There are so many floors to choose from, how do you start? The most popular and ones I would recommend right now are....
Wood - There are many types of wood floors.
Solid Wood - This is installed, stained and finished on site. There are many species of wood and the cost can range from $10- up sq. ft. installed. You can have many textures, designs and finishes. To transition to carpet or tile you generally need to depress the slab on new construction to accomodate a smooth transition.
This is a beautiful hand distressed patterned floor
(Bordeaux) by French Brown in Dallas, TX
Laminated Wood Flooring - This is a pre-finished wood laminated onto plywood plank. It is generally smaller in thickness than a solid wood floor. Some can be refinished 1 or 2 times. Not to be confused with Laminate Flooring which is plastic laminated plywood plank. They too have many textures, designs and finishes. The benefit of this floor is the finish is really durable, it's less expensive ($7-10 sq. ft.) and the thickness works well without having to depress the slab.
Flooring by Armstrong
Laminate (plastic) Flooring - This is a veneer of plastic that has a photograph of wood. These can't be refinished. They are loud when walking on. They install in sections of planks not one plank. (I don't recommend using this)
Flooring by Armstrong
Reclaimed Wood - This is wood that is being repurposed into floors. It can come from old factory floors or barns. Many companies sell these. Check for one closest to you.
Tile - There are endless types of Tile for the floor.
Stone - This is a natural material and is generally a bit thicker than other tiles. Ranging in thickness from 3/8" - 3/4". Stones include; marble, travertine, limestone, granite and slate. Pricing is $7.00 and up sq. ft. Because this is a natural product, it must be sealed, there is alot of color variation and thickness variation. There are 3 main finishes; honed, polished and tumbled.
Antique Dalle de Bourgogne by Exquisite Surfaces
The latest craze is pebble floors especially in the shower or bathroom.
It gives you that outdoor or spa feel.
Ceramic Tile (glazed tile) - This kind of tile is ceramic with a glaze on top to make the design. This is the least expensive type of tile. Pricing can range from $3.00 -up a sq. ft. Sometimes to look like stone they use a photograph that has been applied and then glazed.
This is Daltile, Stratford Place, Willow Branch- made to resemble limestone
Porcelain Tile - This is the strongest of the tiles. It is more expensive than Ceramic but less than stone. The color is throughout the tile so if it chips the color is the same unlike ceramic where the color is only on the surface. Pricing ranges from $4- up sq. ft. installed. This tile can be finished like stone; honed, polished or tumbled. It looks the closest to real stone. You can find it in larger sizes due to the strength. It can look like stone or be very modern.
Ann Sacks, Lino
A variation of the Porcelain Tile is a slim version. It is only 1/8" thick and comes in 20"x20", or 40"x40" and sometimes larger. It is amazingly strong. It is perfect for remodeling when thickness is an issue. Pricing ranges from $7 - up per sq. ft. installed
Terra Cotta - This is a clay based tile. It is beautiful but needs to be sealed and finished. It's very absorbent. Thickness varies from tile to tile and region. It has a hand made quality to it. (sometimes dog paw prints in it if it's from Mexico)
Terra Cotta Floor Tiles from Country Floors
Concrete - There are many methods to having a beautiful concrete floor. The ideal way is during new construction and pouring the floor new. You can "cast" or throw things into the wet concrete so when its polished it will add design or color, like glass or marble.
Polished Concrete - you polish the concrete until it has a glass like finish. The more you polish it the glossier it becomes. If you have an existing slab and you use this method. You won't know what the final product will look like until you get mostly into the process. You don't have to use sealers on this method. If you want color other than the concrete you have to use color in the new concrete or use a different method. Pricing is higher than you think, it runs about $7 - up a sq. ft. depending on how many times it's polished.
Stained Concrete - This method is appling a stain to the surface of your new or existing concrete. It hides blemishes better than polishing. You have to apply a finish to protect the color because it will wear over time. This is less expensive than polishing.
There's also concrete tile.
Ann Sacks Concrete Tile
Carpet - This is the least expensive flooring unless you want wool.
Carpet Tiles - The new trend is to use carpet tiles for flooring and rugs. We have used them in commercial spaces for 15 years + but it's becoming popular in homes as well. I have them in my home.
check out http://www.flor.com/
Other Flooring that is less popular and may be a good choice if you like to be different is...
Cork - Comfy on your feet, good for the environment. Pricing runs $7 -up installed
Terrazo Tile - Durable and thin
Leather Tile - Expensive but beautiful
Check out this recycled leather belt flooring.
Some advice if remodeling or building. Don't use too many different flooring types. It can look too busy. ~ Brandy
Be watching for Types of Commercial Flooring