Choosing flooring that can fit your budget and your room can be a daunting task.  You need to be armed with information about what type of floor is best for your space before you plan any redecorating or home makeover project.  Here’s a cheat sheet for flooring to help you choose, so you can zero in on the perfect choice for your room

Flooring Types

Hard Floors:  Tile, brick, slate, granite, marble

Pros: Long lasting, low maintenance, easy cleaning, elegant, retains heat

Cons: Needs strong sub-flooring, cold to the touch, expensive, hard on your feet & back, reflects noise

Wood Floors:  Plank hardwood flooring, laminates to simulate wood

Pros: Long lasting, easy cleaning, doesn't retain dust and pollen, warm to the touch, works with many interior design styles, already exists in older homes.  May be stained different colors. Simple cleanup with broom and damp cloth.

Cons: Wood can scratch and dent.  Needs frequent vacuuming and sweeping.  Easily damaged by use and moisture.  Needs maintenance (polish and sealing).

Fiber Floors:  Wall to wall carpet, area rugs

Pros: Warm and soft to the touch. Absorbs noise and comfortable to walk and stand on. Doesn't scratch. Works with many interior design styles. Available in many colors, textures and patterns.

Cons: Doesn't last as long as hard flooring. May require padding. Retains dust and other allergens which can aggrevate allergies and asthma. Shows water and other stains (bathroom and kitchen use is discouraged). Needs regular vacuuming and occasional professional steam cleaning.

Room by Room

Living Room

Living room flooring needs to be durable, comfortable and stylish.  It needs to be able to withstand medium foot traffic.  Your best bets when choosing living room flooring are hardwood, wall-to-wall carpet, berber carpet and rugs.

Family Room

Flooring in family rooms needs to be more durable than in the living room, as it get more use.  Choose flooring that is durable, comfortable and looks good with the decor.  Hit picks for the family room are hardwood floors, rugs and carpet, and for more game-room type usage, even brick and tile.


Kitchen and bathroom flooring needs to be first and foremost slip-resistent for safety and also able to withstand moisture and constant cleaning.  Good choices for these rooms include tile, linoleum and vinyl. 


Flooring in the bedroom demands comfort and looks and often is dependent on the taste of the homeowner.  Hardwood is a good choice if suffering from allergies, but can be cold on your feet.  Pile carpet and rugs are popular choices for bedrooms.


An entryway needs to be impervious to the elements that are brought in through the front door.  Hardwood and carpet are often used with an area rug over them for protection.  Tile and marble are alternate choices, but can be slippery when wet.

Hallway flooring needs to provide a nice transition and be able to handle high foot traffic   Carpet, rugs, tile and hardwood are popular choices for hallways.

Utility Room

The main concern when choosing flooring for a utility room is durability and cost.  Concrete, berber carpet, vinyl and tile are the best bets for utility room floors.