The Top 5 Flooring Types Dominating New Home Living Rooms

When building or renovating a home, choosing the right flooring is one of the most exciting steps. The living room tends to be a central hub and entertaining area, which means its floors see a lot of action. From kids playing to guests mingling over hors d’oeuvres, we want living room floors to be stylish and durable.

In new home construction, there are five types of flooring overwhelmingly preferred by homeowners for living rooms. By assessing 2021 data on the most installed floors, we reveal the top options and discuss their key benefits below.

#1: Hardwood Floors

It likely comes as no surprise that authentic hardwood floors take first place when it comes to new living rooms. Known for their timeless beauty and longevity, hardwood floors were installed in over 30% of new homes last year.

The Appeal of Real Wood Floors

Made from oak, maple, ash and other tree species, hardwood offers an unreplicated warmth and richness. Beyond sheer aesthetics, homeowners love wood floors for the following perks:

  • Ability to refinish over time rather than fully replace
  • Increased home resale value
  • Ease of maintenance with regular sweeping and mopping

New stain application and refinishing also allows hardwood floors to evolve with changing decor styles over the years. From a cost perspective, wood flooring offers an excellent return on investment.

Considerations for Hardwood Floors

While beloved for both form and function, hardwood does come with a few considerations during selection and installation:

living room most popular flooring in new homes
  • More expensive initial cost than carpet or vinyl
  • Not as soft underfoot as other options
  • Susceptible to moisture damage if not properly sealed

The good news is that moisture concerns can be avoided with proper installation and maintenance. Area rugs also help make spaces cozier while protecting hardwood areas prone to table legs, pet nails or heavy foot traffic.

Enhancing Hardwood Floor Comfort and Look

For superior comfort, homeowners may consider installing the following beneath gorgeous new hardwood floors:

  • Radiant floor heating: Warms floors from below for toasty feel
  • Cork underlayment: Provides sound insulation and cushioning
  • Acoustic underlayment: Reduces echoes and ambient noise

Hardwood floors never go out of style, which explains their consistent popularity. Let’s look at the second most chosen living room flooring.

#2: Engineered Hardwood Floors

If you love the look of hardwood but want greater affordability, engineered hardwood may be the perfect option. Constructed with a top veneer layer of solid wood adhered to cheaper plywood below, engineered wood gives an authentic appearance for less.

Benefits of Engineered Hardwood Floors

Here are some stellar advantages offered by engineered hardwood floors:

  • Typically cost 50% less than solid hardwood options
  • Resists moisture better thanks to plywood construction
  • Easier installation since it can be glued or floated over concrete subfloors

The structural stability of engineered hardwood prevents issues like shrinkage or warping. This makes it a great choice for fluctuating climates prone to shifts in temperature or humidity.

Limitations of Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood does come with a few drawbacks to note as well:

  • Thinner veneer means refinishing only possible a few times
  • Marginally lower resale value than solid hardwood

Nonetheless, engineered wood floors continue gaining market share for delivering the coveted hardwood aesthetic at a fraction of the price. Next let’s explore the third most popular choice.

#3: Laminate Wood Flooring

For the best value, laminate flooring mimics genuine wood while consisting of synthetic materials. Prints applied under a protective plastic coating look impressively realistic and contemporary printing tech makes laminate better than ever.

Upsides to Laminate Floors

It’s easy to see why budget-conscious homeowners flock to laminate, given advantages like:

  • Dramatic cost savings over natural wood
  • High durability and scratch-resistance
  • Hassle-free cleaning and maintenance needs

Laminate wood floors can perfectly resemble oak, birch or exotic woods for a fraction of the expense. New 3D printing delivers photorealistic wood grain patterns for stunning effects.

Downsides of Laminate Flooring

The main compromises associated with selecting laminate flooring include:

  • Doesn’t boost home value like natural wood
  • Prone to damage from excessive moisture
  • Can make “hollow” sounds when walked on

With proper underlayment and keeping laminate away from wet areas, the negatives can be minimized. Given the price difference, laminate remains popular.

#4: Carpet

In 2021, lush carpet claimed nearly 20% of new living room floor installations. Prized for softness and sound absorption, broadloom carpet provides insulation along with classic visual appeal.

Plush Benefits of Carpet

Carpet earns its place in new homes by offering:

  • Ultra-soft, comfortable flooring underfoot
  • Noise reduction and sound dampening
  • Ability to choose from countless styles and colors

Little compares to the padded bliss of walking barefoot across plush carpet. Families with small children favor it in play areas for safety and warmth.

Carpet Considerations

On the flip side, carpet in high traffic areas calls for:

  • Frequent vacuuming to keep it looking tidy
  • Periodic professional steam cleaning
  • Eventual replacement after years of wear

Spills and stains also show readily on carpet. For those wanting easy-clean floors, carpet may not be the best fit.

#5: Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

The top 5 is rounded out by luxury vinyl tile (LVT) , selected by 15% of new homeowners last year. Mimicking stone, wood or ceramic at a fraction of the cost, LVT delivers stunning simulation with supreme durability.

Benefits of Luxury Vinyl Tile

Here’s what draws homeowners to LVT for living room spaces:

  • Most affordable option to replicate high-end floors
  • Waterproof and extremely easy to clean
  • Withstands heavy household traffic with resilience

Scratches, stains and dents are rarely concerns with LVT. The advanced printing processes result in remarkably realistic visuals rivaling natural materials.

Luxury Vinyl Considerations

The trade-offs of selecting LVT over pricier floors include:

  • Won’t boost home’s resale value like wood or stone
  • Long-term durability remains partially untested

Overall, LVT nails the sweet spot of aesthetic appeal and hardcore durability most families need. The synthetic construction ensures kid and pet-friendliness too.

When it comes to the most installed living room floors in new builds, hardwood, engineered wood and laminate take the top three spots for offering a coveted wood look. Carpet holds its own with plush softness underfoot, while luxury vinyl tile rounds out the top five with affordable durability.

Balancing factors like lifestyle needs, traffic, maintenance and acoustic considerations will lead to the perfect flooring choice for your new dream home. We hope the rundown of the leading living room flooring options assists in your selection process as you craft a forever home. For any other flooring questions, feel free to get in touch with our team.

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