Flooring Ideas for Any Space

When it comes to flooring ideas, each room in your house has its own special needs.

By: John Riha

There are a lot of flooring products out there, and most come in a huge array of styles, colors and textures. So set aside the design aspect for now—believe us, no matter what you choose, you’re covered in the good-looks department.

Let’s take a look at some individual rooms and what type of flooring best fits each space.

Kitchen Flooring Ideas

  • Priorities: Kitchen floors need to be tough, waterproof, stain resistant and comfortable underfoot.
  • Best choices: Sheet vinyl and engineered wood meet the major criteria for kitchen floor ideas. 

Sheet vinyl comes in 12-foot-wide widths, so most kitchen installations will be virtually seamless. Sheet vinyl is also called resilient flooring, meaning it gives slightly and cushions your step. That helps fight fatigue during hours of food prep.

Engineered wood brings the warmth and character of natural wood to the kitchen, while the laminate construction defies moisture. Most engineered wood systems come as DIY-friendly floating floor systems, with snap-together planks installed over a foam pad — an excellent fatigue fighter.

  • In the running: Ceramic and porcelain tile have been in kitchens for millennia and are classic kitchen flooring. 
  • Don’t choose: Vinyl tiles — too many seams risk moisture getting to the subfloor.

Bathroom Flooring Ideas

  • Priorities: You’ll need waterproof, slip-resistant flooring.
  • Best choices: Both sheet vinyl and ceramic tile are time-tested flooring ideas for bathrooms.

Better grades of sheet vinyl are thick enough to be embossed with textured, slip-resistant patterns. It comes in 12-foot-wide rolls that make a bathroom installation virtually seamless.

Glazed ceramic tile is moisture-proof and a good DIY project. Porcelain tile is harder and less porous but trickier to work with. Choose tiles with slip-resistant finishes. The many grout lines of smaller tiles (4x4-inch and smaller) provide traction, too.

  • Don’t choose: Cork or linoleum. Although these ecofriendly choices are relatively moisture proof, they’re prone to staining and require high maintenance. Linoleum can be slippery when wet.

Basement Flooring Ideas

  • Priorities: You’ll want flooring that’s warm, cushiony and defies moisture. 
  • Best choices: Sheet vinyl and engineered wood are good basement flooring ideas. Engineered wood planks have a top veneer of real wood glued to a plywood backing that fends off moisture and keeps each plank stable. A floating floor of engineered wood is a good DIY project.

Moisture-proof carpet tiles have plastic bases that elevate them off a concrete slab and create a damp-fighting air space underneath.

  • In the running: Ceramic tile is definitely waterproof, mold proof and an ideal surface on top of concrete. The drawback is that it’s hard and reflects sound. It’s also a cold surface, but you could fix that by installing electric radiant heat mats under the tile.

Also in the running is DIY-friendly rubber flooring. It comes in thick tiles with interlocking edges. You’ll find lots of colors that make it fun to create your own designs. Cushiony rubber floors are a good choice for basement playrooms.

  • Don’t choose: Solid hardwood absorbs moisture and can warp, crack and twist in basement environments.

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