Flooring 101: How to Choose the Right Material

As a builder, renovator, or homeowner, you must choose flooring materials that fit your project budget. Some flooring choices are a no-brainer, such as using tile in bathrooms. Other options are contingent on your individual house’s style and value and on your local market’s preferences. No matter what the case, the type, and quality of the flooring should be suitable for the interior decor and price of the house.

When you are constructing or preparing homes for sale, it makes sense to speak to local realtors to learn what buyers are hoping to find. In addition, if you are preparing the property for rental, the flooring must be capable of withstanding a considerable amount of wear and tear.

This guide will highlight the various flooring types and their characteristics to assist in your decision-making process.

Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring

Vinyl flooring and linoleum flooring are different types of flooring, but they are very similar in their function. They can be found in tiles, planks, and sheets that are easy to install. They are made of durable and water-resistant materials and come in an array of colors and styles. Vinyl and linoleum are an excellent choice for hardworking and high-traffic areas such as kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms.

Vinyl and Linoleum differ in terms of material. Vinyl is a type of plastic, commonly PVC, acrylic, or a material with similar properties. Linoleum is primarily made of natural materials such as jute, linseed oil, and cork. Vinyl generally offers a broader range of options among different styles and prices, from very affordable to premium. Linoleum is available in vibrant colors and is quite expensive; there is no budget version of linoleum available.


Laminate flooring is very easy to maintain. Also, it is self-laying so if you consider yourself to be an enthusiastic “DIYer”, laminate is a great option, since it is durable and affordable, which makes it an ideal flooring material for young families. The visual effects of wood visuals in laminate flooring can be easily maintained, thus making it a cost-effective alternative to wood flooring. Family homes can benefit greatly from laminate flooring because its surface is protected by a protective coating that means that it resists abrasions, fading, and stains.

Laminate flooring features a medium-density fiberboard (MDF) core finished with a photo layer, a polymer coating, and a thick polyurethane finish. Almost all types can be clicked together for floating floor installation, making installation quick and easy. Gluing laminate down is also acceptable, but not often necessary or recommended.

Bamboo and Hardwood

Hardwood is a great choice in almost any room in your home, including dining rooms and kitchens. Hardwood is not an appropriate choice in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and mudrooms since they see a lot of moisture. The cost, performance, installation, and maintenance of bamboo flooring are similar to hardwood.     

A hardwood floor can be unfinished or prefinished, solid or engineered. The main disadvantages of hardwood flooring are costs and maintenance. Hardwoods are typically finished with polyurethane or another clear coat. The finishes exhibit moderate moisture resistance, however, they are also susceptible to scratches and excessive wear if the floor isn’t properly maintained. Many rental properties are unlikely to have hardwood floors because of these reasons.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

Tile is one of the most versatile flooring materials when it comes to colour and style. There are a wide variety of tiles available ranging from tiny mosaics to large floor tiles and even “wood look” tile which offers the look of wood with the reliability of ceramic. The most durable flooring options are porcelain and ceramic tile, and they require almost no maintenance at all.

Porcelain tiles are also a great option outside

Ceramic tile does not have to be expensive; however, it is a labor-intensive undertaking to install and it requires a cement subfloor or tile backing. A professional tile installer should handle more complicated or large tile installations. Most builders with tile experience can complete small and simple jobs.

Because tile can be hard and cold to the touch, be cautious when installing it in rooms that are commonly used by families, such as bedrooms, family rooms, living rooms, and formal dining rooms. In some places, however, tile is perfectly suitable for these locations. Additionally, keep in mind that non-slip tiles must be used in spaces such as bathrooms, mudrooms, and entryways. 

In conclusion, whatever type of flooring you select, to achieve the best results and ensure that it lasts for as long as possible, ensure that you have it professionally installed. Also remember, your flooring choice is one of the most significant decisions you will make regarding the improvement of a home. The material is a fundamental component of interior design. It influences installation, the difficulty of maintenance, and use. Before selecting, it is wise to educate yourself on the available options as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Take a look at some of my how-to guides for some inspiration

Here are some of my favourites:

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  1. We live in a hot climate. Is bamboo flooring less susceptible to heat expansion? We can’t make up our mind and any information is really helpful!

    • I really don’t know about bamboo in hot climates sorry Mary. Try asking a local supplier who should be able to help. I hope you find the information you are looking for. Ben

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