6 flooring options that can take whatever your family dishes out
Our floors are subjected to a lot, especially if you live in a busy household. Muddy sneakers, toys, spills and splashes, pet paws, and more can do a number on the floor, but there are plenty of products out there that can stand up to just about anything your family throws at it. Take a look at some of our top picks.
Don’t let the word “porcelain” fool you – this product can handle just about anything. Its density makes it resistant to scratching and scuffing. And because porcelain tile features through-body color – meaning the color on the surface of the tile carries all the way through the product – any chips or scratches won’t be noticeable.
Tile certified as porcelain also has to be impervious, meaning its water absorption rate is less than 0.5 percent. This makes it a great choice for moisture-prone areas, and it can even be installed outdoors.
Perfect for: Bathrooms, laundry rooms, entryways, outdoor areas
Luxury vinyl’s growth is nothing short of explosive, and part of that has to do with its durability. Protective finishes and wear layers have improved its scratch and scuff resistance, and products with a solid rigid core won’t dent easily from dropped objects, heavy furniture, or high heels. Luxury vinyl floors are also water-resistant or waterproof, depending on the product, and can handle spills or tracked in water, mud, or snow pretty easily.
Often overlooked as an unfashionable or outdated product, sheet vinyl boasts many of the same performance attributes as popular luxury vinyl. In addition to being waterproof, many sheet vinyl products feature thicker wear layers and protective coatings that boost its stain and scratch-resistance. And some of the sheet vinyl products today have a fiberglass backing, making the product more dimensionally stable.
Although it’s susceptible to water damage or scratches, making it a no-go for basements or bathrooms, hardwood can last for decades. In addition to its longevity, solid hardwood can be re-sanded several times over throughout the course of its life – meaning minor scratches and scuffs won’t be there forever.
Remember that different species of hardwood have different hardness ratings, so some products might dent more easily than others. For example, hickory, maple, or oak floors are going to be tougher to damage than walnut or cherry.
Perfect for: Living rooms, dining rooms, hallways, bedrooms
A budget-friendly alternative to hardwood, laminate continues to be popular because of its durability. Made of a high-density fiberboard or plywood core, a plastic design layer, and a protective wear layer, laminate mimics the look of hardwood or stone while also offering stain, scratch and scuff-resistance. Some laminate available today offers moisture-resistance, but be sure to check the manufacturer specifications and warranty before installing it in your bathroom or laundry room.
Perfect for: Hallways, kitchens, laundry rooms
It might sound strange that flooring that’s technically made from grass would be durable, but bamboo floors are even harder than some hardwoods. For example, strand woven bamboo, where shredded bamboo fibers are mixed with resins and formed into planks, is nearly twice as hard as oak flooring. However, it can be damaged by water or excess moisture, and isn’t always the best choice for humid climates.
Perfect for: Kitchens, hallways, living rooms
About The Author
Proud flooring aficionado and office dog mom, "Flauren" has been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade (though she still maintains her magnum opus was "The Day it Snowed Slurpees," written at the age of 6).
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