If you are buying a new property or looking to renovate, there are pros and cons for the different flooring types available.
Here, we take a look at some of them because quality flooring helps make your home a more pleasant place to spend time, though some owners will have trepidation about renovating their floor space.
The other issue when it comes to replacing floors is that many of us are confused about what we should put down and there’s a wider range of choice than just using carpet, the traditional floor covering in the UK. Also, undertaking a project does not have to be arduous or expensive.
With a low budget and very little work, you can turn eventhe ugliest of floors into something more striking and modern.
Indeed, the availability of coverings means there is a lot to consider and, along with carpet, there’s laminate flooring, vinyl, wood, stone tiles, porcelain tiles, and rubber flooring among them.
Along with the growing choice available, flooring manufacturers have become more creative and it may be worth considering hiring a professional floorer who will have the expertise to make your chosen surface an impressive and welcoming sight.
The various types of flooring available
So, in no particular order, let’s have a look at the varioustypes of flooring available.
The pros of and cons of using carpet
Traditionally, everyone’s room in a home was carpeted. And though carpet can be a great choice for a living room, it may not be the best option for a bathroom that may become wet on a regular basis.
There’s also a wide range of styles, sizes, colours, as wellas patterns to choose from to make them a sound choice.
Pros of installing carpet
- They help reduce noise;
- Are an effective heat insulator;
- Deliver a cosy and warm feeling to the look and style of a home;
- Available in a wide range of budgets so you can get a style that is inexpensive to stretch between the walls.
Cons of installing carpet
- Downsides include not being durable and if there is a lot of foot traffic, then they are susceptible to wear and tear;
- They are not the best surface when dealing with spills and stains, particularly if you have youngsters and toddlers in your home, so cleaning them should be a regular operation.
Usually, a carpet should be vacuumed at least once a week and for a pile carpet, the owners should opt for a deep clean every year. This will help prolong their life and prevent them from looking dirty and worn out.
The pros and cons of using laminate
One of the most popular flooring surfaces in UK homes in recent years has been the installation of laminate. There’s a very good reason for this and it’s because laminate flooring is a quality product at affordable pricing levels.
For those who would like a floor that appears to be madefrom quality real wood or stone, then laminate is for you. The product itselfuses a high-quality image which is then glued onto a layer of composite wood tocreate the laminate.
Pros of using laminate flooring
- Installing laminate is much cheaper and durable then installing real hardwood or stone floors;
- Easy to fit since the laminate flooring simply clicks together so you don’t have to hire professionals as you would do for installing a wooden floor;
- You can recreate the elegant look of stone quite easily and it is a good choice for those homes with pets and children that can be easily cleaned with stains and spills resolved with by a damp mop;
- And because of the materials used, laminate is a tough, hard-wearing choice that is resistant to dents, scratches and heavy knocks.
The cons of installing laminate flooring
- Some may find laminate floors fairly cold in winter and quite hard underfoot;
- There may also be issues with humidity, but regular care of your floor will deliver a long life.
The other issue for those interested in fitting laminate floors is that the cheaper products do look fairly cheap, so it’s worth spending slightly more but this depends on where the laminate will be placed – if it’s in a busy part of your home, for example, then you’ll need quality laminate for this purpose.
The pros and cons of installing vinyl flooring
Vinyl flooring has been a popular choice in the UK’s homes for many years, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms, and is often a cost-effective choice.
However, vinyl has been developed in recent years withparticular advances in the patterns and bright colours and you can buy vinylthat resembles wood. It’s also possible to buy vinyl tiles and sheets,depending on your needs.
The pros of installing vinyl
- Along with being easy to clean, vinyl flooring resists water and will remain warm in winter;
- It’s a hard surface to damage and difficult to stain – a mop should deal easily with any spills.
Depending on the vinyl you choose, a quality vinyl floorcovering can deal easily with heavy use and delivers good floor surface option thatcan last many years.
The cons of installing vinyl
While vinyl will meet the needs of most people, you may findit difficult repairing a small section that has been damaged and to maintainits appearance, you may need to replace the entire floor.
