16+ Different Types Of Flooring With Pictures (Kitchen, Bathroom, Living Room,…)

For those who are just starting on this path, choosing the right flooring for your home is daunting. Aside from the hundreds of choices that are there, you need to have a checklist full of other considerations like maintenance, installation cost, material, and other pros and cons of each type.

Other than that, you also have to know which type of flooring is most recommended for the various rooms in your house. 

Lucky for you if you are already on the lookout for a specific type, design, pattern, or color in mind but if not, here are the types of flooring that are most commonly chosen along with other essential information that will aid you in choosing the best type of flooring for you. 

Types of flooring

If you enumerate all the other types that are clustered in these most common flooring types, you will have a list of thousands. So for this section, we will round up the most common flooring choices out there.

To further help you with your future flooring choice, we also added an objective evaluation of each type’s advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most popular types of flooring for you. 

1. Hardwood

This type of flooring is a classic among American homes albeit its price. They often come in strips or planks usually made of maple, oak, and even purpleheart. And when it comes to this type of home flooring, it is always a hard battle between unfinished and finished hardwood. 

Unfinished hardwood needs sanding after installation. Finished hardwood needs sealing on the other hand. While very classy to look at, hardwood is hard to maintain and is prone to damage in moist locations. They are also harder to install and are generally expensive. Other than that, the sustainability of wood sources is always an accompanying issue.

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Scratched surface can be refurbished.
  • Adds real estate value to the home.
  • Easy cleaning.

Cons

  • Easy wearing for high-traffic areas.
  • Supply is not sustainable.
  • May swell or shrink when exposed to moist.
  • Expensive.

Read: Types of hardwood flooring

2. Engineered Wood

It is called such because unlike solid wood or hardwood floorings, it has a plywood base. Its top is coated with a glossy veneer to enhance the visible wood grains resembling hardwood floors. In this case, engineered wood is considered more durable than hardwoods at a budget price. 

This type of flooring can come in strips, planks, or tiles to achieve that floating effect. It can be glued or nailed in the subflooring or under a cork or foam underlayment. Engineered wood typically starts at $4 up to $15 but it is easy to install so it is way cheaper than hardwood. 

Pros

  • Resembles hardwood at a cheaper price.
  • Less sensitive to moisture and temperature change.
  • Can be installed directly on the subfloor.

Cons

  • Can only be refinished once.
  • Relatively high maintenance.

3. Bamboo

This type of flooring is not just sustainable but also a cheap alternative compared to hardwoods. It comes in strips, planks, and tiles too. The most common types of bamboo flooring would be the flat-grain type distinguishable for its darker grains, the vertical grain with long, narrower grains, and the end-grain type with shorter, narrow grains. 

Like engineered wood, it is sturdy, cheaper, and easier to install. It also has greater moisture resistance than hardwoods. A square foot of bamboo flooring starts at $5 excluding installation. 

Pros

  • Easy to install.
  • Sustainable source.
  • Can tolerate greater moisture.
  • Visually appealing and easy to maintain.
  • Good for bedrooms, hallways and living rooms.

Cons

  • Durability depends on the type.
  • Not recommended for humid locations as it could crack or swell.
  • Prone to dents and scratch.
  • Not recommended as kitchen flooring.

4. Laminate

Image credit: Jerry

Of all types of cheap flooring materials, laminate floorings are usually the most popular of all. This is because it has a range of types and designs that has a striking resemblance with many other flooring types (including hardwood and stone) but in a budget range. It is commonly used as kitchen flooring. 

Its resin surface makes it a go for the money because it is essentially stain-free. One of its drawbacks however is that its seams are not waterproof although there is a waterproof laminate sheet/tile that could withstand water spill for 24hrs. This one costs only half a dollar to $3 per square foot. 

Pros

  • DIY installation.
  • Very cheap.
  • Looks like other flooring materials.

Cons

  • Not recommended for moist locations.
  • Not recommended for wet mopping.
  • Can be gouged or scratched.

Read also: Laminate vs hardwood

Vinyl vs Laminate flooring

5. Acacia

Image credit: doggolf12

It is one of the most underrated hardwood floorings of all. Truth be told, it has a higher hardiness rating compared to popular hardwoods used in flooring like maple and oak. Compared to other hardwood floorings, it is less prone to tear and wear. It is not that vulnerable to dents and scratches making it a popular choice for high-traffic homes. 

