Cork Flooring, Hardwoods, and Other Options

Here's a look at the types of flooring favored in homes and the pros of cons of each.

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring feels soft and spongy underfoot. Unlike wood or tile, it doesn't feel icy in the winter, rather feels kind of warm to the touch. Cork flooring also resists mildew well and does not absorb water. One of the cons is that it doesn't hold up real well in heavy traffic areas. Also, like wood, waxed cork needs rewaxing and buffing from time to time. Cork flooring costs $5 per square foot and up.

Hardwood Flooring

Wood floors are available in many species, offering a variety of patterns, styles, and darkness. Hardwoods have a rich appearance and work well with just about any period style. Installation is fairly simple. Some of the cons of hardwood floors are that they require regular maintenance and you need to wipe up spills promptly because wood can warp. Wood flooring is also noisy. Hardwoods cost $4-$10 per square foot, depending on the species of wood.


Carpet is warm and soft underfoot and can come in virtually any color, style, or texture. It absorbs noise well and is relatively easy to replace. Cons of carpet are its need for regular cleaning and its propensity for staining under heavy use. The cost of carpet is about $1-$5 per square foot.

Concrete Floors

Concrete flooring can be stamped, textured, and colored to mimic tile and other popular floor styles. It works well with radiant heat systems and passive solar designs (because it holds heat). Concrete is easy to clean. The main con is that it needs frequent sealing to avoid a wear pattern. The cost of concrete flooring varies a lot depending on who does the work.

Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring can imitate many kinds of more expensive materials such as wood, tile, and stone. Laminate is easy to install and extremely durable. A con can be that it doesn't sound real, not like the material it is imitating. Laminate flooring costs $2-$7 per square foot.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl floors look good, are easy to care for, and come in various textures and colors. Vinyl is water resistant in sheet form. It's relatively soft underfoot and, like laminate, can imitate more expensive flooring like hardwoods. Cons of vinyl are that it can look artificial and less expensive grades could discolor with age. It is also susceptible to dents and nicks.

Source: How to Increase the Value of Your Home : Simple, Budget-Conscious Techniques and Ideas That Will Make Your Home Worth Up to $100,000 More!

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