The Guide To Flooring For Your Home

The ground has always been there, so it’s easy to take it for granted. But choosing the right flooring is important for any homeowner because you don’t want it to let you down. Not only does it determine most of the decor but it also affects the atmosphere.

In this guide, you can learn about:

  • Types of flooring
  • Best flooring for certain rooms
  • Average price per square foot
  • Average price for installation

Let’s take a look at some different flooring options.

Home in the Hamptons with dark brown flooring

11 Types Of Flooring

Wood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

It can be almost whatever you want it to be: oak, cherry, walnut, and other types of wood. These many styles of hardwood flooring all have one thing in common – easy maintenance.

As for durability, each type of wood has a different level of hardness. The harder it is, the more foot traffic it can stand. Hardwood can be costly and that cost can go up when refinishing is needed.

Hardwood floor with light coloring

Engineered Wood Flooring

It’s almost real hardwood flooring, well on the top at least. Under the genuine layer of hardwood is a few layers of plywood. This makes them more affordable and better resistant to moisture.

They look identical to hardwood flooring, even having the same types and finishes. This means they can be just as resistant to wear and tear as the real thing. Engineered wood flooring is great for humid areas like unfinished basements.

Where they differ is they can’t be sanded or refinished as often because of the thin layer of wood. It’ll simply wear down and disappear.

Engineered hardwood flooring in home
Picture on Kensington Carpet Outlet

Bamboo Flooring

It’s like hardwood flooring but more eco-friendly. Bamboo grows quickly and needs no chemicals to grow or keep away insects, unlike most hardwoods.

Naturally, it has a light finish, but processing treatments can get it as dark as other hardwood flooring options. In terms of hardness, it is equal to oak.

Fun fact: bamboo is actually in the grass family, not the tree family

Bamboo flooring
Picture was taken by Pazzo4562 – license

Laminate Flooring

This is the “fake it until you make it” type of flooring. Laminate flooring can look almost exactly like any type flooring, almost identical in fact. Yet, laminate flooring can be only a fraction of the cost.

This is because laminate flooring is made of layers of plywood or compressed fibers. Great moisture protection while still being at a reasonable cost. The cool part comes with the top layer.

The top layer is a printed image using photo-realism technology covered with a plastic coating. It can look like hardwood, stone, tile, or just about any type of flooring.

Dark laminate flooring
Picture on Good Works Furniture

Vinyl Flooring

Like with records, vinyl is still around even after decades of being in use. It is the most cost-effective type of flooring, coming in at around $1 per square foot. The price depends on the thickness of the vinyl.

Even though it is cheaper than most flooring options it still has many perks. Vinyl flooring is resilient and flexible, making it durable and maintenance-free. There are a wide variety of patterns and colors to choose from.

The top layer is scratch and stain resistant vinyl while the underlayers are felt and foam. The best tiles can last up to 15 years.

2 types of vinyl flooring - light and dark
Picture on scottmcgillivray

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is made from tree bark, but don’t worry the tree doesn’t die in the process. It regenerates in about 8-10 years and can be reused.

Cork has a similar appearance to wood but can have different patterns in it. It’s similar to laminate in that the top layer is cork glued to a stable core material beneath.

They mostly come pre-finished, but it can be a good idea to reseal them every 3-5 years for extra protection.

Mid-brown cork flooring in living room
Picture on GHS Products

Tile Flooring

Ceramic

This type of tile can fit almost any room in your home. It’s made by combining shale and clay and hardening it in a kiln (basically an oven). The color can change depending on if any pigments are added.

Here are the different types of tile flooring most people get:

Patterned brown ceramic tile flooring
Picture on Dalene Flooring

Glazed Ceramic

These tiles have a glossy coating and are easy to maintain.

Lighter colored glazed ceramic tiles
Picture on Fly Lords

Quarry Tile

They are unglazed, meaning they don’t have a shiny look. It also means they are more slip-resistant when wet, making them perfect for bathrooms and kitchens.

Quarry tile used for small front porch
Picture on CDN.Shopify

Porcelain Tile

One of the most durable types of tiles, you can choose between glazed or not. They are more durable because they are heated to a higher temperature than other types.

Porcelain tile that looks like marble stone in a bathroom
Picture on Dantes Catalogs

Terracotta Tile

This type of unglazed tile is mostly found outdoors or in more earthy-colored homes. It is the least durable, so sealing it periodically will help guard against staining.

Terracotta tile in large open room with fancy fireplace
Picture on Living Magazine

Carpet Flooring

The most common and versatile of flooring options, it has more textures, colors, and materials to choose from than any other type of flooring.

