The 6 Most Durable Flooring Options for 2022

Last Update:

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Learn more

most durable flooring options

Installing or replacing the floors in your home can be an expensive endeavor.

The cost is generally accepted because of how long our floors can potentially last.

However, with less durable flooring, you may be spending that money all over again, very soon.

Finding an attractive floor is easy, finding an attractive floor that is also durable and can stand up to heavy foot traffic, though, can be hard.

This article will examine the most durable flooring types. We will review each type with comparisons, reviews, ratings and of course, a buyer’s guide to help you understand what it is you should look for, before you buy.

Top Flooring Choices Based on Durability

There are literally dozens of flooring options out there. Everything from stone or rock to laminate sheeting. Below are the best of the best when it comes to strength and durability.

  • Natural Stone/Travertine. Natural stone floors are among the most durable and longest lasting. They have a few negative marks, but not in the durability category.
  • Ceramic/Porcelain Tile. Tile is second in strength and durability only to stone. The hard flooring option provides a strong, sturdy base for your home.
  • Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP). LVP is one of the most popular choices for many reasons, durability being one of them.
  • Engineered Hardwood. Wood is strong, but engineered hardwood flooring is even stronger.
  • Bamboo Flooring Planks. Bamboo has a lot of benefits and while it may be expensive it is also comfortable and durable.
  • Wall to Wall Carpeting. When talking about durability, we often overlook the softer flooring choices, but the right carpet can stand up to just about anything.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Durable Flooring for Your Needs

buyers guide choosing right durable flooring

When it comes time to buy your new flooring, there are several factors you should keep in mind. Below, we will cover those factors and explain what they mean for you and why they are important.

Coverage Area/Project Size

Everything you need or will end up buying for your new floor revolves around square feet. The square foot of your project is the one thing you must know. If you don’t know how to measure for square feet, it is quite simple.

Measure the length of the room and the width of the room. Multiply these two measurements together and you have your square footage. This measurement is needed for knowing costs, installation needs and almost every other aspect of the project.

Tools & Equipment

Depending on the flooring you choose, you will need various tools and equipment to perform the installation, clean up, maintenance and other situations. The cost for purchase or rental of these tools will vary as much as the tools you will need.

Carpet and tile will need different tools than laminate and hardwood. However, basic tools such as hammers, spacers, utility knives and others should be a staple for all projects. You will also need to know the current floor type and removal tools or equipment for those as well.

Subfloor Concerns

Many new floors will require a flat, level subfloor in good condition. Before you start laying your new floor, you need to inspect the subfloor and make any repairs or replacements. Failure to do so can cause problems with the finished look and even the performance of your floor.

If a subfloor does cause damage to your new flooring, it may void the warranty. Most subfloors are plywood, however there are also concrete subfloors, too. If you do have concrete, you may need to install plywood on top. Finding the best options for you is a big part of the new floor process.

Installation Options & Methods

Another huge concern for many is how to install the floor when it is time. With carpet and natural stone the answer is almost always professional installation. If you need help finding a local professional you can use our free finder tool.

However, with more modern flooring options, you can easily install the floor yourself. LVP and laminate planks are among the most DIY friendly options out there. Engineered hardwood and even tile can all be installed as a DIY project or by a professional. Your flooring choice and budget will help you decide.

Additional Materials

Aside from the actual flooring, you will also need to purchase some additional materials. For carpeting this will include carpet padding, tack strips and bevel bars (also called transitions). You may also need adhesives, tape or nails.

For hard flooring, your needs will depend on the type of flooring and the type of install. You may need underlayment or moisture barriers, adhesives, moldings, thresholds or spacers, too. Knowing the materials you need so you can adjust your budget is crucial to a frustration-free project.

Designated Floor Usage

Not all rooms need floors that are extremely durable. Low traffic areas can get away with less durable flooring to save you time or money. However, entry ways, or rooms with heavy foot traffic need more durable flooring.

It is important to know how the floor will be used, what will be on the floor (pet claws, food and drink messes, etc.) so that you can purchase the right flooring for the space.

