To know which is best for you, consider your lifestyle. Do you have young children or pets? You’ll probably be happiest with easy-care flooring that stands up to wear and tear. Empty nesters or single homeowners may prefer more fashionable options, but those require extra upkeep. Let’s look at each of the flooring styles you mentioned.
Laminate Price, durability and easy installation have always been laminate’s best selling points. Now, thanks to high-tech innovations, it is more upscale than ever. I recommend it for active families looking for low maintenance and budget savings, but it is not as durable as wood or tile.
Wood offers beauty, midrange affordability and a variety of widths and finishes. Choices, from oak to mahogany, range from ¾ to 6 inch widths, unfinished or prefinished and solid or engineered. A prefinished floor has a tougher finish and is less prone to buckling than a post finished one, but it doesn’t have a better-sealed surface, since cracks won’t be glazed along with plank tops. Engineered wood is less expensive, but should not be exposed to water –avoid it for kitchens. The drawback to hardwood floors is that they require more attention than laminate or tile.
Tile is a practical choice for kitchens, since it doesn’t hold moisture and wipes up quickly. Style-conscious homeowners appreciate its diverse array of materials, including natural stone, porcelain, glass and recycled rubber. Keep in mind, though, that glasses and plates break more easily when dropped on tile than on wood or laminate.