People often choose their flooring either by style/aesthetic, ease of cleaning/maintenance, or comfort. But you rarely hear people choosing their flooring material based on the climate of the place their house is built in. For areas that experience winter, or is snowing all year round, it’s important to choose flooring materials that can help insulate your home and keep you warm. So we’ll be taking a look at the top cold climate home flooring materials for you to choose from:
Cork is an affordable and eco-friendly flooring option that’s made of cork boards and sometimes even recycled wine corks. Corks have air pockets that serve as insulation which can help prevent cold air from penetrating while keeping the warm air inside your home. It’s warm and comfortable to walk on, and is antimicrobial (making it an excellent flooring option for kitchens, even in areas with warmer climates). But it can be susceptible to scratching, moving furniture, heels, and even pets, even with a protective coating.
Plywood walls and floorings are commonly seen in places having both warm and cold seasons; its thermal insulation property can help your feet stay cool in the summer, and warm during winters, and could significantly reduce heating and cooling costs for your home. Plywood is durable, water and moisture-resistant, and is relatively cheap compared to hardwood. If properly installed, stained, and finished, a plywood interior can give your home a warm, cozy, and natural aesthetic. Plywood can also be used for radiant heating systems (such as hydronic heating) as their layering and design allows them to be more resistant and can handle heat and moisture/humidity a lot better than natural wood.
Laminate looks like timber or hardwood, but it’s a lot more affordable, requires less maintenance, and won’t contract or expand/warp when it’s extremely cold or when humid/wet. Laminate is a type of synthetic flooring that can simulate wood or stone, with a clear protective layer. It’s durable and resistant and can work with radiant heating systems.
Bonus: Add Carpets
If your current home’s flooring isn’t built for winter and colder climates, but replacing the flooring isn’t an option, you can buy carpets and put them in areas where you usually walk and stay, or you can have carpets installed to cover the floors of your home. Carpets don’t contract in the cold, are comfortable to walk on, and work well as a temperature barrier between the cold floor beneath and your feet. The only issue with carpets during winter is that they can be damaged by snow and mud, so make sure to leave a carpet-less area for you to store, remove, and put on outside shows.
Staying warm is one of the struggles every homeowner living in cold climates has to deal with, especially every winter. As such, your flooring options are limited to materials with good thermal insulating and/or home heating system compatibility. Luckily, if you know your options for cold climate flooring materials, you could choose one that still goes with the style or aesthetic of your home, is easy to maintain, and is comfortable to walk on.