If you’re choosing a flooring type for your house, you’re likely to come across different kinds of materials, which offer various benefits. A few things to consider when choosing your flooring are the type of house you live in, the amount of traffic it gets, your lifestyle, and whether you have any preferences on looks. There are different types of flooring options including:
With all these options, deciding on the best flooring type to purchase is both confusing and time-consuming. However, this article will help ease your tension by making your flooring options not only easy but understandable as well.
- 1 A Brief Comparison Between These Types of Flooring
- 2 Hardwood
- 3 Laminate Flooring
- 4 Carpet Flooring
- 5 Vinyl Flooring
- 6 Tile Flooring
- 7 Marble Flooring
- 8 Terrazzo Flooring
- 9 Concrete Flooring
- 10 Conclusion
A Brief Comparison Between These Types of Flooring
|Types of Flooring||Cost||Location(Best For)||Durability|
|Hardwood||$2,494 to $6,760||The living area and bedroom||8-12 years|
|Laminate||$1390 to $4295||Kids’ bedroom and kitchen||15-25 years|
|Carpet||$789 to $2,794||Bedroom||5-15 years|
|Vinyl||$600 to $2,000||Kitchen, basement, laundry room, and Bathroom||5-25 years|
|Tile||$886 to $2859||Living area, dining, kitchen, bathroom, laundry rooms, and bedroom||75-100 years|
|Marble||$3,000-$5,000||Kitchen, living area, and bathroom||25 years|
|Terrazzo||$5,000 to $18,000||Stairs, corridors, patios||75-100 years|
|Concrete||$900 to $3,200||Patios, garage, basement, and driveways||100+years|
Hardwood is the most popular type of flooring for various reasons. It provides both style and durability features and, at the same time, increases the resale value of your home. Homeowners have many things to consider should they decide to go the hardwood way, different stains, patterns, and woods such as walnut, oak, maple, ash, cherry, etc.
There are two main types of hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood, and solid hardwood. Since they have different uses, neither solid hardwood nor engineered hardwood is worse or better than the other.
It’s quite easy to settle for solid hardwood flooring since its warm, elegant, and, most importantly, durable. Also, if you treat and maintain your solid hardwood floor, it can last you for many centuries.
The floor is typically constructed of one big solid hardwood piece that comes in either plank of 4-8 inches wide or strips of 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide. To install this type of hardwood floor, you either nail or glue the plank or strip pieces on the subfloor, which could be concrete or plywood. It’s cost-effective to hire a professional for the installation job unless you’re highly skilled for it.
Solid hardwood flooring can cost you between 5 and 10 dollars per square foot to install professionally. This flooring option works excellently in high traffic areas such as living areas, hallways, bedrooms, and dining rooms.
Are you looking for a solid hardwood flooring look with a lot more versatility but minimum maintenance? If so, then engineered hardwood will provide it. This type of flooring has two layers; veneer wood on top and plywood underneath, which usually is thicker. They come in planks and strips, both 12 inches wide.
You may decide to make it a floating floor using planks if only you possess the required skills and experience. Otherwise, hire a professional to do the work for you. Engineered hardwood can also be nailed or glued on a subfloor for a perfect finish.
The cost to install engineered hardwood is between 4-9 dollars per square foot.
Advantages of Hardwood
- High return on investment-ROI
- Visually appealing
- Several kinds of wood, pattern, and stain options
- Ideal for high traffic areas such as living rooms and hallways
- Very expensive to buy and install, as the average hardwood cost for materials and labor ranges from 6 to 12 dollars and may increase depending on several factors like the type of wood.
- Develop cracks and dents with time
- Crowning may appear if they come in contact with excess moisture
Laminate flooring mainly consists of three layers. However, in rare cases, you can get a four-layered laminate floor. The fourth layer is usually located beneath the base to offer comfort or soundproof.
The three common layers of laminate flooring construction include;
The base, also called the core layer, looks exactly like the base of engineered hardwood. However, it’s more rigid and highly durable with a high-density fiberboard.
