5 Most Durable Flooring Options for Your Home

Got kids, pets, heavy furniture, or lots of guests? Choose from these 5 options for the best long-lasting flooring.

Choosing the right flooring for your home can be a difficult undertaking. With so many options available, it's no wonder that homeowners are easily overwhelmed. Whether you're renovating an existing home or building a new one, choosing the right flooring is an important decision that will impact your quality of life and the value of your home. When it comes to high-traffic areas, like hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms, it is essential to select a flooring material that is durable, scratch resistant, and easy to maintain. Aesthetics and comfort underfoot go a long in determining which flooring type will be easy to install and enjoy.

mudroom hardwood floors
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Solid Hardwood 

Due to its susceptibility to scratches and dents, wood is not always the best choice for high-traffic areas. However, if you long for warm tones and beautiful texture, solid hardwood is a good choice. Solid hardwood floors are durable and long-lasting, ideal for withstanding heavy foot traffic for decades. They come in a wide range of species, grades, and finishes. Over the lifespan, solid hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished many times. Hardwood is naturally resistant to scratches, dents, and stains, but it is sensitive to water damage. It is essential to wipe up spills immediately and avoid excessive moisture accumulating on the floor. If well-preserved, solid hardwood flooring can last up to 100 years. Professional installation is recommended to ensure proper acclimation and a perfect fit for each plank.

bedroom with angled wooden ceiling
Adam Albright

Engineered Wood 

Most people love solid hardwood but find it too expensive for their square footage. Instead, try engineered wood. The average lifespan of engineered hardwood flooring is about 25 to 30 years, but it can last even longer with proper maintenance. Throw rugs, area rugs, or runners can help maintain it longer. However, unlike hardwood, the veneer top layer of engineered wood cannot be sanded or redone. So, the flooring only lasts as long as its top layer, and this layer is prone to dents, scrapes, and general wear and tear. It is not recommended for households with crawled pets or modular furniture that is frequently moved around. 

kitchen with large island and wood floors
Werner Straube


Laminate flooring is popular and affordable for high-traffic areas. It consists of a synthetic layer that looks just like hardwood or tile. Laminate flooring performs well in busy homes, because it is resistant to scratches and stains. The AC (Abrasion Class) rating for laminate floors tells you how durable your flooring will be. There are five levels: AC1 (least durable) through AC6 (most durable). Most residential homes should aim for an AC4 or AC5 rating, which is easy to clean and maintain. However, unless you opt for a waterproof variety, laminate is not as resistant to moisture as most other flooring materials. Laminate is not suitable for areas prone to water spills, high humidity, or moisture accumulation. The average lifespan of laminate flooring is about 10 to 15 years. If the top layer is damaged or worn, then the entire flooring may have to be replaced. It is relatively easy to install, and many homeowners choose to do it themselves. However, it is essential to ensure proper subfloor preparation and installation to avoid buckling or warping down the line.

white kitchen with grey tile backsplash and hardwood floors

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is a durable and versatile flooring option that can mimic the appearance of natural materials like hardwood or stone. LTV doesn't dent or stain easily. It is also waterproof and can withstand exposure to moisture, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. LVT is easy to clean, so it is a popular choice for households with kids and pets. The average lifespan of LVT is about 15 to 20 years. Installation procedures can vary by manufacturer, but they typically involve glue-down or click-lock methods. Proper subfloor preparation of the tiles is essential for a successful installation and long-lasting durability. LVT is better than traditional sheet vinyl because it is thick and can usually be installed over existing floors. Sheet vinyl would need a new subfloor. 

kitchen grey-green cabinets pink backsplash
Hector Sanchez

Porcelain or Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles or porcelain tiles are a wise choice for kitchens and bathrooms. The average lifespan of tile flooring is about 20 to 25 years. They are resistant to scratches, dents, stains, flooding, and discoloration from sunlight. They are also waterproof and moisture-resistant, ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and more. Tiles are easy to clean and maintain, ideal for large families and busy households. However, in terms of comfort, tiles can be cold underfoot during the winter or in air-conditioned rooms. Strategically placed rugs or mats can offset the chill.

Tiles can also crack if installed poorly or if heavy objects are dropped on top of them. Dishware and glassware will also break more easily on tiled surfaces. Tile installation can be tricky and is typically best left to professionals. The subfloor must be level and stable to avoid cracking or uneven tile placement. Poor underlayment or grouting can lead to moisture seepage and swelling that ultimately result in cracks. Keep grout lines clean, though, and tile flooring can wear well over time.

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