Comparison of the Most Popular Flooring Types
One of the most important decisions you will need to make when facing a home improvement project and overall for the interior and comfort of your home is choosing the right type of flooring. Buying a floor is not a decision you will make impulsively. Remember, you need to stick with your flooring choice for a long time and you don't want to regret it. At the end of the day, replacing a floor that has been recently installed just because it is out of fashion already or you simply don't like it is not the best strategy. Therefore, you want to make sure you are taking your time to consider all options you have and don't rush when purchasing a floor.
The material of the floor you choose will not only determine the appearance of your interior to a big extent but also determine the comfort, functionality, installation and maintenance, as well as other factors. In order to help you make the best choice, here is an overview of the most popular types of flooring available on the market in the country and what you need to know about them.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Floor
The best way to make sure you are choosing the right type of flooring for your needs, requirements, interior and lifestyle are simply to determine exactly what you need and what you look for in a floor. Some of the main factors you want to consider are:
- Room - Where the floor will be installed. Consider the layout and the size of the space or room. Remember, every room has its specifics and not every type of flooring is a suitable choice for every room.
- Lifestyle - Or even further - your family situation. Are you living alone, as a couple, or a big family with young children and a lot of pets? Are you leading a busy lifestyle or a calmer one?
- Budget - Of course, budget is the main factor that will affect your choice of flooring. Consider how much you can afford and how much you are willing to spend on a new floor installation project.
- Installation Requirements - Different types of the floor may require different specifics in order to be installed properly and last for a long time. This is a factor you definitely do not want to underestimate.
- Style - It is important to match your new floor with the rest of the interior, of course. However, considering that a new floor is not an impulsive splurge and you will need to stick to your choice for at least a couple of decades, make sure you also choose a style of floor that is more classic and will not go out of style in the next few decades.
- Return of Investment - Some types of flooring increase the overall value of your property, so if you decide to list it on the real estate market and sell or rent it out, you will be able to get a higher price and make a quicker sale.
Different Types of Flooring Materials
When it comes to the most popular and common residential floors, we can conclude there are six types of flooring that are really well-loved by homeowners. Thankfully, nowadays the flooring market is offering a wide variety of choices and you will be definitely spoilt of choice when you are looking for a new floor for your home - from the classic and traditional hardwood floors to more modern and advanced options such as engineered wood and laminate flooring.
In addition, each of these types of flooring is available in a wide palette of colours, shades and undertones, textures, designs, and more. So there is as clear as a summer day that you will be able to find the exact type and style of flooring you are looking for. Let's have a closer look at some of the most popular types of flooring for residential homes.
Hardwood floors continue to be a very popular choice for both residential homes and commercial premises and there is no wonder why. They come with a long list of benefits and advantages for your property, however, they also have some specifics that may be considered to be disadvantages or cons in certain situations and for certain projects.
- Naturally elegant and stylish, offer timeless beauty
- A really impressive selection of colours, shades, undertones, and textures
- High return of investment - they add a lot of value to every property where installed
- Can be resurfaced/re-sanded every few years and will look brand new every time
- A great choice for shared living spaces
- More on the expensive side compared to other flooring options on the market
- Not resistant to scratches, scrapes, marks, and dents
- Highly affected by moisture, humidity, and temperature fluctuations and can get damaged
Do you want to get the look of real wood flooring, however, you don't want to splurge on a new floor? Laminate flooring is one of your best solutions. Thanks to the progress and improvement of the technology for manufacturing laminate flooring, this type of flooring mimics the authentic look of hardwood floors to the tiniest detail and look really good and stylish. In addition, they cost just a fraction of the price of a real wood floor. Laminate floors can also be installed in rooms and spaces with higher moisture content and humidity levels as they are not that prone to damage.
- Budget-friendly flooring option
- Very easy to install, can also be fitted as a DIY project
- Very durable, resistant to scratches, dents, marks and scuffs
- Perfect for high-traffic and commercial areas
- A great variety of colours, textures, designs
- Not that prone to humidity and moisture damage
- Cannot be re-sanded and renovated
- Not as long-lasting as a hardwood floor
- Almost impossible to repair
Vinyl flooring is one of the newest additions to the flooring market. In fact, vinyl is not new and you may know it for decades already. However, the vinyl floors offered and installed nowadays have nothing to do with the tacky, ugly, and low-quality vinyl floors back from the past. Thankfully, nowadays vinyl flooring is manufactured looking really good and mimicking natural materials like wood, stone, or ceramic tiles to the tiniest detail. In addition, vinyl flooring is a very budget-friendly and durable option.
- Very affordable comes just at a fraction of the price of a real wood or stone floor
- Very versatile and functional
- A great choice for high-traffic areas, resistant to scratches, wear and tear
- Easy to maintain in good condition and clean
- Very easy to install, a great option for DIY projects
- Not as long-lasting as a hardwood floor
- Lower return of investment compared to real wood floors
- Less popular due to its appearance
Porcelain or Ceramic Tiles
Porcelain or ceramic tiles are one more very popular flooring option many homeowners prefer. These types of tiles are really beautiful and come in a variety of colours and designs you can choose from. In addition, ceramic and porcelain tiles are great for high-traffic areas as they are very durable and hard-wearing. One more big advantage is that this type of flooring is pretty much water-resistant.