The other options for floor surfaces in your home
We mentioned some of the more popular choices when it comesto covering a floor in your home and here’s a rundown of some of the otherpotential ideas for you.
This offers a textured finish and is a child-friendly option that is hygienic, warm underfoot and shock absorbent. Available in bright bold patterns, it’s an ideal choice for family bathrooms and kitchens.
You will need to appreciate that the surface can become slippery when it’s wet, so you should opt for a textured finish and many manufacturers will offer a high slip resistance rating.
There’s also an issue if it becomes damaged because rubber flooring comes as either a single sheet or a tile which is easily replaced, but the sheet may need to be replaced entirely.
Engineered wood flooring
Growing in popularity, engineered wood consists of several layers. The top surface will be a wear layer – this layer will be of higher quality to protect the wood.
This sits above other layers of either plywood or wood and arranged at right angles. It can be pricey for quality engineered wood flooring but it looks attractive and is a great choice for family homes.
Be aware with engineered wood flooring thatyou cannot leave wet towels or mats on the surface and any water should bemopped up immediately. Spillages that are left unattended will spoil thesurface.
Stone flooring remains a popular choice in homes today since the stone tiles deliver an attractive finish and there’s a wide range of options available.
The cons of stone flooring include the fact that since natural stone can be a porous product, it is probably best to consider limestone or marble tiles.
However, it’s always worth checking to see whether the stone flooring has been treated with a protective sealant to help protect it from wear and water issues.
Ceramic tiles and porcelain
We’ve added these under one heading though they are not the same material. Porcelain consists of dense clay that has been fired for longer and at a much higher temperature than ceramic tiles so it is a less porous and hardy material to work with.
For ceramic tiles, the colour and pattern are usually fired as the surface layer where porcelain tiles will be coloured throughout. The tiles tend to be lightweight and will be uniform in size and are easy to work with.
They’re not only easy to clean, but also resistant to stains and are impervious to water. They are obviously very hard wearing and will deliver years of use even in a busy household.
The cons of porcelain and ceramic tile: beaware that highly polished porcelain can be slippery when wet so are not thebest choice for bathrooms. Remember too that the tiles will need grouting andyou need to maintain this which may not be the best choice for those who wantto live in a low maintenance property.
Essentially, when it comes to the pros and cons of the different flooring types, you will want to be meeting your budget requirements and also the aesthetics of how you want your home to look.
The ongoing maintenance of your chosen surface should also be a consideration but the bottom line is to balance any design or redecoration ideas with the impact that a striking looking floor will bring to the project.
What type of flooring will last the longest? ›
Porcelain and ceramic are some of the longest lasting flooring materials available, and they require little maintenance. Tile flooring is also moisture resistant, making it the perfect choice for areas where spills are common like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.What type of flooring is best for home value? ›
You may have already guessed it, but the floor with the highest resale value is hardwood. Since hardwood is always in demand, it is an easy choice to up level your home.What type of flooring is easiest to maintain? ›
Vinyl flooring is probably the easiest to clean out of all the options listed here and also one of the easiest to maintain. Also known as Cushion Floor, vinyl flooring is available at a good price and can take plenty of wear over the years, which is why many will come with a 15 year warrantee.What is the trend for flooring in 2022? ›
Without a doubt, the number one flooring trend of 2022 is natural and raw-looking flooring. 2022 will see a rise in neutral colors and patterns moving back toward more raw and natural-looking materials. Natural-looking floors create the perfect backdrop for any room and help balance your space.What is the most popular flooring today? ›
Luxury vinyl has become our most popular choice for home flooring, and for many good reasons.As mentioned previously its waterproof, low maintenance, resilient, and is one of the most budget-friendly options, too!Which one is better laminate or vinyl? ›
Neither type of flooring is better than the other across all categories. Vinyl flooring is best in high-moisture areas and it's easy to keep clean. Yet laminate flooring offers a wider variety of style choices and has a higher resale value.What color floor shows the least dirt? ›
Light hardwood floors have a distinct advantage here. They tend to show less dirt than dark hardwood floors.Which flooring is scratch proof? ›
CERAMIC AND PORCELAIN TILE
Tile made from ceramic or porcelain is the most scratch-resistant flooring. Ceramic tile is made of fired clay, and it's a hard and durable substance.
