We all want floors that look great and don’t break the bank. While aesthetics play a big part in our decision making, sometimes you need to shop for durability over looks. If you live in a busy home, full of children, pets, and entertaining guests, you need a floor that can handle your lifestyle. If you’re thinking about new floors, you’ll definitely want to consider these 4 durable flooring options for your home.
Vinyl has many qualities that make it a great choice for durable flooring. Not only is vinyl inexpensive as compared to many other options, but it also looks great. Vinyl comes in a wide variety of colours and patterns, making it easy to find something to suit your style. It can also be made to look like other materials, such as wood and natural stone.
Vinyl is a great option in high traffic areas, such as hallways and kitchens. Its soft and cushy makeup helps alleviate muscle fatigue if you spend a good amount of time standing and cooking. Vinyl is also great in the kitchen because it is easy to take care of, requiring little more than sweeping and mopping. Be careful after mopping as it can be slippery when wet. Vinyl is also completely waterproof and stain-proof, making it a great option for households with young children.
Depending on the size and layout of the area you are covering, you could run into the issue of exposed seams. The standard width for vinyl flooring is 12 feet. If your space is wider than that, you will be able to see the seams. Not only is this visually unappealing, but an exposed seam could also let water and moisture into the subflooring and trap dirt if the seams aren’t tightly bonded. Be sure to speak with your flooring installation specialist if you are concerned about visible seams.
Vinyl is relatively inexpensive as compared to other flooring materials. You can expect to pay around $2 to $5 per square foot. The installation will cost you about $1 to $2 per square foot.
Hardwood flooring is always a popular choice because of its classic look and high resale value. When well maintained, hardwood flooring can last a very long time, sometimes over 25 years. This will depend on the type of wood you choose, how much traffic it sees, and how well it is maintained over the years.
It’s important to keep in mind that the type of wood you choose will impact its durability. If you are looking for the most durable hardwood floors, then you should consider a hard hardwood such as Brazilian redwood. Softwoods like pine will dent and scratch fairly easily. Be sure to speak to your hardwood flooring specialist about this when choosing the best wood for your home. They will also be able to recommend the best finish for your floors that will aid in their durability.
There are downsides to hardwood flooring, mainly its susceptibility to water damage. If your home floods it’s likely you will have to rip out your wood floors and have them replaced. This is why hardwood floors are not recommended in basements. Hardwood floors are best used in living rooms, kitchens if you have an open concept look, and bedrooms.
When it comes to cost, the kind of wood you choose will greatly impact the cost. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $12 per square foot. The installation cost will depend on how big the space you’re covering is and what kind of wood you are using. Speak to a professional flooring company to get a quote and a better idea of costs.
Some homeowners may be surprised to see that cork has made this list. Cork flooring has a number of great qualities that stand the test of time. Cork is another great choice for the kitchen due to its cushiony material. Not only will it help ease your tired feet, but it is also less likely to break dishes that are dropped onto it. Cork is also slip-resistant so you don’t have to worry about splashes from doing the dishes.
Cork is a great choice for homes that live in fluctuating climates. It absorbs temperatures, meaning it will keep your floors warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As another added benefit, cork is also eco-friendly, made up of natural and recycled materials. These materials give cork its unique appearance, no two floors will look the same.
In order for cork floors to maintain their durability, they will need to be resealed every three to four years to help prevent moisture from entering the seams between tiles. Since it is a natural material, your cork floors may yellow over time. Keeping them out of direct sunlight will help with this.
Prices vary, but you can expect to pay between $2 and $8 per square foot.
Last but not least is laminate flooring. Laminate is a great option when it comes to durability, there’s a reason they call it “life-proof.” Laminate comes spill-proof, scratch-resistant, and noise-reducing options. Not to mention the seemingly endless options of colours and patterns laminate floors now come in. This means you can get the exact look you’re after and not have to worry about scratches and spills.
Laminate flooring is so durable because it is made up of several layers of strong manufactured materials. As manufacturers continue to improve the wear (top) and base (bottom) layers, laminate will only continue to become more durable. The transparent wear layer is particularly strong against pet claws and chairs, making it a great choice for high traffic areas like kitchens and dining rooms.
There are some concerns when it comes to a large amount of water on laminate floors. For example, if your dishwasher leaks all over your floor, it’s likely you will have to replace at least a portion of it. Luckily, laminate is not very expensive so if you need to redo a section of your flooring it will not completely break the bank.
Laminate flooring can be very cheap, so be careful when purchasing and don’t be pulled in by price tags flashing $1 per square foot. For good quality laminate, it’s best to speak to a professional about the best option for your home. Ideally, you will pay between $3 to $5 per square foot for high-quality laminate.
Whether you’re looking to protect your floors from pets, kids or everyday life, there’s a durable flooring option out there for every home. If you’re still not sure which option is best for your home, contact a flooring expert and chat about your options. At the end of the day, you want something that can handle your lifestyle, looks great, and fits your budget. Good luck with choosing your new floors!
Cover image courtesy of Armstrong Flooring.