Time for New Floors: Tile, Wood, Laminate or Carpet?

Thinking of getting new floors? Here's a look at the different types of flooring options and pros and cons of each. Make your home look good with your new floors. Find out which type of flooring will work best for you.

Measuring new tile for floors in home

One thing homeowners sometimes think about is replacing the floors.

Homeowners might choose to replace flooring for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons for installing new floors is to improve the aesthetics of the home, improving home value or correcting functional issues, like broken tiles or unevenness. Hopefully you’re reading this because you want new floors and don’t need new floors due to unexpected damage or flood. If that is the case you should contact your homeowners insurance company.

When replacing floors, deciding on what type of material to use is an important factor to consider. Different materials can have differing costs, benefits and maintenance requirements.

Thinking of getting new floors for your home?

Let's take a look at popular types of flooring and some of the pros and cons of each type of flooring:


Porcelain or glazed ceramic tiles are a popular option for bathrooms. Tiles are also commonly used in kitchens, hallways and laundry rooms. They are not used as often in bedrooms and living rooms where people might want to walk around barefoot comfortably.

One appealing aspect of tile flooring is that it can come with a wide variety of design options and colors. People can easily choose tiles that match the existing decor in the room and tiles can even have the appearance of other materials, like wood.

Tiles are also easy to maintain, which makes them a great choice for rental properties. Grout should be cleaned and sealed periodically to discourage stain formation. Tiles tend to be very durable and can last 50 years or more if properly maintained.

Ceramic tile flooring is also inexpensive compared to some other flooring options. Most people can figure out how to lay tile easily, so it is a good option for people who want to do it themselves.

Make sure you choose tiles that aren't too slippery when installing them in areas like bathrooms or hallways where people might be walking around with wet feet or shoes.


Wood floors for your home

Hardwood and bamboo flooring are two popular types of wood flooring. Bamboo and hardwood floors have similar costs, performance and maintenance requirements.

Hardwood floors are commonly used in living areas, kitchens and dining rooms. They are not used as often in areas that get wet often (like bathrooms and basements) as hardwood floors don't perform as well against moisture as other flooring options. Wood floors are also not used as often in areas that get a lot of foot traffic (like entryways and hallways).

One of the biggest reasons that people install wood flooring is because they like the appearance. Hardwood floor installation usually requires that floors be nailed or glued down to the subfloor.

The biggest drawbacks to wood floors are cost and maintenance. Hardwood floors need to be finished with a clear coat, like polyurethane and can be re-finished after several years when it starts to wear down. The floor also needs to be kept clean to prevent wear and scratching.

Due to the maintenance requirements, hardwood flooring usually is not a good choice for rental properties. Hardwood flooring can last 25 years if properly maintained.


People who want the appearance of hardwood floors, but aren't willing to pay the high price may want to consider laminate flooring.

Laminate is made from a mix of wood pulp and resin. They look like hardwood floors to most people, although sophisticated buyers will be able to tell the difference.

Laminate flooring is also easy to install. Most laminate floor boards click together with ease and gluing the floor down is not required.

One disadvantage of laminate floors is that they cannot be refinished if they are damaged and they also cannot be easily repaired. Although laminate flooring is water resistant, the joints in between the boards can swell if moisture gets into them for too long.

Laminate flooring is a good option for rooms that would normally use hardwood flooring, but is more suitable for low to mid-priced properties. It can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years, although the average is 15-25 years.


Another popular type of flooring is carpet, which is used in bedrooms and living areas. Carpet comes in a variety of colors and can be chosen to match a room's decor. It is also warm and comfortable compared to other flooring options.

Carpet should not be used in kitchens or bathrooms as moisture and spills can ruin it. Food can also fall on and get lost in it, which can result in unsanitary conditions.

Carpet should be vacuumed and cleaned regularly as it can attract dust and dirt. It can also be professionally steam cleaned, which is recommended when it is used in rental properties.

Carpet tends to last around 10 years before it starts to lose its texture and need to be replaced. Carpet installation costs tend to range between $7 - $12 per square foot.

Other Types of Flooring

Other types of flooring include vinyl and linoleum (also known as cork flooring), which are similar in appearance to other flooring options but are essentially different materials. These flooring types can be good choices for hallways, dining rooms and other areas that receive a lot of traffic.

Linoleum is made from natural materials, so it can be a good choice for people looking for environmentally friendly materials in their home.

Flooring for Pets

What if you have pets like cats or dogs? Should that affect your choice of flooring?

Pets are certainly an important consideration when choosing flooring for your home. Pets are constantly roaming around on the floors so they need flooring that is comfortable for them and some flooring options will stand up better to wear and tear that pets can cause.

Cork flooring can be a good choice if you have pets as they are resistant to microbes and also absorb sound so that you won't constantly hear the sounds of your pet running through the house.

Vinyl and hardwood flooring can also be good if they are properly finished. Clean up spills and accidents right away to protect your floors from wear.

Carpet can be harder to clean and can stain easily, so it is not ideal if you own pets. Pets can also cause carpets to wear down.

Laminate flooring is also not ideal as moisture from pets can cause the boards to swell or warp.

To Sum It Up

Choose a flooring option that makes sense for you based on your goals, budget and maintenance requirements. After all, you are the one who is going to be cleaning these new floors.

Getting new floors is a great way to improve your home's value and enhance your enjoyment while living in it.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

See more in:
  Home Improvement
Consumer Affairs Icon
Best Company Awards Icon
Need help?
Talk to our Shield Agents 24/7.

New Jersey Residents: The product being offered is a service contract and is separate and distinct from any product or service warranty which may be provided by the home builder or manufacturer.