When it comes to choosing a new flooring option for your Arizona home, you’ve got plenty of options. The hot desert climate makes solid wood floors a less-than-ideal choice: termites and heat are constant concerns. No one wants to wake up to a termite-infested, cracked hardwood floor!
In this article, we’ll break down vinyl, laminate, and stone as three fantastic alternatives to solid hardwood floors.
What’s in a Floor?
Few things change the feel and dynamic of a home more than flooring. Traditional hardwood is something of a dream for many homeowners — it looks great, adds amazing value, and has that “wow” factor that blows carpet out of the water. Unfortunately for Arizona homeowners, a hardwood flooring solution is not so simple.
Termites are a serious concern for any Arizona homeowner with solid hardwood floors. It’s a match made in heaven for the little pests — a dry climate and solid dried wood flooring — so avoiding solid hardwood is a smart choice. The climates in Phoenix and Tucson simply do not play well with solid hardwood.
The dry climate can also contribute to cracking, warping, and shrinking. That’s a problem no one needs!
Vinyl Flooring Option For Arizona Homeowners
For those of you looking for that classic hardwood look but know that Arizona just doesn’t agree with solid hardwood, look to vinyl.
Vinyl is something of a Goldilocks material for flooring. It mimics the appearance of true hardwood but is significantly easier to maintain in a desert climate.
Vinyl is a blend of synthetic materials that come in different shapes and layouts.
These planks are fantastic for imitating the appearance of true hardwood at a fraction of the cost (and with far more durability!). Even better, vinyl is particularly resistant to stains and scratches.
Vinyl Tiles For Areas With Water Exposure
Vinyl also comes in tiles. Whereas vinyl planks come in long strips, vinyl tile flooring consists of interlinked squares of synthetic tiles. These tiles are particularly effective at resisting water damage — definitely inquire about Vinyl tiles for the bathroom or kitchen!
Vinyl tiles typically mimic the look of real stone. They are a perfect fit for any Arizona homeowner looking to revamp the look of their bathroom or kitchen.
What About Cost?
Vinyl is one of the most budget-friendly flooring solutions around. Costs typically range from as little as 50 cents per square foot up to upwards of 10 dollars per square foot — it really depends on what vinyl you opt for. Of course, you’ll find even more savings are in the low maintenance and installation costs.
Laminate Flooring For Arizona Homeowners
If vinyl is an almost magical synthetic blend, laminate flooring is equally as good: this material is almost entirely comprised of wood and wood byproducts. The top layer of the laminate is a photographic replication of wood (or stone or tile), covered by a permanent clear coat that protects the floor.
Laminate is versatile, affordable, and highly durable. The clear protective layer on top is resistant to scratches, strains, and anything the kids can throw at it. Even better, laminate flooring is as flexible as you need it to be — the photographic layer can mimic wood, stone, or tile.
When it comes to the hot desert climate of Arizona, laminate flooring is a great choice. The sealed top layer protects the underlying layers (made of melamine resin and aluminum oxide). Unlike real hardwood, a quality laminate flooring solution will not dry, crack, and shrink during those hot Arizona summers. Check out the latest product by Mohawk called RevWood.
On the plus side, laminate flooring feels almost the same as real wood to the touch. With the right flooring experts working their magic, no one will even notice it’s laminate!
What About Cost?
Much like vinyl, laminate flooring is a great budget-friendly option for anyone looking for a quality flooring solution. Compared to the hardwood, stone, or tile it mimics, laminate comes in at a fraction of the cost.
Easy to maintain and highly durable, laminate flooring is a fantastic alternative to hardwood floors for Arizona homeowners!
Stone Flooring For Arizona Homeowners
Natural stone flooring is up there with hardwood as a perennial favorite for Arizona homeowners (and for good reason). Stone looks unbelievably good, is cool to the touch, and is nigh-invulnerable to the antics of children (with the right care).
It’s worth mentioning that natural stone flooring is the most expensive flooring option on this list. Stone doesn’t come cheap, but it’s well worth the cost if you can swing it!
Marble makes for an elegant, beautiful, and durable flooring solution. This stone comes in a range of different colors (red, green, black, white) and is perfect for any location where water is hard to find. Marble is very slippery when wet, so it’s not a particularly ideal solution for bathrooms or kitchens.
Granite is the bedrock of many flooring solutions — this stone is durable and nearly impossible to stain or scratch. Consider using granite for those high-traffic areas (entryways, bathrooms, kitchens, hallways).
A favorite for Arizona homeowners looking for tiled stone flooring solutions, the slate is a fantastic alternative to hardwood floors. There is a range of color and surfacing options — consult with Express Flooring to get an idea of the best product for your needs.
But is Stone Worth The Cost?
For an Arizona homeowner? Absolutely.
Stone flooring completely changes the feel of your home. It’s a fantastic investment, is easy to maintain, and is famous for its durability. Even better, stone naturally keeps the home cool during those brutal Arizona summers!
Best Hardwood Floor Alternatives for Arizona Homeowners
Vinyl, laminate, and stone are fantastic alternatives to hardwood flooring for anyone in a hot, desert climate. As a general rule, avoid solid hardwood flooring in Arizona — vinyl, laminate, or stone are better options for the climate out here.
If you’re in Phoenix, Tucson, or just in the general Arizona area, give Express Flooring a call. Our professional flooring consultants work with you to develop the perfect flooring solution for your home. Schedule your free in-home estimate today!