8 Types Of Flooring To Consider (2023)

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The floor is the largest surface in the home, and picking the best type of flooring for your space depends on your budget, lifestyle and personal tastes. Each type has its unique benefits, and determining which flooring is best depends on each room’s needs and location.

Popular flooring options include wood, engineered flooring materials, vinyl, tile and carpet. Learn more about the most common flooring types, the materials’ best attributes and the best usage of each one, as well as overall flooring costs.

NOTE:The beginning half of 2021 has seen an unprecedented labor shortage as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In conjunctionwith this, demand for materials and construction jobs has skyrocketed. As a result, material prices may be higher than those reported in this article, and lead times may be longer than usual for both labor and materials.

Hardwood Flooring

8 Types Of Flooring To Consider (1)

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Hardwood flooring comes from a solid piece of milled wood and contains solid wood all throughout. Popular hardwood varieties include maple, oak, walnut or cherry. Its versatility and quality make it a desirable flooring option for many home buyers.

However, it’s one of the more expensive flooring materials on the market and does take regular maintenance, such as using a specialty hardwood floor cleaner once a month and applying a fresh coat of finish every three to five years, to keep them looking great. The average cost for installed hardwood flooring is $5 to $10 per square foot.

Pros

(Video) All You Need To Know About Flooring Options

  • Increases home value
  • Can be refinished multiple times
  • Many options available
  • Strong and durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can incur scrapes, scratches and dents in high-traffic areas
  • Susceptible to moisture damage
  • Not suitable for bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements

Engineered Wood Flooring

8 Types Of Flooring To Consider (2)

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Engineered wood flooring offers the look of real wood at a more affordable price than solid wood. The floor features a thin layer of hardwood bonded over a high-quality plywood substrate. It’s as durable as solid hardwood flooring and can last as long with proper care.

Engineered wood flooring is a good choice for DIYers to install, which will save you money on installation costs. The average cost for installed engineered wood flooring is $4 to $9 per square foot.

Pros

  • DIY-friendly
  • Has real hardwood top layer
  • Greater resistance to moisture and water than real wood
  • Less likely to warp
  • Multiple installation methods

Cons

  • Can’t be refinished more than once
  • Not fade-resistant
  • Wide variation in quality
  • Can sound hollow underfoot
  • Emits VOCs

Laminate Flooring

8 Types Of Flooring To Consider (3)

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Laminate is an affordable flooring option for homeowners who prefer an alternative to carpet but want to avoid the cost of hardwood or tiles.

The floors consist of a particleboard wood base topped by wood or tile photo beneath a clear plastic protective layer. This flooring is very DIY-friendly, and laminate offers a multitude of texture and color options. The average cost for installed laminate flooring is $3 to $7 per square foot.

Pros

  • Inexpensive compared to wood
  • Easy to clean
  • Scratch-resistant
  • DIY-friendly
  • Many styles and colors available

Cons

  • Susceptible to moisture damage
  • Chips easily
  • Does not look and feel like wood
  • Has a hollow sound underfoot

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(Video) Vinyl Plank vs Laminate vs Engineered Hardwood

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Vinyl Flooring

8 Types Of Flooring To Consider (4)

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Vinyl flooring is extremely water-resistant and won’t sustain damage even if water sits on the surface for an extended amount of time. Composed of plastic, it’s available in plank, tile and sheet form.

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) are two forms that have gained popularity recently because of their durability and variety of styles available. The average cost for installation varies depending on the form; the average range is $1.50 (sheet vinyl) to $6 or more (LVP and LVT) per square foot.

Pros

  • Good for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements
  • Durable
  • Water- and fade-resistant
  • DIY-friendly
  • Many design choices available
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • LVP and LVT is more expensive than laminate
  • Lower ROI than wood

Tile

8 Types Of Flooring To Consider (5)

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Tile flooring is a popular choice for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens. The most common tile materials are ceramic or porcelain. Tile is water-resistant, durable and comes in a variety of styles and colors.

The installation cost varies depending on the material; for instance, glazed ceramic is less expensive than porcelain tile. The average cost ranges from $2.50 per square foot for ceramic tile and $3 to $10 for porcelain tile.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Hard to install
  • Lot of prep work is needed before installation
  • Cold and slippery

Stone Flooring

8 Types Of Flooring To Consider (6)

(Video) Laminate vs Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring | Everything you need to know!

