As you scrub gravy out of your carpet and vacuum up pie crumbs, you might find yourself wishing for flooring that’s easier to clean. Or, with the weather growing colder by the hour, perhaps you’re dreaming of cozy carpeting to warm your feet.
The type of flooring in your home has a big impact on the look and feel of your home (and on the amount of time you spend cleaning). To help you choose the best flooring for your home and lifestyle, check out these 5 popular flooring types and the pros and cons of each.
It’s cushy and cozy and oh-so-comfy—it’s carpet! If you want a soft surface for your feet, carpet may be the flooring for you. And carpet has come a long way over the years—many options today are stain-resistant and incredibly easy to clean. Another benefit? It provides pretty effective insulation to keep your room warm.
That being said, if you suffer from allergies or have a pet that sheds, you’ll need a good vacuum cleaner and the diligence to run it frequently. The cost to install carpet will vary depending on density and the type of padding, but you can expect to pay an average of $3.50 to $11 per square foot.
Classic hardwood flooring is coveted by many, and if you find a home with existing hardwood, lucky you! Just be sure to treat it with care, wiping up spills immediately and padding the bottoms of chair legs to prevent scratches. Installing new hardwood can get pretty expensive, costing an average of $6-$22 per square foot. If you really want hardwood but don’t want to spend a fortune, you could have it installed in only a small portion of your home—or you could opt for laminate flooring that looks like hardwood but is much more durable.
For low-maintenance flooring that looks like a million bucks but costs way less, consider laminate. Laminate flooring comes in a variety of different styles and can emulate the look of hardwood, tile, and even stone. Its durability makes it perfect for a home with kids or pets. Expect to spend somewhere between $3 and $8 per square foot.
Whether terracotta, porcelain, glazed, or quarry, tile flooring can be an elegant addition to your home. It’s a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to its exceptional moisture resistance. It’s on the pricier end (around $15 to $20 per square foot) and you’ll need to keep a good grout cleaner on hand, but it’s also very durable. And with so many different colors and styles available, you can create something really beautiful and unique!
Vinyl is another great waterproof option, especially for bathrooms. There are two ways to go when it comes to vinyl flooring. If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a quick DIY option, you might opt for sheet vinyl—it comes in a roll, there are a variety of styles to choose from, and it’s pretty easy to install yourself. If you want something more durable and elegant, do a search for “luxury vinyl plank flooring.” Similar to laminate flooring, you can get the look of hardwood or tile for a more affordable price.
To learn more, check out Moving.com's review of different flooring types.