This particular layer comes in whatever the floor is mimicking, such as wood, tile, concrete, stone, etc. This feature makes laminate flooring pretty versatile than any other flooring type.
The wear layer is some very transparent plastic. It comes on the topmost part to protect the floor against wear and tear and fading.
Laminate Flooring Installation
The installation of laminate flooring only happens in a floating manner. What this means is that you can’t attach it to a subfloor. The best thing about laminate flooring is that it’s a DIY project. It doesn’t require much, just glue to help you attach them using whatever laminate you’ll be imitating.
Laminate flooring is ideal for hallways, kid’s bedrooms, and where there are dogs. You can also use it in kitchens, but you need to wipe away any spill on it immediately constantly. This is to protect the fiberboard material from moisture. For this reason, you should also avoid installing laminate in your laundry room and bathroom because of the floor drain.
The total installation cost for laminate flooring ranges between 3-7 dollars/sq. foot depending on the type of laminate you want to mimic.
- The plastic-like wear layer makes this flooring type quite durable
- UV resistant and Easy to clean
- Not as expensive as hardwood flooring
- It doesn’t get gouges and scratches
- It’s a DIY project
- Lot of styles and colors to select
- Laminate flooring is also ideal for high traffic areas
- Hard to repair
- Moisture can easily damage it
- It gets super slippery when wet
- Laminate flooring isn’t waterproof hence not suitable for bathrooms and laundry rooms.
This is a type of flooring that people usually lay flat on the floor from wall to wall. There are quite a lot of colors, styles, and patterns to choose from. No wonder carpet flooring is one of the most popular flooring types available today.
The different types of carpet flooring include;
- Loop pile
- Saxony twist
- Level loop pile
- Cut-loop pile
Carpet flooring offers so many benefits to homeowners. For starters, since its fibers can retain heat, this type of flooring will help insulate your home. Also, it’s pretty comfy and steady to stand and walk on and absorb sound, so the room looks quiet and calm. For these reasons, an ideal place to install carpet flooring is in your bedroom.
Carpet flooring installation is a DIY project as it only involves laying your carpet on the floor of your room from wall to wall. With the correct measurement and one or two people to help you, this project can take up to ten minutes to finish.
The average carpet flooring installation cost ranges between 3.50 to 11 dollars per square foot, depending on your carpet’s type, color, and pattern.
- Comfortable to stand and walk on
- Insulates your room
- Relatively cheap
- DIY project
- Several colors and designs to pick
- Not all of them are stain-resistant, but there is quite a variety that is.
- Carpet flooring can trap dust, odor, and stains resulting in allergies and other diseases
- Complex and expensive to clean and maintain since requires professional cleaners
- Not ideal in places where there are pets.
Vinyl is also most homeowners’ favorite type of flooring since it’s cost-effective, easy to maintain, and durable. Plus, this type of flooring can copy different types of surfaces, hence visually appealing.
To buy and install vinyl flooring, you need between $600 to $2,000 on average, depending on several factors such as type, your location, size of your room, etc.
Vinyl flooring comes in two different types, vinyl tiles/planks, and vinyl sheets. This provides homeowners with various visual options to choose from, depending on their needs and budget. However, quality matters a lot, especially when looking for durability, stain, and scratch resistance.
Vinyl Tiles/Planks Flooring Option
This option is capable of copying the visual appearance and texture/feel of any material. That’s the type of versatility most people are looking for. Vinyl tiles and planks are also durable, waterproof, and very comfortable to walk on.
Vinyl tiles/vinyl planks consist of three different layers. The base or the core layer is basically vinyl. It can be soft or rigid, depending on what the client wants. The middle layer is referred to as the design layer. The material here is also vinyl and can mimic just about the texture and look of anything you want. Finally, there’s a wear layer on top that protects the floor against stains and scratches.
The above reasons make vinyl tiles/planks the best options for your mudroom, basement, and bathroom. And, these fantastic flooring options are pocket-friendly, ranging between 1 to 5 dollars per sq. foot.
