When you are in the process of remodeling or designing a home’s interior, choosing flooring materials is one of the most important decisions you will make. Often, professional designers recommend choosing a type of flooring—as well as the color and finish—before you go on to choose things like countertops, lighting fixtures, cabinets, appliances, and wall colors because flooring is absolutely fundamental to a home’s appearance. 

Today, we’re exploring 9 of 2021’s most popular flooring choices. Modern flooring technology is truly amazing, offering more potential varieties than you may have realized! We hope this guide will help you determine which flooring is best for your home makeover.


1.) Hardwood

Hardwood flooring is timeless, beautiful, luxurious, and if well cared for, will last through your lifetime and beyond. 

Pros:

  • Available in a vast array of hues and a variety of widths
  • Boards can be purchased stained or custom stained at the time of installation
  • Warmer than many bare floors
  • Improves acoustics better than tile, concrete, ceramic, or stone
  • Increases the resale value of your home
  • Sturdy and durable, yet flexible

Cons:

  • Susceptible to moisture damage
  • Requires a fair bit of upkeep
  • Likely to scratch, scuff, and crack if mistreated
  • Since wood expands and contracts naturally, your new boards must be “aired” for at least 3 days in your home prior to acclimate to the ambient humidity and temperature
  • Prone to staining 
  • Difficult to replace only one damaged board without re-doing the surrounding flooring

2.) Bamboo

In recent years, the popularity of bamboo flooring has exploded. Bamboo requires special installation techniques, so before you hire your team, be sure the contractor can show you a portfolio of bamboo flooring installations that knock your socks off!

Pros:

  • Resistant to heat and moisture
  • Unlikely to scratch, crack, or warp
  • Warm underfoot
  • Available in many colors and widths
  • Incredibly durable; likely to last at least as long as traditional hardwood
  • As a luxury material, bamboo adds greatly to your home’s resale value
  • Improves acoustics by dampening sound better than tile, concrete, ceramic, or stone

Cons:

  • Costly, and difficult to install properly
  • Can contribute to deforestation if not sourced carefully
  • May fade in direct sunlight
  • Rough treatment may result in scratching

3.) Cork

Cork was a material few homeowners were familiar with twenty years ago, but the secret of this resilient choice is out, and we predict it will continue to surge in popularity.

Pros: 

  • Highly durable, thus unlikely to crack or warp
  • Long-lasting
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly
  • Warm, plush, and cushiony underfoot
  • Mildew, termite, and flame resistant
  • Effectively absorbs sound
  • Available in planks or tiles

Cons:

  • Requires re-sealing every 5 years
  • Absorbs moisture; spills must be wiped up immediately
  • Can be scratched and cut
  • Available in a very limited color range with distinct patterning

4.) Engineered Wood

Consisting of an organic wood veneer over a plywood base, engineered wood looks like hardwood, but has a few distinct differences.

Pros:

  • Looks and feels like hardwood, but is simpler to install
  • Improves a home’s resale value when compared to laminate or luxury vinyl plank flooring
  • Can be installed directly onto a subfloor or as a floating snap-in 
  • Considerably more eco-friendly than full hardwood planks

Cons:

  • Costs almost as much as hardwood
  • Must be carefully sanded to avoid removing the veneer
  • Prone to water damage
  • Requires professional installation

5.) Luxury Vinyl Plank and Tile

If you’re looking for alternatives to hardwood or tile flooring, whether for a rental or as a more affordable option in your own home, luxury vinyl has come a long way in recent years.

Pros:

  • Very good tile and wood look-alike styles
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Simple to install
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Single damaged pieces can be replaced easily
  • Glue-down and snap-in options 
  • Water damage resistant

Cons:

  • Won’t increase your home’s resale value
  • Can feel cold underfoot
  • Does not improve acoustics substantially over concrete, ceramic, or stone
  • Will be damaged if heavy items are dragged across them
  • Quality varies widely; avoid low-tier options for best results

6.) Laminate Plank and Tile

Laminate flooring is often mistaken for luxury vinyl in the minds of homeowners, but laminate is a distinct type of flooring that is manufactured from wood components. A photo of wood grain is printed over fiberboard, then covered with a clear wear-resistance layer.

 Pros:

  • Simple to install
  • Eco-friendly
  • Durable
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Won’t increase your home’s resale value
  • Printed images can look fake
  • Doesn’t feel like hardwood
  • Quality varies widely; avoid low-tier options for best results

7.) Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Ceramic floors are stunning and are particularly popular for bathrooms and kitchens. Created from fired clay, porcelain and ceramic tiles have been used in architecture for centuries. 

Pros:

  • Extremely durable; unlikely to be damaged by heat, impact, or scratching
  • Affordable, even in intricate custom designs

Cons:

  • Can be too firm for comfort; an area rug or foam mat will help
  • The grout between tiles can become grungy over time and may need to be replaced more often than you prefer. Black, charcoal, and brown grout may help, as will high-quality grout sealant
  • Ceramic tiles are very heavy, requiring sturdy subflooring to support their weight

8.) Natural Stone

Travertine and slate are both natural stone options that have remained popular for centuries. Suitable for many types of décor, this luxurious option is likely to appeal to buyers when you’re ready to sell.

Pros:

  • Great value for the resulting high impact, especially if you choose “imperfect” tiles or a less popular color
  • Available in many colors
  • Durable, likely to last generations
  • Very eco-friendly
  • Resistant to scratches, scuffs, and water damage

Cons:

  • Costly to install, and skilled professional labor is a must
  • Stone is very heavy, requiring sturdy subflooring to support its weight
  • May require resealing
  • May peel

9.) Carpet

While nearly all of us have experienced carpet, opinions of living with carpet vary widely. Before you discount the idea of carpet, OR before you go all-in, consider the following.

Pros:

  • Top-tier quality carpets, such as Berber, will increase your home’s resale value
  • Inexpensive carpets are ideal for rental properties
  • Soft and warm
  • Reduces echoes and dampens sound
  • Can be eco-friendly, depending on sourcing

Cons:

  • Retains dust and allergens
  • Stains very easily
  • Must be deep-cleaned often, usually professionally, which significantly adds to the cost of maintenance
  • Top-tier options are very expensive, and if damaged or worn, will not improve your home’s resale value
  • Tends to mildew and mold rather easily
Posted by Parks Real Estate on

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