Floors are usually taken for granted, but they endure plenty of damage and abuse. Daily traffic, spilled food, and pet droppings and claws are but a few of the possible threats to floor integrity.
Here are some of the most durable flooring materials to choose from.
How Much Does Durable Flooring Cost?
When choosing from some of the most durable flooring materials available, you have a range of $2 to $9 per square foot, averaging $5.50.
Assuming you’re installing the flooring in a room measuring 132 square feet, the total is $726. This is the cost for a standard bedroom. Larger rooms might cost $4,500 on average to cover 500 square feet.
Measuring your floors first is the best way to get an estimate. The final price may vary due to labor costs, supply and demand, and other factors. During the COVID-19 lockdown, flooring prices rose due to low supply.
As the supply chain situation becomes less dire, the cost of getting durable flooring may stabilize or decrease. Always talk to a contractor first before proceeding with your project.
You can use our Flooring Cost Calculator to estimate the flooring installation prices for your home.
Flooring Cost per Square Foot
The table below lists the average prices of the most popular durable flooring options. All prices are in square feet.
|Flooring Material||Average Cost per Square Foot||Cost to Floor a 2,500-Square-Foot House|
|Ceramic and Porcelain||$6.50||$16,250|
A pattern you’ll notice is that natural ingredients like hardwood and natural stone tend to cost more than porcelain or ceramic tiles. Concrete is the cheapest option, as the most basic floor made of concrete isn’t too difficult for contractors to install.
The reason wood and stone cost more is due to labor costs. Wood must be cut and shaped, and stone must be processed in a quarry.
Loggers and miners must be paid, while machines can manufacture concrete powder at an astonishing rate.
Bamboo is an exception, as the plant grows rapidly and is readily available.
Bamboo Flooring Cost
Contrary to what many homeowners assume, bamboo isn’t considered wood, as it’s a species of grass. Though it costs less than most wooden floors, you can expect to spend about $13,000 to cover the floors of homes measuring 2,500 square feet.
On average, bamboo flooring costs $6 per square foot.
Bamboo flooring can be divided into several types, all of which offer their own traits. The cheapest is engineered bamboo, which is a combination of bamboo and some plywood or fiberboard. The mixture doesn’t show off the grain of the bamboo.
Natural bamboo flooring is either laminated horizontally or vertically. The horizontal option displays the bamboo grain beautifully, as the material is glued together and forms solid planks. Vertical bamboo is different in that the pieces are glued together vertically.
Strand woven bamboo is a flooring material produced by weaving bamboo strands together before compressing them with powerful machines.
The heat and pressure produce a tough board that performs better than many natural kinds of wood. It costs more than the other types, but the solid construction is a valuable advantage.
Did you know? Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on the planet, and some species can gain a meter of height in a single day. The plant’s growth rates are what make it an excellent flooring material.
Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons of bamboo flooring.
-Quality can be inconsistent
-Not waterproof without treatment
Cost Of Resilient Flooring/Vinyl
Vinyl is sometimes called resilient flooring, but this term is a result of marketing. A home measuring 2,500 square feet will cost $10,000 to install vinyl flooring. The average cost for this material is $4 per square foot.
Vinyl flooring can come in many colors and patterns to suit almost everyone’s tastes. Best of all, the material is entirely waterproof and excellent for homes with pets. Most vinyl flooring is made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.
The vinyl flooring used for modern homes is a multi-layered material that is soft to stand on. This means it’s not as painful for the feet and legs.
Two popular vinyl flooring products are luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and vinyl composite tiles (VCT). These are considered higher-quality flooring options but still cost much less than hardwood or stone.
Pros and Cons
Vinyl flooring possesses these characteristics:
-Many patterns and colors are available
-Vinyl is prone to scratching
-When removing vinyl, the subfloor may be damaged if not careful
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Cost
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are similar, but not identical. The average total cost of these tiles in a 2,500-square-foot home is $16,250. For every square foot, the flooring costs $6.50.
The trait that separates ceramic and porcelain is water absorption. Ceramic tiles have a higher rate, at above 0.5%, while porcelain tiles absorb only 0.5% or less. As such, porcelain is usually more expensive.
Generally, ceramic is softer than porcelain and more suited for indoor areas. Porcelain is more rigid but brittle, though you can cover outdoor floors or walls with it.
