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October 31, 2019
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 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 6 most durable flooring options you can get for your home—including what they’re made of, why they’re so resiliant, and the spots in your home they’re perfect for.
Don’t let the word “porcelain” fool you: this tile can handle just about anything. Porcelain’s density makes it resistant to scratching and scuffing. And because porcelain features through-body color—meaning the color on the surface carries all the way through the tile—any chips or scratches won’t be noticeable.
Any types of tile that are certified as porcelain also have to be impervious, meaning their water absorption rate is less than 0.5 percent (read: essentially waterproof). This makes porcelain tile a great choice for moisture-prone areas. It can even be installed outdoors!
Porcelain tile is a perfect choice for bathrooms, laundry rooms, entryways, outdoor areas, even kitchens.
#2: Vinyl Plank (aka Luxury Vinyl)
Vinyl plank, luxury vinyl, LVT—whatever you call it, this type of flooring has become extremely popular in recent years (largely because of its durability).
Composed of multiple synthetic layers, vinyl plank is both a waterproof flooring option (or water-resistent, depending on the product) and endlessly customizable. While some flexible-core products have been known to dent, rigid-core products can stand up to heavy furniture and high heels with no problem. Plus, protective finishes and wear layers make vinyl plank extraordinarily scuff-resistant.
Vinyl plank is an ideal flooring for laundry rooms, basements, kitchens, playrooms, or even mudrooms—it can easily handle tracked-in water, mud, or snow.
#3: Sheet Vinyl
Often overlooked as an unfashionable or outdated product, sheet vinyl actually boasts many of the same performance attributes as popular luxury vinyl plank.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 a 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 mud rooms, kitchens, and basements.
Although it’s susceptible to water damage and scratches, many wood flooring types can last for decades (or even centuries). 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.
Just remember: 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.
While solid wood’s lack of water resistance makes it a not-great choice for super-wet areas (think kitchens and bathrooms), engineered hardwood can mitigate some of these issues. This is especially true if you’re looking for floors for humid climates.
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 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.
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.
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. Because it’s lovely!
When it comes to durable flooring, you’ve got options. Our advice: talk to the real experts. Use this flooring near me search to find a local retailer in your area!
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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If you’re here, you have questions. And we have answers!
Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on the best flooring for kitchens, including a quick summary of different features to check for, a full breakdown of 10 of our favorite kitchen flooring choices, and an FAQ section to cover any remaining details about choosing the best flooring for kitchens.
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