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Guide to Selecting Flooring (page 1 of 3)

Which flooring is right for you? Hardwood, laminate, tile, vinyl or eco-friendly choices like cork or bamboo? Our experts explain the 8 most popular types to help you choose.

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Picking new flooring can be daunting task. There are many materials to choose from and each type has a gamut of options to go along with it. Also, depending on the room and the flow of trafiic, there are a variety of considerations to think about. This guide explains the eight most popular types of flooring materials, where they're best used and their pros and cons.

Hardwood

For starters, let's take a look at a traditional favorite: hardwood. Thanks to hardwood's durability and warm, natural feel, it continues to be the flooring of choice for many homeowners. Of the hardwoods, oak remains the most popular choice, but other woods like cherry and imported exotic woods such as Brazilian cherry or Tasmanian oak are definitely worth considering. Hardwood floors come in a variety of styles such as plank, parquet and prefinished boards that you can install yourself.

Living room with hardwood floor

Laminate

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular flooring choices around. It's easier to install than solid-wood hardwood floors and is much less expensive. Laminate floors get their name because they're composed of different wood-based materials that are layered, or laminated, together then topped with a wood grain photographic imprint on the face of each board.

A variation on true laminate floors are engineered wood floors. Engineered wood consists of a real hardwood veneer attached to a number of plywood layers. This is a little more expensive than laminate because the top layer is real wood rather than a photographic imprint. This top layer of wood gives engineered wood floors a much more convincing sound, feel and look than laminate.

Laminate flooring
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