There are six popular flooring materials used in homes today and some new products on the market. Let’s go through each type, weigh the pros and cons, see how much they cost, and show you how to install them yourself.
Hardwood has been the top choice in flooring for a long time because of its aesthetic appeal and long-term return on investment (ROI).
The cost? Typical hardwood is around $7 per square foot. Expect to pay a professional $2.50 per square foot for nail-down installation (more for expensive wood and designs). Refinishing hardwood flooring averages $3 to $8 per square foot.
Laminate is very affordable and can look like wood, tile or stone but without the cost, maintenance or wear and tear. It’s scratch-resistant and water-resistant, with a click-lock design that makes it easy to install.
The cost to install laminate floors averages between $2.70 and $10 per square foot.
In the past, vinyl flooring was considered a cheap-looking alternative to other flooring types. Today, synthetic flooring is durable and made to mimic wood, ceramic and stone. It’s available in a variety of forms: plank, tile, sheet, peel & stick, glue down plank, and click lock plank.
The cost? $3 to $5 per square foot in material and $2 to $2.50 in labour costs.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are great choices for high-traffic and moisture-prone areas.
The cost? $6 to $8 per square foot for porcelain and $3 to $5 for ceramic.
Natural stone includes granite, marble, travertine and sandstone tiles. Some stones (like travertine) are more durable than others. A number of finish options are available but require different amounts of care to stay looking good. For example, a polished marble surface will show scratches and scuffs more quickly than a tumbled one.
The cost? Between $800 and $3,000 for materials and labour. It’s best to hire a stone floor professional because of the difficulty of the project and the weight of the tiles.
Carpet is a popular flooring choice, especially for bedrooms.
The cost? $3.50 to $11 per square foot. Installing a carpet pad averages $3.75 per square foot.
There are some other unique flooring materials that look great and come with convenience, health, or environmental advantages.
Explore the different components of the house.