The flooring you choose has a major impact on the overall style, look, feel, and atmosphere of your home. There are many options for flooring available on the market including:
When trying to decide which type of flooring you should get, there are four key questions to ask yourself.
Each type of flooring has its pros and cons. What works for one person's home may not work for someone else's. With that in mind, here are some of the most popular types of flooring options available and their pros and cons.Back to top
Hardwood floors are one of the most sought-after amenities that home buyers look for when considering purchasing a house. Having hardwood floors can even increase the resale value of your home. That's due to its beauty, durability, and long-lasting nature.
Hardwood flooring requires minimal regular maintenance - sweeping, vacuuming - but will occasionally require refinishing if the hardwood gets scratched, repair if it gets too damaged, and floor waxing to keep it shiny and beautiful.
Hardwood floors can be installed on any floor of a house except for the basement (1). Having hardwood flooring installed can be a costly project. Installation for solid-strip hardwood flooring averages $8 per square foot and can cost as much as $12 per square foot or more.Back to top
While engineered hardwood flooring does have real wood in it, it also has many complex layers of plywood, hardwood, and high density fiberboard. These layers make engineered hardwood more stable and durable than regular hardwood, however depending on the thickness of the layers, engineered hardwood may only be sanded and refinished only once - maybe twice if it's thick enough (2). The layers also make it more resistant to moisture than regular hardwood. However, it is not normally less expensive than hardwood flooring. It's actually roughly the same price at an average of $8-$12 per square foot.Back to top
Laminate flooring is one of the most affordable flooring options available with an average cost of $0.90-$2.00 per square foot. It is easy to install and comes in a variety of styles and replications of materials. However, laminate flooring will most likely affect the resale value of your home. If you'll looking to sell your home soon, laminate may not be the right choice. If you're planning on staying in your home for a while, you may want to consider getting laminate flooring installed.Back to top
While vinyl and linoleum flooring are similar in many ways, they do have some major differences. For one, linoleum is incredibly eco-friendly while vinyl is made with non-renewable resources (3). Both types of flooring are very easy to install, though linoleum requires a surface sealer treatment after installation to protect it from moisture. They're both very similar in price - vinyl flooring costs an average of $2-$5 per square foot where linoleum costs an average of $3-$4+ per square foot.Back to top
Tile, like hardwood, can increase a home's resale value (4). It is very durable and easy to clean, making it an excellent choice for homes with pets. Tile requires little maintenance, but one of the biggest drawbacks is that if it's not installed over radiant heating, it is cold to walk on with bare feet. It can also be a bit pricey depending on the type and style.
If you're looking to install an eco-friendly flooring material, cork is worth considering, since it is made from sustainable and renewable sources (5). It's also a great choice if you don't like walking on cold surfaces since cork can stay at room temperature instead of always being cold like tile. It also has sound insulation properties, making it an excellent choice for dampening the sounds of an upstairs room or music room. However, cork is a very soft flooring material. It can scratch and dent easily, and probably isn't the best choice for homes with pets. The price of having cork flooring installed, including materials and labor, is around $5-$12 per square foot. For materials only, it can run $2-$10 per square foot.Back to top
If you're looking for a clean, modern flooring, you might want to look at bamboo flooring. Bamboo is actually a type of grass that grows very quickly, making bamboo a very fast, renewable resource. However, there are some types of bamboo flooring that are not considered eco-friendly because of certain additives and adhesives used in the manufacturing process (6). Be sure to purchase bamboo flooring from a Forestry Stewardship Council certified company (7) if you want properly harvested and manufactured bamboo flooring.
Bamboo flooring is not considered water-resistant, so be sure to keep it away from water-prone areas like the bathroom and kitchen. If you want your bamboo flooring to last a long time, be sure to get top-quality - it can be as durable and long-lasting as traditional hardwood flooring. The cost of bamboo flooring ranges in price. For top-quality bamboo, expect to pay $7-$12 per square foot. For mid-range bamboo, you can expect to pay around $4-$7 per square foot. For low-end bamboo, it can cost as little as $1.50-$3.50 per square foot. Having your flooring professionally installed can add on another $3-$6 per square foot.Back to top
Stone creates some of the most beautiful and stylish floors around. However, that beauty comes with a steep price tag.
When having a stone floor installed, be sure to only have an experienced professional do it for you. Installing a stone floor requires absolute precision and is very labor-intensive (8).Back to top
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