You may love to break all the rules when you decorate, but there are reasons why certain rooms have the same types of flooring. The main one: practicality. Those of us who chose light-colored carpeting in the kitchen—to make it look bigger!—learned that the hard way. Before you start comparing samples, study up on the best flooring for every room in your house.
Stone. It’s a natural transition to the indoors for visitors, with an effect ranging from classic to majestic. It’s great at withstanding traffic, it retains heat, and it’s gorgeous.
Carpet. And also… carpet. It’s the best-selling floor covering for its many advantages. It makes rooms softer and cozier, which is ideal for bedrooms. It retains warmth, reduces sound, and absorbs dust, and it’s most likely to tempt you into hanging out on the floor.
Luxury vinyl tile. LVT gaining on carpet, as technology and 3D printing are perfecting flooring that can mimic the look and texture of real wood and stone, even up close. Luxury vinyl tile is a good bet for any room with plumbing.
Heated tile. We don’t usually recommend more expensive flooring, but if you’re going to splurge, this is one choice that will be worth it. Avoid carpeting, even if you want a spa feel in the bathroom. The water can get trapped underneath and lead to mold.
Hardwood. This is a room in which guests will be spending time, and hardwood adds luxury without intimidation. This is also your opportunity to show off an elegant rug.
Hardwood. Dining rooms can have a more formal style, and hardwood lends a warm dignity. Different patterns and woods suit any style, and maintenance isn’t bad if you stay on top of it. Even better, wood floors develop a beautiful patina over time.
Carpet. Kids need soft places to play, and carpet may be more comfortable for adults who like to stretch on the floor with some cushions and a warm blanket.
Luxury vinyl tile. It’s difficult to add style to such a utilitarian room, but LVT’s infinite choices are your best chance at elevating style with the look of stone and wood. It’s waterproof, easy to clean, and durable.
Polished concrete. It’s still the go-to flooring choice for its clean look, low price, strength, and stain-resistance. Of course, if you intend your garage to be a showroom for your fleet of classic cars, you’ll have all kinds of options, even porcelain tile.
When it comes to the that age-old question of flooring—durability or style?—it’s best to err on the side of practicality every time. The good news is that technology is already beginning to blur the lines with new types of flooring, such as waterproof carpeting. You may still want to try unexpected materials on your floors, but now that you know the best flooring for every room, at least it will be an educated risk.