You can paint your walls, change out furniture, and add accessories to a room—but there’s no way to cover up worn, scuffed-up flooring.
If you’ve been living with old, cracked tile floors or ancient stained carpeting for too long, you’re probably on the hunt for a better alternative. But with a huge spectrum of flooring options, styles, colors, and price points, it’s tough to know where to start looking.
That’s why we’ve put together a simple guide to the best flooring materials, plus what you should know about them. Read on to find a floor that fits your space and style.
This flooring option comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, and it can even mimic the appearance of other options on this list. In addition, the price point for laminate flooring is relatively low, which is why some homeowners opt for laminate as a low-cost alternative to choices like hardwood.
For homeowners worried about spills, stains, or scratches, laminate flooring is often the way to go. Major brands come with tough finishes, making them resistant to moisture and stains. However, laminate flooring can’t be refinished or repaired, so any damage it takes will remain until the flooring is replaced.
While vinyl flooring was once considered a cheap alternative to more expensive flooring products, today’s name-brand luxury vinyl flooring comes at a spectrum of price points.
This synthetic flooring can emulate the appearance of stone, ceramic, and even wood. Its resilience and durability make it perfect for high-traffic areas, while the stylish appearance also makes it a great visual addition to any room in the house.
Premium vinyl flooring is easy to install and maintain, making it ideal for homes with children and pets. What’s more, most brands make it easy to repair damage: simply remove a damaged piece and reinstall a new one.
Natural wood flooring is a popular floor choice in many American homes, and for good reason: it offers a warm, elegant appearance and an ROI of 70-80%. Another benefit is that professional installation of solid wood is often fast.
Wood flooring comes from a variety of sources, including domestic species like oak and maple as well as exotic species like Brazilian cherry. With a range of shades and finishes, the right solid wood looks great with virtually any decor.
To remove surface scratches, you’ll also need to have your hardwood refinished every 3 to 5 years. You can have a professional take care of it. Wood can be refinished up to five times to lengthen its lifespan.
This flooring choice may not be ideal for homes with small children or pets, as it’s prone to developing dents and scrapes. It’s also worth remembering, of course, that wood flooring expands, contracts, and even warps with temperature and moisture. As a result, it also may not be the best option for high-traffic or water-prone areas like entryways or bathrooms.
Like wood floors, porcelain, ceramic, and natural stone tiles are a classic flooring option in many homes today.
After all, it’s hard to go wrong with an elegant tile floor, especially with the range of appealing choices on the market: you can opt for everything from a tiny mosaic stone pattern to an appealing large-format floor of natural stone. This makes it easy to find the perfect fit to match the existing decor of any room that needs a facelift.
Because tile is both durable and waterproof, it’s a good choice for areas with high foot traffic areas that might be prone to water or mud, like entryways, mudrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. You can even opt for non-slip varieties for safety. However, because it’s cool to the barefoot, you may want to think twice about putting it in living areas or bedrooms.
As far as maintenance goes, you’ll just need to reseal the grout every now and then, and cleaning is a breeze.
A perennial bedroom favorite, carpet needs little introduction. This type of flooring comes in a spectrum of colors and styles. Professional installation for carpet is quick and easy, and in some cases, it’s possible to do the project yourself as well.
Soft carpet adds a touch of warmth to a room. It can also help cut down on noise levels, which is why it’s a good option for bedrooms in multi-story homes.
Carpet is relatively low-maintenance, as regular vacuuming and the occasional professional steam cleaning will keep it looking good as new. However, stains are a common concern, though you can find stain-resistant products with certain brands. You may also want to think twice about carpets if you have pets or allergies, as dust and pet dander can be easily trapped in carpet fibers.
We Offer the Best Flooring Materials for Your Home
Each of these options has its pros and cons, and they’re all popular with different homeowners for different reasons. If you’re having a tough time weighing your decision, don’t forget that at the end of the day, the best flooring materials are the ones you love most.
That’s why we let you shop our popular materials straight from home, allowing you to check out samples of our best options in the lighting and setting of your room. Don’t hesitate to try our convenient in-home shopping to find the perfect choice for your needs!