This flooring class, referred to as high-pressure laminate, boasts the greatest durability of the five classes. High-pressure laminate stands up very well in humid environments because it is constructed with a special type of glue designed to resist moisture.
Today’s homeowners have a wide array of choices when it comes to selecting all aspects of their home interiors. However, not every material is suitable for every environment. No matter what type of interior decor you’re installing, be certain to select materials that are specifically designed for your locale. You may even save yourself replacement costs by doing your research.
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