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Natural stone, such as granite, marble, travertine and sandstone, are popular flooring choices for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Like ceramic and porcelain, stone is extremely durable and waterproof.

The stone’s finish determines the amount of care needed to maintain the floor. However, stone offers natural beauty and quality that is unparalleled by most types of flooring. The average costs range from $5 to $10 per square foot.

Pros

  • Bold and elegant
  • Long-lasting
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Hard to install
  • Lot of prep work is needed before installation
  • Cold and slippery
  • Difficult to maintain

Linoleum Flooring

8 Types Of Flooring To Consider (7)

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Linoleum is a durable, eco-friendly flooring option made from linseed oil and cork. Linoleum flooring is affordable and easy to install. The flooring comes in sheet form and in a variety of colors and styles. It is resilient (made with elastic materials) and can last for decades if cared for properly.

Linoleum is gaining in popularity as flooring manufacturers offer more modern colors and styles. The average cost to install linoleum flooring ranges from $4 to $8 per square foot.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Eco-friendly
  • DIY-friendly
  • Available in a variety of colors and patterns
  • Requires little maintenance

Cons

  • Does not increase home value
  • Easily dented or cut
  • May darken or turn yellowish when exposed to sunlight
  • Not suitable for moisture prone-areas

Carpet

Carpet is a favorite flooring option for homeowners, especially in bedrooms. It comes in a variety of colors, materials and textures. Carpet technology has improved over the years, and modern carpets have stain-resistant qualities. It’s also the most cost-effective flooring option on the market.

Carpet installation varies in price, depending on the type of material and thickness of the carpet padding. The average cost of installing carpet ranges from $2.50 to $10 per square foot.

Pros

  • Soft and warm on feet
  • Visually warms up the space
  • Multiple colors, materials and designs available
  • Great for soundproofing
  • Stain-resistant varieties exist

Cons

  • Hard to clean
  • Can stain
  • Shows wear pattern
  • Not suitable for allergy sufferers

Alternative Materials

Flooring isn’t limited to the materials mentioned above. There are plenty of non-traditional materials used for flooring. Here are some alternative materials to consider:

(Video) The Best Wood Flooring for Your Home | Vinyl Plank vs Laminate vs Engineered Hardwood vs Solid Wood

Cork: A natural material made from a cork oak tree’s bark that features excellent fire resistance and sound-blocking ability
Rubber: A natural material with good resilience and a non-slip surface
Bamboo: An environmentally friendly choice that is a real wood alternative to hardwood floors
Terrazzo: A durable composite made of natural stone chips and resin

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Bottom Line

Choosing the best flooring for your home isn’t as simple as selecting the best-looking or the one that’s on sale. Several factors such as moisture, durability, ease of maintenance and budget greatly influence the decision. A new floor can be an investment, so your floor choice should balance your needs with your style. Make sure to discuss your ideas with your chosen flooring contractor at length to ensure the project is done to your standards. We recommend looking through the best flooring installation companies to ensure your job is done correctly.

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FAQs

What are the main types of floors? ›

Popular flooring options include wood, engineered flooring materials, vinyl, tile and carpet. Learn more about the most common flooring types, the materials' best attributes and the best usage of each one, as well as overall flooring costs.

How many types of flooring should be in a house? ›

The 'Less than Three' Rule

Having more than two different types of floors colliding with one another is confusing to the eyes and may make your space seem cluttered or mismatched. When making your design choices, do not exceed more than two different types of material per floor of your home.

How many kinds of flooring are there? ›

This list includes carpet flooring, tile flooring, laminate flooring, hardwood flooring, marble flooring and vinyl flooring. Let's discuss the benefits of each option: 1.

What is the most popular flooring choice? ›

Tile. Tile is the most obvious choice for kitchens and bathrooms, as it is naturally waterproof and fairly indestructible. Some tile trends include realistic stone or wood looks. New homes tend to include timeless looks like marble, limestone, or slate.

