The Best Interior Surfacing Materials For Your Home: A Prelude | Blog Post #9
The Adventure is Afoot!
This July, learn how to choose the best interior surfacing materials for your home as the Metallic Epoxy Singapore blog embarks on an exciting new educational series! The four part series will cover the most popular floor and countertop options available to you on the market, including the properties and relative usability of materials such as marble, wood, and synthetics, with hard data and statistics for ease of comparison.
The most important factor when comparing anything is the criteria you select. To achieve the most useful and relevant comparisons, we will be using only the criteria that most impact your experience as a homeowner.
Each material will be assessed with the same set of criteria, specifically durability (hardness, ageing, thermal resistance), hygiene (porosity, corrosion resistance), and aesthetics (appearance, comfort).
Hardness: Hardness comes in two flavours — scratch hardness is an assessment of how easily a material gets scratched, while indentation hardness indicates how easily a material gets deformed or dented by impact or prolonged pressure. While there are many measures of hardness, including the Janka, Rockwell, Shore, and Mohs scales (great subjects for further reading), we will be using primarily the Mohs scale for scratch hardness, and the Janka or Rockwell scales for indentation hardness.
The Mohs scale runs from 1 to 10, where 1 is talc (easily scratched) and 10 is diamond (only scratched by another diamond). For reference, glass can range from 5 – 7 (think iPhone Gorilla glass), while fingernails rate 2 to 2.5.
The Janka scale measures the amount of force, measured in Newtons, required to push a 11.28 mm diameter steel ball halfway into a piece of wood. Thus, the Janka scale is uniquely suitable for testing wooden flooring.
Ageing: This criterion is an assessment of how well a material ages, including discolouration, warping, loss of resistance to physical damage such as chipping, abrasion, or cracks.
Porosity: The presence of pores on a material increase the surface area for bacteria and mould propagation, as well as trapping dirt and waste matter. Here, less is more.
Corrosion Resistance: Besides being a matter of durability, resistance to corrosion is important for interior surfaces as it broadens the type of cleaning agents you can use to maintain the cleanliness of your home. Materials with lower resistance to chemical corrosion cannot be cleaned with strong and more effective cleaners like bleach, forcing you to use less effective or more labour intensive alternatives.
An assessment of how aesthetically pleasing most people find the material (an unfortunately subjective matter) and its other properties that contribute to the comfort of a home, such as temperature, softness, and noise level. For instance, stone and ceramic tend to be cooler, which might be a good thing in Singapore’s warm climate, but can be unpleasant if you’re stepping into the bathroom from an air-conditioned room in the morning.
One Man’s Trash
Bear in mind that what your neighbour loves about his house will differ from what you might favour in yours. Just because a material rates highly in one specific category for the average homeowner, your personal taste may make that same quality a deal breaker. Take for instance, the brisk chill of a marble floor — people who enjoy a break from the sweltering heat may cherish the cold surface, while others who have a low tolerance for any form of coldness may hate it! Decide for yourself as you read our posts in the upcoming weeks.
Knowledge is Power
We strive to bring you as much information as possible to help you make well-informed decisions about a matter as crucial as outfitting your home. However, it is nigh impossible to be both exhaustive and readable in a handful of bite-sized posts. So while our posts will delve into detail about each material, we encourage readers to use these posts as springboards to begin your own research into what material best suits your needs and your dream home.
Find out more about “The Perfect Metallic Epoxy Coating: The Hows and Whys | Blog Post #2“
or a brief comparison of Metallic Epoxy and common conventional materials in “Walking the Path Less Taken: Metallic Epoxy VS Conventional Materials | Blog Post #3“