Types of Flooring
The following list, while not exhaustive, should put you on track to finding the ideal flooring material.
If not for the fact that hardwood flooring is one of the more expensive options, you’d be hard pressed to find a homeowner who wouldn’t enjoy the warm, natural beauty of real wood. Deciding to go with hardwood, however, is just the first of many decisions. Wood floors are available in numerous species, each with a unique color and grain pattern, as well as a variety of widths, thicknesses, and finishes. Choose a sustainably harvested wood if you’re concerned with Green building practices.
Homeowners who want the look of hardwood floors but are facing budgetary constraints should consider engineered wood. It’s important to clarify that engineered flooring is made from real wood. The difference is that hardwood planks are constructed from a single, solid piece of wood, while engineered floors contain layers of wood products pressed together. Most engineered flooring is indistinguishable from real wood, however, and it actually provides better performance.
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Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic is one of humanity’s oldest and most reliable building materials. Basic, unglazed ceramic tiles are an economic flooring option, while a glaze can add non-slip properties and a high gloss or matte finish (not to mention a higher price tag). Homeowners with a larger budget might opt for porcelain tiles, which are similar in appearance to ceramic but offer better durability and performance. Both ceramic and porcelain are available in a broad color palette.
A combination of affordability, durability, and versatility make linoleum a perennial favorite for new flooring projects. Lasting up to 50 years and sold in a virtually limitless array of colors and patterns, linoleum is also a “green” flooring product, as it’s made with all-natural ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a more modern flooring choice or something that matches your home’s historic decor, linoleum fits the bill, and the installation bill will leave you with money to spare.
Perhaps best known as an affordable and low-maintenance siding material, these same characteristics are what make vinyl an excellent choice for floors. Often confused with linoleum, vinyl is a synthetic product made primarily from plastic resins. It is sold in sheets and tiles, comes in a wide range of colors, and can be installed in numerous ways, including directly over your old floors. Vinyl flooring durability and comfort are above average, while costs are below average.
- Hardwood flooring costs start at $5 to $10 per square foot installed but may be as high as $15 to $25 per square foot installed.
- For engineered wood flooring, expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $20 per square foot installed.
- You might pay as little as $5 per square foot installed for ceramic tiles and as much as $25 or more per square foot installed. Porcelain tiles cost roughly $10 to $30 per square foot installed.
- Linoleum costs $3 to $6 per square foot installed.
- Vinyl flooring costs $2 to $7 per square foot installed.
- Note that actual costs may vary depending on regional labor and material prices, home layout, the amount of prep work required, and other factors.