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June 8, 2020
If you’re reading this article, we can only assume you’re thinking about replacing your mudroom flooring. After all, it’s not easy!
Proper mudroom flooring is incredibly important. It needs to be able to stand up to the dirt, mud, and water that gets tracked in from outside. But it also needs to provide a beautiful entryway into your home! Which means that not all types of flooring are up to the task—and you’ve got questions.
How do you compare the durability of bamboo flooring vs. laminate when it comes to tracked-in dirt? How do tile vs. wood floors stack up when it comes to water resistance? And speaking of different types of tile, how do you choose between tile vs. laminate if you need your mudroom flooring to be slip-resistant?
The questions are endless—but that’s where we come in. Below, we’re going to show you everything you need to consider when choosing your mudroom flooring.
Then, we’re going to go over the best (and worst) types of mudroom flooring for functionality and budget. So: without further ado, let’s talk about mudroom flooring!
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Mudroom Flooring
Aside from the sheer number of options to choose from, there are a few things to consider when choosing your mudroom flooring. They’re all relatively obvious, but can easily be overlooked if you’ve already found a floor that you love (we’ve all been there).
But remember: skipping these considerations in favor of a budget-friendly floor or something that only serves aesthetic purposes will make you regret your decision, so make sure to think it through!
Mudroom Flooring Should be Easy to Clean
One of the first things to consider when choosing your mudroom flooring: is it easy to clean?
Again, this is probably pretty obvious—but we honestly can’t stress it enough. Mudrooms have the word ‘mud’ in them—they’re designed to (and will) get dirty! That means you’ll want a floor that you can vacuum, sweep, and wet mop.
This consideration is especially true if you’ve had your heart set on some gorgeous wood floor designs (and let’s be honest, we all love wood). You can still get those amazing designs, but you’ll probably want to opt for a more heavy-duty type of fake wood flooring rather than the real thing. We’ll talk more about that later, though.
Your Mudroom Flooring Should Be Moisture-Resistant
Aside from withstanding a wet mop, you’ll want to make sure your flooring will hold up to your family’s muddy shoes and any weather you bring in with you.
It depends on where you live, of course, but your mudroom flooring will probably see rain, snow, mud, and muddy paw prints. It’s essential that your mudroom flooring is water-resistant, or you could destroy your beautiful entryway in just a matter of months.
Opt for Something Tough, Yet Stylish
Your mudroom is probably one of the first areas guests see when they enter your home. So yes, you want flooring that is durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean—but you also will want something that’s attractive.
Basically, this area of your home will get beat up and dirty, but it should look pretty even when it has gotten mucked up from your kids and pets.
Finally: Consider Your Lifestyle Before Choosing Your Mudroom Flooring
The most important thing to consider when choosing your mudroom flooring is your lifestyle. This will help determine exactly how tough and water-resistant your mudroom flooring needs to be.
Do you have kids? Are they involved in sports? Do you have dogs that need scratch-resistant flooring? Will your mudroom actually be used as a mudroom to get out of dirty clothes and shoes? Or is this area just a secondary entryway?
Seriously, ask yourself these questions! They’ll help you get an idea of how your floors will be treated—how often they’ll be cleaned, if they’ll be subjected to brute force (bouncing balls, dropping heavy bags of groceries), etc. Then, you can use these answers to decide how heavy-duty your mudroom flooring needs to be.
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The Best Types of Mudroom Flooring
Now that you know what to consider when choosing your mudroom flooring, let’s talk about specific materials. Here are some of the best mudroom flooring options:
#1. Tile: Hard, Waterproof, and Beautiful
Tile flooring is a great option for mudrooms because it’s relatively easy to install and maintain. It can also be cost-friendly, visually appealing, and tough as… well, tile. Before choosing to install tile in your mudroom, though, you’ll have to decide whether you want porcelain or ceramic.
Each of these types of flooring is a great choice, but they have their own pros and cons. You should also be aware that tiles can be made out of almost anything, but for this article’s purpose, we are going to cover the two most common choices.
Why Use Porcelain Tiles in a Mudroom
If we’re getting technical, porcelain is a type of ceramic—but it’s made of more refined clay and baked at a much higher temperature. This makes it even more waterproof than regular ceramic.
Plus, with water-resistance comes stain-resistance, so you’ll be dealing with a type of mudroom flooring that’s relatively easy to maintain. If cleanliness is an important part of your life, that is a total game-changer.
