Choosing the Flooring for Your Home

Flooring
Additions and Remodels
Small Projects and Repairs
By Contractors.com Team July 08, 2021

Flooring Options for All Criteria


Every good home needs to have
flooring that is both beautiful and functional. When building a new home or renovating your old one, choosing flooring that is durable, practical, and aesthetically pleasing is the best way to ensure that your living spaces are built to last. 

Ideally, every floor in your home should have flooring that has most of these qualities and will also be low maintenance to keep costs down. But with such an abundance of options, it can be difficult to know which will work best in the room you need it for. From terrazzo to parquet each flooring material will have its benefits and drawbacks, and each will have a function that it is especially well suited for. 

Choosing the right flooring, therefore, requires good research. It also requires a basic understanding of which type of floor works best for which job and setting. 

Best Flooring For Thermal Conduction

Thermal conduction is an important quality in flooring materials for two reasons.

Keeping Things Warm

Firstly, a floor that has good thermal conductivity will keep a house warmer during cold months and cooler during warmer months. This is thanks to the material’s ability to conduct and retain thermal energy much in the same way that a thermos does. A house that has floors with high thermal conductivity ratings is, therefore, a home with good thermal efficiency. Essentially, the most thermally conductive flooring can therefore reduce energy waste and make your home more sustainable

Choosing Flooring that Has Great Thermal Conduction

Choosing Flooring that Has Great Thermal Conduction

Underfloor Heating

The second reason thermal conduction is an important quality is for underfloor heating. A floor that conducts heat well will heat up faster thanks to underfloor heating and will better distribute heat quickly and efficiently. In other words, the more thermal conductivity the material has, the better your underfloor heating system will do its job. By far the best materials for this job are those made of tile or stone. Ceramic, porcelain, flagstone, slate, marble, and also concrete are the most thermally conductive materials on the market. A bonus is that all these materials are quite durable, which makes them great flooring choices if you’re looking for something that can stand up to heavy foot traffic for decades to come. 

The second best choice for high thermal conductive flooring is wood, which is popular for its smooth and natural feel. However, whereas most of the stone flooring options are moisture-resistant, even the toughest hardwood will be sensitive to moisture and warping as the temperature fluctuates. Bamboo flooring may be a more resilient flooring option, but it is quite a bit pricier. 

Reasons Why You Want Your Floors to Have Good Thermal Conductivity

Reasons Why You Want Your Floors to Have Good Thermal Conductivity

Safest Flooring

Safety can mean different things for different flooring types. 

Carpet Flooring

Some types of flooring are slip-resistant which is great if you want a nice space for your tykes to run around in without worrying about them taking a hard fall. You might think that carpets are the ideal solution for this problem since they act as padding to keep clumsy toddlers from getting hurt. This is true, but you’ll need to ensure that a carpet is regularly cleaned so that it does not harbor any mold or toxins. Also, carpets with taller fibers tend to get slippery over time and friction.

What Is the Safest Flooring to Choose

What Is the Safest Flooring to Choose

Tile Flooring

Some floor materials can also harbor toxins in crevices and will need to be cleaned regularly to reduce the risk of exposure to any nasty germs. When it comes to wood flooring, splinters can also be a concern especially if you have aging wood flooring. The best way to counter most of these concerns is to opt for tile. Tiles such as quarry tiles, porcelain tiles, or even ceramic tiles are great options because they eliminate most of these risks. 

Quarry tile is renowned for its anti-slip properties, and virtually all forms of tile have very low absolution rates. This means that they don’t harbor bacteria and don’t stain easily, making them quite easy to clean and maintain. Some forms of tile flooring can last as long as a lifetime and will never splinter. These qualities also make tile flooring the most kid and pet-friendly type of flooring on the market today. 

Laminate Flooring

If you don't want to tear out your existing flooring and you don’t want to deal with carpet stains, laminate flooring is a good way to go. Laminate flooring is scratch-resistant and padded which is ideal for preventing injury during falls. Plus, laminate flooring can be installed over most flooring options except carpeted flooring, making it easy to retrofit your flooring to be more pet and kid-friendly.

