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Updated August 29, 2022
Looking for the most durable flooring? We hear you.
While you might not think about it too often, your floors are subjected to a lot of abuse. Pet claws, muddy shoes, running kids, even the natural shift of furniture over time—all of it does a number on your floors. And if you’re actively searching for the most durable types of flooring, might’ve already learned that the hard way.
Either way, we’re here to help. Below, we’ll dive into the 7 most durable flooring options you can get for your home—including what they’re made of, why they’re so resilient, and the spots in your home they’re perfect for. As a bonus, we’ve included some of our favorite durable flooring brands to get you started.
Composed of multiple synthetic layers, vinyl plank is both a waterproof flooring option and endlessly customizable, making it a perfect fake wood flooring option. Rigid core luxury vinyl flooring specifically is extremely durable—it can stand up to heavy furniture and high heels with no problem. Plus, protective finishes and wear layers make vinyl plank extraordinarily scuff-resistant.
We should mention: vinyl plank isn’t the most environmentally friendly flooring option—it is mostly plastic, after all. But some brands, like Proximity Mills, are making an effort to change that with LVP that’s recyclable at the end of its lifespan.
Karndean, a popular brand that only offers vinyl plank (so you know it has to be good).
Flooret, a newer direct-to-consumer brand that skips the middleman and has excellent reviews.
Doma, a style-focused brand that doesn’t compromise on durability.
We should mention—LVP might be some of the most durable flooring, but it still doesn’t quite meet the standards of the best outdoor flooring options. If you’re set on the vinyl look for your porch or patio, though, there’s always outdoor vinyl flooring.
#2: Porcelain Tile
Don’t let the word “porcelain” fool you: this tile is some of the most durable flooring around.
Concerned about water damage? Porcelain tile has a water absorption rate is less than 0.5 percent (read: waterproof). This makes porcelain tile a great choice for moisture-prone areas. It can even be installed outdoors!
When you’re shopping for wood flooring, you have two main choices: solid wood or engineered wood. Solid wood is exactly what it sounds like: a plank that’s a solid, single piece of wood. Engineered wood, on the other hand, is composed of a plywood or OSB core layer with a thin wood veneer layer.
Both solid and engineered hardwood are excellent durable wood flooring options, but they both have different strengths and weaknesses.
Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood
Because solid wood is… well, solid, it’s often a better scratch-resistant flooring option than engineered wood. If solid hardwood does scratch, you can always sand it down and refinish if needed, which isn’t always true for engineered wood.
Paradiso, which uses thicker sawn veneer layers and a natural oil finish to create super-durable hardwood.
Somerset, who carries some of the thickest, most durable engineered wood planks on the market
From The Forest, an excellent brand that also focuses on sustainability and reforestation.
A budget-friendly alternative to hardwood, laminate flooring continues to be popular because of its durability. Made of a high-density fiberboard or plywood core, a realistic image layer, and a protective wear layer, laminate mimics the look of hardwood or stone while also offering stain, scratch and scuff-resistance.
Unlike LVP, not all laminate flooring is waterproof. You’ll need to do a little extra research (or check out our guide to waterproof laminate flooring) if you’re looking for water resistance—when laminate flooring isn’t waterproof, it’s really not waterproof.
Because of its durability and cost, laminate is a perfect floor for bedrooms, hallways, kitchens, laundry rooms, or anywhere else you want the look of hardwood.
Newton, our top overall laminate flooring brand (which offers several waterproof options).
You might not expect it, but modern carpet is some of the most durable flooring out there. There are certain types of carpet these days that are specially designed to take a beating.
We should caveat this with an obvious statement: you get what you pay for with carpet (just like all other types of flooring). Cheap carpet can be disappointingly easy to destroy, but if you stick with the best carpet brands, it’s a perfectly solid option for almost any space!
Check out some of our favorite durable carpet brands:
Paradiso is a luxury brand that offers durable, woven (and hand-woven) carpet.
If you’re choosing between cut vs. loop pile carpet and want to focus on durability, we recommend going with loop carpet. Loop carpet fibers are threaded back into the carpet’s base in (surprise) loops, which makes it more durable. It’s why we named loop carpet some of the best carpet for stairs—its durability is top-notch!
It might sound strange that flooring that’s technically made from grass would be durable, but bamboo floors are even harder than some types of hardwoods.
For example, strand-woven bamboo flooring—made of shredded bamboo fibers 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.
That said, bamboo is one of the most beloved types of flooring for kitchens, hallways, and dining rooms.
Bamboo flooring is harder to find, but check out these brands for high-quality, durable bamboo flooring:
Plyboo, an ultra-sustainable bamboo flooring brand that even uses a soy-based adhesive to ensure it’s formaldehyde-free.
Ambient, one of the original pioneers of strand-woven bamboo flooring.
#7: Sheet Vinyl
Often overlooked as an unfashionable or outdated product, sheet vinyl actually boasts many of the same performance attributes as luxury vinyl plank. In addition to being waterproof, many sheet vinyl products feature thicker wear layers and protective coatings that boost its stain and scratch resistance. Some of the sheet vinyl products of today even have fiberglass backings.
Sheet vinyl is one of the best flooring options for bathrooms and kitchens (where you’ve probably seen it a million times), but it’s also great for mudrooms, kitchens, and basements.
That’s a wrap on our breakdown of the 7 most durable flooring options. Our advice: talk to the real experts. Use this flooring near me search to find a local retailer in your area!
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).
It’s a serious question: can vinyl plank flooring go in a bathroom? We hear you, we have your back, and we’re not wasting any time! Below we’re explaining all the pros and cons of using LVP in a bathroom, going over a few of the best vinyl plank flooring brands, and to wrap things up, answering any and all lingering questions!
This post may contain references or links to products from one or more partners of our parent company and/or subsidiaries of our parent company. For more information, visit this page. May 5, 2022 Want to give your laundry room an upgrade and looking for the best laundry room flooring? You’re in the right place! Laundry rooms […]
Have you been thinking about carpeting your basement? Wondering what’s the best carpet for basements? That’s reasonable! You need to be sure that you aren’t wasting money with a basement carpet that might get ruined quickly. We’re all familiar with how musty basements can get. Even nice, finished basements can be prone to dampness after a hard rain. The best basement flooring has to be able to handle some amount of moisture.
I am very glad to say that your publication is very interesting to read. I never stop talking about it. You are doing a great job. Keep it up!
Thanks so much for the kind words!
This was a very helpful article. Thank you so much for a job well done!
So often we search for information about a topic, and it turns out to be useless or bad advertising. Your writing is neither of those. Instead, you gave me the insight I needed to help make an informed and good flooring decision.
Hi there, jumping in on Lauren’s behalf to say a big THANK YOU for reading! We agree entirely, Lauren rocks—I’ll pass along your kind words.
Best of luck on your floor buying journey!