Whether you’re building a new house or replacing your current floors, you have a variety of options when it comes to flooring materials. Your decision will be guided by your budget, preferred aesthetic, and where the flooring is located in the home. To get a better idea of which material is right for you, let’s look at the most common types of flooring materials.

Common Types of Flooring Materials

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is a classic choice and one of the most popular. Available in a wide range of colors and styles, it’s both attractive and durable. The cost to install is about $6 – $12 for every square foot but may run higher if you choose a specialized wood or unique design. The downside of hardwood is that it is fairly expensive and can develop scratches and dents. After several years, hardwood flooring can be refinished to look new again.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate is a popular choice because of its lower cost than other materials. It is available in a variety of colors and styles. You can even find laminate that mimics hardwood, tile, and stone. It’s easy to install and very durable, so laminate is a good choice for high-traffic areas. The cost to install laminate ranges from $2.70 – $10 for every square foot. The downsides are that laminate is prone to moisture damage and is difficult to repair if scratched. It may not be a good choice for kitchens or bathrooms where moisture is common.

Porcelain and Ceramic Types of Flooring Materials

Tile flooring is a popular yet costly option. The cost to install a ceramic or porcelain flooring depends on the type of tile you choose but averages $13 – $83 for each square foot. You’ll find tiles in a variety of colors, textures, and designs. Tile is a durable material that’s water-resistant and often used in kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways. The downsides are that tile is expensive, difficult to install, and may chip or crack under heavy use.


Carpet is a favorite for bedrooms where it provides warmth underfoot and noise reduction. Carpet is fairly inexpensive at about $3.50 – $12 per square foot. You can choose from multiple designs, styles, and materials. Carpet can be difficult to clean, though stain-resistant varieties are available. The downsides are that carpet traps allergens and requires professional cleaning to keep it looking its best. Because it stains easily and will absorb odors, it is not ideal for pet owners or in kitchens and bathrooms.

While these are some of the more popular flooring materials, they are not your only options. There are other materials available including vinyl and cork flooring. The best material for your home is the one that fits your budget, style, and the room where it will be installed. With the information provided here, you can make a more informed decision about the right flooring for your living spaces.

Altamont Inspections offers home inspections to customers in Western North Carolina. Contact us to request our services.