What are the most popular floors? ›

Here are the Top 10 flooring trends in 2022 that will add home value and excitement to your home:
  • Natural Floors. Without a doubt, the number one flooring trend of 2022 is natural and raw-looking flooring. ...
  • Luxury Vinyl Flooring. ...
  • Carpet Flooring. ...
  • Wide Planks. ...
  • Aged wood. ...
  • Bleached wood. ...
  • Pattern Vinyl and Tile. ...
  • Concrete tiles.
Mar 1, 2022

What is the best quality floor? ›

The 9 Best Flooring Options for Your Home
  • Solid wood flooring confers warmth and authenticity. ...
  • Laminate flooring adheres easily to subfloors. ...
  • Luxury vinyl tiles are hard to tell apart from real wood. ...
  • Carpet softens any room, in the color of your choice. ...
  • Stone flooring can add value to your home.
Aug 12, 2022

Is vinyl or laminate better? ›

While costs are similar, the value of premium vinyl far exceeds that of laminate based on quality and value. Unlike laminate, premium vinyl is durable and stable, resistant to moisture and climate, and is easy to install and maintain. Laminate is restricted to light traffic and low moisture applications.

What is the most low-maintenance flooring? ›

Low-maintenance flooring options for your home
  • Natural Stone Flooring. Natural stone includes marble, granite, limestone, slate, quartzite, and sandstone. ...
  • Ceramic Tile Flooring. Ceramic tiles are among the cheapest flooring options for the home. ...
  • Porcelain Tiles. ...
  • Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)
Mar 9, 2022

What type of flooring is best value? ›

You may have already guessed it, but the floor with the highest resale value is hardwood. Since hardwood is always in demand, it is an easy choice to up level your home.

What type of flooring do buyers prefer? ›

Buyers tend to prefer hard surface floors over carpet. If you choose a quality laminate, you'll likely get a decent return on your investment. Laminate is also relatively affordable, which means you won't have to shell out a lot of your budget upfront.

Should all flooring in a house be the same? ›

There is absolutely no need to change flooring from room to room. We often work with homeowners who feel the urge to pick a different flooring for every room of their home, but there is absolutely no need to do this. Your home will look best if you create one consistent look that travels from room to room.

What type of flooring lasts the longest? ›

Tile is the highest-rated flooring among the categories we test,” says Enrique de Paz, who leads flooring testing at Consumer Reports. “It doesn't wear out, scratch, or stain. Its color doesn't fade, it's waterproof, and it is surprisingly slip-resistant, even when wet.

What is the most comfortable flooring? ›

Plush Carpeting

Carpeting is the obvious choice for comfortable flooring. For the highest level of comfort, go with plush carpeting. This ultra-soft carpet is made by cutting open the carpet fibers to create a smooth, level surface.

What flooring is trending right now? ›

Luxury vinyl plank

Luxury vinyl plank is the hottest floor trend this year. LVP is a relatively new type of vinyl flooring, which is affordable at around $8 per square foot and mimics the appearance and texture of wood.

What are high end homes using for flooring? ›

8 High-End Flooring Options for Luxury Homes
  • Natural Stone Flooring. There is no discussion of luxury flooring without talking about natural stone. ...
  • Exotic Hardwood Flooring. ...
  • Designer Ceramic Floor Tiles. ...
  • Hand-Scraped Wood Flooring. ...
  • Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring. ...
  • Luxury Vinyl Tiles or Planks. ...
  • Cork Flooring. ...
  • Bamboo Flooring.
Jul 1, 2022

Should flooring be lighter or darker than cabinets? ›

If so, you might be wondering, Should wood floors be lighter or darker than cabinets? Luckily, there is no right or wrong answer here. Light-color hardwoods look excellent with dark wood cabinets, and vice versa. On the other hand, matching the colors isn't out of the question, either.

What color floor makes a room look bigger? ›

1) Light and dark flooring

Think cream carpets, natural and neutral toned tiles and whitewashed wood flooring. These attractive, light and neutral colours give a room an open and airy feel, making it appear larger, whilst also drawing in the natural sunlight from outside.

What flooring is timeless? ›

As we mentioned above, hardwood is one of the most timeless materials available, which is why wood-look tile is a top choice for our timeless flooring list. Mimicking the look of natural wood, the graining on our wood-look tile floors will have you questioning whether this is natural wood or tile.

What color flooring is timeless? ›

What are timeless hardwood floor colors? Timeless hardwood floor colors are typically the natural hues that are found in the hardwood species that are most often used for flooring. Walnut, for example, is renowned for its dark, chocolate hues while Cherry is prized for its deep red tones.

What is best flooring for standing all day? ›

Best Flooring for Your Feet and Joint Pain
  • Vinyl: Vinyl is softer than many hard-surface floors and easy to clean. ...
  • Laminate: Laminate is softer and has more “give” compared to wood and tile. ...
  • Carpet: Carpet is soft and plush underfoot, especially if you choose a thicker type that allows your feet to sink in.