There is absolutely no need to change flooring from room to room. We often work with homeowners who feel the urge to pick a different flooring for every room of their home, but there is absolutely no need to do this. Your home will look best if you create one consistent look that travels from room to room.Does laminate flooring devalue a home? ›
Yes, they can. If your current floors are old and falling apart, then almost any flooring is going to increase its value. However, in general, laminate floorings are not going to give you as high an ROI as hardwoods. That doesn't mean that laminate floors aren't worth it.
What is the most waterproof floor? ›
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are great for waterproofing. These are virtually impenetrable and will not let liquids soak in, allowing for easy maintenance and worry-free cleaning. Ultra-durable. Tile is known for being one of the most durable flooring options on the market.What flooring looks cleanest? ›
- Hardwood Makes It Look Easy. The enduring popularity of hardwood floors is for good reason. ...
- Luxury Vinyl Cleans Up Nice. ...
- Carpet Comes Clean. ...
- Laminate = Low-Maintenance. ...
- Need More Flooring Help?
Vinyl flooring is easy to maintain and requires no special care or maintenance. This is another floor covering that would enable you to trash the vacuum, as regular sweeping will be enough to keep your vinyl flooring looking just like new.Should floors be darker or lighter than walls? ›
Many home experts agree that the floor color should be darker than the walls. The rule generally applies because lighter walls and a dark floor make the room seem larger. Most homeowners prefer a spacious looking interior. However, the rule can change with low ceilings.Are dark or light floors in Style 2022? ›
While light-colored floors are beloved for their ability to make a space feel bigger and more open, darker brown hues have become more popular ever since the pandemic hit. “We're seeing a steady trend toward cozier, more nostalgic spaces,” Bacher reveals.What is the most popular wood floor color for 2022? ›
French White Oak continues to dominate the market as the top choice for hardwood floors. This wood has been trending for several years, and is only getting more popular–so it makes sense that it has a place among the top 2022 hardwood flooring trends!What color floors make a room look bigger? ›
1) Light and dark flooring
Think cream carpets, natural and neutral toned tiles and whitewashed wood flooring. These attractive, light and neutral colours give a room an open and airy feel, making it appear larger, whilst also drawing in the natural sunlight from outside.
Late May is another time of year when flooring typically goes on sale. This is a great time of year to purchase some flooring that may not be as popular or desired heading into the hot summer season. Just like the holidays, many providers will bank on people being busy with memorial day trips and obligations.What lasts longer vinyl or laminate? ›
Vinyl also has a longer lifespan and better overall durability than laminate. Although it can last twice as long as laminate, vinyl (especially luxury vinyl) may involve a larger investment upfront. Laminate is a synthetic product that mimics the look of real hardwood.Which is more waterproof vinyl or laminate? ›
These characteristics mean that both vinyl and laminate can be used for dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and offices. However, it should be noted again that while some laminate products are water-resistant, vinyl is completely waterproof.
