And just what does best flooring mean anyway? That depends on several factors, all of which are applicable to your own situation.
Before we proceed with our best flooring overview, ask yourself:
- Budget - What is in your budget? If you cannot spend more than $1,000 on a kitchen floor, then granite, solid hardwood, and engineered wood are not options.
- Location - Where is the floor being installed? Will the flooring be in a wet location, semi-wet, dry, high-traffic, etc? How will the selected flooring hold up in these areas?
- Maintenance - What about maintenance needs? This is more of a personality decision than a flooring decision Any type of flooring--even the least durable--can be used for decades if properly maintained. But if you don't normally like to maintain your floor per manufacturers' instructions, then you need to reconsider your choice.
- Looks and Feel - Most homeowners place this question at the top of their list; we place it at the bottom, below the more pragmatic issues listed above. Oddly enough, the look of your flooring is becoming less critical as the years go by, as flooring manufacturers become more adept at reproducing the look of natural stone or wood in both laminate and resilient flooring versions. But it's hard to reproduce the warmth of solid hardwood or the solidity of stone.