Hardwood — Hardwood is a classic choice that works with any architectural style and can last for more than a century with the right care. Maintenance is a cinch and repairs are simple enough when normal wear occurs or pets leave their mark. That said, keep in mind that wooden floors can be cold and loud if they’re not accessorized with rugs.
Carpet — Carpet, whether natural or synthetic, is one of the more versatile flooring options. Wool carpeting is durable and resists moisture and stains better than synthetic fibers like nylon and acrylic. Easy cleaning and natural insulation properties for both sound and temperature are upsides, but carpet can also turn into a mildew nightmare if water damage occurs.
Cork — Looking for a more sustainable flooring option? Cork flooring offers a warm look and spongy comfort underfoot, plus the irregular grain hides imperfections. Though it’s easy to install, cork flooring can be damaged by pets’ claws, heavy furniture and sharp items.
Laminate — Good quality laminate floors are an economical alternative to hardwood. They resist scratches and discoloration and typically work well in moist environments like bathrooms and kitchens. Unlike true hardwood floors, laminate flooring can’t be sanded and refinished though, and it may offer a lower resale value when it’s time to sell a home.
Tile — This versatile flooring option not only lasts a long time and is easy to clean, but it also offers serious design flexibility. Tile’s resistance to scratches, stains and moisture is a major plus, but it doesn’t offer any insulation properties and installation can be difficult.