General guidelines for rooms are helpful, but specific guidelines that apply directly to your lifestyle are better. Pets, kids, allergies, or a preference for sustainable materials influences which flooring is best for you.
Which Flooring is Best for Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets?
Between bathroom accidents, fur, and claws, pets add more wear to a floor. As much, we advise against carpet since fur, dander, and accidents are hard to completely remove. Hardwood floors are ideal, so long as you select a hardwood over a softwood. Hardwoods don’t scratch or dent as easily and accidents aren’t as likely to soak into the wood grain, increasing the chance of additional accidents. Walnut, hickory, or bamboo are all great options for cats and dogs. Fur is easy to sweep away and any accidents can easily be wiped up with floor cleaner and a cloth.
Tile and LVT are both viable options as well. For tile, choose options with more texture to them to provide more traction for your four-legged friend. For LVT, make sure you choose a FloorScore Certified floor, providing a safer floor for your pets.
Which Flooring is Best for Families and Kids?
Kids bring a rush of energy to a home, and this means spilled drinks, uncapped markers on the floor, and running around in mud-covered shoes. To combat stains, flooring needs to be easy to clean and durable. Here’s how each type of flooring works in a home with children:
While LVT and laminate are very durable and very easy to clean, they do emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds found in the adhesives), so make sure to go with FloorScore Certified floors, as this seal tells you the floors have been independently tested to comply with indoor air quality criteria.
Hardwood is durable, easy to clean, and lasts for decades. Just make sure to clean up messes sooner rather than later to prevent stains or water damage.
Laminate is an affordable option, but be sure to choose one with an AC2 or AC3 rating to provide the most value and durability.
Tile works well since it lasts for decades, but they can easily crack or shatter when the kids decide to drop every pan you own. However, you can replace broken tiles more easily than having to replace other types of flooring. Choose one with traction to avoid slipping or add area rugs.
Carpet tiles are the best choice for kids’ bedrooms and playrooms. They’re easy to install, easy to replace, and easy to to combine multiple styles to create fun patterns.
Best Flooring for Homeowners with Allergies
Dust, dander, and pollen seem to get everywhere. All that gunk settles into carpets, so we recommend going with flooring that doesn’t trap allergens. Our top recommendation is hardwood Because it’s a natural, organic material. Tile, laminate, and LVT are not as completely organic as hardwood, but they also work well to minimize allergens.
Which Flooring is Best for a Sustainable Lifestyle?
With finite resources, sustainability and renewable resources are important. Our top recommendation is to go with a bamboo hardwood floor and use natural finishes. Bamboo grows very quickly. Faster than other hardwoods by a large margin. As such, it’s far more sustainable to harvest.
If bamboo doesn’t fit your aesthetic or your budget, choosing engineered hardwood over solid hardwood is the more sustainable choice because it uses half as much wood as solid wood floors.
If you’re choosing laminate flooring, look for products made from a high percentage of recycled materials. For example, our Mannington Laminate floors are made from recycled materials.
4. Find the Best Floors for Your Home