Why Laminate Flooring Is One of the Safest Choices

Why Laminate Flooring Is One of the Safest Choices

Best Modern Flooring

While you don’t want form to trump function in your home’s flooring, the look of your flooring is still important. The ground you’ll walk on is a very prominent feature in any home, so we all want our it to look nice as well as have that premium feel underfoot. If you’re aiming for a more contemporary look, or just aching to strip out your 1970s wall-to-wall carpeting and put in something more contemporary, you’ll want to have flooring that reflects the trends of the day. And if you want flooring with a premium look and feel but not a premium price tag, vinyl flooring is the answer. 

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl is a PVC-based material that works as a very versatile material for flooring. It comes in many sizes and types so you don’t have to settle for just plain vinyl sheets. You can get stone-look vinyl flooring for a charming living room, decorative vinyl flooring for a cozy bedroom, or even waterproof vinyl flooring for a bathroom. If you want hardwood flooring, there are vinyl planks that are wood plated and these can look and feel almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Vinyl flooring won’t come with any of the challenges of real wood since it doesn’t degrade from moisture and is very durable. 

Easy Assembly

The panels of vinyl flooring are often designed to easily interlink together making installation quite easy as well. Putting in new vinyl flooring, therefore, becomes an easy and affordable DIY job. When you put all these things together it’s easy to see why vinyl is such a popular choice in home improvement projects throughout the country. 

What Is the Best Flooring for a Contemporary and Practical Touch

What Is the Best Flooring for a Contemporary and Practical Touch

Best Traditional Flooring

Of course, we don’t all want to follow the latest trends. On the contrary, there are many homeowners out there that are far more content to stick to what is tried and true, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Indeed, opting for a more traditional look can leave you with quite an aesthetic that is chic, unique, and retro. We all know how the retro scene is nowadays, so even a traditional aesthetic can end up being paradoxically contemporary. And contrary to popular belief, traditional doesn’t have to be expensive or impractical. We’ve so far only mentioned drawbacks of wood flooring, but it too can be a very practical flooring option. 

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring materials such as oak have nice aesthetic qualities and can impart a lot of warmth and character to a space. Oak is also an exceptionally strong wood, meaning it can last quite a long time given proper maintenance and care. As long as you avoid damaging your hardwood and clean it regularly, it could even last a lifetime. Plus, oak flooring can be pretty affordable starting at just $2.30 per square foot. 

Engineered Hardwood

If you want something really hard you can also check out engineered hardwood which is made up of many layers of wood fibers and veneers which are bound together with glue. The result is a flooring material with a lot of structural rigidity and versatility. Engineered hardwood gives you that traditional hardwood floor look without any of the vulnerabilities of ‘real’ hardwood. It won’t warp due to moisture or temperature changes and won’t be as prone to rot. Engineered hardwood is therefore much easier to maintain, though you still have to try your best to avoid scratches.

The Best Traditional Flooring Options that Are Also In-Vogue

The Best Traditional Flooring Options that Are Also In-Vogue

Best Bathroom Flooring

Bathroom flooring has a tough job. It needs to remain strong, slip-resistant, and mold-resistant in an environment that is constantly getting wet. Every single crevice of every single part of the floor will regularly receive moisture, and will also experience the flexing effects of temperatures constantly rising and falling in the unique ecosystem of your bathroom. This is why you want something that is up to the task. 

Tile Flooring

If your flooring can’t withstand all this stress, it will quickly start to wear out and fall apart. But fret not, because there are a lot of flooring options to choose from if you’re in the market for new bathroom floors. Waterproof vinyl, ceramic tile, porcelain tile, engineered wood, and natural stone are all excellent materials as far as moisture and mold resistance are concerned. The main concern if you’re choosing between these materials is aesthetics, which are of course subjective. Tile floors tend to give your bathroom floor a sleek contemporary look, though some people may not like the hard, cold feel of walking on them. 

What Are Your Floor Options In the Bathroom

What Are Your Floor Options In the Bathroom

Natural Alternatives

Wood and stone flooring can rectify those problems as well as give you a rustic, more organic feel. Both stone tile and engineered wood tend to be more slip-resistant than most tile materials as well, which is always an important concern in a bathroom. At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with any of these materials. With that said, there are some materials you should avoid putting in your bathroom. Solid hardwood, for instance, is very prone to moisture damage. It is technically possible to put hardwood floors in your bathroom, but you’ll need an experienced flooring contractor to fully waterproof it. You should also avoid putting carpeting in your bathroom since carpets retain moisture for a long time and can also harbor mold and mildew. 

Natural Flooring Options for An Organic Feel

Natural Flooring Options for An Organic Feel

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team