Can you mop vinyl flooring? ›
First, vacuum or dry mop the floor to remove dust, hair and dirt. Then you're ready to move on to a wet mop and a cleaning solution. Commercial vinyl floor cleaners are available, but you can make a simple, effective cleaner for vinyl floors by mixing apple cider vinegar with water.Is it better to have light or dark floors? ›
Light floors can hide small flaws, dirt, and debris, but anything larger will be very noticeable. Dark floors, on the other hand, can require less maintenance since dirt tends to blend in more –but keep in mind they will still need to be swept often as dust and pet hair shows up easily on dark floors.What color hardwood floor is timeless? ›
White oak floors have been used in homes for many years, proving they won't be going anywhere any time soon. This white oak engineered hardwood floor is a timeless option that showcases the raw beauty and graining of white oak with its light color.What is best floor color? ›
What is the most popular floor color? It's unsurprising to us that the most popular color for floors is grey, and in particular, grey wood, like that shown above. Grey flooring is the ultimate neutral – easy to co-ordinate and color scheme around, dark enough not to show the dirt, and yet pale enough to reflect light.Is there a wood floor that doesn't scratch? ›
Selecting a floor such as Hickory, Hard Maple or White Oak can protect your floor from damage, as these hardwoods are less susceptible to scratches than softer woods like Pine, Cherry or Black Walnut. Hardwoods with more dramatic grain patterns can help to hide scratches more easily.What is the best flooring in a kitchen? ›
Ceramic or Porcelain
One of the most durable, and most popular tile for kitchen floors or walls. Ceramic tiles are man-made from natural materials – in this case, clay – and baked to a finish. They are available in a wide variety of styles, shapes, colors, and patterns.
Neither type of flooring is better than the other across all categories. Vinyl flooring is best in high-moisture areas and it's easy to keep clean. Yet laminate flooring offers a wider variety of style choices and has a higher resale value.Which type of flooring is cheapest? ›
- Vinyl. Vinyl flooring comes in sheets, tiles, and planks and is predominately manufactured with PVC, resulting in durable, waterproof flooring that can be installed anywhere in your home. ...
- Sheet Vinyl. ...
- Plank Vinyl. ...
- Laminate. ...
- Cork. ...
- Carpet. ...
- Tile. ...
- Refinish Your Floors.
The disadvantages of vinyl floors
Can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Shorter lifespan than wood floors. No impact, or negative impact, on home resale value. Difficult to remove, especially if adhesive is used during installation.
Problems include crumpling at the edges, as the adhesive has loosened, or, as in case of LVT, problems with abatement chemicals which can react adversely with these flooring materials. If you are installing click-lock vinyl planks, uneven substrate can lead to lifting of the flooring's edges and joints.
Which is more waterproof laminate or vinyl? ›
These characteristics mean that both vinyl and laminate can be used for dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and offices. However, it should be noted again that while some laminate products are water-resistant, vinyl is completely waterproof.Can you put a toilet on laminate flooring? ›
If you're installing a new floor, pedestal sink, and toilet, you should install the laminate flooring first so it's under the sink and toilet. Because laminate flooring floats above the sub-floor on top of underlayment, it will expand and contract slightly with the temperature and humidity of the room.What flooring holds up best with dogs? ›
- Tile. Tile is a timeless option that has frequently been a go-to choice for pet owners. ...
- Luxury Vinyl. Vinyl flooring is durable, cost-effective and waterproof, making it an excellent choice for dog owners. ...
- Laminate. ...
- Engineered Hardwood. ...
- Bamboo. ...
There is absolutely no need to change flooring from room to room. We often work with homeowners who feel the urge to pick a different flooring for every room of their home, but there is absolutely no need to do this. Your home will look best if you create one consistent look that travels from room to room.What color flooring shows the least dirt? ›
Light hardwood floors have a distinct advantage here. They tend to show less dirt than dark hardwood floors.What is the most durable flooring that looks like wood? ›
Luxury vinyl is also highly durable and affordable, making it one of the best wood-look alternatives on the market. And when it comes to variety of color, luxury vinyl also provides a great range of light to dark faux-wood options to choose from.What is cheaper laminate or vinyl? ›
Most laminate flooring can be purchased for about $1-5 per square foot. The price will depend on the thickness of your flooring materials and the design styles you choose. Vinyl floors start at around $1 per square foot for simple glue-down sheet vinyl. Prices can reach up to $5 per square foot for luxury vinyl planks.Is it cheaper to lay carpet or vinyl? ›
Cost is comparable when weighing vinyl vs. carpet. Carpet costs on average $3-4 per square foot, but has been known to increase to $4.50-5.50 per square foot when installation is factored in. Luxury vinyl can be priced from $2-$5 per square foot including the cost of installation for commercial products.