Tile vs. Laminate vs. Hardwood vs. Vinyl Flooring: Which is Best for Your Home?
December 16, 2021
Shopping for new flooring is a big project for homeowners. You want something that will look good, last, and be easy to maintain.
Why get new flooring?
The perfect flooring can make your home feel brand new, increase resale value, and make your space more livable. But, before you go on any shopping sprees, consider the tips below, to get the most out of your money and find the perfect floor fit for your home.
What might be helpful is to think about flooring like your body, just like your feet vs your head, a variety of solutions is usually the best bet to keep you comfortable and healthy.
Let’s Start With The Types Of Flooring
There are many different types of flooring to choose from, but which is right for you?
It depends on what your needs are. For example, if you have pets or people with allergies, you'll want to avoid carpets and rugs. If you have children, you may want to avoid tile because they can be a tripping hazard. And if your home is more formal or traditional, hardwood might fit the aesthetic more.
If you're on a tight budget, consider laminate flooring or vinyl floors. These options are less expensive than other materials and easier on your wallet. They're also more durable than carpets and rugs so they're good for high-traffic areas like hallways and kitchens.
When you're deciding on a type of flooring, the first thing you should ask yourself is which one will be easiest for you to maintain.
For example, if your lifestyle is more active and you find yourself bringing the outside world indoors (like rain and mud, hello kids and pets), you might want to invest in luxury vinyl.
Luxury vinyl is ideal in kitchens and bathrooms because it can withstand moisture, heavy foot traffic, scratches and spills. This is thanks to its multiple layers, including a durable wear layer and rigid core that are waterproof. Vinyl floors tend to have a softer and warmer feel to them when walked on, and many do not need a padding underlayment.
Solid hardwoods are beautiful (and usually at the upper end of the budget) but can scratch easily. If you have children or pets that tend to get rowdy, it might not be the best choice for your home. But, unlike other types of flooring, hardwood can be refinished and transformed many times throughout its lifetime. On average hardwood floors can be refinished 10 to 12 times during a complete life span, with engineered hardwood the number varies depending on veneer thickness, but is lower than solid hardwood floors.
Budget-friendly and available in many distinctive styles, laminate flooring is an easy choice for a lot of projects. However, it is not the best option for areas that are susceptible to moisture. Laminate floors have a harder feel than luxury vinyl and can be noisier underfoot - some may last up to 25 years or more while other types need replacement within 10 years if installed in heavy traffic areas.
Then there are tiles. Tiles come in an astounding variety of designs and colors. They are typically porous, hard underfoot, and cool when you walk on them. If you are looking for air quality features, modern floors come certified by different health and safety bodies - and all flooring Biiibo carries is certified, however, tiles especially tend to be favorites for some homeowners because of durability, no VOCs, and their moisture resistance. Let’s not forget that cleaning is easy too! Tiles tend to do very well in bathrooms, entryways, and kitchens.
Flooring Type: Checked. Now What?
Once you’ve decided on the floor type you want, you need to consider brands, availability, timelines, and transportation.
If you are shopping with Biiibo, we’ve made it pretty easy to know if the floor you want is in-stock (we don’t show out-of-stock items). With hardware and builder supply stores you will likely have to confirm if the display stock is available, and more importantly - is available in the amount you need, as well as how you can get the flooring from the store to your house.
Can you get a good deal on flooring
In an industry with so many choices, it's easy to start comparing prices and feel like you're getting a great deal. But before you buy based on price, make sure you trust the company you are purchasing from.
We are lucky here at Biiibo, we have developed relationships with the best brands in the industry for flooring (based on location, distribution, and quality). Why? Because we take responsibility for the products we carry. Whomever you go with for your flooring needs, make sure you can call someone if something goes wrong.
How to maintain your new flooring?
No one wants to have to replace their flooring every few years. It's expensive and time-consuming. You can extend the life of your floors with these tips:
- Vacuum regularly, at least twice a week; this will remove dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris that can accumulate on top of your carpet. You should vacuum cleaner under furniture as well.
- Avoid spills; if you do spill something like water or wine, clean it up as soon as possible to avoid staining the carpet or hardwood floors.
- Protect your flooring; you'll want to take extra care when it comes to spills or accidents around your home that could potentially ruin your new flooring. Consider using coasters for drinks and placing mats in front of entrances (for example, by the door) to limit dirt and grime getting tracked into the house.
- Get the right type of floor for the effort you want to put in. If you want really heavy-duty, go for thicker luxury vinyl with a commercial guarantee. Usually, floors will have a residential and commercial guarantee, commercial guarantees of 10+ years mean those floors are made for heavy wear and traffic.
Other factors to consider
When choosing different types of flooring for two rooms that flow into one another, such as a kitchen and living room or master bedroom and bath, you’ll want to consider your overall color scheme and style to make sure that the two materials will complement one another nicely when side by side.
Also, the size of your space may play a role in whether you choose to have different flooring options for adjacent rooms. For example, in smaller homes, choosing one type of flooring that works well for a hallway, kitchen, and living space can give your home the illusion of being larger.
Depending on the material and style of the flooring, your project can range in both cost and time for professional installation. This is another factor to consider when deciding which type of flooring is best for you.
The best type of flooring for basements is vinyl when budgets are considered. It comes in the form of vinyl plank and tile, giving it a look that's nearly identical to hardwood and stone products with added benefits like waterproofness.
Vinyl flooring is made out of PVC, so it will last longer than other organic materials would - making it great if you have high traffic areas. Vinyl plank can also be installed directly on your subfloor making installation much quicker and easier.
Tile is also an option, and often a fantastic one when your budget can handle the installation and cost. Installing tile over such a large area is best left to the professionals, and should be a conversation you have with your contractor.
From a utility perspective avoid laminate, carpet, and hardwood flooring due to a basement's moisture level.
Condo specific needs
When choosing flooring for a condominium, you'll want to note that hardwood is not a feasible option with a concrete subfloor. Condo owners who want a similar aesthetic are often required to choose flooring such as engineered hardwood, laminate or vinyl, which are glued or floated, rather than nailed.
Condos have their own rules and regulations, and sometimes those determine what type of flooring and level of soundproofing that is needed.
Some condos do this for insurance policy reasons, and others to make sure sound does not carry from unit to unit. Either way, make sure you pay attention to this, as flooring choices can affect condo resale value
Flooring is one of the most important elements of any home. From the moment you walk in, it speaks volumes about your personality and style. The right flooring can make any room feel warmer, cozier, and more inviting.
But with so many options out there, how do you choose the best flooring for your home?
If you have a better idea of what you want for your home, feel free to reach out to us via the chatbot on our site or by sending an email to info(at)biiibo.com