What flooring is most expensive to install? ›

In general, hardwood flooring is the most expensive material when it comes to flooring installation cost per square foot. Many national providers' websites show price ranges from less than $1 per square foot for laminate flooring to more than $10 per square foot for premium, hand-scraped hardwood brands.

What is the disadvantage of vinyl flooring? ›

The disadvantages of vinyl floors

Can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Shorter lifespan than wood floors. No impact, or negative impact, on home resale value. Difficult to remove, especially if adhesive is used during installation.

What lasts longer vinyl or laminate? ›

Lifespan. Thick, quality vinyl flooring can last up to 25 years, with thinner vinyl flooring's lifespan limited to less than 10 years. Laminate flooring can last between 15 and 25 years, though poorly maintained laminate may last only five to 10 years.

What flooring looks cleanest? ›

The Cleanest Flooring Materials Available
  • Ceramic Tile Flooring. When it comes to durable, affordable, and easy to clean, ceramic tile flooring is the perfect choice. ...
  • Hardwood. Hardwood flooring is the classic. ...
  • Luxury Vinyl Flooring.
Apr 7, 2022

What is the least toxic flooring? ›

Solid hardwood flooring is considered the safest and least toxic option as it's completely natural and free from any toxins. Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber, which makes it a healthy flooring option.

What floors are not slippery? ›

The Three Types of Slip-Resistant Flooring You Need Today
  • Vinyl Flooring. Vinyl is the most common material used in flooring. ...
  • Porcelain Tile or Ceramic Tile. Both tiles are very similar in appearance because both are made of clay, sand and water. ...
  • Hardwood and Bamboo Flooring. Wood is a common choice in residential homes.
Dec 1, 2021

What type of flooring is popular in 2022? ›

As a result, waterproof laminate floors have gained more popularity in 2022, and not just because of their attractively affordable price tags. The water-resistant layer on the surface of waterproof laminate floors protects both the surface and subfloors from moisture damage.

Does vinyl plank flooring devalue a home? ›

You should also keep in mind that vinyl plank and tile flooring might not increase the value of your home as much as laminate flooring. However, vinyl flooring can still make all the difference in how long your floors will last, which could be vital as we head into a more competitive real estate market.

What color floors are best for resale? ›

Dark hardwood flooring is in style. It makes your home easier to sell and also boosts your home's resale value. Shows off the furniture in the room. Dark hardwood floors have a way of contrasting with lighter colored furnishings.

Does luxury vinyl plank flooring decrease home value? ›

While LVT is a little higher end than laminate, it looks more modern and is better able to stand the test of time…and water! Furthermore, when you replace damaged tile, laminate, or linoleum with LVT, you add to the resale value of your home.

What color flooring is in for 2022? ›

Color and cool tones also make the list of flooring trends in 2022. Green, blue, dark brown, ashy white, and gray add to an airy feel in the home and leave so much to the imagination because of the options in flooring colors. Gray is the most popular when it comes to flooring colors.

Should you replace floors or walls first? ›

Compared to fixing commercial walls, fixing floors is a relatively harder and messier process than fixing the walls. To save on all the cleaning, it would be best to do the floors first. If you do the walls first, you'll end up hiring someone to clean all the floors once the wall paint is done.

What is better than vinyl plank flooring? ›

Wood-Look Tile Durability

Porcelain or ceramic tile flooring is extremely durable. Because tile is a harder material than wood or vinyl plank, it is more resistant to scratches, dents, fading, and other types of damage.

What is the quietest hard flooring? ›

The Top 3 Quietest Flooring Options
  1. Carpet Flooring Reduces Impacts. One of the quietest flooring options available is carpet flooring. ...
  2. Cork Flooring Is a Sustainable Option. Another of the quietest flooring options is cork flooring. ...
  3. Vinyl Flooring Mitigates Sound Well.

What flooring is best for your feet? ›

Softening the Feel Underfoot

These include: Wall-to-wall carpeting with thick padding, which is the softest flooring choice. Cork flooring, which mimics the look of wood, has a gentle springiness, and is said to feel warmer than wood. Vinyl and linoleum with felt or cork underlayment.

What color floors are in style for 2023? ›

Natural, Neutral Colors

Homeowners are gravitating toward more natural, neutral floor colors that are versatile enough to fit with a variety of living spaces, from dining rooms to bedrooms. Shades of white, cream and honey can be used in homes, luxury condos, and even commercial spaces.

