5 Types of Flooring for your Home
Updated: Apr 8
There are 5 popular different types of flooring materials for your home ranging from hardwood flooring to carpet. I will provide a quick list of pros and cons for each type of flooring. The information is provided below to help you choose the best flooring option for your home.
1. Hardwood Flooring
Let us start with the most popular selected choice, hardwood flooring. Hardwood continues to be the most popular due to its natural aesthetic appearance. There's just absolutely nothing like it.
Beauty: The beauty of hardwood flooring is unmatched. Everything else is a compromise. Ask your flooring expert and he'll tell you.
Durable: Hardwood flooring is known for its durability and longevity. A good hardwood provides a timeless natural look that can last for decades.
Ability to be refinished: If you would like to change the theme of your home, or switch the color/style of your floor, certain types of hardwood floors can be refinished up to five times!
Great investment: Many buyers are looking for homes that have hardwood flooring installed, and they are willing to pay top dollar for it. Not only do you get to enjoy the flooring while you live in your home, but the value of your home rises from this investment.
Many styles: Hardwood flooring works with all different kinds of styles ranging from traditional to modern. There are also several types of woods to choose from, including the most popular being white or red oak, cherry, walnut, ash, and hard maple.
Hygienic and aesthetic: Not only is hardwood flooring a pleasant natural look for the human eye, but it also is the most hygienic option. Hardwood flooring does not have the problem of harboring dirt such as carpet, making wood floors more hygienic especially when installed in a child’s room.
Not good with scratches: A scuff or scratch does not settle well with wood floors, and the softer the wood, the easier it is to scratch and damage. In high traffic areas, especially l involving pets or children, hardwood floors are more prone to show damage. However, if significant damage is done, you always have the option to have it refinished.
Costly: Materials for hardwood flooring can vary from $3 per square foot for an unfinished oak plank to more than $12 per square foot for more distinctive types of wood. Additionally, refinishing hardwood flooring costs between $3 to $8 per square foot.
Not good with water: Water is the enemy of hardwood flooring. Moisture and liquids can be easily absorbed due to the nature of wood material and can cause damage.
Conclusion: It's worth mentioning that this is more of a general guideline when it comes to hardwood flooring and there are exceptions. For example, you don't have to worry about your Mercier hardwood flooring with an intact 2500 finish when it comes to scratches and moisture. Out of all the five types of flooring, hardwood flooring continues to be the most popular choice due to its natural, clean look that it adds to the home. Also, homes with hardwood floors installed have a greater resale value, so many that are looking to eventually resell tend to install hardwood flooring.
2. Laminate Flooring
More affordable: If you are on a budget, laminate flooring might be the best option for you. It may not be hardwood, but it is just as durable while delivering the look of real wood at a more affordable price!
Scratch-resistant: Laminate flooring is another popular choice because of the perks it offers. Scratch-resistant and noise-resistant options are available when installing laminate flooring. Generally, laminate flooring is more anti-scratch than your average hardwood flooring.
Ease of installation: Laminate flooring offers many styles all easy to install. In most cases, it tends to require less maintenance than more traditional types of floorings.
Good for high traffic areas: Unlike hardwood flooring, laminate flooring holds up well in high traffic areas.
Typically not good with water: Similar to hardwood flooring, laminate flooring is prone to moisture damage. Therefore, laminate is not the ideal option for kitchens and bathrooms, both of which are high-risk areas for water leakage or damage. In recent years, there has been a tremendous amount of improvement when it comes to the water-resistance characteristics of laminate flooring. Companies such as Torlys, Richmond, Mannington, and Mohawk offer waterproof to water-resistance options that will get around this common problem with traditional laminate flooring.
Unable to be refinished: It may look real but it still has an unnaturally hard feel. Since it is not real wood, it is unable to be refinished in the same way real wood can be. Once it is worn out it will need to be replaced.
