When searching for the perfect flooring materials for your home, you will find there are many different types of flooring materials to select from. The flooring that is right for you is largely dependent upon your personal style, the purpose of the room, and your budget. Here are a few tips for selecting the right flooring for your home:

Check out the detailed flooring guide below to help determine the best type of flooring for your home and lifestyle.

Pros Cons Care Cost

Carpet

Shop Carpet

Soft, quiet, warm underfoot

Easiest and most cost-effective floor covering to replace and upgrade

Brings in color and texture

Stain-resistant fibers available

Can stain

Low-quality carpets may quickly show wear

Clean spills immediately.
Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Vacuum low-traffic areas at least once or twice a week.Vacuum high-traffic areas more often.Use a deep-cleaning hot water extraction cleaning system every 12-18 months.
$2-$19 per square foot, installed

Stone

Shop Stone

Extremely durable

Timeless and classic design

Beautiful, natural aesthetic

Higher cost than many flooring materials

Some varieties, such as marble and limestone, readily absorb stains and dirt

Difficult to repair

Dark, glossy surfaces show footprints and can be slippery

All stones should be sealed

Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.
Regularly dust-mop the floor with a clean, nontreated mop or broom.
Or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar. Wipe up spills immediately. Damp-mop floors using cleaners recommended by the manufacturer. Avoid cleaners that are abrasive or contain vinegar, lemon juice, or harsh chemicals.
$8-$50 per square foot, installed

Ceramic or Porcelain tile

Shop Tile

Durable

Water and stain resistant

Wide choice of colors, textures, and shapes

Porcelain color through tile body-scratches or damage less likely to show

Grout lines can be hard to clean

Low-quality tiles may chip

Fragile items dropped on the surface probably will break

Glossy tiles can be slippery when wet

Difficult to repair

Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Regularly sweep tile or use a vacuum without a beater bar.Regularly damp-mop the floor with a cleaner recommended by the tile and grout manufacturers. For more shine, rinse with clear water and wipe dry. $4-$15 per square foot, installed

Laminate

Shop Laminate

Durable, affordable

Easy to clean and maintain

Resists stains

Wide range of colors and designs

Resembles natural materials

Excellent choice for do-it-yourself applications

Can be scratched

Cannot be refinished

Be cautious when purchasing off brands; the top layer may peel or separate from the core

For installations in high-moisture rooms, select laminates designed for this use

Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.Don’t refinish or sand $3-$9 per square foot, installed

Wood

Shop Hardwood

Wear-resistant

Long-lasting

Provides a warm look

Can be refinished

Vulnerable to moisture

Softer woods, such as pine, may dent easily

May darken with age

Some finishes wear unevenly and are difficult to repair

Can shrink and expand, creating gaps or warping

Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.Remove scuffs and heel marks by lightly rubbing the spots with a soft, clean cloth sprayed with hardwood floor cleaner recommended by the flooring manufacturer. $6-$19 per square foot, installed

Engineered Wood

Shop Engineered Wood

Shrinks and expands less than solid wood

Quicker installation time

Some can be installed below grade

Comes prefinished so the stain and protective finishes will be more consistent and harder

Typically can be refinished only once or twice

Off brands may have voids in core, which weakens wood surface

Ends may split on off brands

Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.Remove scuffs and heel marks by lightly rubbing the spots with a soft, clean cloth sprayed with hardwood floor cleaner recommended by the flooring manufacturer.Never wax or use oil soap. $4-$19 per square foot, installed

Bamboo

Shop Bamboo

More quickly renewable resource than wood

Strong

Clean, contemporary sensibility

May darken or fade when exposed to sunlight

Should not be left wet

Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.Use only cleaners recommended by the flooring manufacturer. $5-$14 per square foot, installed

Vinyl

Shop Vinyl

Durable

Water-resistant in sheet form

Easy to clean

Comfortable

Less expensive than most flooring choices

Difficult to repair

Less expensive grades may discolor

In tile form, moisture can get into seams between tiles

Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.Clean up spills immediately. Damp-mop when needed using clean, warm water. Use only cleaners recommended by the flooring manufacturer. $2-$12 per square foot, installed

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Shop Luxury Vinyl Tile

Sturdy, long-wearing, crack resistant

Absorbs sound (quieter)

Available in many sizes and colors

Stain-resistantEasy to clean

Not suitable for stairs

Surface is water proof but adhesive is water-soluble

Spills should be removed immediately.Be careful when moving furniture.Clean your floors regularlySometimes your floors may require stripping $3-$14 per square foot, installed

Cork

Shop Cork

Soft and warm, natural

Resists mildew

Sleek, contemporary look

Stain and water resistant

Easy to clean

Polyurethane finishes typically last up to seven years before refinishing is required

UV-cured acrylic finishes are not as long-lasting

Wax finishes need reapplication every 6-12 months

Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.Clean up spills immediately. Use only cleaners recommended by the flooring manufacturer. To restore luster, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for refinishing. $4-$14 per square foot, installed

Rubber

Shop Rubber

Durable, sound muffler, slip resistant, bacteria and mold resistant

Great shock-absorber

Can be installed almost anywhere

Numerous colors, patterns and texturesEasy to clean

Eco-friendly and recyclable

Not as appropriate for living rooms and bedrooms

Must be dried after cleaning otherwise scratches

Dull finish

Slight odor

Hot soapy water (no abrasive cleaner), dry with towels, can buffer with rubber flooring conditioner to shineDaily sweepingDo not let water sit. Allow the floor to dry before foot traffic. $5-$15 per square foot, installed

Partial Source: World Floor Covering Association

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