Warranty

Warranties on flooring range from 90 days to lifetime coverage. Aside from the length of the warranty, you also need to know the coverage terms. Read through the warranty paperwork to find out if registration is required, if there is a registration time limit and what is needed from you to initiate a claim.

You should also inspect the warranty to know what is covered and what isn’t. Pets, for example, are a wild card and some floors include wear and tear (or accidents) from pets, while others will void the warranty if pet damage is included.

Cost

Finally the cost of the project is easily the biggest concern. Floor prices can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. The size of the project area and the flooring type purchased will be the biggest cost factors.

You also have tools, equipment and additional materials to think about. Finally, saving money with a DIY install is not a bad idea, but it costs you in other ways (time, effort, lack of labor warranty, etc). When you know the range of your budget you can search for the right flooring for your exact needs that fits your price range.

Review: Most Durable Floors for Your Home

review - most durable floors

In this section we will cover the top 6 most durable floors for your home. Each flooring type is reviewed, rated and compared just for you. Read through the options and find your next flooring solution.

1. Natural Stone/Travertine

One of the most durable floors comes in the form of stone. Natural stone has been used for flooring for centuries and many of the original floors are still around. While it may take eons for wear and tear to show any signs on a stone floor, that doesn’t mean they are impervious.

Most modern stone floors are made from slate, granite, marble or travertine. Each of these is a strong, sturdy flooring material, but can chip, crack or even break if you drop items on the floor.

However, one of the biggest draws is that even with some damage, the floors still hold up and can even add more appeal with additional cracks or chips. This, by no means, should suggest that you start throwing heavy objects on your floor to “add character,” but if it does happen by accident it may not be the end of the world.

As far as strength and durability go, though, there isn’t anything much tougher than stone. It is naturally scratch and dent resistant, can be cleaned with chemicals (in most cases) and looks great in kitchens, bathrooms and entryways.

Best Features

Natural stone has a lot of allure. It is stronger than most flooring options in all categories and tends to last virtually forever. You don’t have to worry about the actual stones or stone tiles getting scratched or worn by heavy foot traffic or pet claws.

Cleaning stone is relatively simple as well. A simple sweep a few times a week and a vacuum once in a while will take care of most dirt and debris. For wet messes, or stuck on grime a mop will do well. The warranties for stone flooring tend to be closer to the lifetime range than not, too.

Notable Concerns

As with any flooring, there are downsides. Natural stone and travertine flooring is expensive from the start. The material for the flooring itself is more costly than most other flooring options.

On top of that, stone flooring should be installed by a professional. It takes a skilled hand and expensive tools to get the stones cut and laid properly. This takes time and time costs a lot of money.

Of course, your price will vary from brand to brand and stone type to type. On average, though, for a standard sized room you should expect to pay a minimum of $10,000. 

Best For: Entry ways, kitchens and bathrooms.

2. Ceramic/Porcelain Tile

Tile floors come in two basic types. Porcelain is the preferred option, but there is a case for ceramic tiling as well.

With tile, though, you aren’t limited to just your floors. Tiles make great accents, back-splashes and decorative options, too. The best part is that tiles are fairly cheap. In many cases you can find individual tiles for less than 50 cents and when you buy in bulk the price drops even further.

Laying tile is also a fairly straightforward job. It does take longer than almost any other flooring. But with some patience and diligence you can install a tile floor as a DIY project and save a lot of money.

With tiles, you get a durable flooring that is naturally scratch and dent resistant. It also is easy to maintain and clean, with the grout being the most difficult part. However, even shoddy grout can last 8 to 10 years, so with minimal effort your new tile floor can last decades.

Best Features

Obviously tile has a lot of benefits and a lot of negatives. It is up to your individual needs or desires to figure out if the good and bad are worth it.

The best feature of tile is the ease of acquiring the materials. Tile is readily available almost everywhere flooring is sold. There are literally thousands of sizes, styles, colors and designs to choose from and with a little planning you can create some intricate, detailed floor styles.

Tiles are also cheap. You can get enough tiles to cover your entire home for about the price of a carpet installed in a single room. With a DIY install you can save even more.

Notable Concerns

Of course, there are some major downsides. For example, with tile, you need to be precise when installing. Everything needs proper spacing and measurements and you need to adhere every tile to the floor individually. It is a time consuming process.