Another upside of acacia is that it has a natural preventive coat making it swell-proof. It is generally waterproof and pest-resistant too. Above all, acacia flooring is easy to clean. Unlike hardwoods, you do not need a special cleaning solution for this one. Plus, the grains and visual appeal of this one are very stunning having more brown hues than others. 

Pros

  • Easy to maintain.
  • Sustainable.
  • Durable and high visual appeal.
  • Water and pest resistant.

Cons

  • More expensive compared to other hardwoods.
  • Only comes in limited plank sizes.

6. Carpet

When it comes to the living room and bedrooms, carpet never loses its touch. Common materials used to make carpets would be nylon, wool, polyester, acrylic, or polypropylene. They are then glued to a cushioned padding. Wall-to-wall carpets are common. They install them by nailing the carpet paddings on the subfloor. 

Carpets are versatile floorings because they come in many types of materials, diverse in designs and patterns, and are durable. A common rule, however, is that, the thicker and heavier the carpet, the more expensive and durable it will be. It has the warmth that you need on any day so this is a sure go for flooring considerations. 

Pros

  • Slip-resistant.
  • Dent and scratch-free.
  • Warm to the feet.
  • Easy to install.
  • Quiet.
  • Reasonable price.

Cons

  • Prone to stains.
  • Harder to clean and needs regular vacuuming.
  • Harbors dirt and dust causing allergies.

7. Cork

Image credit: The Kozy Shack

Although categorized as inexpensive, it is at the higher end of the cheap cluster. It looks interesting, visually appealing, and easy to install. Aside from its known longevity, its major upside is that it provides more cushion to the feet. Unlike vinyl, it will no longer need additional underlayment for it to be softer on the feet. 

Like vinyl, it comes in sheets, floating tile, or planks. One square foot starts at $3. High-end cork floorings start at $5. It is waterproof, easy wipe, and generally easy to maintain. 

Pros

  • Easy to install.
  • Visually appealing.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to maintain.

Cons

  • Less durable compared to ceramic tile.
  • Not recommended for high-traffic areas.
  • Not recommended for homes with pets or active kids.

8. IPE

Its more popular name is the Brazilian Walnut flooring. It is considered one of the most prized wood floorings out there given its density and longevity. As a matter of fact, it has a rated A fire rating. Considering these, it is resistant to pests, rots, scratches, and dents. They often come pre-finished and some types are engineered. 

IPE flooring is perfect for laundry areas, bathrooms, and other moist locations because it does not buckle. It does not need to be refinished often too, giving you more bucks to save. It is also long-lasting at 30years. It is expensive, however. Planks start at $5 plus the addition of labor costs. 

Pros

  • Pest and fire resistant.
  • Naturally adaptive to moist.
  • Does not crack in heat.
  • Durable and lasts long.

Cons

  • More expensive.
  • Cannot be installed DIY.
  • Color shows dirt.

9. Linoleum

This type of flooring has been around since the late 1800s. It is made of cork powder and processed with linseed oil. It comes in laminated planks, sheets, and tiles. It is typically coated with a protective compound to lessen wear. It is very good for high-traffic locations in the home. 

Aside from this, it is easy to install, cheap, and easy to clean. It is also good for the feet as it seems to have a cushioned feel. Some linoleum floors might require refinishing annually. It is very durable and could last for 40 years when maintained well. It is a good fit for bedrooms, family dens, kitchen, and sometimes the basement. 

Pros

  • Looks like solid wood.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Soft on the feet.
  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Not as prone to scratch as vinyl.
  • Inexpensive.

Cons

  • Vulnerable to dents.
  • Discoloration under changing temperatures.
  • Not as waterproof as vinyl.
  • Requires waxing every now and then.

10. Vinyl Plank

Vinyl flooring is generally one of the cheapest and easiest floorings to install because you can directly attach it to the existing subfloor. Vinyl planks are especially well-fitted in kitchen floors, giving off that homey look especially for modern and suburban homes. 

