There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a type of flooring, but if you’re going for a specific kind of look or feel, some flooring types are better than others in some regards. Flooring companies are improving their laminate design collections, creating impressive strips and tiles that in many cases look just as professional as their tile or hardwood counterparts. As cheaper options like laminate and vinyl continue to become more advanced, there’s a growing crowd of home designers who feel that cheap flooring can be just as enjoyable and appealing as the more luxurious options.
As an expert working with Ellegant Home Design – 1002 W. Dundee Rd. Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004 (1-847-749-1098), I encounter many inquiries related to pricing and whether the extra cost of certain flooring types is really warranted. My response always depends on the client’s budget and preferences. Give us a call or stop by our flooring store for a free consultation, or continue reading to learn more about the price and quality differences between the most common types of flooring materials:
Stone is the most expensive out of the list, costing between $8 to $50 per square foot (installed). Aesthetically, stone materials like marble, granite, and limestone are some of the most appealing materials money can buy. However, this type of flooring is also difficult to repair, can be quite slippery when wet, and stones like limestone and marble can absorb stains if fluids aren’t wiped up quickly enough.
Carpet is one of the most reasonably priced flooring materials, ranging from $2 to $15 per square foot (installed). It’s also incredibly easy to replace and most people find it to be more comfortable on bare feet. At the same time, it does absorb pet dander, dirt, debris, and other pollutants, and it stains easily.
Ceramic and porcelain are mid-range tiles costing between $4 to $12 per square foot (installed). The grout lines between the ceramic tiles can be difficult to clean, and lower quality ceramics are prone to chipping. However, with proper maintenance and cleaning, ceramic tiles can stay in good condition for decades.
Laminate is one of the more budget-friendly materials at any flooring store, with the cost ranging from $3 to $7 per square foot (installed). While this material can often look almost as good as authentic tiles or hardwood floors, the downside is that it can scratch easily and it cannot be refinished, so you’ll usually have to replace it rather than repair it.
Hardwood can be relatively affordable at about $7 per square feet (installed) for the cheaper selections. The higher range of hardwood materials can cost $15 per square foot or more installed. However, even the more expensive hardwoods are typically vulnerable to moisture damage, and softer woods like pine can dent easily. Specially engineered wood can be installed for about $4-$18 and will shrink less than conventional hardwood.
Bamboo is surprisingly cheap given its exotic look, at only $4 to $8 per square foot installed. However, it can fade or darken if exposed to sunlight and it is vulnerable to water damage. On the good side, bamboo is a strong material that comes from an easily renewable organic material.
Vinyl is perhaps the cheapest flooring material at a cost of only $1 to $7 per square foot installed. It is difficult to repair and often will require replacement instead. Also, the lower costing vinyls can fade and discolor over time. You also need to be careful about getting moisture in between the cracks of vinyl tiles.
Linoleum is another mid-range selection that can fit within most budgets at only $4 to $9 per square foot installed. Linoleum can also scuff if it isn’t polished and it should be resealed annually to avoid unnecessary repairs or replacements.
A Flooring Store is Like Any Other Store – You Get What You Pay For
In the end, it really does come down to the old adage “you get what you pay for.” In most cases, the most expensive flooring materials are also the most durable and aesthetically appealing. With that said, you can certainly find deals on great looking materials without spending a fortune. Be sure to research all of your options and check out the various types of materials in person at a local flooring store to make a more informed decision.