Native New Yorker, writer, educator, and street fighter who writes about DIY "green" options in home improvement.
Types of Flooring
Flooring material choices are forever growing and a wide range is available to suit your needs. You can choose flooring that is hard or soft and pick from a wide a variety of styles and colors.
Flooring material can also be environmentally friendly, and choosing a material depends on where the flooring will be installed. You may prefer a softer material underfoot in the bedroom and flooring that is easier to maintain in the kitchen. Below is list of of choices.
10 Flooring Material Options
- Bamboo. Bamboo flooring is made from the fast growing bamboo grass and can be harvested in four or five years. Bamboo can regenerate without seeding and is often grown without pesticides. As a flooring material, bamboo is durable and dense, and wears as well as maple and oak. The natural density reduces the need to refinish as often as hardwood. Milled like hardwood, with a tongue and groove on all four sides, bamboo is easy to install.
- Carpet and Carpet Tiles: Carpeting offers warmth and softness underfoot and is often cheaper than other flooring options. Carpeting is also a good, sound absorber. Covering whole floors may be best left to the professional, but carpet tiles are also available and easy to lay. Carpet tiles can be installed in minutes, and one damaged tile can be easily replaced.
- Cork: Cork is a renewable, sustainable resource and is known for its shock-absorbing comfort underfoot, as well as its vibration and sound-dampening qualities. Cork also has insect-resistant and anti-allergenic properties. Often available in tiles, cork can be installed as a floating floor or glued down.
- Hardwood: Hardwood flooring is durable and made of solid wood all the way through. Wood choices include maple, oak, cherry, hickory, white ash, Mongolian teak, acacia, and alder.
- Engineered Wood: Similar in appearance to hardwood, engineered wood flooring is built differently. Unlike solid hardwood, engineered wood has three to seven layers laminated or glued together. More resistant to moisture, engineered flooring can be used in every room.
- Laminate flooring: Laminate flooring is created by fusing several layers of material together. The core is made of either high-density or medium-density fiberboard. Laminate flooring is hypoallergenic; stain-, scratch-, and fade-resistant. Laminate copies the look of hardwood and more recently has been made to resemble stone and ceramic tile.
- Hard Flooring: Concrete is a hard, durable flooring material with a life expectancy exceeding other flooring. Thanks to new technology, the concrete surface can be made decorative by treating it with stains and colorants, or stamping and scoring it with a pattern. Easy to clean, and if properly maintained, concrete will never have to be replaced. Also, stone flooring is available as travertine tile, marble, granite, slate, limestone, and sandstone. Ceramic and porcelain tile is also available.
- Linoleum: True linoleum is a durable flooring choice that has been around for over 100 years. Sold in sheet form or tiles, linoleum is available in a wide range of colors and patterns. The main ingredient in linoleum is linseed oil. Other materials include wood flour, pine rosin, and jute. Linoleum is also antibacterial.
- Vinyl: Vinyl is a flooring material made primarily of polyvinyl chloride. It is available in sheets or tiles, and comes in a wide range of styles and colors.
- Rubber: Rubber flooring is also available in a variety of colors, as well as textures, designs, and configurations like pavers, tiles, and snap-together panels.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Louise89 on June 21, 2019:
Thanks for the great tips!
CountryCityWoman (author) from From New York City to North Carolina on May 18, 2013:
idigwebsites - I do like the cork too. It feels so good underfoot. Thanks for the votes!
idigwebsites from United States on May 17, 2013:
Cork sounds really beneficial to health as well... Thanks for posting your hub Up and interesting. :)
CountryCityWoman (author) from From New York City to North Carolina on May 03, 2013:
I'm with you there Sharkye11! I remember linoleum from my childhood days - we never had all the indoor health issues like children do now. And rugs/carpeting used to be wool but today its nylon - awful!
Thanks for writing!
Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on September 16, 2012:
Great hub. Call me simple and old fashioned but I can't wait to get the carpet out of my house and either linoleum or laminate put down. Carpets just seem so yucky. I didn't know lino was made from linseed oil, but that is very interesting.
CountryCityWoman (author) from From New York City to North Carolina on March 19, 2012:
There is nothing like a personal experience midnightbliss. I'm glad you're satisfied and that will help me make a decision. Thanks a lot!
Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on March 16, 2012:
Nice hub! I installed bamboo floors in my living room and common spaces about four years ago. I'm very happy with the look, feel and how it wears with traffic. ~ Thanks
CountryCityWoman (author) from From New York City to North Carolina on February 17, 2012:
I'm glad the hub is useful. I too spend a great deal of time researching. Thanks for the comments. I don't know how I missed returning to this hub. Hmmmm.
grinnin1 from st louis,mo on February 15, 2012:
Great hub. Thank you! I've been looking at floors for a year now, still "researching". This was very informative!
bowlerhat from Birmingham, UK on November 04, 2011:
Great Hub - good info for all of us floor-nuts :)
Ronald Hart on February 17, 2011:
Great info, thanks for sharing! Wood flooring still seems to be really popular, but laminate is a great alternative; it's often cheaper and it can hold up to pets and spills better.
Truckstop Sally on February 06, 2011:
I have bamboo floors for the first time, and I love them. Beautiful wood. Thanks for the info.
TheListLady from New York City on January 22, 2011:
Flooring is everything isn't it? I remember the early days of carpeting - we all ran out and bought it and static electricity was everywhere and keeping it clean was a full time job. Glad to read about the carpet tiles that even come in wool.
I'd like to try cork in the future - and how well I remember linoleum and to know it is healthy - that's reason enough.
Great handy list and rated up! Thanks!