Vinyl planks come as the standard peel and stick plank. The latest trend in the vinyl floor, however, is the luxury plank which is way thicker than the standard and follows the click-together installation method. Standard vinyl planks start at $2 while luxury planks start at $4. Generally, vinyl planks are cheaper than plank sheets. 

Pros

  • Inexpensive and easy to install.
  • Soft on the feet.
  • Average to high tolerance for foot traffic.
  • Easy to clean.

Cons

  • It can be gouged easily.

11. Wood Look Tile

This one is recommended for homeowners who dig wood floorings but also want the durability of ceramic tiles. They look authentically like wood from color to grains. Compared to hardwoods, they are way less expensive, more resistant to wear as well as dents and scratches.

Aside from this, wood like tiles is waterproof, easier to clean and maintain, and will not expand or crack when the temperature changes. Most importantly, wood look tiles are good for high-traffic homes. So if you have been discouraged to go for wood because of consideration with kids and pets, wood look tiles will fix that problem. 

Pros

  • Value for money.
  • Durable.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Good for high-traffic homes.
  • Waterproof.

Cons

  • Labor costs for installation.
  • Slippery when wet.
  • Cold for the feet.

12. Vinyl Sheet

This one is the most common type of vinyl flooring. Compared to the vinyl plank, this one is literally one big vinyl sheet at a choice of either 6 to 12ft. It is cheaper than its plank counterpart too. This one is waterproof making it an inexpensive choice for bathrooms. It is also easy to install using just glue bonds for adhesive. 

Overall, vinyl sheets may not be as soft as wall-to-wall carpet floorings but they are softer and more comfortable to the feet compared to ceramic tiles or laminate flooring. 

Pros

  • Durable.
  • Inexpensive and low maintenance.
  • Water and stain proof.
  • Comfortable to the feet.

Cons

  • Repair costs.
  • May damage the subfloor.
  • Gives off toxic gassing.
  • Prone to chemical stains.

13. Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

Image credit: Rebecca Caisse

Bargain price or not, you can never go wrong with ceramic or porcelain tiles. They have completely taken over modern homes with the range of types and designs that they have. Other than that, they are easy to maintain. You can just wipe them off using mops or cloth.  

While not really dent or scratch-free, ceramic tiles have designs that resemble more expensive floorings like hardwoods. The labor for installation including grout and adhesive costs could be a drawback but generally, ceramic tiles are hard to pass out. Depending on the design, ceramic tiles range from half a dollar to $2. 

Pros

  • Comes in many styles and patterns.
  • Durable and could last for decades.
  • Easy to maintain.

Cons

  • May be dented or shattered by hard, heavy objects.
  • Gets cold on the feet.
  • Labor cost in installation.

14. Stone

Image credit: Kuhl Design Build

Home renovations almost always include stone floorings mostly for outdoor patios, garage, and walkway. They are perhaps the most low maintenance flooring as they only need scrubbing and being watered down once in a while. Stone floorings are very durable, not prone to tear and wear, and will give you that classic look for many decades. 

Stone floorings are made for high-traffic areas and do not accumulate dirt and dust. It is also versatile, making it a good accent to other flooring materials. It is quite pricey though. 

Pros

  • Durable on high-traffic locations.
  • Natural, earthy look.
  • Not prone to dirt and dust buildup.
  • Adds real estate value to the home.

Cons

  • Types have varying levels of porosity.
  • Expensive.
  • Prone to chipping or shattering.

15. Polished Concrete

Polished slabs have been around for a long time usually seen in basements, patios, and the garage. As interior flooring, polished concrete is not just decorative but also durable when maintained well. They are installed directly ranging from $2-20 per square foot depending on the design. 

The good thing is that it is very good for high-traffic areas. It is also easy to clean, maintenance is fairly low and while it can be dented or scratched, it takes time for them to be visible. It might be vulnerable to moisture though but its resilience to wear and traffic kind of balances everything with this one. 

Pros

  • Durability and longevity.
  • High-traffic resilience.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Shock resistant.
  • No harmful chemical gassing.

Cons

  • Hard and cold surface.
  • Prone to moisture wear.
  • Tends to be loud when walked on.

