Standing on your feet for hours in your own home shouldn’t be something that you dread. Tile and hardwood floors can give your home the best look possible, there’s no arguing that fact. However with that look and durability comes the fact that they are a hard unyielding surface that can be uncomfortable to stand on and not great for rolling around on with the kids. Sometimes a soft flooring option is what is required.
There are a few ways to make flooring material a bit softer than others. When selecting one of the flooring options consider what is beneath that material. There is the option for underlayments, padding, and backing on the actual material itself.By adding one of these options to a flooring material you can increase the way it feels soft underfoot.
Underlayment and can make a big difference in the feeling of your flooring. Underlayment is not the same as padding though, padding works only underneath of a carpet. All of your other options will crack or break if you place them on top of a thick padding. Underlayment differs in that it is a very thin material such as felt or cork that doesn’t have enough give to allow a material to break. However your underlayment does have enough give to make a flooring material feel softer.
Your hardwood and tile floors can still feel soft underfoot. This can be accomplished by purchasing floor or area rugs and placing them where you need them. Throw and area rugs range from extremely inexpensive, to luxury carpets. No matter what your choice is, keep in mind that your floor will wear unevenly. The area under a throw rug or area rug will not get the same traffic wear as the rest of your floor, this can lead to darker patches under an area rug after years in one place.
Soft Flooring Options
Carpet ($4 and up/sq ft):
As far as soft flooring goes, nothing really compares to carpet. Putting aside every other consideration carpet is the softest thing you can pick. Carpet is one of the best choices for your living room area. Combining a high quality carpet with an expensive layer of cushioning provides unarguably the softest feel you can buy. The downside is the obvious drawbacks to carpet. Stains, cleaning, allergens all are negatives when it comes to using carpet.
Luxury Vinyl ($3-$7):
If you are looking for a soft surface that is still clean and allergy free then luxury vinyl could be your best option. Vinyl is durable and stands up to wear and tear better than carpet. Luxury vinyl is one of those materials that can provide you some upscale look without an overly upscale price. The ability of luxury vinyl to look like other harder materials like hardwood and tile means you can have some softness while having the look you want.
Sheet vinyl can give you a soft surface as well. You can normally find vinyl flooring in your kitchen where it’s easy cleanup is really helpful. Options with felt backing work exceptionally well for this goal. Vinyl sheets of various thicknesses give a softer feel to your floor than hardwood flooring or tile. Vinyl is easier to clean than carpet, less costly than luxury vinyl flooring, and lasts a long time. The downside is that many home owners feel it gives a cheap feel to a room. This can translate into a lower resale price at a later date.
Made from the bark of the cork tree, this option is one of the more modern choices. Cork is one of the softest options that give the look of a more hardwood flooring. The ability of cork to provide a feel of softness while at the same time giving a hardwood type of look is the main selling point for this option. The softness of cork is also part of the problem though, pointed objects can permanently dent the flooring. This includes high heels, and furniture legs. Care has to be taken to avoid these from damaging the floor.
Much like sheet vinyl, linoleum can be a good option. When this is coupled with an appropiate underly this can give your floor a much softer feel than if the linoleum is put directly onto the sub floor. Linoleum is a bit harder than vinyl due to the method of how it is constructed. So while it is softer than hardwood or tile, it is not quite as soft as vinyl. The look of linoleum can be a problem though. Linoleum is not thought of as a luxury product, and will make people think its cheap looking.
As far as soft flooring goes rubber flooring is the best choice. Of course rubber flooring is the best choice as long as there are absolutely no other considerations involved. Rubber flooring comes in a variety of different options, none of which really mimic or look like the usual flooring found in homes. Outside of the basement and garage rubber flooring is not something you will usually.