The Ultimate Guide to Flooring Types: Where and How to Use Them
May 15, 2023 - Michelle Murphy
Choosing the right flooring for your home can be an exciting but challenging task. With so many different types of flooring available - each with its own set of pros and cons - it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
But don’t worry!
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the most popular flooring types and help you decide which one is the best fit for your space. I’ll also share some tips on how to make your flooring functional AND comfortable, so you can enjoy it for years to come.
Let’s get started!
When it comes to selecting the perfect floor type, a virtual design consultation can be extremely helpful. Check out MMID’s eDesign Services to learn more.
What Are the Most Popular Flooring Types?
Hardwood flooring has been a popular flooring choice for centuries, thanks to its timeless beauty and natural warmth. With a range of wood species, finishes, and textures to choose from, hardwood flooring can be customized to fit any design aesthetic.
The durability and longevity of hardwood flooring also make it a great investment for homeowners interested in reselling down the road.
Laminate flooring is a popular budget-friendly option for homeowners who want the look of hardwood flooring without the high price tag. It’s available in a wide selection of colours and finishes, making it easy to find a style that complements your home’s decor.
While it may not be as durable as hardwood flooring, laminate is typically easy to maintain as it doesn’t scratch easily and can be a great option for high-traffic areas in your home. Do keep in mind that it isn’t usually as easy to repair as hardwood and may mean replacing the whole floor.
Vinyl flooring has come a long way in recent years and is now available in a variety of colours, patterns, and textures. This versatile flooring option is not only durable and easy to maintain, but also waterproof.
Additionally, vinyl flooring is often more affordable than other flooring options, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious homeowners. Make sure to pay attention to wear layers and product thickness to set the right expectations for wearability over time.
Tile flooring is a popular choice for high-moisture spaces due to its durability, wipeability, easy maintenance, and water resistance, with ceramic and porcelain tiles being the most commonly used materials for tile flooring.
Pro Tip: While both are beautiful, porcelain floor tiles are denser, harder, and more durable than ceramic floor tiles. Porcelain tiles are also less porous, making them more water-resistant. That said, ceramic tiles are typically more affordable and can be just as beautiful!
Thanks to its softness and warmth, carpet is a cozy choice that can add comfort to any room. It’s available in an array of colours, textures, and patterns, making it a complimentary choice for a number of design styles.
Plus, carpet can also provide some noise insulation, meaning that it’s a great option for multi-level homes or apartments!
Floor Types for Each Room
When it comes to selecting the right types of flooring for each room in your home, there are a number of factors to consider.
From the amount of foot traffic a room receives to its purpose and overall style, the flooring you choose can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of the space.
Let’s take a closer look at each space:
Entryways are often the first area of the home that people see and experience heavy use from foot traffic, so it’s essential to choose a sturdy and low-maintenance flooring option.
Tile or vinyl flooring are great options for entryways due to their durability, water-resistance, and cleanability. Tile flooring is especially suitable for entryways, as it can withstand the wear and tear of frequent foot traffic, is stain-resistant, and can be an attractive design feature that can set the tone for the rest of your home.
Living & Family Rooms
Living areas are the heart of the home, where family and friends gather to relax and spend time together. Therefore, it’s important to choose a flooring option that is both comfortable and stylish.
Hardwood, laminate, or carpet flooring can all be great choices for these spaces, as they can provide both cozy and visual appeal. Hardwood flooring is a classic option that adds warmth and sophistication to a living area, while laminate flooring can be a more budget-friendly option that still provides a similar look. Carpet can add a soft and inviting feel to the room and can also help to absorb noise and make the space feel more comfortable.
Kitchens are one of the most frequently used spaces in a home, and it’s important to choose a flooring option that can withstand spills, foot traffic, and other kitchen-related wear and tear.
Vinyl and tile are both popular choices for kitchen flooring because they are durable, waterproof, and simple to maintain. Vinyl flooring is available in many styles and patterns, and can often mimic the look of other materials, such as hardwood or stone, while tile can provide a timeless and classic look that’s easy to clean.
The dining room is often considered the centerpiece of the home, and the flooring you choose can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of the space.
Hardwood or laminate flooring is a popular choice for dining rooms, as they can add warmth and elegance. With the variety of styles and finishes available in both options, it is easy to find a look that matches the desired aesthetic.
Furthermore, these flooring options are relatively easy to maintain and can last for years with proper care.
Bathrooms require flooring options that can withstand frequent exposure to water and humidity while still being easy to clean and maintain.
With tile or vinyl flooring, you can achieve a chic and stylish look while ensuring functionality and practicality.
These materials have slip-resistant options, making them a safer option for bathrooms, especially if you have kids or elderly individuals at home.
When it comes to bedroom flooring options, comfort is key.
Carpet and hardwood floors are both great choices for creating a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. Carpet provides warmth and softness underfoot, whereas hardwood floors offer a timeless, elegant look that can help elevate the overall aesthetic of the space.
Adding Comfort to Function
While some flooring types may be the most functional, they may not be the most comfortable option.
Here are some tips for adding comfort to different types of floors:
Add area rugs and mats to cold tile to keep your feet comfortable
Add a runner on hardwood stairs to prevent slipping
Use an anti-fatigue mat in the kitchen to keep your feet from getting sore on tile or hardwood flooring
Use thicker underlayment to add cushioning beneath hardwood or laminate
Consider radiant floor heating to keep tile or hardwood floors warm and cozy
Pros & Cons of Each Flooring Type
As you can probably guess, different types of flooring come with their own set of pros and cons.
Here are some things to consider when selecting a flooring type for your home:
Pros: adds value to your home, durable, timeless look, can be refinished if scratched or damaged
Cons: can be scratched easily, susceptible to moisture damage, can be noisy
Pros: budget-friendly, easy to maintain, available in a wide range of colours and styles
Cons: can be slippery when wet, difficult to repair if damaged, not as durable as hardwood or tile
Pros: waterproof, durable, easy to clean, available in a wide range of colours and patterns
Cons: can be easily scratched, can emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) after installation, not as environmentally friendly as other options
Pros: water-resistant, durable, easy to clean, wipeable, stain-resistant
Cons: can be cold to the touch, can be difficult to repair if damaged, can be slippery when wet
Pros: comfortable, soft, adds warmth and texture to a room, available in a wide range of colours and styles
Cons: can be difficult to clean, can trap allergens and dust, not as durable as other options
Find an Option That Leaves You Floored!
Choosing the right flooring for your home is an important decision - it greatly impacts the overall look of your space!
Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to flooring types. What works well in one room may not be the best option for another.
So, when choosing a flooring type that meets your needs, style, and budget, just remember to take your time and do your research!