With the many different flooring types available on the market, it can be hard to choose the best one for your home. This decision is made even harder when you consider how different and varied flooring materials can be in regards to their pros and cons.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular flooring types and clear up these doubts. Some will be better for quick solutions, others are more permanent additions. Some have a better life span, others are cheaper to install. Which way to go?
Hopefully with these detailed pros and cons of flooring types you can make the most informed decision!
“The attitude is very important. Because, your behavior radiates how you feel." – Lou Ferrigno
Pros of hardwood flooring
Long life span. Out of all flooring types, hardwood flooring has the longest life span of all. With proper care it’s expected to go beyond 100 years, greatly surpassing other flooring types. It achieves this because it’s highly resistant and relatively easy to care for.
Beautiful. The look of real hardwood floors is unmatched. As we will see here, other flooring types can simulate this look and this is usually seen as a pro because it just looks so good. Combine that with proper sealing and staining for a timeless look.
Easy to clean. Though maintenance is another story, hardwood floors are easy to clean. Simple sweeping and vacuuming is enough to keep it clean most of the time.
Boost your home’s value. Because of its luxurious status, hardwood flooring greatly increases the value of your home. Take good care of it and if you ever decide to sell, that’s a massive boost in value.
Cons of hardwood flooring
Higher initial investment. Hardwood flooring is one of the most expensive options on the market, only surpassed by more luxurious and less common options like stone and marble. Obviously you get one of the most beautiful and long-lasting flooring types, but the upfront cost is high.
Maintenance. Though not the most expensive in terms of maintenance, hardwood flooring needs regular sealing and staining to retain its luster.
Prone to water damage and scratches. Unsealed wood can absorb water and damage your floor, and scratches are also common on hardwood floors, especially if you have pets in the house. These are far from irreversible, but it’s worth noting.
Pros of laminate flooring
Visual variety. Laminate flooring can be made to resemble wood and other textures, giving it a lot of flexibility and variety when it comes to visual design.
Installation is easy and quick. The process of installing laminate flooring is among the fastest and easiest, making it a great option if you want to solve your flooring problem quickly.
Relatively cheap. Compared to other flooring types, laminate flooring comes quite cheap. Combined with the visual variety it offers, it’s a great budget option.
Cons of laminate flooring
Can’t be refinished. Unlike hardwood or ceramic tiles that can be maintained and repaired to last longer, laminate flooring cannot. Meaning that when it loses its luster, you have no choice but to replace it.
Not recommended in moist environments. Laminate flooring should not be used in bathrooms or other moist environments, as it can absorb moisture and lead to mold growth.
Pros of vinyl flooring
Tons of visual variety. Vinyl flooring shares many similarities with laminate flooring regarding its pros and cons. Vinyl flooring can also be made to resemble many other textures, including that of hardwood flooring.
Affordable. Vinyl flooring is also on the cheaper side when compared to other flooring types, giving it a budget appeal.
Easy to install. Like laminate flooring, vinyl flooring is also fairly easy to install, so much so that many homeowners opt to do it themselves in some cases (though you should still seek professional flooring pros if you’ve never done it before).
Cons of vinyl flooring
Not environmentally-friendly. Though advancements have been made, most vinyl flooring planks are not biodegradable, meaning they will not degrade naturally when disposed of. You should inform yourself about manufacturers to ensure they are using proper materials and if there are biodegradable options available.
Relatively short lifespan. Vinyl flooring is expected to last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, after which it should be replaced. That may be enough for you, but if it sounds too short, maybe consider a different flooring type.
Quality varies wildly. Vinyl flooring comes in different thickness levels which are often tied to their quality. You should consult a flooring professional to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Pros of ceramic tile flooring
Visually varied. Though tiles aren’t usually used to replicate other textures like vinyl and laminate flooring, they still have a wide array of visual styles that are unique to tiles.
Low maintenance. Because they’re so smooth and don’t absorb liquids or debris in their crevices, tiles are super easy to clean with nothing but simple cleaning products.
Highly durable. Ceramic tiles match hardwood flooring in lifespan, with an expectancy of up to 100 years if properly maintained.
Cons of ceramic tile flooring
Installation is time consuming. Installing ceramic tiles isn’t particularly difficult, but it takes quite a bit of time and preparation, making it less than ideal if you’re working on time constraints.
Can be difficult to replace. Though you’re unlikely to replace ceramic tiles if you care for them, the process is very difficult. If a tile breaks, for example, you may have to replace the tiles surrounding it, as well as finding their proper match. This is why most pros recommend purchasing more than you need from the same lot to keep as backup.
Grout is prone to mold growth. The grout in between the tiles can absorb moisture and liquids, making it prone to mold growth. It can also turn dark or yellow over time if not cleaned, making it one of the few maintenance jobs you will have to regularly perform to keep their look.
Pros of carpet flooring
Very comfy. Probably the comfiest of all the options on the list, carpet is great during cold weather or for walking barefoot with no issues.
Slip-resistant. Unlike most flooring types on this list, it’s also slip resistant, making it ideal for homes with children or elders to traverse comfortably.
Sound dampener. An underrated perk of carpet is that it’s a natural sound dampener. Rooms made of only hard surfaces with little furniture will sound echo-y and let much of the sound indoors escape to the outside. Carpet naturally softens this issue.
Cons of carpet flooring
Requires constant cleaning. Carpet accumulates dust and debris like crazy, so it demands constant vacuuming. It’s also not ideal for pets, since they can get it dirty, scratched, or even infested with fleas.
Bad for allergies. Because of the aforementioned issue, carpet is not recommended for people with allergies or any respiratory problems.
Short life span. The typical wear and tear can change this dramatically, but carpets are not expected to last more than 15 years, even with the utmost care. Depending on the material and type of carpet, the lifespan can be as short as 5 years, after which it must be replaced.
Want to know more about flooring types? Get free quotes today from professional flooring contractors in your area and find the answers you need!