You also need to grout and seal the tile and that sealant may need to be reapplied annually. This is an added cost, but adds to the durability of the tiles. Tiles are strong, thick and durable, but they are also fragile.

If you do drop heavy items on a tile floor there is a good chance a tile will crack or break. You can also damage the grout which can cause tiles to come loose or pop out. And unlike floating floors, when there is a damaged area you need to remove a lot of flooring to get to that area and replacement is rarely an exact match.

Best For: Halls, kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas. 

3. Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

LVP is ranked 3rd on our list, but could easily be number 1. Not only is LVP one of the most popular flooring choices for homeowners today, it is resilient, durable and tough. However, strictly based on durability, it doesn’t rank as high as stone and tile.

This is because LVP is a softer material, completely synthetic and susceptible to denting, scratching and damage more than the top two. This doesn’t mean it will always happen, though.

Unlike tile, if you drop a heavy object on the floor, you probably won’t have to replace a board. There may be denting, of course, but depending on how bad, it can usually be overlooked. LVP won’t splinter or crack because of the drop damage, though.

Where LVP shines is in its waterproofing, stain and fade resistance and ease of installation. Unlike the other flooring options on this list, LVP can quickly and easily be installed as a DIY project by anyone. Even if you have no experience or knowledge, the process is simple enough for anyone to get great results.

Best Features

LVP has a lot of great features. Not only is it 100% waterproof, but it is designed for use in any room of the home. There are commercial grade vinyl options as well. While there are different levels, or grades of LVP, higher-end products can come with a lifetime warranty. Generally, though, you will find a 235 to 50-year warranty, which is still plenty long enough for a floor.

You can wet mop, sweep or vacuum LVP and there isn’t a need to seal or coat the flooring once it is installed. With minimal maintenance and a little care, a new LVP floor can remain looking new for decades.

Notable Concerns

As with any flooring, there will be downsides. LVP does have a lot of benefits. However, it can be difficult to find the right style, size and color. Locally, you will need to do research and in-person shopping to find the right fit.

Aside from that, the install can be tedious. While it is simple, you need to acclimate the LVP for at least 24 hours, installation can take another 12 to 24 hours and you must let the flooring rest for at least 16 hours before you walk on it or return your furniture to the room.

It is also important that heavy furniture uses felt pads to prevent damage, scratches or gouging. 

Best For: Any room in the home, living areas and bedrooms, specifically.

4. Engineered Hardwood

Hardwood floors are one of the most sought-after and beautiful floorings on the market. However, they are expensive, difficult to install and require a lot of care. The answer to those problems is engineered hardwood.

These planks and boards offer a top layer or real hardwood with a pressed word core and underlayment bottom. They install easily with a click-lock system and are a fairly simple DIY installation.

While they won’t add to the home’s value like solid hardwood, they look, feel and act like the real thing. Because of the construction of the boards, they are also quite durable. This will, of course, depend a lot on the brand, quality and wood species you select.

White and red oak are popular choices, along with mahogany and the ironwoods Ipe and Cumaru. If you do select one of the ironwoods, you are getting a durable floor with a natural beauty. They also cost a lot more.

Best Features

Engineered hardwood has many benefits, but when it comes to durability, it all depends on which type of wood you buy. The harder the wood, the more durable the boards will be. Almost all hardwood is susceptible to dents and scratches.

But, the good news is that most can be sanded a few times to remove these imperfections. With high-quality boards, you can stain, seal, sand or buff any mess or eye-sore away.

Being able to renew the flooring as needed helps your floor last longer, look better and improves the warranty. Most engineered hardwood will rate a 25 to 50-year warranty, with some top end brands offering lifetime options.

Notable Concerns

As the flooring is made from wood, there are a few concerns. Cleaning and maintenance are the top issues, though.

Wood and water don’t mix well. So wet mops are strongly discouraged. If you do have a mess that requires a mop to clean up, you need to spot clean with a damp sponge on your hands and knees. You also need to dry the area completely and work in small 2-foot sections at a time.

