Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Home

Flooring is a significant investment, so it’s important to choose wisely. CR engineers rate floor materials by their resistance to moisture and durability. From small-format hex tiles to faux reclaimed barnwood, there are many stylish and durable options for every room in the house.

Consider the comfort level of each material underfoot and how easy it is to clean, especially for rooms where people spend long periods standing. Also think about potential allergens and VOC emissions. For more information, click the link provided to proceed.



Tile is often associated with a kitchen backsplash or bath, but this versatile material can be used throughout the home. It is available in a range of colors, shapes and sizes, creating a unique look that’s both beautiful and durable.

While ceramic tile is a popular option, there are also natural stone and even glass tiles to consider. All of these materials have the same basic makeup: a hard-wearing coating over a substrate like clay or rock. The thickness and composition of the tile, along with how it is fired in a kiln, determines its strength. The higher the firing temperature, the stronger and more durable the tile.

Unlike carpet, tile floors don’t release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air when they are cleaned or in use, making it a healthier flooring choice. The hard surface doesn’t harbor dust, pollen and other allergens as easily either, so it is a good choice for entryways and other places where people frequently track in dirt.

With its durability and timeless beauty, many homeowners find tile flooring to be a good long-term investment for their homes. In fact, if properly installed and regularly maintained, it can last for 20 years or more.

As with wall tiles, floor tiles come in a wide variety of colors, patterns and shapes. They can be made to look like stone, wood, brick or a combination of these and other materials. In addition, there are large-format options for a more modern look as well as small-scale penny rounds and mosaic tiles that offer an artistic element to the room.

While tile can be a DIY project, most types of tile are heavy and require a strong floor structure to avoid cracking or breaking. Professional installers are recommended, particularly for high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms or when using a more delicate material like natural stone. For maximum durability, it is important to select a tile with a rating of Class 1 or greater for floors and Class IV or greater for walls. This ensures that the tile is designed to hold up to heavy foot traffic and other forms of wear and tear.


Carpet is a soft floor covering that provides warmth and texture to a room. It is a popular choice for family rooms and bedrooms, and can be purchased in many different colors and materials to suit a home’s design aesthetic. When selecting carpet, it is important to consider its lifespan and maintenance requirements. Regular vacuuming and professional cleaning can help extend its lifespan.

Carpets can be woven from natural fibers such as wool or synthetic blends. Wool is naturally hypoallergenic and free of manufacturing VOCs, making it an ideal option for people sensitive to these substances. It is also durable and can be re-tufted, which means that damaged areas of a carpet can be repaired without removing the entire floor.

When choosing carpet, the most common type is loop pile. This style has both cut and uncut fibers, causing height and texture variations. The fibers in this type of carpet are twisted and kinked, which helps hide dirt and marks. This carpet is very durable and suitable for high traffic areas, as it is designed to stand up to foot traffic.

Another type of carpet is Berber. This type has the same construction as loop pile carpet, but it is made from a much cheaper material, such as olefin. Berber carpet is durable and offers a warm feel underfoot. It is often used in commercial spaces, as it can absorb sound and reduce the level of noise from the movement of people around the space.

The style of a carpet can influence its appearance and comfort, as well as how easily it can be maintained. For example, patterns in a carpet can hide dirt and vacuum marks, making it easier to keep the carpet clean and looking new.

Carpet can be a great choice for homes with children, as it is easy to play on and can protect against falls. In addition, it can add a cozy feel to a space and help to regulate temperature. However, carpet can be difficult to maintain and may not be as long-lasting as other types of flooring, such as laminate.


Solid wood flooring adds natural beauty and a warm, traditional feel to any home. While there are a few limitations to using this material such as its susceptibility to temperature and humidity changes, it remains a popular choice among homeowners that want to add value to their home as well as enjoy the look, feel and aroma of hardwood floors.

Hardwood is available in a wide variety of colors, cuts and species. The most common types of domestic hardwoods include oak, cherry and maple. Other choices are hickory, walnut and ash. Hardwood flooring is also available prefinished, which reduces installation time and provides a long-lasting, beautiful finish.

Wood floor finishes are also available in a variety of gloss levels. High gloss floors reflect a lot of light and provide a very shiny surface that catches the eye. While this is a beautiful option, it can also show dust and debris more easily than lower sheen floors.

There are three main styles of wood flooring to choose from; strip, plank and herringbone. Strip flooring consists of narrow strips of wood, usually 2 1/4” to 3”. This style is most often used in contemporary or linear design. Plank wood floors are wider and can be used to create a traditional, rustic or country design. Herringbone wood floors use wood pieces in a crisscross pattern to give the appearance of a woven rug.

Wood flooring is also available in a wide variety of grain patterns and textures. The grain pattern will affect the final look of a floor and may determine what design style it works best with. The texture of wood will also impact its durability. Harder woods like hickory and oak are more durable than soft pine or soft maple and can withstand heavier foot traffic.

The Janka hardness rating is a good indicator of how well wood will hold up to wear and tear. The higher the rating, the harder and more durable the wood. Hardwood floors can be refinished and resanded multiple times, but care must be taken with thinner profiles to prevent the wood from cupping (which causes the edges of planks to curl up). A soft type of wood such as pine is softer and more difficult to work with.


Laminate is an affordable synthetic flooring product designed to replicate the appearance of hardwood floors. It has become one of the most popular flooring options for homes and businesses. It is constructed of several layers to provide dimensional stability and is highly water-resistant and durable.

It is a good idea to keep laminate clean, as dust, dirt and sand particles can scratch the surface over time. Using a broom and vacuum cleaner will help to reduce this problem. Adhesive felt pads can also be placed under furniture to prevent scratching. It is important to wipe up spills immediately, as sitting water/moisture will damage the laminate.

The core or base of a laminate floor is manufactured from wood byproducts and bonded with resins. This material is glued to a design layer which contains a high-resolution image of natural materials like wood, stone or other composites. A transparent protective plastic layer is then added to the top of the design layer.

Laminate can be used in most areas of a home or business. It is a great choice for kitchens, bathrooms and other areas that are susceptible to moisture. Laminate is also a good option for rooms with a lot of sunlight, as it can resist fade from the sun’s UV rays.

Some manufacturers offer a variety of accessories to complement and enhance the look of your laminate flooring. For example, they may provide trim pieces, such as quarter rounds, T-mouldings and reducers to match your flooring. Some manufacturers may also include matching stair treads.

When deciding on which type of laminate to purchase, consider the color and pattern you want for your room. Light colors will brighten your space and make it look larger, while dark or stone texture laminates can add a more rustic feel. For homes with pets, it is a good idea to choose a stain resistant laminate to protect the floor from scratches and stains.

Laminate can be installed quickly and easily, utilizing a tongue-and-groove or click-lock technology. It can be laid on a subfloor, though it is recommended to put down an underlayment of foam, felt or fiber before installing your laminate flooring. The underlayment will also soften the sound of footsteps, making your floors more comfortable for you and your guests.