16. Rigid core

This type of flooring should actually be clustered under the vinyl flooring types because it is a re-engineered vinyl flooring. It is named as such because its major upgrade is having a more durable core layer made of limestone powder, stabilizers, and polyvinyl. The core layer is more stable compared to a regular vinyl base. 

It is more durable than standard vinyl floorings because it has upgraded core layers composed of an underpad to stabilize noise and to add more cushion, a vinyl layer for the patterns and designs, a wear layer for scratch resistance, and an added SPC layer for the waterproof characteristic. 

Pros

  • Water resistant.
  • Good for kitchens, basements, bathrooms.
  • Easy to install.
  • Stylish and affordable.
  • Comfortable to the feet.
  • Easy to maintain.

Cons

  • More expensive than regular vinyl.
  • Not that eco-friendly.

Flooring Considerations

Of course, you cannot choose a flooring type out of whim or want alone. There are factors to consider and they can be more complex than how you think them of. Here are some flooring considerations that you should know before choosing one. 

Space function

Where will your flooring be installed? Is it in high-traffic areas where active feet and activities will be rampant? Will it be in spaces where food and drinks can be spilled? Is it an outdoor space that might probably get wet? 

For high-traffic areas, ceramic tiles would be the best fit. Where food and drinks can be spilled, tiles, vinyl, or finished/sealed wood will be better because it is easier to wipe. For the outdoors, waterproof vinyl or stained concrete should be chosen. Space function is a necessary consideration for choosing your flooring. 

Repair and maintenance

Some flooring types have a lot of care requirements including annual sealing or sanding, regular vacuuming or mopping, and many more. If you don’t have a lot of time for this or see that it will be expensive in the long run, you need flooring that will come cheap during repair and or annual maintenance. For illustration’s sake, labor costs for maintenance will be triple the cost of the installation if you do not pick the right choice. 

Durability and service life

This one has something to do with the longevity of the flooring type. Hardwood floors will surely be the most durable with a service life of 25 years. Terrazzo and teak will go for at least 20 years, vinyl, and ceramic tile at 15 years, and carpeted floors at 10 years. But then again, it depends on space’s situation. 

They can still wear off if maintenance is not ensured. The floor itself may even have chemical compounds that may impact the flooring so you also have to be careful about this. 

Cost

The cost matters too, always. It is always a gamble to invest in floorings. Just because you choose the most expensive ones would not mean that you will have it for the long haul in the same way that opting for a cheaper one would mean that it will fall off easily. For this consideration, you have to reflect on the three aforementioned considerations. 

Color and style

For most of us, this one might be the first consideration to have in mind. The good thing is, we could always experiment on what colors to incorporate per room. And since flooring types come in all colors and styles, we cannot fall short on this consideration. 

However, just because it is visually appealing for you would mean that it would complement the room well. You need massive narrowing down here and it pays to have a lot of choices when it comes to this. 

Other than these, you also have to understand that you are not required to have one type of flooring for the entire home. The floor needs to complement the rooms in the house and each room may have different foot-traffic levels so that is one thing to consider. 

Where to buy home flooring

To start with your flooring window shopping or for your actual canvassing, here are the stores (including online stores that deliver anywhere in the country) that you should be checking out now. 

  • Lowe’s
  • Home Depot
  • Floors USA
  • Flooring Liquidators
  • Floors Unlimited
  • Great Floors
  • Floors To Your Home
  • Wayfair
  • Build Direct
  • Overstock

If you are interested in the best stores to buy home flooring per state, here is a comprehensive outline from House Beautiful. But as have been mentioned, there are also reputable online stores for floorings so just weigh where you could get the best deals from this list. 

FAQs about types of flooring

Aside from the types of flooring, there are still essential things that you should be on the lookout for before choosing one. Here are some valuable FAQs that will help you in sourcing out the best type of flooring for your home. 

What is the most durable type of flooring?

Of the types of flooring, six emerged as the most durable type of flooring. These would be hardwood, laminated, cork, bamboo, vinyl, and tile. Of the six, tile is considered the most durable of all. It is considered as such because it is not prone to dents, scratches, and the peril of over-moisture, unlike wood floorings. It is easier to maintain too. 

Note that durability is associated with tear and wear rate, longevity, and also maintenance requirements. Hardwood is prone to moisture, laminated, bamboo, cork and vinyl are prone to scratches and dents. So is ceramic tile but compared to these, it is way more durable. 

