Choosing new flooring for your living room can be an exciting yet daunting process. With so many options to pick from, it’s important to weigh factors like style, durability, and cost. You want beautiful floors that will stand up to your lifestyle and fit your budget.
We’ve got all the details you need to find flooring that combines both style and value for your space.
Carpet offers a soft, warm, and welcoming feel in living rooms. Available in a wide range of colors, textures and patterns, carpet can complement any design aesthetic. It also provides sound absorption. However, carpeting shows wear and stains easily and requires regular maintenance.
- Soft and insulating underfoot
- Masks subfloor imperfections
- Budget-friendly options available
- Variety of textures and styles
- Absorbs noise and echoes
- Traps dirt, dust, dander, and hair
- Prone to spills, stains, crushing
- Can retain odors
- Frequent vacuuming needed
- Not moisture resistant
Carpet costs range from $2-4 per square foot installed for basic synthetic styles up to $4-8 per square foot for plush wool carpets. Opt for stain protection treatments to maintain appearance. Professionally clean every 12-18 months.
Hardwood floors lend a timeless, elegant look to living rooms. Available in a variety of wood species each with their own unique grain patterns and colors. Hardwood is durable but prone to scratches, dents, and moisture damage. Proper maintenance is key.
- Beautiful natural material
- Variety of colors and species
- Long lasting with care
- Increases home value
- Easy to refinish and restore
- Expensive upfront cost
- Scratches, dents relatively easily
- Not moisture resistant
- Can be noisy, needs rugs
- Requires refinishing over time
Solid hardwood costs $6-12 per square foot installed. More affordable engineered wood options run $3-10 per square foot installed. Use area rugs and furniture pads to protect. Refinish hardwood floors every 5-10 years.
Tile floors are an extremely durable, easy to clean option for living rooms. Tile comes in styles ranging from natural stone to vibrantly colored ceramic and glass. Grout requires sealing to prevent stains. Cracked tiles can be readily replaced.
- Extremely durable and long lasting
- Easy to clean and sanitize
- Resists moisture, spills, odors
- Many materials and styles
- Matches any decor
- Can be cold and hard underfoot
- Grout needs periodic resealing
- Breakage from dropped items
- Pattern mismatch can occur
- Slippery when wet if not textured
Ceramic tile runs $3-15 per square foot installed. Porcelain tile costs $4-20 per square foot installed. Natural stone tile like marble or slate ranges from $15-30 per square foot installed.
Vinyl is an affordable, versatile flooring option. Vinyl comes in tile or plank formats, often replicating the look of pricier materials like wood or stone. Quality vinyl stands up well to everyday wear but seams can be visible.
- Budget-friendly cost
- Easy DIY installation
- Extensive style options
- Waterproof and moisture resistant
- Durable, scratch-resistant wear layer
- Seams can be visible
- Not as durable as other materials
- Hollow sound when walked on
- Can fade and discolor over time
Sheet vinyl runs $2-5 per square foot installed. Vinyl tile costs a similar amount. Luxury vinyl plank starts at $3-8 per square foot installed.
Laminate flooring delivers the look of real wood or tile at a more budget-friendly price point. An image layer atop a composite base gives laminate its realistic appearance. Quality laminate stands up well to heavy use.
- Affordable cost
- Easy click-lock installation
- Wide variety of wood and tile looks
- Resists scratches, moisture, fading
- Prone to damage from excess moisture
- Hollow, plastic-like sound
- Planks can separate over time
- Not as durable as real wood or tile
Laminate flooring starts at $1-5 per square foot installed, making it one of the most budget-friendly living room flooring options.
Natural fiber floors like sisal, seagrass, jute, and coir add warm, organic texture to living rooms. Made from renewable materials, these floors have an eco-friendly appeal. Their natural construction makes them prone to moisture damage and worn high traffic areas.
- Sustainable, eco-friendly materials
- Provide insulation and cushioning
- Introduce natural textures and colors
- Interesting woven visuals
- Less durable than other flooring
- Prone to water/moisture damage
- Wears down in high traffic areas
- Fiber shedding possible
Sisal costs $4-8 per square foot installed. Jute and coir range from $2-5 per square foot. More durable seagrass starts at $4-10 per square foot installed.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
Tile is a versatile option for living room flooring. Ceramic tiles are available in a range of colors and styles, from traditional to contemporary designs. Porcelain tiles are more durable and less porous, making them less prone to staining. Tiles are also easy to clean and maintain, making them perfect for busy living rooms.
Cork is a sustainable and eco-friendly flooring option that is gaining popularity. Cork flooring is softer and warmer underfoot than hardwood or tile, making it comfortable to stand on for long periods. Cork is also hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for households with allergies. Cork is relatively easy to install and maintain, and is available in a range of colors and patterns.
Concrete flooring is a unique and modern option for living room flooring. Concrete can be stained, polished, or stamped to achieve a variety of textures. It’s extremely durable and easy to clean and maintain. Concrete floors also hold in heat well and are ideal for radiant floor heating systems. Just take care that dropped items don’t chip or crack the surface.
When choosing new living room flooring, assess your priorities in terms of style, budget, and lifestyle needs. Active families with kids and pets should look for very durable options like tile, concrete, or hardwoods. Style-focused buyers may gravitate towards natural options like sisal or seagrass for visual interest.
Work with a flooring professional to properly install your new floors. Follow manufacturer care guidelines to keep them looking beautiful for years to come. With the right flooring, you can achieve both stylish appeal and enduring value in your living room.