Comparing Home Flooring Options

Home flooring options seem to abound the moment you decide it’s time for a change. Suddenly it seems there are more home flooring options than there are makes and models of automobiles on the road. And, not surprisingly, the price range in home flooring options is significant. Some home flooring options are relatively inexpensive, while others are costly. But often, the highest priced home flooring options have the best return on investment because they last far longer and up resale value, according to

Choosing the right one of many home flooring options will be based on your budget, aesthetics, use and placement. As with any home improvement project, you’ll have to start by analyzing your budget. Once you know your spending limit, then think about which home flooring option will look good in your home. Particularly if you are only remodeling one room. Lastly, think about traffic and location to outside doors.

Common Home Flooring Options

The most common home flooring options are hardwood, tile, concrete, cork, laminate and carpet. Each has its pros and cons. And if you’re undertaking a remodel with the intent of selling, its resale/marketability ought to be the first thing on your mind:

…tile or wood will be more attractive to potential buyers and increase the value of your property versus the finished concrete look. –Lee Dworshak, Realtor, Keller Williams, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

Of course, homeowners know that among the most popular home flooring options, tile and hardwood are at the top. But cost might be a barrier, so concrete, laminate or carpet might be a feasible alternative. To help you decide which is the right choice for your home, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each of the home flooring options.


Hardwood is one of two home flooring options most homeowners install, the other being tile. It has a natural beauty and even engineered hardwood looks great. It comes in a wide variety of shades and grains and is great for expanding a room’s size.

  • Cost: Hardwood generally costs $3 to $12 per square foot and that can or cannot include installation.
  • Pros: Easy to clean, are durable and have great resale potential.
  • Cons: Cost is obviously the biggest downside of hardwood. And of all the home flooring options, this one will be the most expensive to maintain as it needs to be occasionally refinished.
  • Rooms: Hardwood is great for large rooms and for bedrooms. But bathrooms and foyers as well as kitchens aren’t an ideal environment for hardwood.


Tile is the other most popular of the top two home flooring options. It comes in an expansive array of styles, materials and finishes. Tile opens up a room and when connected to other areas, makes the space appear endless.

  • Cost: Tile ranges in cost from just $1 up to $20 or more per square foot, including installation.
  • Pros: Like hardwood, tile is easy to clean plus it’s scratch resistant. It has a lot of longevity and adds to resale value.
  • Cons: Again, cost is a consideration. Tile also creates echos, is cold and grout cleaning is necessary to maintain its look over its lifetime.
  • Rooms: Pretty much anywhere. But bedrooms are the least appropriate place to install tile because of its cold shock value in the winter.


The great thing about home flooring options is that there are many choices. And laminate definitely delivers here. There is much to choose from and it’s ubiquitous.

  • Cost: Laminate is inexpensive, being available from as little a 50 cents and can cost up to $3 to $5 per square foot.
  • Pros: Very scratch resistant and easy to maintain, laminate is also durable and lasts for a very long time. It can be installed by do-it-yourselfers with a little carpentry knowledge.
  • Cons: Water can damage laminate, especially if left unattended.
  • Rooms: High traffic areas are ideal for laminate. But anywhere leaks can occur it is best to avoid such as bathrooms, the kitchen or laundry room.


Of all the home flooring options, carpet is one of the most installed because of its easy care and price. It gives a home a homey feel and is soft. But does wear out the fastest of all home flooring options.

  • Cost: Carpet is a mid level expense floor covering and can be found from $2 to $5 per square foot.
  • Pros: Carpet is sturdy, given its material make-up. It’s also soft and dampens sound.
  • Cons: Stains are a concern, even though stain resistant technology has gained substantial ground. Carpet is easy to maintain but also masks dirt. Padding also adds to the cost of carpet.
  • Rooms: Anywhere but high traffic areas like living rooms aren’t the best place.

The remaining home flooring options, cork and concrete are on the rise in popularity. Cork is considered a green product and popularity is on the rise. But concrete isn’t a widely shared taste and cork doesn’t have the longevity shared among the other home flooring options.