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What are the Different Types of Flooring Materials?

By Summer Banks
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are many different types of commonly used flooring materials, including laminate, bamboo and hardwood. Other, frequently utilized floor products are wood, tile, Pergo® and carpet. Some types of flooring are chosen for use in specific locations in the home, depending on the function of the room.

Laminate flooring materials often mimic the look of wood. The benefits of using a laminate include durability and easy installation. Most laminate materials are installed with an interlocking pattern that does not require nails or glue to adhere it to a room's plywood subfloor.

Bamboo flooring is a natural alternative to manmade materials. Bamboo offers increased resistance to insect damage and decreased moisture damage. A bamboo floor can also be installed using an interlocking method that requires no nails or glue to affix it to the subfloor.

Hardwood floors are often chosen for their beauty and variance in pattern and color. The term hardwood flooring is often used synonymously with the term wood flooring, but the two differ in quality and softness. The most common woods used for hardwood flooring include cherry, mahogany, oak and maple.

Wood flooring is the term used for all flooring materials derived from wood. Bamboo is often referred to as a type of wood flooring even though bamboo is a grass and not a wood. Both solid hardwood flooring materials and engineered materials fall under the wood flooring category.

Tile flooring is a popular choice for bathrooms and kitchens. Saltillo tile, a type of clay tile most often made in Mexico, as well as ceramic or porcelain tile can be installed in nearly any room of the home. Travertine, a type of rock, and marble are common flooring materials used in affluent homes throughout the world.

Pergo® is a type of laminate made, in part, from chipped wood. It offers increased durability and shine over some other flooring materials. While Pergo® is often used as a generic term for laminate flooring, it is actually the brand name of a product sold by a leading flooring manufacturer and should not be confused with other, similar options.

Carpet is commonly used throughout many homes. Types of carpet are often distinguished by the tightness of the yarn twist, also known as the pile. Typically, a carpet with a tight pile is more durable and has a firm feel. Conversely, a carpet with a less tightly twisted weave has a softer feel.

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Discussion Comments

By rugbygirl — On Jun 05, 2011

I just came across a flooring idea I'd never heard of before--concrete! You're probably picturing a flat gray floor like you might have in your basement, but they can do all sorts of fancy things with concrete these days, apparently.

I'd actually first looked into it as a patio material, but turns out it can work inside, too. They can stain and stamp it so it looks more like natural stone. Or if your budget reaches that far, it can be quite fancy, like colored marble.

If you've always wanted ceramic tile but it wasn't in the budget and you thought you'd have to go with laminate, concrete could be another alternative. It's much cheaper than a real stone floor.

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