Flooring Types Pros and Cons | Hardwood, Vinyl, Tile, Slate & More
Pros and Cons of Flooring Types Shopping for new flooring can be overwhelming. It’s difficult to decide between so many different
Pros and Cons of Flooring Types
Shopping for new flooring can be overwhelming. It’s difficult to decide between so many different material options, styles and designs. Some flooring options are better than others for specific purposes, and the choice will depend on your taste, budget, lifestyle and current décor. We recommend evaluating all the pros and cons of flooring types before you head to the store to view samples. Use the guide below to make an informed decision.
What Flooring Should You Buy?
In order to fully weigh the pros and cons of flooring types we’re about to explain, make sure you have an answer to each of these questions:
What’s my budget?
The answer to this question will help you narrow down your options.
Where will the floor be installed?
The location of your flooring will limit your options – bathrooms, for example, require moisture-resistant flooring.
How durable do I want the floor to be?
Do you have dogs running around? You might want to shop for durable flooring options that won’t scratch over time.
Do I want the floor to be eco-friendly?
There are many great options for eco-friendly or sustainably sourced flooring materials.
Am I installing it myself?
Some types of flooring require professional installation. Decide who will install it to guide your flooring decision.
Do I want radiant floor heating?
Not all flooring types are compatible with radiant floor heating.
FLOORING TYPES PROS AND CONS
We wish there was a flooring option that checked all the right boxes: affordable, durable, easy to clean, realistic-looking (like wood, slate, etc.) and easy to install. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, but there’s definitely an option that’s best for you!
Flooring manufacturers have subcategories under each flooring material category. For example, in the vinyl flooring category, many manufacturers offer both luxury vinyl flooring and vinyl composite tile. Each type may be slightly different, but the larger categories will be the focus of the following guide. Use it to narrow down your decision, and then get out there and enjoy exploring each type for yourself!
Laminate pros and cons
Commonly confused with vinyl flooring, laminate flooring is made from wood materials. The fiberboard core contains an image of woodgrain printed beneath a transparent wear layer.
ProsInexpensiveEasy to installDurableTypically considered eco-friendlyCompatible with radiant heatingConsCheaper options look and feel fakeLow value for home buyersCan’t be refinishedPhoto patterns are repeated
Hardwood flooring pros and cons
We all know the luxury of hardwood floors. They are made of 100 percent hardwood milled from real lumber.
ProsCan be sanded and refinishedLuxurious look and feelReclaimed options for eco-friendlinessHigh value for home buyersConsExpensiveDifficult DIY installationSusceptible to water damageSome types not very durableIncompatible or, at best, risky with radiant heating
Engineered hardwood pros and cons
This type of flooring contains a real-wood veneer on top of a plywood base layer. This gives it the realistic look and allows more expansion and contraction compared to hardwood.
ProsReal wood look and feelEasier to install than hardwoodHigher value than laminate for home buyersMore eco-friendly than solid woodMany types compatible with radiant heatingAvailable in two formats – one can attach directly to the subfloor or a floating snap-in option which can be installed over any hard surfaceConsNot a DIY job for mostCost similar to real wood floorsCan only be lightly sanded when refinishingSusceptible to water damage
Sheet Vinyl flooring pros and cons
Unlike laminate flooring, sheet vinyl flooring contains no wood materials. It is a 100-percent-synthetic flooring material that checks a lot of the right boxes for homeowners.
ProsAvailable in multiple price rangesEasy to installHighly water resistantEasy to care forConsLike paint, it can off-gas VOCsNot very eco-friendlyDifficult to repairLow value for home buyersCan tear if items are dragged across the surfaceNot recommended with radiant heating
Luxury Vinyl Tile and Plank pros and cons
This is a realistic tile and plank appearance, long lasting and available for residential and commercial spaces.
ProsVery versatile – can be used in virtually any roomRealistic wood plank or stone tile appearanceEasy to maintainGlue down adhesive or floating snap-in optionMany different colors and styles availableLong lastingsuitable for damp or moist environmentsConsIf installed over concrete floor, it can be cold to the touch
Tile flooring pros and cons
Tile has been popular for a long time thanks to its various style options and other benefits.
ProsGreat lookMany colors and styles availableDurableWater resistantEasy to repairEco-friendly optionsCompatible with radiant heatingConsExpensiveDifficult DIY installationSome types prone to cracks or chipsTypically cold to the touch
Carpeting pros and cons
An inexpensive and versatile option, homeowners love carpet for many reasons. Thanks to technology and manufacturers committed to providing a superior product, carpet has come a long way in recent years.
ProsInexpensiveWarmth and softness on your feetGood sound insulationEco-friendly optionsConsLow value for home buyersHolds onto dirt and allergensRequires professional cleaningNot recommended with radiant heatingDifficult to install
Slate and Travertine flooring pros and cons
Slate and travertine are natural flooring materials, which come in different grades and finishes, and discounts are often available for slate that does not perfectly match or isn’t perfectly flat.
ProsDurable and long lastingGood value for home buyersLuxuriousGood color selectionEco-friendlyEasy to repairCompatible with radiant heatThis flooring can be placed anywhere throughout the homeConsExpensiveCold to the touchDifficult DIY installationHeavy (requires sturdy subfloor)Some types require resealingWith a heavy mineral make up, slate can peel
Professional Flooring Installation
Once you’ve found the perfect type of flooring for your home, give Mr. Handyman a call for professional flooring installation. Our experts have years of experience in installing virtually all types of flooring and can even help you decide which type of flooring would be best for your home. Give us a call at 267-882-2601 or request service online.
When the floor is done, keep it clean with regular cleaning services from Molly Maid, our fellow company in the Neighborly network of trusted home service professionals. Molly Maid has been the most trusted name in the cleaning business since 1984!