What's the best month to buy flooring? ›

The best time to buy flooring and get the best prices is in the off-season, between December and January. This is when you are likely to find the best clearance sale prices.

What color flooring is most versatile? ›

Floors with a white finish go with almost everything. A light burlap-like color is a great choice because you still get a light floor, without installing a truly “white” floor. You can use a variety of wood species to create a light floor.

What are the 2 main types of ground floors? ›

There are two main types of suspended concrete floor.
...
6. Ground Floors.
Floating floorSlab and screed floor
✔ Cheaper than a slab and screed floor.✖ More expensive than a floating floor.
5 more rows
Nov 17, 2018

What are the 2 Classification of floors? ›

Based on classification-I flooring can be divided into two broad categories: non resilient and resilient. Hard or Non resilient flooring resists denting because of its hardness. Examples of this type of flooring are marble and other types of stones, terrazzo, and ceramic tile.

What are the 3 levels of wood flooring? ›

Select grade is the most expensive of the three, with #1 being a bit cheaper, and #2 Rustic grade costing considerably less than Select. SELECT grade has very few imperfections or character markings. Select grade will be almost uniform in color, with very few knots or holes, and longer, similar length boards.

What is the oldest type of floor? ›

Ancient Egypt Flooring

The Ancient Egyptians were the first to use manufactured stone for construction. Some of the earliest instances of constructed stone floors appear in the pyramids. The fact that they still stand today are a testament to their durability and stability.

What are 3 types of floor plans? ›

Types of Floor Plans

There are three main ways to create the layout of a house and convey the information homebuyers want to know: 2D Floor Plans. 3D Floor Plans. Live 3D Floor Plans.

Which material is used for flooring most commonly? ›

Concrete is most commonly used flooring material. It is suitable for any type of construction and is cheaper than others and durable.

Which is the healthiest flooring for homes? ›

Healthier Flooring
  • Use solid surface flooring instead of carpet.
  • Choose FSC-certified solid wood.
  • Use natural linoleum or tile made in the U.S.
  • Choose low-VOC finishes and sealants.
  • Look for NAF-certified products.
  • Install without glue; use nail-down or click-lock.
  • Avoid laminate, vinyl flooring and synthetic carpeting.

What is the most durable type of flooring? ›

Tile is the highest-rated flooring among the categories we test,” says Enrique de Paz, who leads flooring testing at Consumer Reports. “It doesn't wear out, scratch, or stain. Its color doesn't fade, it's waterproof, and it is surprisingly slip-resistant, even when wet.

What is the most luxurious flooring? ›

8 High-End Flooring Options for Luxury Homes
  1. Natural Stone Flooring. There is no discussion of luxury flooring without talking about natural stone. ...
  2. Exotic Hardwood Flooring. ...
  3. Designer Ceramic Floor Tiles. ...
  4. Hand-Scraped Wood Flooring. ...
  5. Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring. ...
  6. Luxury Vinyl Tiles or Planks. ...
  7. Cork Flooring. ...
  8. Bamboo Flooring.
Jul 1, 2022

Which floor level is best? ›

Living on a higher floor has its advantages. You get better views of your locality, better light and ventilation, and there is lower impact of street-level disturbances compared to those on the ground and lower floors. Higher floors are also usually free from the menace of mosquitoes and rodents (mainly rats).

What flooring is used in new homes? ›

Most new build properties are built on a concrete slab which then forms the subfloor for your ground level. Concrete is wet! Many people think that moisture leaving a concrete pour is what makes it hard. However, concrete actually hardens as a result of a chemical reaction called hydration between cement and water.

What are the 5 classifications of resilient flooring according to basic ingredients? ›

The resilient category includes linoleum, cork, rubber, vinyl, and poured, seamless flooring products.

How many layers of flooring is OK? ›

Typically, your flooring will be made up of four different layers. Each of these layers plays a distinct part in keeping your flooring in tact. In some cases, only three flooring layers are necessary. Likewise, in other, more rare cases, you'll see more than four layers.

What is the strongest wood flooring? ›

Generally speaking, the hardest wood for flooring is Ipe (or Lapacho). However, this is very hard to find, due to its rarity. This also makes it a very expensive flooring product. Therefore, more widely available, and hardwearing are Hickory and Maple flooring.

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