A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Flooring

Laying down flooring in your house can be one of the best ways to improve your home's overall look and feel while increasing its value. There are several different types of flooring options available, each with its own merits and drawbacks.

Before you decide which type to pick, it's essential to learn about all the different kinds of flooring out there to make an informed choice. In this comprehensive guide, we'll go over all the different types of flooring so that you can choose what's best for you.

Getting to Know Your Flooring Choices

Whether you're redecorating your home, building a new house, or looking to upgrade your current flooring with something better, there are several factors to consider when making your pick. Throughout this section of our guide, we'll guide you to some of the most common types of flooring on the market today and what differentiates them.

Ceramic Flooring

Found in many kitchens.

Ceramic floor tiles are probably among your top picks for hardwood alternatives. They come in various styles and hues, making them quite popular. They offer several benefits, such as extreme durability and excellent slip resistance. You don't have to worry about slipping on them even when it's wet or humid outside.

Additionally, ceramic tiles are robust and hardwearing. They can last for decades without any signs of wear and tear. Ceramic floor tiles offer a viable alternative to natural wood as a flooring material.

Types of The Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are available in several shapes and sizes. They're also available in different designs so that you can choose from a variety of unique and distinct options for your floor. Here are the most popular types of ceramic tile options:

Porcelain

These tiles are made from clay baked at a high temperature. They're very durable and have excellent stain resistance, so they're great for areas with heavy foot traffic. These tiles are also relatively easy to clean and maintain, so you don't have to worry about getting dirty quickly.

Quarry Tile

These tiles are made from less dense clay, and they're available in a variety of styles and colors. They're very durable to withstand heavy foot traffic without any issues. Moreover, quarry tiles are pretty easy to clean and maintain as well.

Glass Tiles

These tiles are made from glass fired at high temperatures and then cut into pieces for use as a flooring material. They're incredibly durable and can withstand heavy loads without any problems. Moreover, these tiles have excellent stain resistance, so they don't get dirty easily or quickly.

Glazed Ceramic Tile

These floor tiles are made from clay. The clay is formed into slabs and then baked at very high temperatures until it becomes ceramic. These decorated tiles are most commonly installed in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. However, they can be found in other parts of a home. Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi popularized glazed ceramic tiles. Today, glazed ceramic tiles can be found in several different styles, including but not limited to: geometric patterns, intricate mosaics, and even portraits.

Terracotta Tile

These tiles are made from baked clay and have a distinct appearance due to their earthy colors and rustic texture. They can be used for both interior and exterior purposes. However, they're not ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens or entryways. They're relatively inexpensive, making them great for DIY projects on a budget.

Natural Stone Flooring

As much a status symbol as a floor.

One of the most common types of flooring is natural stone. Natural stone offers a smooth, consistent, and luxurious feel that can last for decades with proper care. It's also highly stain-resistant, ideal for high-traffic areas where spills are inevitable. Natural stone can be installed as tiles or slabs, both providing excellent aesthetics. However, slabs tend to cost more than tiles because they require extra labor in their installation.

On top of aesthetics, natural stone offers many other benefits. It's highly durable so that it can withstand heavy loads with ease. It requires little maintenance; all you need is a dry mop or cloth and some mild detergent to keep it looking its best. Most types are heat resistant as well, which means you can use direct heating such as radiant or in-floor heating without worrying about damage to your floor.

Types of Natural Stone

There are many types of natural stone flooring, and each has its unique properties. When choosing a natural stone for your home, you should consider durability, appearance, and cost. The most popular types of stone include:

Marble

The most popular type of natural stone flooring, marble, is highly durable and boasts a wide range of colors and patterns. It's also usually affordable, making it an excellent choice for homeowners on a budget. However, marble can be expensive depending on its quality and appearance, so you might want to shop around before making your final decision.

Slate

Slates are among the most durable natural stones available, and they offer a consistent appearance that's sure to impress visitors. However, slates can be pretty heavy, so they might not be suitable for specific areas in your home.

Granite

Like marble, granite is a common choice for homeowners looking for a durable and attractive floor. It's also available in a wide range of colors and patterns, so you can easily find some that complement your home's interior design. On top of aesthetics, granite offers excellent durability and heat resistance. It's one of the most heat-resistant natural stones available today.

