Flooring Options

Written by: Daniel Kassebaum
Customer Care Expert- Project Manager and Flooring expert!
(800) 375-3403

Choosing flooring is a design decision that can drastically change the look and feel of your home. I put together some tips to help choose the best flooring type, whether it's hardwood, laminate, tile or vinyl, see which one will fit both your needs and your budget.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring consists of both hardwood and laminate flooring options. While many people want the look and character of wood, but want to keep their budgets at bay, laminate flooring has been a comparable option. For those who want the appeal of real wood, you can choose from solid or engineered, but these will need larger budgets.

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood floors are made up of one solid piece of wood that have tongue and groove sides. Solid wood floors are sensitive to moisture and is not recommended for installation below ground level or directly over a concrete slab.  One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times.

solid wood cross section

Details

  • Price: $3 - $12 / sq ft
  • Quality: 4 of 5
  • Look: 5 of 5
  • Durability: 3 of 5
  • Maintenance: High
  • Installation: Professional Recommended
  • Room Recommendations:
    Kitchen, Most Living Areas

Pros

  • Beautiful, warm, timeless look
  • Increases home value
  • Lasts longer and repairs easily

Cons

  • Susceptible to water damage
  • Darkens with age
  • More expensive
  • More prone to dents and scratching
  • Requires more maintenance
Solid Hardwood Room Shot

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is constructed with a layer of wood veneer glued and heat pressed to plywood. These layers are stacked on top of each other with each layer facing perpendicular to each other. By design, engineered hardwood becomes less susceptible to the effects of moisture and temperature fluctuations. If you want hardwood floors in your basement or on top of concrete slab, engineered wood floors are your best option. Moisture barriers over concrete is always recommended.

engineered wood cross section

Details

  • Price: $2 - $10 / sq ft
  • Quality: 4 of 5
  • Look: 4 of 5
  • Durability: 4 of 5
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Installation: Professional Recommended
  • Room Recommendations:
    Kitchen, Basement, Most Living Areas
  • Installation Types:
    Stapled down, nailed down, glued to concrete or floated
  • Environmentally Friendly Option

Pros

  • Looks great
  • Timeless look
  • Increases home value
  • Lasts longer and repairs easily
  • Can be glued directly to concrete
  • Durable

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Requires more maintenance
  • More prone to scratching, but easier to fix
Engineered Hardwood Room Shot

Laminate Flooring

Wood laminate is composed of four main parts: the wear layer, a printed image of a wood plank, the core layer and a stabilizing layer. The best quality laminates use a process called "embossing in register," where the texture pattern follows the grain in the image, creating an even more realistic look and feel. Laminate is a great choice for the do-it-yourselfers out there.

laminate cross section

Details

  • Price: $1 - $8 / sq ft
  • Quality: 3 of 5
  • Look: 2 of 5
  • Durability: 4 of 5
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Installation: DIY or Professional
  • Room Recommendations:
    Kitchen, Basement, Most Living Areas

Pros

  • More durable
  • Imitates the look of wood
  • More affordable – material & installation
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • Cannot be refinished if damaged
  • Cheaper versions can look artificial
Wood Laminate Room Shot

Tile Flooring

Tile is typically made from either durable ceramic, porcelain or stone. A tile floor offers flexibility in design options through the use of different shapes, sizes, layout and accent pieces.

tile cross section

Details

  • Price: $1 - $130+ / sq ft
  • Quality: 4 of 5
  • Look: 4 of 5
  • Durability: 5 of 5
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Installation:
    DIY for simple patters and Professional for intricate patterns
  • Room Recommendations:
    Kitchen, Bathroom, Basement, Most Living Areas
  • Healthy Material Option

Pros

  • Wide variety of options
  • Timeless look
  • Increases home value
  • Glazed tiles are moisture and stain-resistant
  • Little cleaning or maintenance
  • Healthier when using non-toxic grout
  • Great for kitchens & baths when sealed

Cons

  • Can be noisy and difficult to repair
  • Can be slippery, especially when wet
  • Can be cold, but radiant flooring works great
Tile Flooring Room Shot

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is made from multiple chemical compounds, such as the material that makes up pvc piping, and is virtually maintenance free. For a very affordable option with a lot of variety, vinyl flooring is a great choice.

vinyl cross section

Details

  • Price: $1 - $8 / sq ft
  • Quality: 2 of 5
  • Look: 1 of 5
  • Durability: 2 of 5
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Installation: DIY or Professional
  • Room Recommendations:
    Kitchen, Bathroom, Basement, Most Living Areas

Pros

  • Inexpensive, durable and quiet
  • Very comfortable to stand on
  • Resistant to dirt and water
  • Little cleaning or maintenance
  • Great for a lot of foot traffic
  • Can be installed directly over a subfloor

Cons

  • Prepping subfloor can be problematic
  • Peel and stick can cause loose tiles
  • Prone to dents and tears
  • Moisture can get into seams leading to mildew or lifting
  • Can dull easily
Vinyl Flooring Room Shot
× Shipping Rates & Methods

The cost to ship items varies by item, shipment and shipping option.

Free Ground Shipping on Orders Over $49 *

Standard ground shipping transit time is 5-7 business days.

Free Freight Shipping on Orders Over $1500 *

Curb side delivery (also called freight or "LTL" shipping) is reserved for large, heavy, or oversized items like chandeliers, bathtubs, shower doors, etc. Items are palletized and loaded onto a large truck for shipment, and delivered to your curb by scheduled appointment. Transit time is 7-10 business days.

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