This added concern isn’t much for most homeowners, but it can be a large hurdle if your home has pets or small children. Daily cleaning with wet sponges or mops is not something the floor can handle very well.

Best For: Living areas and bedrooms.

5. Bamboo Flooring Planks

If you want a sustainable floor that is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and pests, bamboo is your answer. However, there are a lot of different types of bamboo flooring options and only a few of them rank high on the durability scale.

Strand woven bamboo is, by far, the most durable flooring option out there. However, compared to the other options on this review list, the durability is second to the other benefits of the flooring.

Bamboo can still get dented, scratched and marred and even though strand woven bamboo is strong, it isn’t bulletproof. It is also more expensive and harder to find than the other options, which is why we have it ranked on this list where it is.

Best Features

Bamboo floors easily have the longest list of beneficial factors of any floor type. They are eco-friendly, repairable and mostly affordable.

On top of all that, bamboo is naturally resistant to termites, mold and mildew. It is also anti-allergen and repels dust mites. Because bamboo is a grass, it also naturally repels dust and pollen, making it the go-to flooring for homeowners with allergy concerns.

Notable Concerns

The biggest drawback is that bamboo is a hardy, strong and durable floor surface. This is a good thing, but you can easily overlook the main problem. With all the strength and benefits bamboo is easily scratched. Even small cat claws can make large marks if not properly cared for. Gouges and scratches can be sanded out, but only so many times.

Eventually the damaged boards will need to be replaced, which can get expensive. Being a grass, bamboo naturally absorbs water, too. So cleaning with a mop and installing in high-humidity areas can cause swelling, bowing or even cracking.

Best For: All areas of the home except wet areas.

6. Wall to Wall Carpeting

When it comes to durable flooring you don’t often think about carpet. However, carpet is about the only flooring option on the market that can claim it won’t get dented or scratched.

Carpet is highly durable in all aspects and is resilient to staining, fading and even wear and tear. With new fibers being produced, carpet has a natural defense system now that puts it well ahead of anything installed in homes in the last 30 years.

Because of these innovations and carpet manufacturers producing higher-quality materials, carpet is easily one of the most durable flooring solutions out there.

Best Features

Carpets are popular and have been for over a century. It has come a long way in that time and today offers a lot of benefits. Not only does carpet insulate your home it also acts as a sound dampening, which is great for those that work from home with conference calls or Zoom meetings.

Carpet also has a near endless style, color and type selection. With twist, frieze, cut loop, loop and Berber fibers, you can have the look, feel and texture you desire. Another prominent feature is that carpet is sold everywhere.

You can find most major carpet brands in almost every home improvement store and samples are easy to come by.

Notable Concerns

Carpets do have a few drawbacks. First, carpet should always be installed by a professional. It adds to the overall cost, but installing carpet yourself is difficult, tedious and not something many people can do without proper training.

Second, carpet requires a well maintained subfloor. Any holes, cracks or damage to the subfloor must be repaired before installing the carpet pad and carpeting. Unlike floating floors like LVP and engineered hardwood, carpet install must be adhered to the subfloor.

Best For: Halls, living areas, bedrooms.

Most Durable Floors At A Glance

In the chart below we compare all 6 top durable flooring options on various criteria. While quality, durability and options will vary from brand to brand, we look at the overall average. Once you have chosen a floor type, you can read one of our many reviews to find out more about specific brands or features of that type.

Floor TypeFoot TrafficScratch and Dent ProtectionAverage Warranty LengthAverage Cost (per sq. ft.)
StoneAllYes50 years$9 – $12
TileAllMost50 years$2 – $3
LVPHeavySome25 years$3 – $4
Engineered HardwoodLight, medium, some heavySome50 years$4 – $9
BambooLight, mediumFew20 years$3 – $6
CarpetAllN/A10 years$2 – $5

Professional or DIY Installation?

pro or diy installation

One of the biggest decisions (aside from the flooring itself) that you need to make is how to install the floor. There are two options: do the install yourself, or hire a professional.

As a DIY project, many hard floor types can easily be installed in a day or a weekend. Floating floors use a quick-lock system that allows you to snap the boards together fairly easily. With a few cuts to change the board lengths and align the planks correctly, you can complete a room quickly.

