What’s the Most Durable Flooring? (2024)

Hardwood floors have long been the most beloved flooring type in real estate. But they may not be the best choice for high-traffic areas in a home, according to a new Consumer Reports analysis. Hardwoods are prone to scratching and they can show a lot of wear and tear, testers there say.

Instead, in areas of the home that see a lot of traffic, such as family rooms, kitchens, halls, and mudrooms, wood-look porcelain tile is the best option, according to Consumer Reports’ tests. This is a relatively newer type of flooring.

“Tile is the highest-rated flooring among the categories we test,” says Enrique de Paz, who leads flooring testing at Consumer Reports. “It doesn’t wear out, scratch, or stain. Its color doesn’t fade, it’s waterproof, and it is surprisingly slip-resistant, even when wet. Porcelain tile is the best choice for bathrooms, mudrooms, laundry rooms—and probably kitchens.”

In kitchens, de Paz warns, tiles can crack, if something heavy is dropped on them.

But tile options beat out hardwood flooring, which showed wear and tear more than other flooring types tested in busier areas of the house, the study notes. Laminate and vinyl products often performed better than hardwood flooring too. The report notes that “you can get both durability and good looks from many types of flooring, including engineered wood, laminate, porcelain tile, and vinyl.”

Still, hardwood flooring is often a favorite of homeowners and could add value to a home.

View the analysis at Consumer Reports of the different flooring types.

What’s the Most Durable Flooring? (2024)


What’s the Most Durable Flooring? ›

Tile is the highest-rated flooring among the categories we test,” says Enrique de Paz, who leads flooring testing at Consumer Reports. “It doesn't wear out, scratch, or stain. Its color doesn't fade, it's waterproof, and it is surprisingly slip-resistant, even when wet.

What kind of flooring is the most durable? ›

Tile is the highest-rated flooring among the categories we test,” says Enrique de Paz, who leads flooring testing at Consumer Reports. “It doesn't wear out, scratch, or stain. Its color doesn't fade, it's waterproof, and it is surprisingly slip-resistant, even when wet.

What is the most durable home floor? ›

#1: Vinyl Plank (aka Luxury Vinyl)

Vinyl plank, luxury vinyl, LVT, LVP—whatever you call it, this type of flooring has become extremely popular in recent years, largely because of its durability. Vinyl plank is ideal for basem*nt flooring, kitchens, playrooms, or even mudroom flooring—wherever you can expect a mess!

What type of flooring is best overall? ›

There are different types of tile you can use for flooring, but ceramic and porcelain tend to be the most popular. These flooring materials are allergy-resistant, water-resistant, and easy to clean, making them an ideal choice for kitchens, bathrooms, basem*nts, and utility rooms.

What is the cheapest most durable flooring? ›

Ceramic tile is your best bet if you're looking for the cheapest flooring option. It's durable, waterproof, and great for high-traffic areas, so you'll get excellent value.

What flooring is best over hardwood? ›

Laminate flooring can be installed directly over hardwood, often with no preparation necessary. If your laminate has a built-in underlayer, you may install it right on top of the hardwood.

What type of flooring is most durable and easiest to clean? ›

Vinyl flooring is probably the easiest to clean out of all the options listed here and also one of the easiest to maintain. Also known as Cushion Floor, vinyl flooring is available at a good price and can take plenty of wear over the years, which is why many will come with a 15 year warrantee.

What is the toughest vinyl flooring? ›

Ultra-durable: SPC vinyl flooring is the toughest, most durable vinyl flooring option on the market. Realistic wood and stone looks: This flooring can mimic natural materials better than ever before. SPC looks are usually incredibly convincing and beautiful.

What flooring looks like wood but is durable? ›

Laminate Flooring That Looks Like Wood

There are laminates today that you could easily mistake for wood. Easy to install via the click method, they are a great alternative to hardwood. They're priced really well, look great, and are super durable. They don't scratch or dent and are very easy to clean.

Which is better laminate or vinyl? ›

Neither type of flooring is better than the other across all categories. Vinyl flooring is best in high-moisture areas and it's easy to keep clean. Yet laminate flooring offers a wider variety of style choices and has a higher resale value.

What flooring adds the most value? ›

The more expensive flooring upgrades yield the highest returns and appeal most to homebuyers. And hardwood is the clear winner, followed by engineered hardwood and tile. Carpet and luxury vinyl tiles add comparable value, though vinyl is the cheapest option.

What is best flooring for residential home? ›

Durable and moisture-resistant choices like ceramic tile, porcelain tile, vinyl plank, linoleum, or engineered hardwood work best in the kitchen. Waterproof tile, vinyl, linoleum, and rubber floors are ideal for humid bathroom spaces. Plush or frieze carpeting helps provide a quiet, cozy bedroom environment.

What month is best to buy flooring? ›

The best time to buy flooring and get the best prices is in the off-season, between December and January. This is when you are likely to find the best clearance sale prices.

What type of flooring does not scratch? ›

Laminate. If you have your heart set on the look of natural wood floors but prefer a more durable option, laminate is an excellent scratch-resistant choice. Laminate achieves the classic look of wood but with the added strength and other features of synthetic materials.

What is the toughest flooring for a kitchen? ›

Since the kitchen is a high-traffic area, you need a durable flooring material that can withstand wear and tear. Consider materials like ceramic or porcelain tile, natural stone, or hardwood floors that are strong enough to handle foot traffic and heavy furniture.

Which is more durable vinyl or laminate flooring? ›

Lifespan. Thick, quality vinyl flooring can last up to 25 years, with thinner vinyl flooring's lifespan limited to less than 10 years. Laminate flooring can last between 15 and 25 years, though poorly maintained laminate may last only five to 10 years.

Which is more durable hardwood or laminate? ›

Hardwood flooring is better for appearance, lifespan and resale value. Laminate flooring is better for cost, ease of installation and comfort. Overall, hardwood flooring is considered to be better than laminate flooring since it is a complete floor material, not simply a floor covering. Hardwood is a premium material.

What is the best flooring for heavy traffic and dogs? ›

Engineered hardwood flooring provides a special mix of durability and style few other materials can offer. If you love the look of hardwood, engineered hardwood may be the best flooring for dogs in busy, high-traffic spaces.

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