Types of Flooring: A Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners

Types of Flooring
Images / armstrongflooring.com

As a homeowner, selecting the right type of flooring for your home can be a challenging task.

With so many options available, it’s essential to consider factors such as durability, maintenance, budget, and personal preferences.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss various types of flooring to help you make an informed decision for your home.

Types of Flooring Material

1. Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is a popular choice among homeowners due to its timeless appeal and durability.

It is made from solid pieces of wood, such as oak, maple, walnut, or cherry.

Hardwood flooring not only adds warmth and style to any room, but also increases the value of your home.

Pros of Hardwood Flooring

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

Cons of Hardwood Flooring

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

Average cost for installed hardwood flooring: $5 to $10 per square foot.

2. Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring is an affordable alternative to solid hardwood.

It features a thin layer of real wood bonded over a high-quality plywood substrate.

Engineered wood flooring is durable and can last as long as solid hardwood with proper care.

Pros of Engineered Wood Flooring

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

Cons of Engineered Wood Flooring

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

Average cost for installed engineered wood flooring: $4 to $9 per square foot.

3. Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is an affordable and versatile option for homeowners who want the look of wood or tile without the high cost. It consists of a particleboard wood base topped with a photographic image of wood or tile beneath a clear protective layer.

Pros of Laminate Flooring

  • Inexpensive compared to wood
  • Easy to clean
  • Scratch-resistant
  • DIY-friendly for experienced homeowners (and if subflooring is in good shape)
  • Many styles and colors available

Cons of Laminate Flooring

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

Average cost for installed laminate flooring: $3 to $7 per square foot.

4. Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a water-resistant and durable option suitable for moisture-prone areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements. Available in plank, tile, and sheet form, vinyl flooring offers a wide variety of styles, colors, and patterns to choose from.

Pros of Vinyl Flooring

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

Cons of Vinyl Flooring

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

Average cost for installed vinyl flooring: $1.50 (sheet vinyl) to $6 or more (LVP and LVT) per square foot.

5. Tile Flooring

Tile flooring is a popular choice for bathrooms and kitchens due to its water-resistant and durable properties. Common tile materials include ceramic and porcelain, available in various styles, colors, and sizes.

Pros of Tile Flooring

  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Long-lasting

Cons of Tile Flooring

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

Average cost for installed tile flooring: $2.50 per square foot for ceramic tile and $3 to $10 for porcelain tile.

6. Stone Flooring

Natural stone flooring, such as granite, marble, travertine, and sandstone, is a luxurious option for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Stone flooring is extremely durable, waterproof, and offers a unique, elegant appearance.

Pros of Stone Flooring

  • Bold and elegant
  • Long-lasting
  • Waterproof

Cons of Stone Flooring

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

Average cost for installed stone flooring: $5 to $10 per square foot.

7. Linoleum Flooring

Linoleum flooring is an affordable, eco-friendly option made from linseed oil and cork. It is resilient, long-lasting, and available in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles.

Pros of Linoleum Flooring

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

Cons of Linoleum Flooring

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

Average cost for installed linoleum flooring: $4 to $8 per square foot.

8. Carpet Flooring

Carpet flooring is a popular choice for bedrooms, providing warmth, comfort, and soundproofing. Available in various colors, materials, and textures, modern carpets also offer stain-resistant qualities.

Pros of Carpet Flooring

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

Cons of Carpet Flooring

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

Average cost for installed carpet flooring: $2.50 to $10 per square foot.

9. Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is a natural and eco-friendly option made from the bark of the cork oak tree. It offers excellent fire resistance, sound-blocking properties, and a comfortable walking surface.

Pros of Cork Flooring

  • Eco-friendly
  • Comfortable underfoot
  • Good sound-blocking properties
  • Fire resistant

Cons of Cork Flooring

  • Susceptible to moisture damage
  • Can be easily dented
  • May fade in direct sunlight

Average cost for installed cork flooring: $3 to $8 per square foot.

10. Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly and durable alternative to traditional hardwood floors.

Made from the fast-growing bamboo plant, it offers a unique appearance and is available in various colors and styles.

Pros of Bamboo Flooring

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Durable
  • Unique appearance

Cons of Bamboo Flooring

  • Susceptible to moisture damage
  • Can be easily scratched
  • Limited color options

Average cost for installed bamboo flooring: $4 to $9 per square foot.

11. Alternative Flooring Materials

In addition to the types of flooring mentioned above, several non-traditional materials can be used for unique and innovative flooring options.

Some alternative materials to consider include:

  • Rubber: A natural material with good resilience and a non-slip surface
  • Terrazzo: A durable composite made of natural stone chips and resin


Selecting the right type of flooring for your home involves careful consideration of factors such as moisture, durability, ease of maintenance, and budget.

By exploring the various types of flooring available, you can find the perfect balance between your needs and your personal style.

Consult with a professional flooring contractor to ensure your chosen flooring is installed correctly and meets your expectations.

Source: forbes.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like