Wood Laminate is a manufactured product used as a substitute for true wood floors. This popular option is far less expensive than wood, equally durable, and requires far less maintenance. While wood floors need continuous cleaning and coatings, a wet mop will suffice for a laminate floor. Of course, laminate does not have the natural look of wood where each piece is unique and slightly different than the others. Also, scratches and other damage are hard to deal with; true wood floors can always be sanded.
Carpeting. While hardwood floors and tiles are increasingly popular, carpet is still a a widely used flooring material that is available in a wide variety of textures, colors, materials and styles. Carpeting is generally inexpensive and easy on the feet. It disadvantages include the risk of stains and the effort to keep it clean. It is a poor choice for people with allergies.
Hardwood. One of the most elegant of floor coverings, hardwood floors will improve the look, durability, and value of any home. If properly maintained, wood floors will always retain their good looks and never need to be replaced. There are a variety of styles and options: Strip Flooring (thin lengths of wood), Plank, and Parquet (geometric patterns). Different types of wood offers varying color and looks. Red Oak is the most popular, offering a coarse reddish brown look. Other options include white oak, cherry, beech, birch, pine, and fir. An interesting alternative is bamboo which is surprisingly hard and durable. Bamboo is also far more sustainable than other woods, therefore environmentally friendly. Wood is generally more expensive than carpet or tiles.
Vinyl Flooring (linoleum) has long been thought of as the least expensive way to cover kitchen, bathroom, and entrance way floors.Its reputation has been as not long lasting, easily stained or damaged, and quick to turn yellow. Today, the product is of much higher quality. Even the least expensive vinyl is generally warranted for ten years. Designs are also more sophisticated; a good vinyl can highly simulate a wood or tile floor.
Concrete Flooring is becoming a more popular alternative for businesses and residences. Is is extremely durable and nearly impervious to damage. In-home concrete is not like the floor in your garage. A variety of decorative finishes are available, giving it a look comparable to tile or stone.
Marble Epoxy or Terrazzo flooring is a manufactured product consisting of marble chips and other materials, combined with epoxy resin to create an extremely durable and elegant looking surface. It is nearly impervious to damage. Generally used in commercial settings or large residences.