Flooring Guide: Finding the Perfect Surface for Every Space in Your Home

Perfect Surface

If you’re building a new home or renovating, choosing the right flooring is one of the most important decisions you must make. Factors to consider include comfort, aesthetics, durability, lifestyle, and your budget. You may even find that different rooms have different needs. For example, you may want something that is highly durable and absorbs sound in a playroom while a a bathroom or mudroom calls for something moisture-resistant.

Fortunately, advances in technology and new designs in today’s flooring industry have opened up choices in flooring for every room. Use this guide to help you choose the right flooring for every room.

Hardwood Flooring

Its timeless beauty makes hardwood flooring a popular classic. When choosing hardwood, you’ll want to consider species, color, texture, hardness, and finish. Colors range from blond to black and textures are available that look shiny and modern or antiqueish and timeworn.

Choose oak, cherry, or maple for hardness to withstand heavy traffic, kids, and pets. Mahogany and other exotic woods are known for their striking appearance.

The finish on hardwood flooring protects the surface and adds color and luster. Most finishes are factory-applied which makes installation easier.

If you have children or pets or want to use hardwood in bathrooms or high-moisture areas, go for engineered hardwood. It’s more durable and requires less refinishing.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring has come a long way since your grandparents’ time but it is still durable, easy to maintain, and more budget-friendly than many other types of flooring. New depths and textures give today’s vinyl more aesthetic variety than in past generations. You can get vinyl that mimics tile, stone, and hardwood.

Vinyl floors are comfortable to walk on and warmer to the touch than harder surfaces like wood and tile. For varying looks, it’s available in different levels of glossiness. It’s also available in planks, sheets, and tiles.

DIY-friendly vinyl tiles are easily installed in a variety of orientations from diagonal to checkerboard. Vinyl planks resemble hardwood and come in a variety of textures. For a different appearance, vinyl tile can be grouted.

Vinyl is water-resistant and resists dents and scratches making it a good choice for high traffic areas.

Laminate Flooring

Tough, easily cleaned laminate is probably the most versatile in the world of flooring. Its textures can mimic hardwood, tile, or stone at a much lower cost, and installation is a breeze. Highly durable and affordable, laminate is moisture-resistant and doesn’t easily stain or fade.

Laminate lacks the character of hardwood flooring, but the price, quality, and durability make it a favorite for families with kids and pets. It’s also revered for being eco-friendly. Fewer trees are used than for hardwood, and when it’s removed, it’s easily reused or recycled.

You can find laminate in strips or planks that look like wood or in squares that mimic tile. Finishes are available in glossy or matte coatings.

Linoleum Flooring

Practical, eco-friendly linoleum has been rediscovered as a flooring option by homeowners in recent years. A century ago, it was mainly used in commercial settings. An all-natural alternative, linoleum flooring is highly durable to withstand heavy traffic. You can expect your linoleum floors to last for decades.

Available in sheets or tiles, linoleum is available in a variety of colors from neutrals to brighter hues. Rather than simply being printed on the surface, the color runs deep into the linoleum. Sheet linoleum is best suited to borders and insets, and tiles can be arranged in an almost endless variety of patterns.

Cork Flooring

These days, cork is used for more than stoppers for wine bottles. For a stylish, contemporary look, consider cork flooring. It’s quite popular with new homeowners and available in tiles or planks in an array of colors and sizes.

Cork is warm and soft to walk on and absorbs noise. A natural insulator, it helps lower your energy bills making it a sustainable and eco-friendly flooring option.

Cork’s texture adds to the aesthetics of any room. Cork can be left natural or stained or painted. For durability, look for cork flooring with large-sized granules.

Cork flooring can be easily installed over wood and concrete. It’s recommended that you have a plywood underlayment that’s a quarter inch thick or more when it’s installed over existing floors.


Due to its comfort underfoot and relatively low price point, carpet remains a popular type of flooring for many families. It’s available in a plethora of colors and textures to match any decor. Choose from natural or synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, and olefin.

Carpet will show the wear and tear of traffic more than hard-surfaced floorings, but using high-quality padding can prolong the life of it. The carpet must also be steam-cleaned regularly to look its best. In recent years, Berber carpet has become popular for its ease of cleaning and durability.

Although it may not be the best choice for high-traffic areas, carpet remains a popular choice for bedrooms thanks to its warmth and coziness.

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