High traffic flooring in entryway by National Floors Direct

What Flooring Is Best for High-Traffic Areas?

Maybe you're opening a business, or perhaps you're going to have a lot of people coming and going through your house. In any case, you're on the search for a flooring material that can thrive in high traffic areas.

The question is: what types of flooring materials fit this bill? There are a number of different options out there. We're going to discuss them all in detail below.

Materials That Perform Well Under High Foot Traffic

When you get a lot of foot traffic, you need a flooring material that's tough and solid. Some of the materials that meet these criteria include the following:

Porcelain Tiles

The first material we're going to discuss is porcelain tiles. Porcelain is a hard, solid, and tough material that's built to withstand all types of wear and tear. Extremely dense, it's affected very little by foot traffic.

In addition to having terrific resistance to foot traffic, porcelain tiles are also resistant to water. This makes them great for public buildings in which people might be wearing wet and/or snowy shoes.

When it comes to flooring durability, few materials match porcelain tiles. These can last 60 years and sometimes even longer, ensuring that they provide tons of bang for their buck.

As far as aesthetics go, porcelain tiles are extremely versatile. You can find them in uniform colors, interchanging colors, patterns, and more. Put simply, they're one of the best flooring materials on the market today.


Like porcelain tiles, hardwood flooring is capable of thriving through decades of wear and tear. In fact, in some circumstances, it can last well over 100 years.

It's highly resistant to physical trauma and tends to perform reasonably well when exposed to water and sunlight as well. That said, it requires a good bit of maintenance. Not only does it need to be refinished on a regular basis but cleaned regularly as well.

In short, it demands a large time and/or money investment. If you have that time and/or money, it's definitely a great option. If you don't, you're better off going with something else.


Another high-traffic flooring material to consider is vinyl. Vinyl flooring is a synthetic material that's built to withstand water, sunlight, and physical trauma. While it's not quite as tough as porcelain, it holds its own in most public areas.

In most cases, vinyl flooring will last around 25 years. Note, though, that its quality can vary. As such, you need to be sure to purchase a high-quality version.

Aesthetically speaking, most vinyl flooring looks like wood. This is done purposefully, as the hardwood aesthetic is extremely popular right now. It should be noted, however, that there are other aesthetics available.


Next up is laminate, a material that's similar to vinyl but which ultimately is lower on the quality totem pole. This is because, while vinyl is highly resistant to moisture, laminate is vulnerable to it.

For this reason, it's generally not a good idea to use laminate flooring in a public building. Wet and snowy shoes can do a number on laminate flooring in just a short amount of time. But if you're installing flooring in, say, your residential hallway, it would most likely get the job done.

Under ideal conditions, laminate flooring lasts approximately 25 years. However, if water comes into the equation, its lifespan will become substantially reduced.

The look of laminate flooring? Like vinyl, it often mimics hardwood. However, there are other aesthetics available.

Short Carpet

The last flooring material we're going to discuss in this section is short carpet. This is carpet containing strands that can't be individually pulled apart. They're so short that they provide an almost smooth appearance.

Now, rest assured, this material isn't going to thrive to the point of the others listed above. However, it can handle fairly heavy foot traffic, say, in an office or a lobby.

In most cases, it will provide around 15 years of use. Considering its warmth and comfort capabilities, this is a decent amount of durability.

Plus, it's one of the cheaper flooring materials in existence. So, if you're looking to save some money on up-front costs, it wouldn't be a bad option.

Materials That Perform Poorly Under High Foot Traffic

There are some flooring materials that, when subject to consistent foot traffic, deteriorate long before their time. These include the following.

Long Carpet

One flooring material that definitely shouldn't be exposed to heavy foot traffic is long carpet. Long carpet is highly susceptible to physical trauma, to the point that even regular walking will wear it down in a hurry. This is because the strands of carpet tend to be pulled when feet drag across them.

The dragging motion slowly loosens the root of each strand, eventually resulting in it being torn out. The more and more strands that are torn out, the more quality the carpet loses, and the sooner it needs to be replaced.

As such, this type of carpet is almost exclusively reserved for low-traffic areas. You will rarely, if ever, see long carpet in a commercial setting.

Conquer High Traffic Areas With a Super-durable Flooring Material

As you can see, there are a number of different flooring materials that can accommodate high traffic areas. Choose one that suits your needs and you're sure to get a good bang for your buck.

Looking for the best flooring available? National Floors Direct has you covered. Offering a wide variety of flooring materials, we're sure to have something you enjoy.

Contact us now for a free in-home estimate!