Living in Florida brings its own unique climate to the US — the seasons slightly change, but extreme weather is seen mostly in the summer with sizzling, triple-digit temperatures and humid air that makes you feel like you’re breathing in silk with each breath, not to mention the hurricanes that bring heavy and unrelenting rains. Have you ever stopped and thought about how this impacts the materials used on both the exterior and interior of your home?
Florida forgoes basements because of the humidity and some homes only have carports because, for a majority of the year, the weather is pretty temperate. At Groutsmith, we are Northwest Florida’s grout and tile experts honing our craft on tile repair and restoration. We want your Florida home to withstand all of the weather that comes with the climate, and that means choosing the most advantageous materials for your area. Follow along in today’s post as we compare different types of flooring and how they hold up to Florida’s climate.
Because hardwood is a natural material, it is prone to change under extreme weather conditions. Ideally, hardwood flooring thrives in a relative humidity between 35 and 60 percent. The average humidity for Florida stays around 75 percent year-round with peaks in the early morning, making hardwood a challenge in the Sunshine State. Installing hardwood in a basement, kitchen, or laundry room leaves it even more susceptible to wet, humid conditions.
- Hardwood flooring is naturally cool to touch, which makes it a great option for warmer climates.
- It’s highly customizable, coming in a variety of wood types, stains, and patterns.
- Hardwood brings a classic, timeless look, and with proper upkeep, the maintenance is minimal.
- Damp, humid climates cause wood to buckle and swell.
- The hard surface can be uncomfortable to stand on for long periods.
- If regularly exposed to UV, the wood can warp and become discolored.
Carpet brings the ultimate warmth to a home, which is why it’s perfect in colder climates but can cause issues in damp, humid climates.
- Carpet is very easy to maintain, and if well cared for, lasts a long time.
- Carpet is cozy and relaxing.
- Carpet is also highly customizable with different pile lengths, patterns, and colors.
- Carpet is a sound buffer.
- In Florida, carpet can become an issue because of the humidity and incur mold.
- Carpet makes it difficult to clean up liquids, making it prone to staining.
- Because carpet attracts dirt and pollen, it’s highly susceptible to attracting and holding common allergens.
Vinyl is a man-made material which makes it a practical choice for almost all climates.
- Vinyl is extremely durable and withstands heavy traffic areas beautifully.
- Vinyl is less dense than other materials such as wood and tile, so it’s more comfortable to stand on.
- Vinyl is one of the most cost-effective floorings.
- Vinyl is one of the most environmentally hazardous consumer materials produced.
- Vinyl leaches chemicals that is toxic to people.
- Scratches in vinyl are next to impossible to remove.
Laminate flooring is similar to vinyl in that it is very cost-effective and a practical choice to cover large areas.
- A great alternative to wood or tile — it’s almost impossible to tell the difference these days!
- Laminate is great for all climates.
- Laminate is soft and more comfortable to stand on than alternative flooring.
- Cheaper laminate is more vulnerable to climate extremes and can expand or contract in humid conditions.
- If exposed to flooding, laminate will warp in standing water, damaging the flooring.
Tile is an alluring, natural material that is customizable and aesthetically pleasing.
- Tile is great in any room of the house.
- Tile is cool to the touch, making it a perfect option for hot climates such as Florida.
- Tile is easy to maintain.
- Because tile is cool to the touch, it makes it extremely cold and uncomfortable in colder climates.
- Tile grout can become dirty and dingy, aging the tile.
- Tile pairs well in humid, damp conditions.
When it comes to the Florida climate being extremely humid and hot, not every flooring type is the best option for your home. Hardwood is notorious for warping and buckling in these conditions and carpet is prone to mold growth.
The gold standard in flooring for Florida’s unique weather is tile, as it withstands the high humidity and is cool in the hot temperatures. Tile also cleans up well and is resistant to stains and smells. One of the components you do have to worry about is the grout as it can become grimy and dirty looking without routine care.