Have you ever walked around the flooring section at a home improvement store and been completely overwhelmed (or slightly overwhelmed) with the different kinds of flooring? There are so many different kinds of flooring that can be confusing to know which style is best for which room. Our goal is to give an overview of common flooring types and what rooms each type best suits. There are more flooring types than this article will cover, but these are the most popular kinds.
Hardwood floors are a common type of flooring and very popular now. Hardwood is pretty much exactly as it sounds. It is planks of wood (usually oak, cherry, or walnut, although there are other choices). These planks are generally about four inches wide (there is variation here too, of course), and they line up together to form beautiful lines throughout the room. Genuine hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished after wear and tear, meaning they will last a very long time. Typically hardwood floors are suitable for bedrooms, hallways, dining rooms, and living rooms. Hardwoods are not ideal for places with moisture, so you wouldn’t want to use them in a bathroom or laundry room.
Engineered hardwood is very similar to hardwood flooring, except that the plank is not 100% hardwood. There is a thin layer of hardwood on top followed by plywood underneath. Engineered hardwood is typically cheaper than genuine hardwood, so it is a way to get the look of hardwood without the cost. You cannot refinish engineered hardwoods like regular hardwood. Again, you wouldn’t want this flooring in an area with a lot of moisture, but these do tend to hold up to a little moisture better than regular hardwoods.
Laminate flooring is another step down from engineered hardwoods. If you want the look of hardwood floors but they are out of your budget range, laminate floors may be a good option for you. The floor base is plywood, but on top of that is a high tech image printed on a type of plastic. Since it is an image, laminate flooring can mimic practically any other flooring type – hardwoods, tile, stone, etc. Laminate flooring is a great affordable option for living spaces, kitchens, and toy rooms.
Vinyl floors are probably our favorite type here at Handyman on Purpose. These are typically rectangular pieces of vinyl plank that click together quickly and create beautiful floors. They come in tons of designs; from wood to tile to marble to mosaic. These planks are made of a water-resistant layer, a PVC layer, and a printed layer, similar to laminate flooring. Vinyl floor planks are water-resistant, so they are perfect for bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens, as well as basements. They are also very easy to clean and work well in craft rooms or dining rooms.
Tile floors are a very popular and versatile choice in flooring since they come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Most people use ceramic tile, although porcelain tile is also used. Tile floors are very durable and, when done well, are mostly water-resistant. Tile is a much more labor-intensive installation than many of the previously discussed floors, so it tends to be more expensive to install than some of the others. Tile flooring works great anywhere in a home, though it is most prevalent in bathrooms, kitchens, sunrooms, and laundry rooms.
The final type of flooring we want to discuss is the carpet. Carpet comes in a variety of colors and materials. One benefit of carpet is that it can hide dirt better than other types of flooring. However, it also stains easier than others. Carpet is also softer under your feet, quieter, and can help a floor feel warmer in winter. Carpet is often the choice flooring option for in bedrooms and living spaces.
These are just six of the most popular flooring types. There are tons of other types of flooring as well, such as bamboo, linoleum, and cork. Whatever you choose for your home, make sure it fits your budget and the room design you are picturing. But be assured that whatever your budget and space will allow, there is a beautiful floor ready for your home!