From start to finish (including the mandatory acclimation time), a standard 10×12 room (120 square feet) can have laminate or LVP installed in about 72 hours. The actual install process should only take 6 to 8 hours.

However, this will require you to have the knowledge, tools, equipment, all materials and desire to install the floor yourself. Tool and equipment rental can get expensive and you may need more than a YouTube degree to finish the floor with professional results.

Professional installation has one major drawback: it is expensive. On average, you can expect to add between $2 and $6 per square foot to your total cost. However, with professional installation, you don’t need to do any of the work, clean up or supply tools or equipment.

You also get (usually) a labor warranty that will last a couple of years to help if anything goes wrong with the install. In almost all cases, professional installation is recommended. In the case of natural stone, travertine, carpeting and hardwood it is all but required.

However, you will also want to check with your warranty. For full coverage, some brands or floor styles require professional installation or else the warranty is void.

Where to Buy Your New Flooring

When you have made your final decision for your new floor, it is time to make a purchase. But, where do you go? Many flooring companies are specialized. This means that they only sell through certain store fronts or locations.

High quality flooring will usually be found only in dealerships that are local to larger populated areas. These brands will have a dealer locator app on their website that will allow you to find a dealership by zip code.

Some brands, like LifeProof, only sell through Home Depot. These specialty brands will be available in your local store, but usually in limited styles and quantities. You can also purchase through special order in the store to get the style, color and amount you need. If all else fails, you can also use the online store for more choices.

Lastly, you can buy some brands, older styles or additional materials through online vendors like Amazon. While these are usually a last resort type buy, there are a few brands that sell exclusively through Amazon or other online-only retailers.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq most durable flooring options

In this section we will answer some of the common durable flooring questions. If you have other questions of a more specific nature, feel free to use the comment section below the article.

Q. Is hard flooring more durable than carpet?

  1. This depends on your idea of durability. Carpet won’t dent or scratch when you drop something on it or scuff when you walk over it. However, hard flooring won’t matt over time and can be deep cleaned much easier. Carpets can unravel or snag, but hard flooring can peel or lift. Depending on what you need a durable floor for, either is a good option.

Q. What maintenance is required for highly durable floors, are they easier to clean?

  1. Durable flooring can be easier to clean because you don’t need to worry so much about leaving scratches or marring surfaces. However, wood flooring, laminate and even bamboo are not made to handle constant strokes from a vacuum’s brush roller.

Sweeping and a damp or dust mop are preferred for almost all hard flooring surfaces. A vacuum can be used if it is designed for hard flooring. For carpet, of course a vacuum is your best option. When the carpet is deeply soiled you can use a carpet shampooer, as well.

Q. How much does a durable solid floor cost to install?

  1. The actual costs will vary greatly and depend on many factors. You will need to account for the floor type, additional materials and even if you are having the floor installed professionally or as a DIY project. Of course, the amount of flooring is also a cost factor.

On average, though, for a standard sized room (12×12 or 10×10) with professional installation of a mid-grade flooring product, you can expect to pay between $1000 and $5000. Higher quality materials, different types of flooring (hardwood for example) and prices can easily get over $10,000.

Q. Is there a way to tell how durable a flooring is?

  1. For hard flooring, such as wood and bamboo, there is. The Janka Hardness Scale measures the hardness of wood species, including bamboo. The higher the Janka number, the harder the wood planks are.

However, for stone, tile and carpeting (as well as LVP) there isn’t a durability standardized test. The best option for these flooring solutions is to note the thickness of the boards or tiles, as well as the type of wear layer and its thickness. Thicker boards, tiles and wear layers are a good indication of durability.

Conclusion

Finding the most durable floor for your home can be a tricky thing. Besides deciding on a material, you also need to decide on a brand, type, color and style. This massive undertaking can be fun when done right, though.

With the right foresight, searching for your new LVP or tile floor will lead to a durable, long lasting floor. However, if you prefer more comfort underfoot carpet and bamboo make great choices.

Regardless of your selection, whether stone or vinyl, carpet or tile, you will have a durable floor that meets your needs, matches décor and is easily installed.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

Leave a Comment

four × 4 =