Sturdy laminate construction resists warping; tough plastic wear layer shrugs off scuffs and scratches; can mimic almost any other type of flooring (wood, ceramic tile); can be installed over some existing floorings; installation is DIY-friendly.
Super-hard surface feels artificial; can be slippery when wet; can’t be refinished.
Best for: living areas; kitchens; playrooms
It’s beautiful, warm, long-lasting flooring goes with any décor. Solid wood flooring can be refinished multiple times.
Hardwood flooring is susceptible to moisture, it’s not for bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements. It requires constant maintenance to retain its looks.
Best for: main living areas; hallways; kitchens
Tough vinyl flooring is impervious to water and its resilient construction feels good underfoot. It’s relatively inexpensive. Vinyl plank flooring can mimic real wood and tile.
Vinyl can’t quite shake that synthetic look. Vinyl flooring manufacturing is not ecofriendly.
Best for: kitchens; bathrooms; basements; hobby rooms
Although not really a wood flooring (bamboo is a grass), bamboo flooring has similar warmth and beauty. It’s a hard flooring but look for the best quality to ensure durability. As a grass, bamboo is a renewable resource and has some green credibility.
The cheaper varieties are prone to dents and scratches. It’s imported from Asia, so it’s green credibility takes a hit when you consider the energy required to ship it.
Best for: main living areas, kitchens, family rooms
CERAMIC TILE FLOORING
Ceramic tile flooring comes in an enormous array of colors and styles, it’s a designer’s favorite medium. Glazed ceramic tile flooring is durable, impervious to moisture and resists stains and scratches.
The hardness of ceramic tile underfoot isn’t to everyone’s liking. Grout lines require constant maintenance.
Best for: kitchens, bathrooms, sunrooms