Buying Guide

Types of Flooring

Types of Hardwood Flooring
A bedroom with hardwood flooring.

Hardwood flooring is durable and provides a timeless, elegant look. Certain types of hardwood floors can be refinished up to five times, and you can change the sheen to match a newly decorated room. Area rugs make easy, attractive additions to rooms with hardwood floors. While hardwood flooring is one of the most expensive options to install, many homeowners choose it for its longevity and return on investment. You can opt to install hardwood flooring on your own, but if saving time is your goal, you can hire professionals to install the flooring as well. 


  • Solid hardwood flooring consists of boards milled from a single piece of wood. 
  • Engineered hardwood flooring consists of a multi-layer base (made of compressed wood, resin and polymers) with real hardwood on the surface. It can be significantly less expensive than solid hardwood. 
  • Hardwood is available in such types of wood as red oak, white oak, cherry, walnut, hickory and maple. 
  • While hardwood options of the past required more maintenance, new waterproof and scratch and dent-resistant hardwood floors are available. These choices are ideal for high-moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms as well as busy areas like hallways and playrooms. 
Types of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring in a living room and hallway area.

Laminate flooring delivers the look of real wood, tile or stone flooring at an affordable price. However, there is less maintenance involved. With scratch-resistant, waterproof, noise-resistant and heated options available in a variety of stylish, easy-to-install options, laminate flooring has grown in popularity.

 

  • Choose flooring from planks, tiles or squares that feature an interlocking tongue-and-groove assembly, which simplifies installation. 
  • Grain styles of laminate wood flooring emulate the look of pine, maple, cherry, oak and more. 
  • Other styles of laminate include stone, marble, limestone, slate and travertine. 
  • Durable laminate flooring options can withstand wet bathroom floors, wear and tear from pets as well as kitchen spills. 
Types of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl plank flooring installed in a kitchen.

Vinyl flooring is an extremely durable and economical plastic, usually consisting of acrylic, PVC and similar polymers. It's a cost-effective option for homeowners looking for luxurious style and durability. Vinyl flooring is available in planks or sheets. Since it is waterproof, scratch- and stain-resistant and commercial grade in durability, vinyl flooring is both functional and stylish.  


  • In terms of color options, there are a variety of types of vinyl plank flooring available. Vinyl can be installed in rolls or in a variety of different shapes, sizes and installation methods, including adhesive, peel-and-stick and click-lock. Vinyl can also be installed directly over most floors. 
  • The available finishes are no-wax, urethane or enhanced urethane, and each offers stain-resistance and a nice shine that does not require polishing or buffing. 
  • When shopping for your vinyl flooring, keep the wear layer in mind. This is the top surface of your flooring, usually made of a clear, polyurethane coat, which makes it waterproof, scratch or stain resistant. Thickness ranges between 4 to 40 millimeters, with the thicker wear layer making more sense for homes with pets, kids and high traffic. 
  • Vinyl styles include luxury vinyl planks made to look like hardwood and vinyl tile made to look like high-end stones like marble.
  • Many homeowners prefer vinyl plank or vinyl tile flooring due to the water-resistant, stain-resistant and scratchproof features some types offer.  
  • Vinyl flooring is inexpensive, ideal for heavy traffic areas like kitchens and hallways, and easy to install.
Types of Tile Flooring
Tile flooring installed in a bathroom.

Tile flooring is perfect for rooms that frequently contain moisture or have the potential to get wet, like bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and basements. Tiles are versatile and can last for many years with little maintenance required. Many tile textures are available that can mimic wood, stone or even fabric.


  • Ceramic tile is made from clay and is durable enough for most rooms of the house while having a softer, more comfortable walking surface compared to other tiles. 
  • Porcelain tile is fired at a higher temperature than ceramic tile, making it more durable, less porous and more water-resistant than ceramic, but also more expensive. 
  • Natural stone tile includes granite, marble, slate and other surfaces that have an elegant appearance but can be expensive. 
  • Other types of tiles include mosaic glass, metal, cement and engineered tile, which is created with limestone, bits of marble and the other materials, like epoxy. 
  • Tile flooring can work perfectly in kitchen and bathrooms, but it is also more tedious to install. Certain stones, like marble and slate, require extra care and can stain, scuff or chip easily. 
Other Types of Flooring
A dining room with bamboo flooring installed.

When it comes time to update your home, you're not just limited to the types of flooring material mentioned above. 


Here are some other types of floors that homeowners should consider when making upgrades:

  • Bamboo flooring is comparable to the warm, attractive appearance of wood (although technically a grass). 
  • Cork flooring has a natural resilience that makes it a comfortable surface. Made of renewable materials, cork flooring offers warmth, cushion and added quiet due to cork's ability to absorb noise. Available in planks, tiles and click-lock options. 
  • Rubber flooring is available in sheets and tiles that come in multiple colors. Rubber blocks sound and resists moisture. 
  • Gym flooring, typically made of rubber or foam, is available in interlocking tiles or rolls of sheeting. This type of flooring is created to withstand the wear and tear of gyms and high traffic. It can be exposed to water, reduces noise and absorbs shock.

Keep in mind that the best flooring materials for your home will depend on your home lifestyle and budget. The wide variety in the different types of flooring materials we offer provides you with choices, including on-trend, water-resistant, easy-to-clean styles. If you prefer to have flooring installed rather than tackling it yourself, our professionals can install your new hardwood, laminate, vinyl or tile floor.
 

When transportation of flooring is a challenge, The Home Depot truck rental can help. From pickups and vans to moving trucks, we've got you covered.