What Kinds of Floors Keep Your House Cool?

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So the Farmer’s Almanac predicted a hotter than normal forecast for your region and you’ve got no AC. Don't sweat it! There are alternatives to putting your head in the freezer.

If yours is among the many homes with wall-to-wall carpet, you probably already know it isn’t always the best option for keeping the building cool in warmer months. While they look nice and can be wonderful in the wintertime, carpets retain heat. They can also hold allergens, along with moisture that could be brought in by wet feet from the swimming pool, the sprinklers, or the beach.

But don’t despair! There are some other flooring options that can keep you cooler than traditional carpet. While it’s best to start thinking about installing a new floor in the cooler months before temps climb, it’s never too late. Depending on your needs, personal style, and whether you have kids, consider one of the following options to help keep things cool in your home if you don’t have AC.

a stone floor with square tiles

Natural Stone

Another option to keeping the house (and your feet) on the colder side is natural stone. This type of flooring can be made from any kind of rock—popular options include slate, granite, and travertine. Stone is non-porous and easy to clean, so it won’t soak in dust and bacteria. Plus it looks great! Not only is it a stylish design choice, it's available in many kinds of material and can be arranged in any pattern you like.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is often made from clay materials and is non-porous, like stone, which means it doesn’t retain heat like carpeting. It's cool to walk on, easy to maintain, and extremely durable. Tile won't stain or warp in water, and it's a little cheaper than stone, making it a popular choice for bathroom floors.

Bamboo

Bamboo has become more and more popular over the years as a sustainable, green material, partly because bamboo plants grow incredibly quickly in a wide variety of climates. Flooring made from bamboo can be a little more expensive than wooden alternatives, but it will hold up beautifully over the years if taken of properly.

It's attractive, easy to care for, and like regular wood it will keep the house a lot cooler than carpeting. Bamboo would doesn’t do well in areas with high humidly, though it is fairly water resistant.

Shiny wooden floor planks

Wood

One of the most popular flooring styles for today’s homes is wood. Homeowners like the overall look and feel of wood flooring, and find it easier to maintain than carpet. It can last for years, and yes, it will keep the house cool, because it's not a heat sink, unlike carpeting. There are many wood flooring options, from dark, rich cherry woods to lighter, elegant pines.

Vinyl

Gone are the days of your grandmother’s vinyl. Today, vinyl flooring has come of age. It comes in many attractive colors, designs, and styles, so it can suit any home’s interior. It's cool like wood, but easier to take care of—all you need is a mop and it’s clean in a breeze. Vinyl is also soft, well-cushioned and comfy to walk on with bare feet. And best of all, it's the cheapest option out there!

Laminated Fiberboard

Like vinyl, laminated boards, sometimes simply called "laminates," reduce the temp of any room they're in. In a nutshell, laminates are hard plastic shells around fiberboard cores. Because the plastic can be made with any color or design, they're another great option if you're looking to make a unique visual impact.