On the flipside, though, porcelain tile can also become super slippery when wet—and for a mudroom, that’s not a great thing. Think about it this way: there’s a scale called the Coefficient of Friction Rating (COF) that measures how slippery something is. The higher the rating, the less slippery the tile.
A COF of at least .50 (well, technically .42) is recommended for flooring. Porcelain often falls on the proper side of that number, but not always—so make sure to ask your flooring dealer before you purchase your tiles! Just because a tile is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s suitable for your mudroom.
Why Use Ceramic Tiles in a Mudroom
On the other hand, you have ceramic tile. It’s slightly more porous than porcelain tile, making it a bit more prone to staining. However, it’s also less slippery when wet. Again: this is definitely something to consider when making your mudroom flooring choice because chances are, at some point, someone is coming in with wet shoes!
Ceramic tile is also typically less expensive than porcelain, but it really depends on the product you choose.
Everything else aside, remember: there are literally thousands of options when it comes to tile. We haven’t even talked about cement tile, the glazed vs. unglazed question, snap-together tile flooring, or any of the endless considerations you have when purchasing a tile floor.
Our advice? If you’re thinking about choosing tile for your mudroom, go straight to the source—find a flooring store in your area and ask them. They can answer all of your specific questions about tile flooring for mudrooms.
#2. Vinyl Plank: Hi-Tech, Durable, and Attractive
While we prefer to call it “vinyl plank” (the most generic and straightforward term), this product also goes by LVT (luxury vinyl tile), LVP (luxury vinyl plank), and about a million other names. Whatever you call it, vinyl plank is one of the best types of vinyl flooring around.
So what is vinyl plank exactly? It’s a type of flooring that can be made to look and feel like basically anything (wood, most often) but with the benefit of an entirely synthetic construction. This gives vinyl plank flooring an incredible amount of durability. Plus, new hi-tech advances in manufacturing have made vinyl plank more beautiful than ever.
Just how much do people love vinyl plank flooring? Let’s put it this way: LVT is expected to be a $31.4 billion industry by 2024. If you’re looking for the most durable mudroom flooring possible, vinyl plank might be your best option. Oh, and did we mention it’s completely waterproof?
Plus, LVT is easy to install. You can glue it down like most types of flooring, or you can opt for a click-lock product instead. If you’ve been reading up on how to install hardwood floors, you’ll know the difference—but if you haven’t, click-together flooring installs via a system of interlocking planks rather than by being attached to a subfloor. This makes it a much easier do-it-yourself flooring option.
Do keep in mind that, as with all flooring products, less-expensive options might not look as great (or realistic, if you’re trying to mimic wood). And in general, vinyl plank flooring isn’t the most environmentally friendly option. It is made of plastic, after all!
#3. Vinyl Sheet Flooring: Budget-Friendly and Easy to Clean
Vinyl sheet flooring might remind you of your grandma’s kitchen growing up, but this flooring style still has a ton to offer. It’s waterproof, it’s budget-friendly, and it’s super easy to clean.
So what’s the difference between vinyl plank flooring and vinyl sheet flooring? Vinyl plank flooring comes in rigid or semi-rigid planks (duh) and it’s made up of multiple different layers to enhance underfoot feel, appearance, and other qualities. It’s hi-tech stuff—we weren’t kidding about that.
Vinyl sheet flooring, on the other hand, is a softer, flexible material that starts off as a single rolled-up sheet. To install it, you glue it to your subfloor or underlayment in a single layer and seam it just like carpet.
If it’s installed properly, vinyl sheet is entirely waterproof—and it’ll last a long time. And if you’re confused about any of the terms we just mentioned, check out our piece on subflooring vs. underlayment for definitions.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of options when it comes to vinyl sheet flooring and the patterns you can find it in. You should be aware though: this option is also not completely environmentally friendly. And as it’s rather soft, it can gouge if you put heavy furniture on it. With that said, you will definitely get your money’s worth if you opt for this mudroom flooring choice.
Mudroom Flooring Choices to Avoid
There are a number of different flooring types that you should avoid installing in your mudroom. If you’re thinking of using any of the flooring choices listed below (specifically for your mudroom) please think again!
Of course, we can’t tell you what to do, but we can tell you why you shouldn’t.
