Which Home Flooring Material is Best for You?

Finding the right home flooring for you and your family can be a challenge. While hardwood flooring is often sold as the best option for any homeowner, the truth is that for some people–hardwood flooring isn’t the best fit. For people who have pets or kids, laminate flooring or vinyl flooring might be the better way to go. Want to understand more so you can pick the best home flooring option for you? Here are a few things to consider when deciding between three common flooring types: hardwood, vinyl and laminate.


Hardwood Flooring

Hands down, hardwood flooring is probably the most sought-after home flooring material. And for good reason. Hardwood floors are elegant and durable. Unlike laminate flooring or vinyl flooring, you can also refinish hardwood floors—giving you the opportunity to repair any major dings or even change out the color. Refinishing hardwood flooring, however, is neither easy nor cheap.


With that in mind, hardwood flooring may not be the best option for you if you have pets or young children. They are also not ideal in areas that are prone to flooding. This is because water can cause more long-term damage on hardwood floors—the type of damage that typically can’t be cleaned or sanded over. Instead, you’ll likely have to lift the damaged boards and replace them.


Hardwood flooring is also prone to scratching. These scratches can be caused by something as small as your dog’s claws pitter-pattering when they walk. It’s also worth noting that, since it’s slippery—hardwood flooring might also not be your dog’s first choice. This is especially true for more senior dogs who may experience joint or hip issues as a result of walking on a hard and slippery surface.


In spite of these drawbacks, however, many homeowners still prefer the look of hardwood floors. And since this is the case, they will often offer the most return on your investment.


Pros of Hardwood Floors

  • Attractive, classic option with good return on investment
  • Refinishable, so you can repair or recolor in the future


Cons of Hardwood Floors

  • Refinishing and maintaining can be expensive
  • Not water resistant
  • Prone to scratching


Laminate Flooring

For many people, it’s hard to get over the horror of what laminate flooring used to be. This is probably the biggest drawback with laminate floors. Scratch-resistant, durable, and now made to resist fading—it’s safe to say that laminate flooring has come a long way. Laminate flooring is easy to clean and maintain and there are plenty of styles and colors to choose from.


Where laminate flooring seems to lack, however, is in the looks department. Despite many different style options, laminate flooring doesn’t seem to add the same level of luxury that hardwood flooring adds to a home. And while laminate floors can be very budget-friendly, they aren’t eco-friendly.


Pros of Laminate Floors

  • Durable, scratch resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Safe for more water prone areas


Cons of Laminate Floors

  • Can fade, though modern floors are fade resistant
  • Not as elevated of a finish as hardwood
  • Not eco-friendly


Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring also has a not so pretty history, but like laminate flooring—it’s come a pretty long way. With the same scratch resistance as laminate flooring and easy-to-clean features, vinyl flooring tends to have a more elevated appearance. And you can also buy higher quality vinyl flooring or mix a hardwood surface with vinyl backing.


Another great feature of vinyl flooring is that it can be eco-friendly. And if you’re a DIY-er, installing vinyl flooring might be easier than the other two. Especially if you buy the floating type, which doesn’t require glue or foam underlayment.


Pros of Vinyl Floors

  • Durable, scratch resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Safe for more water prone areas
  • Easier to install
  • Come in more elevated finishes like hardwood surfaces


Cons of Vinyl Floors

  • Not as elevated of a finish as hardwood
  • May be more expensive versus laminate


It’s important to find the right home flooring for your needs, especially if you’re buying a new construction home that gives you options. Need even more tips for buying a new home? Or looking for first-time homebuyer advice? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.



Contributed to Your Home blog

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Published 12.14.2021

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