This type of flooring requires a single layer of vinyl sheet spread on the floor. It’s pretty flexible, and you can find it in different textures and patterns, depending on your tastes and preferences.
Vinyl sheet flooring comes in two different roll sizes, 6 and 12 feet. The manufacturers will then divide them into considerable lengths before selling. Also, homeowners have options to choose from regarding installation. You can either glue these flooring options down or peel and stick them.
Additionally, vinyl sheet is a single-layer plastic material, making it waterproof and suitable for your kitchen, laundry room, basement, and bathroom.
Advantages of Vinyl Flooring
- They come in planks, tiles, and sheets, giving you many options to select
- Relatively cheap to buy and install
- They are durable
- Soft cushioning finish
- It can repel moisture, making them ideal for your bathroom, kitchen, and humid basement.
- They can mimic anything, wood, laminate, concrete, etc.
- May fade when exposed to direct sunlight
- Requires you to remove and replace damaged areas
This is the most sought-after type of flooring globally. There are several various types of tiles available, but the most common types are porcelain and ceramic. The other types include glass, stone, metal, and cement tiles, just to list a few. What you should note, though, is that not every kind of tile will work for your job. Plus, you have to consider the cost too.
Porcelain tile can mimic brick, wood, or natural stone and doesn’t require any form of maintenance. It comes in a variety of colors, designs, and patterns to choose from. This tile is stain and crack-resistant, making it ideal for outdoors, kitchen, and bathroom as it will not fade or freeze either.
However, installing porcelain tile is a bit tricky as it requires an adhesive when laying it down.
You’ve probably seen this type of tile in most homes as it is the most popular of them all. You can install this tile anywhere from the kitchen, bathroom, living area to outdoors because of its increased durability.
These tiles are also easy to clean and maintain. Plus, they come in various styles that can fit any design that you have in mind. However, when shopping for these tiles, you must first ensure you can tell the difference between unglazed and glazed ceramic tiles.
Glazed ceramic tiles will give your home enough protection against elements ensuring they stay longer on the floors. On the other hand, unglazed ceramic tiles only offer an artistic and rustic finish, minus protection.
If you have to choose between natural stone tile and glass tile, then glass tiles are the best option for one reason, they are stain-resistant. However, glass tiles chip quite easily. This reason makes them not suitable for high-traffic areas. Therefore, you can use them only on tabletops, as a backslash, or around the fireplace.
These tiles offer a lot of versatility with amazing colors and patterns. In addition, you can easily reseal and refinish them should they get discolored over time. This is a requirement every month if you want to maintain their beauty, meaning that they’re expensive to maintain.
Cement tiles are suitable for low-traffic areas, and only in small quantities.
If you want high durability, then metal tiles should be your perfect choice. These tiles can withstand the test of time quite well, and still give you the perfect metal look and function.
These tiles blend well on any working surface, such as kitchen countertops, a utility room, or a bar.
Tile Flooring Installation
To install any type of tiles, you lay then grout them on the floor. This is a very demanding job, complicated, and time-consuming. Though you can do it yourself if you possess the right skills, the best option is to hire a professional to do it for you. They will not only finish the job first but also do it perfectly.
Tile flooring installation takes between $886 and $2859 on average depending on the type of tile you’re installing.
Advantages of Tile Flooring
- Regardless of the type of tile, they’re visually appealing.
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Ideal for high-traffic areas except for the glass tiles
- Offer various patterns and styles to choose from
- You can also custom cut them to fit your desired design
- The grout lines between the tiles are hard to clean and maintain
- You can only replace and not repair if broken
- They’re usually hard and cold
- Easily break your glasses and dishes when they fall 😅
- They can easily crack, especially porcelain.
Marbles give you the most prestigious and cozy floors ever, hence a bit more expensive of all the other flooring types, except for terrazzo. In the past years, you could only spot these tiles in churches and royal places. Today, you’ll find them in many homes, and the look they give your home is incomparable.