When checking for quality, look for the fiber density per square inch. The more it has, the more durable it should be. There is usually a rating system for durability going from 1-5, with 3-4 being common.

Here are 5 common choices for carpeting:

Wool

This is the standard for quality carpet. Wool carpeting is soft, durable, and naturally resists moisture. It’s perfect for most rooms and can be cleaned fairly easily.

Light beige wool carpet in living room
Picture on Esmerio

Acrylic

A synthetic fiber similar to wool, acrylic carpeting stands up well to moisture and wear.

Nylon

This is a synthetic fiber known for its strength. It will stand up to most wear and tear, but it can build up static charge easily so be sure to have it treated to lessen that effect.

Grey nylon carpet in bedroom
Picture on Wearefound

Polypropylene

The toughest of the tough, so much so that it can be installed outdoors as well as in.

White-gray-black patterned polypropylene carpet
Picture on Artigianiincitta

Polyester

Polyester carpeting is popular for people looking into bright, bold colors. It may be moisture resistant, but getting out stains can be tough.

Brownish polyester carpet completes the living room with beige couches
Picture on Martins Flooring

Stone Flooring

Luxurious, expensive, and they look amazing. Stone flooring can be made from many types such as:

  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Limestone
  • Slate
  • Ledger
  • Travertine

Harder types resist moisture well and only need resealing every 4-5 years. The cost changes depending on the type of stone.

Stone flooring

Polished Concrete Flooring

It’s like sanding hardwood floors, but it is concrete instead. It is usually also treated with a chemical densifier to achieve the polished look.

A new design trend for modern homes polished concrete floors can last for decades with minimal maintenance – only sweeping and mopping are required.

Polished concrete flooring in living area
Picture on Web Farmer

Linoleum Flooring

This is a great flooring for environmentally-friendly homes. Made from renewable and biodegradable materials, linoleum is usually made from linseed oil and cork.

There are many choices available today besides the 70’s look. They still come in sheets that are glued directly to the floor. Unless they are sealed with a protective coating they may need refinishing every 2 years or so.

Linoleum flooring in laundry room
Picture on Golden Yarn Flooring

Parquet Flooring

The 1970s are making a comeback with parquet flooring! It’s basically hardwood tiles that come in a variety of patterns.

Nowadays they are usually 100% wood with polyurethane finishes for durability. They are easy to work with because they are glued down and very thin.

The thinness can also be a drawback as they can flex underfoot if the underlying framework isn’t solid. Refinishing options are also limited and need a careful approach.

Light parquet flooring in living room
Picture on Back To Basic Living

The Best Type Of Flooring For Rooms

Flooring For Kitchens

As the heart of the home, kitchen floors see a lot of traffic. It’s also the site of many spills and messes. Kitchen flooring should be both easy to maintain and clean as well as durable. You can get a waterproof and slip-resistant option to further increase the handiness of the flooring.

The best types of flooring for kitchens are usually:

  • Ceramic Tiles
  • Linoleum
  • Natural stone
  • Water-resistant wood
Kitchen flooring

Flooring For Bathrooms

Bathrooms are environmentally tough on everything. It is a high heat and moisture area prone to quick wear and tear on most materials.

The best types of flooring for bathrooms are usually:

  • Ceramic Tiles
  • Limestone
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Vinyl
Ceramic tile bathroom floor

Flooring For Bedrooms & Living Areas

While the possibilities are almost endless, the choice comes down to what style you prefer. Hardwood and tile covered with some carpets can break up space while looking amazing.

The best place to start is by determining your budget, then going into materials, styles, and colors.

Carpeted bedroom floor

Flooring Costs

It all varies depending on the type you get. Cheaper materials like vinyl can cost around $1 per square foot while higher-end materials like marble can be around $100 per square foot.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost per square foot for flooring is:

  • Carpet: $2+
  • Ceramic Tile: $5-15
  • Laminate: $1-6
  • Natural Stone Tile: $7-20
  • Vinyl: $1-5
  • Linoleum: $2-3
  • Wood: $5-15

Cork flooring can cost around $2-6 per square foot.

As for flooring installation, HomeAdvisor estimates per square foot:

  • Carpet: $2-4
  • Ceramic Tile: $1+
  • Laminate: $5-6
  • Natural Stone Tile: $1+
  • Vinyl: $2-4
  • Linoleum: $3-5
  • Wood: $8-12
Beautiful flooring matches the cabinets and decor

Now You Have The Floor

Now comes the exciting part – choosing your perfect flooring! Remember that starting with a budget may be the best first step so you know what you’re working with. After that, keep in mind that the floors around you should best match the lifestyle you want for the future.