Never underestimate the power of a floor ─ it helps set the tone for the character of your entire room. And, not surprisingly, no topic generates more questions to The Money Pit than flooring, the decorative element always underfoot, often audibly, with the squeak  that drives you crazy.
This category also happens to be one where there is fast-changing product technology combined with so many styles, colors, and materials that it’s easy to get, well, floored.
If you’re thinking of putting in a new floor today, there’s a wide array of floor choices with inspiring looks that range from genuine materials such as hardwood  and ceramic  to such great pretenders as laminate  and vinyl .
Before you decide which floor is right for you, think about the lifestyle and performance needs of the areas in your home it will serve. First, consider the warranty. Different floor types are warranted for different physical attributes, such as wear-and-tear, delamination, or color fading , and for different lengths of time. Consider the floor’s life expectancy when making a decision about materials. Some floors, such as hardwood and ceramic, may last a lifetime if properly maintained; others such as laminate may last for 15 to 30 years, while still others, such as peel-and-stick vinyl tile, may only last for a few years.
Do you have an active household? Some floor types are better than others at standing up to traffic, pet claws, and liquid spills. Vinyl sheet and vinyl tile are excellent choices for homes with kids and critters .
And finally, consider the care and maintenance of the flooring type. Most of today’s floors offer easy maintenance to keep them looking good over time. Some are easy to care for with nothing more than simple vacuuming and mopping, while others require periodic refinishing . Laminate and vinyl sheet are two of the easiest-care floors.
Following is our pros-and-cons guide to nine different types of flooring. Stroll through and review your options.
Tile & Stone
The type of flooring you choose for a room has a strong impact on its overall look and functionality. It's important to select a flooring material that will hold up under the level of traffic that the room gets, and one that can handle moisture if you're installing it in a bathroom, kitchen, laundry room or basement. If you follow the above guide to different flooring options, you'll be able to find a flooring material that combines the appearance you want with the level of maintenance you're willing to do as well as the suitable properties for the intended application.