How to Chose the Right Floor for You

Flooring is one of the most important decisions when it comes to improving your home. The material is an integral part of your design, comfort, cost & maintenance. Before you select, it’s best to educate yourself on what’s available as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each.

There are six popular flooring materials used in residential homes, from classic hardwood to eco-friendly laminate. Additionally, there are several other lesser-used types that come with their own benefits. Use the following guide to choose which type or types are best for your space.

 

 

 

How to Choose Flooring

To choose flooring, it’s best to start by determining what you need. Consider these factors:

  • Room: Some types, like carpet or hardwood, aren’t ideal for every space

  • Family Situation: Young children or pets need spill-proof and scratch-resistant flooring

  • Budget: Price varies widely, so you need to know what you can afford

  • Installation Requirements: Some materials need an underlayment or pad, which may cost extra

  • Style: Certain types work better than others to create the right aesthetic

  • Return on Investment (ROI): Higher cost or quality often means a better long-term investment

  • Demo: Depending on your existing flooring, removal of the material should be considered for cost. 

Hardwood

Hardwood continues to be the top choice for its great appearance and long-term ROI.

  • Pros:

  • Popular for its visual appeal

  • Many varieties of color and style available

  • Durable 

  • High ROI

  • Can be resurfaced every 3-5 years

  • Best for shared living spaces

  • Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other top flooring materials

  • Can develop heavy ware like scrapes, scratches and dents over time

  • Can incur moisture damage & become dry in the Vegas climate causing shift in material

  • Must use specific cleaning products in order to properly care and uphold longevity 

  • The cost to install wood flooring averages between $8 and $15 per square foot for labor and materials, but can run much higher depending on the wood and design chosen. Refinishing hardwood can range from $3 to $10 per square foot.

Vinyl

This is not the cheap-looking alternative it used to be! These days, this synthetic flooring for the home is durable and comes in many fashionable finishes that effectively mimic wood, ceramic and stone! 

Pros:

  • Affordable

  • Mimics the looks of wood

  • Versatile

  • No dirty grout to maintain 

  • Can be waterproof

  • Great for high-traffic areas

  • Easy to maintain

  • Grey for Kids & Pets

  • Cons:

  • Lower ROI vs. wood or laminate

  • Less popular due to appearance/reputation 

  • The cost to professionally install vinyl or linoleum flooring ranges from $3.50 to $15 per square foot.

Laminate

Pros:

  • lower price than hardwood

  • Lasier installation

  • Durability

  • Variety of colors and styles, like natural wood

  • Good for high-traffic areas

Cons:

  • Prone to moisture damage

  • Difficult to repair

  • Not ideal for wet areas kitchens or bathrooms

The cost to install laminate flooring averages between $2.70 and $10 per square foot.

What's the difference between laminate & vinyl flooring?

Laminate is made of 99% wood byproducts. It’s also called composite, Pergo (which is a specific brand of flooring), or floating wood tile. It’s composed of several layers of rigid, high-density fiberboards that are laminated together into planks. The photographic image under the resin layer depicts the material you want, which is usually stone or wood. It often floats, which means it can snap and click over an existing floor without being nailed or glued down. It can also be glued to a subfloor.

Luxury vinyl, which isn’t to be confused with sheet vinyl, is a newer innovation that makes it a far cry from the plastic-like tiles you see in older builder-grade homes. It’s made of several layers of resilient polyvinyl chloride (PVC) while the top layer is coated with urethane. Luxury vinyl comes in two forms:

  • Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)– These long planks can mimic the look of traditional hardwood floors. They can float, be glued down, or snap together. LVP can also be smooth or textured to mimic different types of materials.

  • Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)– These attractive tiles come in a greater variety of lengths and widths compared to LVP. Therefore, it’s better suited for imitating materials like stone, granite, and concrete. However, they can also be made into wood-like tiles and rectangles. LVT can float, peel-and-stick, be glued down, or snap together for easy installation.

Porcelain & Ceramic Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile flooring are beautiful options for high-traffic and moisture-prone areas in the home.

Pros:

  • Comes in a variety of looks and designs

  • Durable

  • Non-porous or waterproof

  • Great for kitchens, bathrooms and entryways

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive options

  • Difficult to install

  • Can chip and scratch under heavy use

  • Can make a room echo 

  • Grout may become dirty and need sealing 

The cost to install ceramic or porcelain flooring depends on the type of tile chosen, but averages $13.50 to $83 per square foot.

Natural Stone 

Natural stone is a classic flooring option that includes granite, marble, travertine and sandstone. Some materials, like travertine, are more durable than others. Keep in mind that finishes require different amounts of care. A polished marble surface will show scratches and scuffs more easily than a tumbled one, for example.

Pros:

  • Highly durable

  • Insulated for warmth

  • Comes in many styles, colors and shapes

  • Great for radiant heating

  • Eco friendly

  • Good for homes with kids and/or pets

  • High ROI

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive options

  • Can easily chip or scratch

  • Some stone tile types are porous

  • Costly repairs

Due to the difficulty of the project and weight of the tile, it’s best to hire a stone floor installation professional. The cost to install averages most homeowners between $800 and $3,000 for materials and labor.

Woman Rolling Carpet

Carpet

Carpet remains a favorite for many homeowners, especially for bedrooms. They make a room feel inviting, cozy & warm. 

Pros:

  • Cost-effective

  • Soft and warm on feet

  • Multiple colors and designs available

  • Great for soundproofing

  • Stain-resistant varieties available

Cons:

  • Difficult to maintain, especially in high-traffic areas

  • Can absorb odors

  • Not great for homes with pets

  • Not recommended for wet areas: EX: kitchen, bathroom

Carpet installation costs range from $3.50 to $11 per square foot, making it one of the least costly materials. 

The cost to install carpet pad averages $4 per square foot.