What is the least expensive flooring?

If you are looking for budget-friendly floorings that are versatile to use in any part of the home, you should be on the lookout for laminate, vinyl, cork, ceramic tile, and linoleum flooring. Of these mentioned flooring types, vinyl flooring would be the cheapest followed by laminated. 

Vinyl strips start at half a dollar up, planks start at $2 and sheets start at $3. Laminated flooring on the other hand starts at $2 and generally does not go higher than $8. Some flooring types also start at half a dollar up but they typically involve labor costs for installation (like ceramic tiles, polished concrete, and others) which adds to their overall price. 

What is the latest trend in flooring?

With the onset of modern homes and modern designs, the following are the top choices or the latest trend in flooring. 

  • Wood-like tile flooring
  • Marble looking porcelain tiles
  • Granite tiles
  • Vinyl plank flooring (waterproof)
  • Terrazzo
  • Graphic tiles
  • Slip-resistant tile flooring
  • Stained concrete
  • Re-engineered wood

Fun-fact, like in fashion, flooring trends change every year. For this year, light brown or pale wood colors are the most trendy. Cooler tones like in granite tiles and marble tiles are also very popular this year. Of course, the classic dark hardwood will always be in. Some styles are evergreens, like ceramic tiles and wooden planks. These will always be trendy no matter what year it is.

What is the best low maintenance flooring?

By low-maintenance we mean flooring types that do not need regular sealing, everyday cleaning and are good for moderate to high-traffic areas without fear of chipping, dents, and scratches. For this category, the three, best low-maintenance flooring are vinyl tiles, engineered hardwood, and ceramic tile. Of the three, ceramic tile is the cheapest to maintain. 

Ceramic tiles are easy to clean. It does not need special cleaning solutions like that of hardwoods and other solid wood floorings. It just needs regular wet mopping and brooming since the dirt and dust tend to accumulate in the grout area. 

What color flooring hides dirt?

This question actually depends on the type of material used for your flooring. Just because the color is dark would not mean the dirt on the floor would be automatically hidden. When the dust piles up, it will still be visible on the flooring. It’s still highly recommended to maintain the cleanliness of the home regularly.

For some wood and vinyl floorings, the medium color between the lightest and darkest colors would be perfect in hiding dirt. For hardwood floors (including engineered wood), a satin finish is the best fit for hiding dirt. For tiles, colored ones or those with patterns will be good in hiding dirt. 

What type of flooring is best for dogs?

The best flooring for dogs is said to be vinyl. Aside from being cheaper than most, it is also waterproof and not prone to dents and scratches which is perfect for very active pets like dogs. It is also stain-proof, easy to maintain, and very comfortable for pawed pets. 

Runner-ups for the best flooring for dogs would be ceramic tile and engineered hardwood floors because of their durability. However, hardwood floors can get worn out from your dog’s nail scratches. Carpets of course are not even a choice when you have dogs.

What is the best type of flooring for the kitchen?

The kitchen can be both low-traffic and high-traffic. For this reason, you have to choose versatile floorings that could handle foot traffic and would not dent or be scratched easily. The best (and cheapest) type of flooring for the kitchen would be cork, ceramic tile, laminate, and vinyl floorings. Polished concrete and stone tiles will also make beautiful floorings for outdoor kitchens or dirty kitchens.  

These choices are beautiful with many styles, colors, and patterns to choose from and are very versatile and durable in their own right. They are cheap choices too so it is a go for the money. If you love to cook, you should add more thought to your kitchen flooring because the style and quality of your kitchen floor can also affect the way you work in the kitchen.

Conclusion

Choosing your home flooring is as important as building the house itself. Floorings can also be considered as the heart and soul of the home because they spell comfort, ease, and home aesthetics. It is also important to decide on the flooring wisely because changing it in the future can be both expensive and time-consuming. When planning on building a home, you should choose the flooring that will last long and best suit your lifestyle.

The things to consider in choosing the best type of flooring should be practicality, color, and maintenance. Of course, the budget and personal preferences will follow in the decision-making process. With all things considered, this post aims to be a helpful guide in your flooring choice. 

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