The floor in your house takes a lot of abuse. Muddy paws scamper through all hallways, dirty shoes pile up near the main door, and chair legs scrape across the living room or dining room daily. If you plan to replace your floor, it’s wise to think about how each room is used and choose the right flooring option. Carpeting or hardwood flooring might be perfect for one room but might not be the best option across the hall.

Here is how to choose the right flooring option for each room.

Kitchen and mudroom

The kitchen is associated with high foot traffic, chair dragging back and forth, and heavy or light items crashing from the countertops. That’s the reason kitchen and mudroom need the hardest-working flooring in your house. While wood is associated with a high aesthetic value, it dents easily, and high foot traffic is too harsh on the wood finish.

According to interior design experts, porcelain tile outperforms all other flooring options when it comes to resistance to denting and scratching. Besides, it’s available in a range of styles and patterns to fit any interior décor. Porcelain tile flooring requires minimal maintenance (vacuuming and mopping) and can last for many decades. Vinyl flooring can also be installed in a kitchen as it’s durable, water-resistant, and can be replaced easily.

Bathroom and laundry room

Bathroom and laundry room floors don’t face the high foot traffic problem or excessive sunlight that can face engineered wood. Toilet overflow, bathers’ splash, and shower drips are the top flooring threats in these rooms.

Porcelain tile flooring is an excellent choice for these rooms. It’s water-resistant and available in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs. To avoid slippery bathroom and laundry room floors, choose more textured tile. Vinyl is a cheaper (though less durable) alternative to porcelain tile flooring.

Living, dining, and family rooms

It’s true that stiletto heels, furniture feet, kid’s toys with wheels, and pet claws can damage a wood floor. However, any other material might feel substandard in a living room or any other cozy common area within your home.

Solid wood floors are an excellent choice for your dining area and living room. Engineered wood floors are less susceptible to swelling and shrinking as the layers of the backing plywood are arranged with their grain in different directions.

Sunroom or enclosed porch

In most cases, porches are exposed to intense sunlight, rain, and have concrete subfloors. Therefore, you need a durable flooring that can withstand the harsh weather conditions that porches or sunrooms get exposed to. Porcelain tile and engineered wood are great options.

Basement

Most basement floors are damp. Any porous flooring material installed in your basement can absorb water, expand, and buckle. Choose a flooring option rated for installation over below-grade concrete. It’s also wise to read the instructions manual carefully.

Porcelain tile and vinyl don’t contain wood fibers and can withstand the dampness associated with basements. These flooring options offer a broad range of informal and formal looks to fit any vibe you intend to create.