Limestone

One of the most affordable natural stones, limestone is an excellent choice for homeowners on a budget. It's also highly durable and offers excellent heat resistance, which makes it ideal for areas such as kitchens and fireplaces. However, limestone is prone to stains, so you might consider sealing it before installing it in your home.

Sandstone

Sandstone is perfect if you're looking for a floor that offers excellent heat resistance. It's also highly durable and boasts a wide range of colors and patterns, so you can easily find one that enhances your home's interior beauty. However, sandstone tends to be expensive compared to other types of natural stone, so it might not be suitable for homeowners on a budget.

Hardwood floors

A very common sight in rooms used day to day.

Another popular flooring material is hardwood. You can find it in solid colors or stained to resemble any type of wood you want. The most affordable types tend to be oak and pine, but you can also find maple, cherry, and hickory. Oak floors are pretty inexpensive, so they're great for people who don't have much money to spend on home or business remodeling projects.

If you opt for an exotic variety (such as walnut), you'll need to shell out more money - but it's a sound investment if you want a durable and beautiful floor that'll last for many years while requiring low maintenance.

Hardwood floors are also quite durable, beautiful, and easy to maintain. However, wood floors can be prone to wear and tear if not installed properly or maintained with utmost care.

It's essential that you hire a professional if you plan to install hardwood floors at home. It'll also be helpful if you seal your wood every 3-4 years. Also, regularly vacuum cleaning your hardwood floors is recommended; avoid using vacuum cleaners with rotating brushes as they may damage them.

Laminate Floors

A modern, affordable approach.

Laminate is one of the most common types of flooring. It's inexpensive and easy to install. Laminate floors come in various styles, shapes, colors, and finishes. A typical laminate floor will last from 7–15 years on average, although some types can be longer-lasting than others. It can also be easier to customize your home by choosing a unique pattern or color scheme for your laminate flooring.

Laminate floors are a good choice if you have pets or small children. They won't get scratches on them, so they will last longer than most other types. These floors are often less expensive than hardwood and tile, but they still look quite elegant when appropriately installed.

Vinyl Floors

Easily installed by yourself.

Vinyl is one of the most commonly installed flooring surfaces for residential applications in both commercial and domestic situations. The floor is resilient, water-resistant, and hardwearing. It's also a cost-effective choice and comes in an array of colors and styles. Vinyl flooring generally comes with a polyurethane coating that can be worn away over time with use, creating a dull sheen on what was once a shiny surface.

Choosing a vinyl floor for your home comes with many benefits, including its ability to withstand most household spills and stains. Vinyl is also more affordable than many other types of flooring options. It's often preferred over laminate as it's softer and quieter underfoot.

If you are considering installing vinyl in your home, it's crucial that you choose the best quality material possible so that it will last for years without compromising on appearance or comfort.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Best of both worlds.

The newest on our list is vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl plank flooring looks similar to traditional wood floors. However, it's made out of a thermoplastic material, which is incredibly durable and resilient. These kinds of floors can come in a variety of styles and colors. They're also easy to install yourself, so they might be perfect for DIY projects!

If you're on a tight budget and looking for something durable, vinyl plank flooring might be an option worth considering. This kind of floor is inexpensive compared to many other options available and can provide many years of reliable use.

Reclaimed Wood Floors

For the environmentally friendly.

Reclaimed wood is an excellent option if you're looking for a unique look. This type of wood flooring has been recycled and refurbished, generally making it more durable than regular wood floors. Be careful, though—it's easy to damage due to its uneven surface, so many homeowners choose to install it in low-traffic areas.

Each piece of reclaimed wood has its own unique story, adding a rustic charm to any room. By choosing reclaimed wood floors, you're also doing your part to protect forests and reduce your carbon footprint. This type of flooring is also an eco-friendly choice if you live in an area with a high risk for wildfires; it doesn't burn easily! While most types are imported from Africa or Asia, local reclamation companies are making more varieties available all over North America.

Resin Flooring

Customize to your heart's content.

