Pros and Cons of Different Flooring Types
Choosing the right type of flooring for your home is an important decision for both new homeowners and those preparing for a remodel or flooring upgrade. There are many different types and styles of flooring materials, and each has its various advantages and disadvantages depending on usage and placement in your home. Modernize created this guide to cover the pros and cons of different types of flooring so you can narrow down your choices when picking out new flooring. We have covered four main types of flooring, along with their pros and cons, to help you make more informed decisions when planning for a flooring upgrade.
Pros and Cons of 4 Different Types of Flooring
These are many different types of flooring homeowners can choose from today. Some of the most popular types for flooring installations include carpet, tile, hardwood, and laminate. The best choice for your home depends on your style, comfort, and budget preferences, as well as which room of your home you are updating. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each of these flooring types.
Carpet can either be a neutral design feature or bold and stylish reflection of your personal tastes. There are literally thousands of different carpet styles, colors and textures from which to choose. Carpet also offers a host of benefits versus few drawbacks.
- Pros: Carpet acts as a natural air filter by trapping dust, pollen, dander and other particulates from the air. Of course, you have to regularly vacuum your carpet to completely remove these harmful allergens from your home. Thick carpet over a heavy padding also provides unmatched comfort — it is not much fun lying down on hardwood or tile. Carpet also dampens noise and blocks sound from traveling between the floors of multi-story residences. It also can be much less expensive than other types of flooring.
- Cons: Even the best carpet will show wear in high use areas over time. Carpet requires regular maintenance, but steam cleaning can leave fibers hard and matted. Carpet and carpet pad also can absorb stains that can be difficult or impossible to remove.
Tile has been used for thousands of years to add beauty and style that complements any interior design. Tile is a hugely popular flooring choice for high-traffic areas such as hallways, entryways, kitchens and bathrooms for a variety of reasons. It offers numerous benefits versus very few drawbacks.
- Pros: Tile flooring has a nearly unmatched lifespan — it is extremely durable and will look the same a decade after installation. It offers perhaps the widest variety of design choices of any flooring type. Tile is simple to clean, it is water resistant, and it can be used with radiant heat systems to create a cozy heated floor.
- Cons: Tile typically does not hold heat well, so it can get cold during winter months (a benefit in summer months, though). Professional installation also can be quite expensive compared to other types of flooring. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are very hard, which makes it uncomfortable for sitting or playing. Tile is popular in kitchens, but breakables that are accidentally dropped on tile floors are likely to shatter.
With countless hardwood types, colors, grain patterns, textures and designs, hardwood flooring adds flair to any room in the house. The natural beauty of hardwood floors radiate an inviting warmth that also speaks to comfort and timeless elegance.
- Pros: Hardwood is durable and easy to clean. It is also hypoallergenic — it doesn’t trap dust, dander and other particulates. Variety is a big plus — it is easy to find a wood species, grain pattern or color that fits your style. Many styles of hardwood flooring also have never fallen out of fashion.
- Cons: Cost can be a detriment depending upon the type of hardwood flooring you choose. Installation also can take a lot of time versus carpet or laminates. Wood can be prone to scratching, scuffing or similar damage in high-traffic areas, and it’s also susceptible to water damage. Lastly, wood floors do require a bit of routine maintenance to enhance its luster and sheen.
Laminate flooring straddles the line between cost and quality. It is typically much less expensive than real hardwood flooring, yet higher-end laminate products offer comparable quality. Laminate flooring, which is manufactured using layers of material pressed together under high heat and pressure, can look indistinguishable from natural wood products.
- Pros: Installation is fairly simple since planks typically aren’t nailed in place. Styles are nearly limitless. There are likely many options that work for your home’s décor — today’s laminate flooring products mimic wood, stone, tile and even concrete.
- Cons: Laminate can be a bit more slippery than hardwood flooring, especially when wet. Some laminate materials are quite strong and seem nearly impervious to everyday wear, while others show scratches and dings much easier. Over time, the “visual layer” of laminate flooring that’s designed to imitate a real wood surface can fade. Lastly, laminate products can’t be sanded and refinished like wood flooring. The best way to avoid potential issues with laminates is to purchase the highest-quality flooring — and then prices usually rival that of natural hardwood flooring.
Most homes have multiple types of flooring since usage varies by room and location. It is common to have a mix of carpet, hardwood, tile or laminate throughout a home. It is important to consider how the flooring will be used when picking out new flooring for your home. You want to be sure to choose the right material in the right places, since certain flooring materials work better than others in the most-used areas of the home.
How to Find a Reliable Flooring Contractor
We have covered the basics, but chances are you still have a lot of questions about the best types of flooring for your remodel project. A good flooring contractor will be able to answer any questions you have as well as accurately determine total square footage, cost and other key aspects of the job. Use the free Modernize Contractor Checklist to help you find a reliable flooring contractor in your area.
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