Tiles made of these two materials are usually covered in a glazed coating, making it difficult to distinguish them visually.
Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons of ceramic and porcelain flooring.
-Many styles and colors
-Requires more preparation to install
-Cold and slippery surface isn’t for everyone
Laminate Flooring Cost
While laminate floors resemble wood, it’s often a board made of wood particles and covered with a picture of wood.
The average total cost is $11,250, using the standard area of 2,500 square feet in this article. Each square foot of laminate flooring costs $4.50.
While wood particle laminate floors exist, some are actually made of plastic. Both types are easy to install and offer a cost-effective way to make floors look tidy. The surface is easy to clean as well.
Plastic laminate tends to last longer, but it neither feels nor looks like actual wood unless you get higher-end products. Wood grain is more realistic and closer to a wooden plank, but it sounds hollow as you walk on it.
Pro Tip: When cleaning laminate flooring, don’t use too much water. Avoid harsh cleaning agents as well.
Check out our guide on Installing Laminate In The Bathroom
Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons of laminate flooring.
-Affordable for those on a budget
-Easy to maintain
-Can chip over time
-More vulnerable to moisture damage
Solid Hardwood Flooring Cost
Wooden planks are among the prettiest flooring material money can buy, but they’re expensive. An average cost of $17,500 for a 2,500-square-foot house isn’t considered out of the ordinary, as a square foot costs around $7. Nevertheless, there’s no denying the value they bring to the home.
Solid hardwood planks are made solely of planks cut out of logs. These aren’t engineered wood flooring, which is made of hardwood over plywood. Solid planks have no mixtures used to drive down costs.
A properly-maintained hardwood floor can last for more than 30 years, sometimes up to a century. Homeowners should take care not to let the air become too humid, as solid wood can warp.
There are many kinds of wood to choose from, so the price will fluctuate depending on availability and wood rarity.
Pros and Cons
It’s best to note these pros and cons before proceeding with solid hardwood flooring.
-Can be refinished
-Not suitable for humid locations
-Can be damaged
Engineered Wood Flooring Cost
Engineered wood consists of a layer of real wood atop a rigid plywood substrate. It costs less than solid wood while maintaining its appearance perfectly.
The lower price point of $6 per square foot can result in a total average cost of $15,000 for a 2,500-square-foot home.
Engineered hardwood shares many aspects with solid wood, but it usually doesn’t last as long since most floors need to be replaced after three decades. There are still plenty of colors and wood grains to pick from.
The plywood substrate handles moisture better than pure wood flooring. As such, areas with higher humidity levels tend to have more owners opting for engineered wood.
Due to the thin layer of wood on top, it’s impossible to sand engineered wood more than twice. The beautiful patterns will be sanded away after that.
Check out our guide on Engineered Flooring vs Real Hardwood Flooring.
Pros and Cons
These are the pros and cons of engineered wood.
-Beautiful patterns at a slightly lower price
-Floor will feel more bouncy
-Lower resale value
Cost of Concrete Flooring
Concrete slabs are among the most durable materials for flooring, used in areas such as garages and basements. With an average cost of just $3.50 per square foot, a 2,500-square-foot house will cost $8,750 to install concrete flooring.
Pro Tip: Having a concrete floor is not for everyone, but the benefits are pretty good. Even so, it’s always prudent to be cautious when walking on concrete floors.
Basic concrete floors are cheap, but fancy floors with geometric patterns cost much more. The former is what industrial areas use, as heavy equipment and falling tools won’t scratch the surface too much. It takes a lot of effort to chip concrete.
Some home styles have the perfect aesthetic for concrete flooring, particularly modern industrial homes. Vintage homes clash with the material except for areas such as the garage or a shed.
While not the most common choice for the home, concrete slabs are still excellent examples of durable flooring.
Pros and Cons
Concrete offers the following characteristics.
-Low cost if basic floors are chosen
-Can be uncomfortable to stand on
-The surface can injure people
-Doesn’t retain heat very well
Natural Stone Flooring Cost
Miners harvest stones before cutting them into blocks to be sold as flooring. As the process takes time and is dangerous, this type of durable flooring tends to be expensive.
The total average cost of $17,500 to floor a 2,500-square-foot home translates to $7 per square foot, similar to solid hardwood.
