Five Popular Flooring Material Options
Laminate flooring is made by layering a photographic applique over a fiberboard/melamine resin base. A clear protective coating is applied to the top.
Pros: This type of flooring is very sturdy and it resists warping. The protective coating on top keeps scuffs and scratches to a minimum. The photographic layer looks like materials such as tile or hardwood. Laminate can be installed over some other types of flooring. It is simple to install and a good option for DIYers.
Cons: The downside is that laminate flooring is hard under the feet and slippery when wet. If the surface becomes damaged, there is no way to refinish or restore it permanently, so the damaged section would need to be replaced.
Solid hardwood floors are one of the most attractive flooring material options, available in a number of species and finishes.
Pros: The natural warmth and beauty of hardwood blend well with any style of home or decor. Because it’s solid wood, hardwood flooring can be refinished several times, prolonging its usable life. Installation does require special tools but can be done by someone with a basic knowledge of home maintenance.
Cons: Hardwood floors require upkeep to look their best. They don’t work well in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms, basements, and laundry spaces. Hardwood flooring is more expensive than some other flooring options.
Vinyl is One of the Most Popular Flooring Materials
Vinyl is available in wide sheets, long panels, or individual tiles. This flooring mimics other types of flooring such as tile or hardwood.
Pros: Vinyl tolerates a lot of foot traffic. Water cannot penetrate the top layer, making vinyl perfect for areas where moisture is common. Compared to other types of flooring, vinyl is relatively inexpensive. Installation is an easy project for most homeowners.
Cons: Vinyl is not as attractive as other flooring materials. It is a less environmentally-friendly flooring option.
Ceramic tile is another flooring option that can be used in almost any style of home. It’s a favorite among designers due to the extensive options for texture, glaze, and color.
Pros: Glazed ceramic tiles are strong and able to withstand decades of foot traffic. They resist water almost as well as vinyl. Ceramic is highly durable and does not stain or scratch easily. Installation can be done by a DIYer, though an experienced professional will be better equipped for cutting and fitting the tiles.
Cons: A floor made from ceramic tile is hard and not as comfortable underfoot as other flooring materials. The grout lines between tiles will need some upkeep, however, newer grout colors and sealers are available that require less maintenance.
Linoleum: An Inexpensive Choice of Flooring Materials
Pros: Made from a mixture of materials such as linseed oil and cork powder, linoleum flooring is a great choice for spaces where you want inexpensive flooring in vibrant colors.
Cons: Linoleum can easily be damaged by furniture legs and high-heeled shoes. It can also discolor when exposed to direct sunlight. It doesn’t work well in areas susceptible to moisture like the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room.
These popular flooring materials have their advantages and disadvantages. The flooring you choose for your home should reflect your style, the needs of the room, and your budget.