Resin floors are incredibly durable and scratch-resistant. They're made from high-impact polyurethane and don't require a subfloor - they can be glued directly onto concrete floors or other surfaces if needed. Resin offers many design options that make it easy to work with, no matter what your space looks like.

You might consider a resin floor in a gloss finish for an innovative and striking look. These surfaces will have a reflective sheen that will make them stand out from any other floors in your home or office. Glossy floors are also easier to clean than matte finishes, which can be more difficult because they hide dirt so well.

Polished Concrete Flooring

Cheap yet durable.

Concrete flooring has become increasingly popular in recent years. It comes in so many different colors and textures. As an inexpensive material that's hardwearing and long-lasting, concrete can be a great flooring option for houses and commercial spaces. You can use floor polishing techniques for a polished effect reminiscent of stone.

Concrete flooring is a highly durable material that has excellent versatility. It can be polished, stained, or used in many other ways, which means that it offers diverse options for creating unique flooring designs. The first step in creating a polished concrete floor is making sure that your floor is smooth and level. To do so, you'll need to remove any bumps or lumps from your surface using a concrete grinder. If you have an idea in mind but aren't sure where to start, talk to your concrete contractor and see what they suggest.

Cork Flooring

Step lightly.

If you have wooden floors and would like to decrease their noise-transmitting characteristics, you might consider installing a cork floor. Cork flooring is an excellent option for high-traffic areas since it makes a little sound when walking on. In addition, cork floors are known for being extremely durable and comfortable underfoot.

When it comes to appearance, cork floors are also quite versatile. Though you can choose from a wide range of shades and styles, cork has its natural color, ranging from light yellowish-brown to a deep caramel. It's available in plank form or as tiles. If you prefer something even more durable, then laminate cork is a good choice as well.

Engineered Wood

Blending the benefits of multiple materials.

Engineered wood floors are made with a layer of top-grade wood. The top layer is fitted together with layers of different types and densities (within one species) of woods below it. This process gives the wood added strength and stability, making it an ideal material for construction and furniture-making. Engineered wood is also more resistant to warping and shrinking than traditional solid wood, making it a more reliable choice for indoor use.

Engineered wood costs more than solid wood, and it's also more sustainable because it reduces waste and offers a better return on investment. Some types of engineered wood are even wholly recyclable.

If you plan to install hardwood flooring in an area that sees a lot of moisture, such as your bathroom or kitchen, then engineered wood may be your best choice. It can withstand excessive moisture better than solid wood and may not require as much maintenance.

Rubber Flooring

Needy, but rewarding.

Rubber is soft and quiet but can be slick when not correctly placed under carpet tiles. Rubber flooring comes in many colors and styles that work well in children's play areas and exercise rooms. Rubber also has a wonderful bounce-back quality, perfect for a yoga studio or ballroom dance room. Rubber can also help to reduce noise levels and provide insulation against cold temperatures.

If you have pets, rubber floors are a great choice as they're easy to clean and do not hold dirt as carpet does. Rubber flooring is often more expensive than other types of flooring, but it will last longer with proper care.

However, rubber flooring is not always the best choice for every application. For example, rubber flooring can be challenging to install. It may not be suitable for areas that experience frequent temperature changes.

Red Oxide Floors

Red oxide (also known as rust) is a natural color that's completely safe and earth-friendly. It's not considered a red stain, making it a great option for high-traffic areas with lots of feet and furniture. While red oxide floors are typically inexpensive, they can still be more expensive than other options. If you don't mind spending some more money on your floors now, the red oxide will save you in upkeep costs later.

Man-Made Stone

This material opens up many design possibilities.

Man-made stone is another viable alternative to natural stone. It's made from crushed rock, which is then treated with polymers or other synthetic resins to give it a solid, smooth appearance and texture. This material has been used for years in countertops, floor tiles, and wall cladding because of its durability. It also comes in various colors that can mimic more expensive materials like marble or granite. Man-made stone is an affordable option for many homeowners looking to update their floors without breaking their budget.

Carpet Flooring

Just don't spill anything!

Today, carpet is available in a wide range of patterns, materials, and textures of varying quality. The most common kinds are made from synthetic fibers or a combination of synthetic and natural fibers. Carpet's popularity has lagged over recent years, but it remains an option worth considering. It's usually less expensive than other types of flooring, but since it can be challenging to clean, it should not be placed in high-traffic areas. Stains can also become permanent if left untreated for too long.