- A wide variety of designs, colours, and looks
- Very durable, hard-wearing, and long-lasting
- Resistant to water, moisture, humidity
- Great flooring option for the bathroom or kitchen
- Easy to clean and maintain in good condition
- One of the most expensive types of flooring on the market
- Difficult to install, professional service is necessarily
- Heavy use can lead to chipping and scratching
Natural Store Flooring
This may not be the most common choice out of all the flooring types we discuss in this post, however, natural stone flooring definitely has its fanbase and it can be spotted in a bunch of modern and contemporary homes. The most popular natural stones used for flooring are marble, granite, travertine, sandstone. Some stone materials are more durable than others, however, in general, all natural stone floors are extra durable and hard-wearing. If you are opting for a natural stone floor, you must keep in mind that different finishes would require different cleaning and upkeep approaches.
- Super durable and hard-wearing flooring option
- Comes in a variety of styles, colours, designs and textures
- Great option for radiant heating system
- An eco-friendly flooring solution
- Good option for households with kids and pets as this type of flooring is very hard-wearing
- Naturally cold and does not feel very cosy
- One of the most expensive flooring options on the market
- Some types of natural stone are prone to scratching and chipping
- Some stone tile types are porous
- Repair and renovation of natural stone flooring is very expensive
Hands down, carpets are one of the most popular types of flooring, at the same time a bit of a controversial type of flooring - some people simply love it, others hate it. Indeed, a carpet floor provides a lot of cosiness and comfort in every home, therefore they are a great option for households with young children.
- Creates cosiness and warmth, very convenient
- Cost-effective and very affordable compared to the rest on this list
- Available in a plethora of colours, textures, thickness, materials, designs
- Great flooring solution for sound-proofing
- Stain-resistant carpet flooring options are available on the market
- Difficult to maintain in good condition and deep clean, a professional cleaning service is required often
- Can absorb stains and odours
- Not the best option for households with pets
- Not recommended for rooms and areas of high moisture levels such as the kitchen or the bathroom
- Not very durable and long-lasting
Types of Flooring - Comparison
Now, once you know why you are looking for a new floor, what you are looking for, what are your needs, and the basic pros and cons of the most popular types of flooring, you will be able to compare the different options you have and narrow it down to the best selection for your home and household. In fact, you will often see that there is more than one recommended solution for your project. Therefore, do not miss to consider your personal preferences too and what you like the most. Let's find out what floors are the winners in different categories of criteria.
Most Durable Flooring
Of course, there is no wonder that the most durable flooring options come from natural stone like travertine, hardwood flooring, and something you may not expected - vinyl flooring.
Most Suitable for Pets
When looking for the right types of flooring for pets, you want the floor to be very hard-wearing and resistant to scratches and also easy to maintain and clean. Non-slip porcelain and ceramic tiles are checking all these boxes.
Most Suitable for the Whole House
If you want to have the same type of flooring throughout the entire house, the best type of flooring to choose is solid wood flooring or porcelain/ceramic tiles.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the most sustainable and eco-friendly types of flooring are bamboo and cork floors, because they are manufactured by fat renewing sources.
Most Suitable for a DIY Project
The floors that are easier to install by an enthusiastic DIY-er are engineered wood and vinyl flooring.
If you are looking for a waterproof floor that won't be affected by moisture and humidity, you want to choose a non-porous floor. Your best options, in this case, are porcelain or ceramic tiles, concrete flooring, vinyl flooring.
Easiest to Install and Maintain
In this category, the winner is definitely the good old vinyl flooring.
Indeed, if you want a budget-friendly type of flooring and you don't want to splurge on the project, make sure to invest in carpet or vinyl flooring.
It is impossible to have a winner in this category - different people enjoy different aesthetics and types of flooring. However, the most commonly described as beautiful and stylish types of flooring are solid wood, parquet, and natural stone flooring.
Most Fire-Resistant Flooring
In case fire is something you are concerned about, make sure to invest in natural stone or porcelain tiles floors as they are the most fire-resistant out there on the market.
Most Suitable for Sound-Proofing
Most floors can be made to be sound-proof with the help of a high-quality underlayment. However, if you are looking for floors that naturally have sound-proofing properties, make sure to pick a cork floor or a carpet.
Most Suitable for Underfloor Heating
In this case, the thickness of the floors is more important than the material they are made out of. Generally, if you are considering the installation of an underfloor heating system or you already have one, you can consider thick natural stone tiles, ceramic or porcelain tiles, engineered wood or laminate flooring.
Most Hard-Wearing for Kids
When there are young kids in the house, you want the floor to feel cosy and comfortable, but also to be very hard-wearing and resilient. In this case, make sure to choose a carpet or vinyl flooring.
Highest Return of Investment Value
Hands down, there is no other type of flooring besides hardwood flooring that can increase the value of a property so dramatically.
Most Non-Slip Flooring
If you want to make sure your flooring feels safe and accidents are avoided, make sure to choose between carpet with low loops, laminate flooring, or concrete with an epoxy coating.