#1. Hardwood Floors: Never Ideal for Wet Environments
There’s no doubt that hardwood floors are beautiful; they’re often a huge selling point in homes. However, they are NOT waterproof or even water-resistant. When they continually get wet, they can swell, buckle, and stain. After all, the most durable wood flooring is still that—wood flooring!
Even the best hardwood floors will look rough after a number of years (or months) in a mudroom, so it’s best to save your money and install them elsewhere in your home. Seriously—even if you’re going with the best engineered wood flooring that money can buy from the best hardwood floor brand around, you’re still going to have warping, swelling, and cracking if those engineered wood planks keep getting wet and dirty.
If you’re dead set on buying a hardwood floor, you may be better off looking at concrete flooring that looks like wood or other hardwood floor alternatives in order to achieve the same look without the heartache of seeing you hardwood floors being ruined by water.
#2. Wall-to-Wall Carpet: Because It Will Become a Dirt Trap
Most people are moving away from wall-to-wall carpet because it gets dirty quickly, traps bacteria, and usually needs to be professionally cleaned. Yes, it’s soft, plush, and warm underfoot—but those qualities are much better suited for a bedroom than a mudroom.
If you absolutely have to have carpet in your mudroom, consider learning how to install carpet tiles as they’re easy to replace for when they inevitably become wet and dirty. Plus, you can buy peel-and-stick carpet tiles from Home Depot by the crate, so you don’t need to worry about them getting ruined.
#3. Laminate Flooring: It’ll Get Ruined Quickly
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This should be the go-to phrasing for laminate flooring in your mudroom. Yes, it’s durable, but it won’t stay that way for long.
So what is laminate flooring exactly? Laminate flooring is made up of several layers. The base layer is made of fiberboard or plywood; a photo-realistic image layer gives the appearance of wood or another type of floor, and a wear layer protects against wear and tear.
As floors go, laminate is quite durable. Its wear layer is often quite hard, and if properly cared for, it can last for a long time. But: laminate flooring is not waterproof (though some companies like Pergo do claim to make waterproof laminate options; check out some Pergo reviews to see what people are saying about that).
After all, the base layer is fiberboard or plywood. And when that layer gets wet, especially soaked, it can swell and ultimately ruin your floors. Because mudroom flooring tends to get wet (really wet), opting for this type of flooring can leave you wishing you’d installed almost any other available option.
Additionally, laminate flooring can look or feel cheap if you don’t get a high-quality product. So: are you comparing carpet vs. laminate or laminate vs. hardwood floors for your mudroom? Save yourself some time. Don’t go with any of them.
So What’s The Best Type of Mudroom Flooring?
At the end of the day, the best type of mudroom flooring is the one that you like the most! Seriously—once you weigh look, feel, and function, the choice is up to you. There’s no wrong answer.
Look, does the relatively high cost of wood flooring make it a good mudroom floor? No. But do heavy-duty outdoor flooring options like cement brick or rubber tile belong in your entryway? Also no! It’s all about finding your perfect balance between looks and durability.
Should You Install Your Mudroom Flooring or Hire a Pro?
After reading this, you might be wondering if you should install your own mudroom flooring or hire a professional to do the job. This mainly depends on you, your budget, and your abilities.
Ideally, you will hire a professional to install your flooring for you because they’ll get the job done quickly and correctly. If you’re ready to find the perfect mudroom flooring for your entryway or would like help installing it, use the flooring stores in my area tool to help you get started!
And for more reading on all of your flooring options, check out these articles:
- Types of Wood Flooring 101: Everything You Need to Know
- The Advantages and Disadvantages of Floating Floors
- Engineered Bamboo Flooring: Pros and Cons
- 9 Reasons The “Carpet vs. Hardwood” Debate is Silly
- How Much Does it Cost to Replace Carpet With Hardwood?
- Is the Cork Flooring Lowe’s Sells Actually Worth Buying?
- How to Replace Flooring: 8 Excellent Ideas
- Heating Wood Floors: How to Do It
- Linoleum vs. Laminate vs. Vinyl: Differences, Pros, & Cons
About The Author
Sarah is a full-time freelance writer and dog mom with a slight travel addiction. When she's not writing or removing fur from all surfaces, she can be found helping "supervise" her husband's retail store, planning adventures, taking naps, or adding to her already large makeup & skincare product collection.