Bamboo Floors

Great for the family.

Bamboo flooring comes in various sorts and styles, each one with its benefits. Due to its delicate nature, bamboo tends to be quite flexible. Bamboo is harder than oak or maple but much softer than granite. If you have pets or small children who jump around your house a lot, consider bamboo for your high-traffic area.

Linoleum

Cheaper, and easy on the environment.

This type of flooring is often made from renewable natural resources like linseed oil, wood flour, cork dust, and limestone, so it's eco-friendly. It's also a lot cheaper than some other types of flooring, and you can find it in various textures and colors. In addition, linoleum floors are durable enough for high-traffic areas, such as commercial buildings. This material is also straightforward to clean.

Rooms that Require Careful Flooring Considerations

Bathrooms, Kitchens and Entryways

Hard-surface flooring like ceramic tile in bathrooms and kitchens is typically required due to slip hazard concerns. Both are high-traffic areas that need a firm footing. Natural stone tile provides lasting durability that will keep your floors looking new for years to come. When it comes to entryways such as foyers or hallways, wood flooring adds style while being durable enough for daily foot traffic.

Living Room

The living room is usually one of the most formal rooms in your home. As such, it's a good idea to select flooring that reflects your style. If you want something traditional:

  • Consider wood or hardwood flooring.
  • For a more modern look, go with vinyl or laminate flooring.
  • When choosing living room flooring, select a material that complements other features like furniture and window treatments.
  • Most importantly, don't forget about comfort.

Bedroom

The bedroom is typically one of the most personal spaces in your home. As such, you'll want a floor that both reflects your style and offers an element of comfort. Carpet is usually the most comfortable option, especially when used as a runner alongside your bed. If you prefer wood or tile, choose one that complements other features like window treatments and furniture. Most importantly, don't forget about the cost.

Flooring Considerations

When it comes to flooring, each option has its pros and cons. For example, a hardwood floor adds natural beauty to your space. Still, it requires routine upkeep, and a carpet can be comfortable but isn't ideal for high-traffic areas. Take some time choosing your flooring options; deciding on something that will both look good and stand up well to daily use is essential.

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

Purpose

The purpose of a room can play a significant role in what type of flooring you choose. For example, suppose you're looking for something durable and easy to clean. In that case, ceramic tile might be a good option for your kitchen or bathroom floors. On the other hand, if you want something that will charmingly beautify your space, then hardwood may be a better choice for your living room or dining area.

Appearance

Your flooring options are almost limitless when it comes to appearance, but keep in mind that your floor will be a significant focal point in your space. If you're looking for something with a lot of character, then wood floors or stone tiles might be ideal; if you want something more subtle and neutral, consider ceramic tile or vinyl plank flooring.

Durability

The durability of your floor can have a big impact on how long it lasts and how easy it's to maintain. For example, if you're looking for something that will stand up well to heavy foot traffic, then hardwood or stone might be ideal; on the other hand, if you want something more low-maintenance, then consider polished concrete or quarry tile.

Cost

Cost is one of the biggest factors in choosing your flooring options; some types can be much more expensive than others. If you're looking for something that won't break your budget, then laminate might be a good option, as it tends to be among the most affordable choices on the market. On the other hand, if you want something that will last a long time and look great without breaking your bank account, consider hardwood or stone tiles.

Comfort

Your comfort level should also play a significant role in deciding what type of flooring you choose for your space. For example, consider hardwood or stone (as long as you have floor heating!) if you're looking for something to keep your feet warm during those cold winter months. On the other hand, consider carpet or laminate flooring if you want something that will provide cushion and comfort without sacrificing durability.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Hardwood or stone can make cleaning difficult because they require regular maintenance; however, they also add elegant beauty and character to your space. On the other hand, engineered wood or vinyl plank flooring can make cleaning much easier because they're relatively durable and low-maintenance; however, they tend not to last as long as wood or stone floors.

Installation

Best left to the experts.

