If you’re renovating to improve the aesthetic or value of your home, you may want to replace the flooring. With so many different types of flooring materials available, it might be hard to choose which one is best for your home. Let’s look at the pros and cons of five common options for flooring materials.

Facts About Common Flooring Material Options

Hardwood Types of Flooring

Hardwood is a popular flooring option. Its look and longevity make it a desirable investment. Hardwood types of flooring are easy to clean and maintain.

These floors do have their downsides; they are one of the most expensive flooring options at $3 to $12 a square foot. Installation costs are also more expensive than other types of floors. Hardwood should not be installed in moisture-prone areas like basements or bathrooms.


Carpeting creates a warm, soft, and quiet floor. It’s a great choice for bedrooms and family spaces. It also helps to muffle noise on upper floors. Carpet is easy to install and comes in many styles and colors. Material costs range from $2 to over $5 per square foot.

Carpet is difficult to clean compared to other types of flooring. It needs frequent vacuuming to keep it from harboring dust. Because carpet fibers capture and trap allergens, people with allergies and asthma should not choose this flooring material. It also retains stains and moisture.

Vinyl Flooring Materials

Vinyl is one of the most affordable flooring options at less than $1 per square foot, though higher-end options can be $5 or more. Vinyl is resilient flooring, great for high traffic or moisture-prone areas such as the entry, laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, or basement.

Vinyl is often made to mimic the aesthetic of wood or tile. This type of flooring tends to fade over time.

Laminate Types of Flooring

If you want the look of hardwood without the high cost, laminate flooring is a good option. Prices range from less than $1 per square foot to over $3. It’s easy to install, with a high-durability finish that’s easy to keep clean. You can find it in a number of hardwood styles, including cherry, oak, and wide-plank pine.

The downside to laminate is that if it gets damaged, you cannot repair or refinish it. It can also swell up if it comes into contact with standing water. Water damage cannot be repaired; you must replace it.

Tile Flooring

Tile is one of the longest lasting types of flooring material you can find. Tile is available in a variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and styles. Due to its natural moisture resistance, it’s a great choice for wet areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundries. It’s also ideal in high traffic areas like the entryway of a home.

The price of the tile can vary significantly from $2 to $10 a square foot. The real downside is installation costs. It’s labor-intensive to install a tile floor and larger jobs should be completed by experienced tile setters for the best results. Tile flooring also requires a strong board underneath for stability. While tile is easy to keep clean, the grout stains easily. Sealing the grout periodically keeps maintenance to a minimum.

Cowan Inspections Group offers home inspections in the Salt Lake City area. Contact us to request an appointment.