Top 8 Types of Flooring to Consider for Your Home

types of flooring

Flooring is a huge part of home construction. And it plays a massive role in interior design.

But choosing just any type of flooring because it matches your desired design is a terrible interior design mistake you shouldn’t make. There are factors to consider if you want to make the best choice. This makes choosing the best flooring a bit challenging.

This article will simplify the process for you. Go through the selected types of flooring and use their pros and cons as a guide to help you to determine the best type of flooring for your home.

 

Types of Flooring for the Home

1. Hardwood

types of flooring

Hardwood is made from a single piece of solid wood, which is about 18-20mm thick. This solid wood may be from oak, cherry, or walnut.

Hardwood flooring is simply installed by nailing the solid wood to a wooden subfloor. Solid wood flooring is best for living rooms, halls, and bedrooms.

The wood can be obtained finished or unfinished. You can install the finished wood right away but you will have to sand and finish an unfinished wood before installing it.

Hardwood is sold in strips of 1.5 to 2.5 inches or planks of 4 to 8 inches. They are all hard but some species are harder than others. Hardwood is a good option for a low-cost house. If you are trying to cut costs, buy reclaimed or recycled wood for your flooring.

 

  • Pros
  1. Easy to clean. You can just sweep and mop
  2. Stylish and suitable for any type of décor
  3. Durable
  4. Increases resale value of the home
  5. It can be refined up to five times

 

  • Cons
  1. Vulnerable to scratches and dents.
  2. Not suitable for wet areas like the bathroom and laundry
  3. Hardwood can shrink due to temperature changes

 

2. Engineered wood

types of flooring

Engineered wood is a more affordable alternative to solid wood. It is made by combining solid wood with multiple layers of plywood. A thin veneer of natural wood showing grain is attached to the top of plywood planks to make it cheaper. It is suitable for living rooms, bedrooms, halls, and basements.

Engineered woods come in different types. They are made with various species of solid wood such as an oak tree, maple, and the likes. They’re available in different patterns and broad widths and very affordable.

Similar to hardwood, engineered wood is not difficult to install. It can be nailed, glued down, or floating on top of a cork or foam layer. Unlike hardwood, it can be installed directly on a concrete subfloor.

 

  • Pros
  1. Stylish like hardwood
  2. More resistant to dents and scratches
  3. Stable and less sensitive to temperature
  4. Easy to clean

 

  • Cons
  1. Less durable
  2. It can only be refined three times
  3. Not suitable for wet areas

 

3. Ceramic Tiles

types of flooring

Ceramic tiles are made from a mixture of fired clay with pigment for different colors. It is one of the most versatile types of flooring. They come in different shapes, texture, sizes, and colors.

Ceramic tiles are not all suitable for flooring as some types are mainly for walls. Confirm from the retailer if it is appropriate for flooring before making a purchase. Ceramic tiles come in four main types including porcelain tile, grazed ceramic, terracotta, and quarry tile.

Porcelain is one of the most suitable types of ceramic tiles for your bathroom. It is stain and water-resistant, whether glazed or unglazed. It is hard and durable. Glazed ceramic has a glass-like coating that gives it any color or texture.

Terracotta comes in earthy stones and gives your home a rustic look. It is not as durable as other types of tiles.

Quarry tile is gleaming but rough. It provides more resistance against slips and falls.

 

  • Pros
  1. Variety of colors and shapes
  2. Easy to clean
  3. Porcelain is the most durable and resistant to scratches and dents
  4. Glazed ceramic requires little maintenance

 

  • Cons
  1. Hard underfoot
  2. Glazed ceramic can be slippery
  3. Durability depends on the type
  4. Not easy to fix when cracked

 

4. Bamboo

types of flooring

Image credit: mariahhoughton.com

 

Bamboo flooring falls under the hardwood category. It is economically friendly since it is natural. Bamboo gives a light wood color. You can make it darker with processing treatments if you wish. Bamboo is a member of the grass family but can grow as tall as 70 feet in less than two months. It is usually shipped in from Asia.

Bamboo wood comes in solid strips or engineered planks. It also comes in different beautiful patterns, which are flat-grain bamboo, vertical-grain bamboo, narrow strips, and end-grain bamboo.

It is suitable in the same places as other woods. Additionally, it is ideal in the kitchen and mudroom.

