How to Choose the Best Flooring Options for Your Home
Learn about quality flooring materials and products that are optimal for specific areas of your home.
If the time has come for you to replace your floors – whether it’s because of water damage, wear and tear, or just to upgrade your current ones – there are a number of factors to consider before the installation process. Flooring selections for kitchens provide different needs compared to bathroom flooring options, so it’s important to take into account the types of materials and the purpose they will serve throughout different areas of your home. Your budget will also play a part in your material selection. No matter what you choose, there are numerous options that will meet your needs.
Flooring Options for Different Areas of the Home
Certain flooring materials work better than others in different rooms and parts of a home. Plus, if your home has experienced a fire or significant water damage, you may be thinking about upgrading to more durable flooring materials. Choosing the best flooring will depend on factors such as what the room is used for, how much foot traffic the area experiences and if it has been subjected to fire or water damage. Tile, laminate and vinyl are the best flooring for kitchens and bathrooms, while laminate and solid or engineered wood floors may work best in areas such as living rooms and kitchen/living room combinations. Ceramic tile, stone and concrete are popular in outdoor areas such as patios.
The best flooring for kitchens are durable, water-resistant and can withstand a lot of foot traffic. Tiles are also easy to clean, don’t absorb bacteria or odors and complement any décor. Most kitchens have floor tiles (ceramic, porcelain or stone), laminate or vinyl flooring. Some older homes may have solid hardwood floors in the kitchen, but this type of flooring isn’t as resistant to moisture as laminate or vinyl flooring options, which can be a drawback for a very busy kitchen.
Many of the same types of flooring we mentioned for kitchens are also good choices for high-traffic areas. One of the most commonly used flooring options in homes is carpet. While carpeting isn't necessarily one of the best flooring options for rooms that get a lot of wear and tear, there are some types that are more resilient than others.
- Nylon - The most popular carpet material that’s soft, durable and resistant to stains.
- Polypropylene - Softness similar to nylon, extremely resilient fibers, resistant to shedding, stains and mildew.
- Polyester - Color won't fade much, composed of recycled materials making it eco-friendly and non-allergenic. Polyester may not be the best choice, as it is susceptible to fibers flattening over time from being repeatedly exposed to weight.
- Wool - The softest carpet material, natural and long-lasting. It can be an expensive flooring option and if the quality isn't good, it may be more susceptible to staining. There are manufactured selections that are a combination of wool and synthetic fibers.
WATER DAMAGED AREAS
If you’re replacing an area that has experienced water damage, make sure to choose flooring options that are water-resistant or resilient. While carpet may not be the best choice, if you are replacing water damaged carpet with new carpet, you could opt for polypropylene since it is mildew-resistant or a water-resistant style that doesn’t absorb water because the liquid stays on the surface until it is wiped up.
Bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms are more prone to flooding and water damage since these rooms have sinks, toilets, bathtubs and appliances that use water. Kitchen floor tiles made of marble and ceramic are durable, easy to maintain and tile is a good flooring alternative for homeowners who need a waterproof option. Choose tiles with an unglazed finish for outdoor areas that experience standing water and wet weather.
Vinyl flooring is naturally water resistant, which also makes it resistant to moisture, mold and mildew. Some options are even completely waterproof. Vinyl is sturdy and protects against water damage better than laminate and hardwood flooring, making it an optimal choice for kitchens, bathrooms and areas that may have been water damaged. Laminate, on the other hand, is more susceptible to water damage when moisture is present, so it's not the best flooring for kitchens (unless you install water resistant laminate flooring, which isn't as common as other types of waterproof flooring).
The information and advice contained in this article is intended as a general guide for informational purposes only. It does not take into account your personal situation. While we at Resolve have significant experience and history operating in the home restoration industry and working closely with construction contractors, we are not licensed as a general or specialty contractor. We encourage you to consider the information we’ve provided but urge you not to rely upon it in place of appropriate professional advice from a licensed, experienced construction contractor.