Conclusion: If you are on a tight budget but looking to install flooring similar to hardwood, this is the best way to go. It is less expensive, yet very similar-looking to the real thing.
3. Luxury Vinyl
Affordable: Vinyl is about $2-$6 per square foot, which is much more affordable compared to hardwood floors which can cost up to $12 per square foot.
Waterproof: Unlike any flooring listed earlier, vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof and there's no exception!
Warm and quiet: Vinyl offers the look of real wood and also a quiet resilience that you cannot find in hardwood.
Low maintenance: Vinyl flooring does not require nearly as much maintenance as some other flooring types. It is known as the easiest type of flooring to maintain. The relative humidity and temperature ranges don't need to be regulated when it comes to vinyl flooring. Therefore, you can install vinyl in your cabin that you only use once a year without having to worry about a thing.
Does not have a natural wood feel: Although it has the natural look of wood, it does not feel that way, because again, it is not real wood; it's actually plastic!
Hard to remove: Traditional vinyl may be easy to install but it is the exact opposite when removing it. Once the vinyl backing hardens to the floorboards, the glue is extremely difficult to remove.
Conclusion: If you are looking for an upscale waterproof option, yet less expensive type of flooring, Vinyl is a great option. Vinyl flooring delivers what homeowners value in upscale flooring but at a more affordable price.
Warm and cozy: Carpet is hands down the coziest option. It is the softest, warmest, and most comfortable, and soundproof option.
Soundproof: Are you looking for a quiet, soundproof flooring option? If so, carpet is perfect for you. It is the most soundproof flooring due to its soft material which is easy on the feet.
Various styles and colors: There are literally thousands of carpet styles that you have the option to choose from, one of which is bound to fit nicely with your home's theme.
Safety: If you have small children, carpet could be a good option because it limits the risk of falling and getting hurt because you are essentially falling on padding unlike the other floorings listed.
Maintenance: Carpet usually requires a high level of maintenance such as regular vacuuming, or an occasional deep carpet cleaning. You will need to schedule a professional cleaning every so often.
Not shoe friendly: As comfortable and cozy carpet is, the material has some disadvantages. Since it is such a soft sensitive floor covering material, it can easily attract dirt and stains making shoes unfriendly in the house.
Allergies: If someone in your home has allergies, it may be best to stay away from carpet. Carpets attract allergens such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander.
Lack of longevity: Unlike other flooring options that can last for multiple generations such as hardwood, carpet is manufactured synthetically giving it a shorter lifespan.
Conclusion: Carpet is the best option when looking for a cozy, warm type of flooring. It is the softest material on the feet, and if you do not have any allergies, and you are happy to not wear shoes in the house, then carpet is the best option for you.
5. Tile and Stone
Most durable: Tile and stone flooring is by far the most durable option, and it can handle heavy foot traffic.
Elegant: Unlike laminate, vinyl and carpet, tile and stone flooring offer a more elegant style and look.
Waterproof: Tile and stone flooring are both waterproof, and easy to clean.
Best heat transmission: Natural stone tile is the most effective floor material for radiant heating because it is a good conductor of heat and it adds thermal storage.
Expensive: Tile and stone are one of the more expensive options when the installation cost is also considered. The price depends on the material type, but for example, natural stone tile costs about $5 to $10 per square foot.
Not the most comfortable: Tile and stone contain a harder material than all the others. Tiles are most often made of ceramic, and tiling stone is most often made of marble, onyx, or granite, making it hard and sometimes uncomfortable for the foot. Also since it is the hardest flooring material, glass is prone to break when falling on it.
Could be really cold: Without a heating system, tile and stone floorings can become very cold and uncomfortable while walking barefoot.
Conclusion: Because of its waterproof feature, tile and stone flooring are most commonly installed in kitchens or bathrooms. Although they are an expensive option, many homeowners find the investment is worth it, as the value of their home rises.
Are you ready to install hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, luxury vinyl, carpet, or tile/stone for your home?
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