The installation process for each flooring type varies widely; some are more complicated than others. For example, if you're looking for something that will decorate your space without much hassle, consider hardwood or stone tiles; however, if you want something easy to install and maintain, linoleum or vinyl might be a better option again.

Noise Reduction

If noise reduction is crucial to you, then be sure to consider how much sound each flooring option absorbs before making your final decision. For example, if you're looking for something that will keep your feet warm and cozy without absorbing a lot of sounds, then hardwood or stone might be ideal. On the other hand, if you want something that absorbs more sound, consider carpet or laminate flooring - these will require more maintenance as a payoff.

Style

The style of your floor can have a big impact on how your space looks and feels. It's important to choose something that will complement your existing décor and give you an overall sense of comfort. For example, if you're looking for something that will add character and beauty without taking away from your existing décor, consider hardwood or stone tiles. However, cork or laminate might be better if you want something that complements your existing décor.

Aesthetics

Aesthetics should also play a significant role in deciding what type of flooring you choose for your space; some types are more beautiful than others. If you're looking for sparkle without sacrificing durability or comfort, consider hardwood or stone tiles. However, if you want something that's both beautiful and functional, then linoleum or vinyl might be a better option.

Environmental considerations

A 2015 report from Euromonitor suggested that wood flooring is quickly becoming a popular material among green-conscious homeowners. Manufacturers are quick to point out that their products are eco-friendly; some even offer FSC certification, which means they're sourced from responsibly managed forests. It's crucial for you as a homeowner to understand how different types of flooring affect our environment so you can make an informed decision when choosing your new floors.

For instance, cork flooring is a relatively new type of floor that has yet to gain mainstream popularity in most parts of the world. However, it has been gaining more ground as a popular flooring option. A boon for homeowners and their environment alike, cork is sourced from sustainably managed forests, making it an eco-friendly flooring option that can add value to your home if you ever decide to sell it later on.

In contrast, laminate and hardwood flooring have traditionally been popular among homeowners. They're a cheap alternative to more expensive types of flooring. They're also relatively easy to install, so you can do it yourself to save money. Laminate, especially, is excellent for busy homeowners who want a quick fix for their floors. It's available in different designs and styles, so you can easily choose one that matches your home's interior décor. It's also effortless to clean.

With so many benefits and drawbacks to each type of flooring, it's crucial for you as a homeowner to understand what you're getting into before deciding on which is best for your home. Make sure you know exactly what types of flooring are available in your area. You can do that by looking up stores in your area or reading reviews from previous customers. If you have time, check out actual showrooms and see how their products look in person instead of relying solely on photos online.

Carpet Padding

For insulation and comfort.

When choosing carpets for a new floor, buy one with quality padding. Good padding will make your carpets last longer and feel softer and more comfortable underfoot. It also helps keep your feet warm and cozy, provides cushion and comfort, and can help prevent noise from traveling throughout your space.

Flooring Buying Guide

When choosing to floor for your home, you should consider some critical factors before making a final decision.

  • First, you need to think about how much traffic your floors will receive and whether or not you want them to be water-resistant or stain resistant.
  • Second, consider the climate of the area where your home is located. If the area experiences extreme weather conditions, opt for a material that can withstand heat, cold, and moisture.
  • Third, take into account the style of the home and whether or not you want a carpeted floor. Cement, stone, and tile floors are best for modern homes, whereas carpets work better with traditional properties.

Also, you should consider how long your floors will last and if you can comfortably afford to replace them in a few years. Choose a floor that suits your style and fits with your design plan. In addition, think about your budget. While flooring can add value to your home, it also adds costs.

Closing Notes

Flooring is a critical aspect of any home, and there are many options from which you can choose. Each option has its unique design, functionality, and style. If you're looking for an easy way to enhance your home's appearance without breaking your budget, hardwood floors may be a good option. While they're more expensive than carpet or laminate flooring, hardwood floors provide excellent durability that makes them easier to maintain over time.

Posted by Harry Winston

Harry is an expert when it comes to decorating the interior of your dream home - as well as the tabletop with all sorts of delicious dishes. Whether you need culinary tips or interior design guides, you can rely on his expertise. When not writing about food or furnishing, Harry looking into these topics to stay on the top of current trends and new innovations.