Since marble is a natural stone, they enable water to leak into your floor, giving your home a translucent and unique look. Moreover, it comes in a variety of types, including Carrara, statuary, Calcutta, Emperador, and Crema Marfil.
Marble flooring can be used around fireplaces and in the kitchen since they’re heat-resistant. When properly sealed and polished, they become waterproof and ideal for both bathrooms and laundry rooms.
You can polish this type of flooring every now and then to give your home that perfect glossy look and keep it gorgeous all the time. However, there’s one concern about polishing them. They become so slippery, making them a recipe for disaster, especially for children and elderly people. Also, since they’re soft, even the nails of your pets can easily scratch them.
Marble tile costs between 3-50 dollars per square foot depending on the color of the stone and material. The darker the marble stone, the more expensive it is. The final cost is however hard to estimate due to the cost variations in size and finish. The final cost ranges somewhere between 3,000 dollars and 5,000 dollars on average.
- It provides a variety of aesthetics, from the beauty that is unmatched to a wide range of colors, vein patterns, and grains to match whatever design you want for your home.
- It offers longevity if you properly care for them
- Resistant to heat
- They prevent the breeding of allergens and bacteria, hence allergy-proof.
- It’s hard and expensive to maintain
- They’re soft and fragile, hence prone to damages
- Marble tiles are expensive
Terrazzo is a composite material, made of aggregate chips such as stone, concrete, and marble. When installing this flooring, you can either lay them like tiles or pour them on the floor like concrete.
Initially, terrazzo flooring was common in commercial buildings but today, they are also popular in homes, especially in the kitchen.
There are two different types of terrazzo flooring, cementitious and epoxy terrazzo.
This type of terrazzo flooring combines many types of terrazzo systems, like rustic, bonded, polyacrylate, monolithic, and sand cushion, all using cement matrix. The cementitious terrazzo floor is normally thicker, making it ideal for exteriors, but you can also install them indoors.
This type of floor gives homeowners an incredibly thin, smooth, and luxurious finish. You can apply it at night and be ready for use and polishing by morning hence ideal for busing places like the shopping centers.
Installing Terrazzo Flooring
You can use either bonded or unbonded methods to install terrazzo flooring. For bonded terrazzo, you apply it over the sand-cement mortar directly on a finished concrete slab. On the other hand, the unbonded method uses the wire cushion, sand dusting, and isolation sheet to hinder any movement that may come from the concrete slab.
The price of installing terrazzo flooring ranges from 25 dollars to 90 dollars per square foot. It’s so far the most expensive type of flooring both to buy and install.
- Easier to clean
- You can easily customize to any design you want for your home
- Terrazzo flooring is highly durable
- Requires low to no maintenance cost
- Faster to install
- It’s not a DIY project
Concrete is an excellent alternative for many flooring options, such as stone, marble, wood, and tile. Not only can you stain it in whichever color you want, you can also polish it to get a shiny look and a smooth texture.
Additionally, concrete flooring is long-lasting since it’s hard and strong. These qualities make this type of flooring ideal for driveways and streets. However, you can install concrete anywhere in your home, from bathrooms, kitchen, dining. Installation cost ranges from 3 dollars to 8 dollars a square foot on average.
There are several finishing options homeowners can select from for their concrete floor. These include stained concrete, acid-stained, polished, and painted.
- Highly durable
- It’s eco-friendly and sustainable
- Pretty economical
- Easy to clean and maintain
- It offers longevity. If well installed and maintained, a concrete floor can serve you for 100+ years.
- They are extremely hard and very cold more so in winter.
- If you don’t install and seal it correctly, it becomes prone to moisture which leads to cracks.
These are the eight most popular types of flooring in the market. However, there are still a lot more to choose from, such as slate, cork, bamboo, etc. However, there are several factors to consider before settling for your desired flooring type, including location, softness/hardness, cost, durability, and style.
The list above makes it simpler and easier for you to make your decision. Find any flooring store near you to pick the best flooring type that best suits your needs and make your home new and welcoming again.