 

  • Pros
  1. Durable
  2. Easy to install
  3. Replanting is easier
  4. Easy to clean

 

  • Cons
  1. Bamboo flooring glue may be high in harmful formaldehyde

 

5. Laminate

    types of flooring

    Laminate wood flooring is similar to engineered wood, only that it doesn't have a real wood at the top. Instead, its top layer is a photograph with clear plastic coating. It looks like wood, tile, stone, or whatever the designer chooses.

    Laminate can also be made with a compressed fiber. It comes as planks or tiles. Most laminates are installed with a floating flooring system.

    This flooring material is good for high-traffic areas such as kitchen, playrooms, and foyers. It is not suitable for wet rooms like laundry and bathroom.

     

    • Pros
    1. Less expensive
    2. Easy to clean and maintain
    3. Resistant to scratches and dents
    4. Easy to install.

     

    • Cons
    1. Easy permeable to water
    2. It cannot be refined
    3. Less durable than real wood

     

    6. Linoleum

      Linoleum flooring is made from biodegradable materials like linseed oil, linoleum, and cork powder. It is a flexible type of flooring that has been popular for over 150 years. Linoleum comes in sheets, tiles or laminated planks. Just like laminate, it can be installed using the floating flooring system or glue.

      Some types of linoleum are sealed with a protective coating that helps them to resist stain and wear. Such types require low maintenance while other types need to be refined from time to time.

      Linoleum is suitable for family rooms, kitchens, basements, and bedrooms.

       

      • Pros
      1. Linoleum is eco-friendly
      2. Durable. It can last for up to 40 years
      3. Soft underfoot
      4. Varieties of styles and colors
      5. Easy to clean
      6. Less expensive

       

      • Cons
      1. Vulnerable to dents and tears from sharp objects (high heels)
      2. It fades when exposed to too much sunlight
      3. Uncoated linoleum needs regular waxing
      4. Maintenance varies according to type

       

      7. Vinyl

        Vinyl is a flexible material just like linoleum – but not natural. This flooring material is constructed with a top wear layer of short polyvinyl chloride that is attached to a layer of felt or foam. It is very comfortable underfoot.

        Vinyl is available in various patterns and colors including basic designs and colorful mosaics. It also comes in multiple forms of thickness; some are thick enough to look like wood or stone.

        The different types of vinyl are sheet vinyl, planks, and tiles. The sheet form can be cut to size and glued on a subfloor. The plank vinyl is more like engineered wood. It is click-style and can be glued one at a time. Vinyl tiles come with a sticky back that you can fix yourself.

        Vinyl is easy to install and recommended for bathrooms and kitchen.

         

        • Pros
        1. Resistant to water and moisture
        2. Less expensive than wood and ceramic tiles
        3. Easy to clean
        4. Varieties of colors and patterns
        5. Easy to install (vinyl tiles and planks)

         

        • Cons
        1. Fake and unnatural look
        2. It may scratch and dent
        3. Vinyl is not eco-friendly
        4. It makes a hollow sound when installed without a subfloor
        5. Sheet vinyl is difficult to install

         

        8. Carpet

        types of flooring

        Carpets are versatile just like ceramic tiles. They come in several patterns, colors, and textures.

        Fiber count determines carpet quality. The more the fiber the more the durability.

        Carpets are made from wool, nylon, acrylic, polyester, or polypropylene.

        Wool carpets have a higher ability to resist moisture and stain, unlike other types. Nylon carpets can be easily recycled. Carpets made from acrylic are resistant to mildew, insects, and crushing. Polyester carpets are moisture resistant but vulnerable to stain while polypropylene carpets are highly resistant to both moisture and stain.

        Carpets are suitable for bedrooms and living rooms.

         

        • Pros
        1. Slip-resistant
        2. Warm
        3. Easy to install

         

        • Cons
        1. Difficult to clean
        2. Vulnerable to stains
        3. Wrong choice for people with allergies

         

        Conclusion

        It is important not to use more than two types of flooring for your home. Using too many types is quite unpleasant and will disrupt the flow.

        You can use one flooring type for the bedroom, living room, and hallway. And another for wet areas. Ensure that your choice suits your needs and consider the pros and cons of each type before making a purchase.

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