Indeed, stone and wood are costly materials. Some types of stone are cheaper, while others are considered luxury products.
Stone flooring can either be polished, honed, or tumbled. These processes make for a fancy floor that withstands damage well.
Pros and Cons
Natural stone is attractive but has some disadvantages.
-Resistant to damage
-Some stone types are inconsistent in hardness
Which Flooring Material Is the Most Durable?
While concrete is a solid material, natural stone that has endured the elements for thousands of years takes first place in this regard. It depends on the mineral, but materials such as granite and sandstone are indestructible by normal means.
Consider the fact that the pyramids of Egypt are made of solid limestone blocks. The insides of the pyramids were made of solid granite.
The Greeks built the Pantheon out of granite, while the dome is unreinforced concrete. Since many ancient civilizations chose natural stone for the structures they wanted to last forever, it’s logical to conclude that stone is the most durable flooring.
What Is the Most Waterproof Flooring?
For bathrooms and areas that frequently get wet, ceramic and porcelain are some of the best flooring choices. Their tiles are set close enough to keep water out. A runner-up choice is vinyl tiles, but these may have seams that trap moisture if not installed correctly.
Stone also works for bathroom flooring, but the expensive material isn’t commonly used this way.
What Type of Flooring Is Most Scratch-Resistant?
Ceramic and porcelain also happen to be the most scratch-resistant flooring material in the industry. While natural stone and concrete are tough and resistant to damage, they can still be scratched with tools. It takes a longer time to create visible scratches on ceramic and porcelain tiles.
Most Durable Floors That Look Like Wood
The most durable flooring material that resembles wood the most is vinyl, as many of the other choices are made of wood themselves.
Vinyl tiles and planks can be made to pass as wooden flooring at a casual glance. You’ll need to physically step on them to find out whether it’s natural wood.
Plastic laminate is another choice. The appearance can be compared to vinyl with wooden patterns. These two are neck and neck in terms of hardness.
Most Durable Flooring for Kitchen
Kitchens are where water, grease, and other substances accumulate. Therefore, it’s best to use a waterproof material for the flooring. Fortunately, there are many choices.
The best material for the job is vinyl, as you’ll want a material that withstands impact, heavy traffic, and water damage.
Vinyl flooring is not very slippery while in contrast, ceramic tiles might cause accidents when wet. Therefore, consider covering the kitchen floor with vinyl.
You can go with ceramic tiles with a slip-resistant coating or even hardwood if you keep the floor clean and dry. The possibilities are almost endless.
What Is The Best Floor For A Living Room?
The living room is another space in the house that tends to have heavy traffic. You’ll want a solid material that can’t be worn down easily.
Natural stone fulfills practically every criterion but the price, as some people can’t afford to get slate or granite slabs.
You can consider engineered wood or vinyl durable enough for everyday use. They’re not damaged by water too quickly and are easy to clean. Sweeping, vacuuming, and a quick mopping should be enough.
Most Durable Commercial Flooring
Commercial buildings are utilitarian structures, meaning there’s no point in decking the floor with something fancy. Therefore, the answer is concrete, as it’s cheap, doesn’t chip easily, and is solid enough to last for an extended period.
Best Flooring for High-Traffic Entryway
Porcelain or ceramic tiles win this award, as they’re reasonably priced and won’t get destroyed by mud and dirt. Everyday use barely makes difference on the tile surface until many years after installation.
What Is the Most Durable Flooring for Dogs?
Dogs who get to play outside might bring mud into the house. Besides, their claws can scratch surfaces made of bamboo or wood. Thus, it’s best to have artificial materials such as laminate, tiles, natural stone, and even concrete.
Check out our guide on the Best Flooring For Dogs
Factors That Affect Flooring Durability
Here is a list of factors that reduce flooring durability:
By keeping conditions at the material’s optimum levels, you can expect durable flooring to reach or even surpass its typical lifespan. It takes plenty of effort, but the results will be nice-looking flooring for a long time that won’t cost big money to replace often.
Walk and Run
Picking the correct durable flooring for your home is crucial, as not every material is suitable in all areas.
Knowing what to select allows you to have a functional yet beautiful floor that your guests and household members will appreciate.
In terms of durability, the winner is natural stone, which has already endured many things for millennia.