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Mark Mabanta
  • Specialist
  • USA
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Differences between types of Flooring

Mark Mabanta
  • Specialist
  • USA
Posted Sep 12 2019, 17:00

Hey everyone,

Here is a breakdown of the different types of flooring. My hope is that this clears up some questions you may have on which material is best suited for your Flip or Buy & Hold, Feel free to connect with me privately if you have any questions or are interested in how these materials can assist in increasing the resale value of your home or price threshold of tenants you can attract, or simply for product recommendations.


  • 1. High-Density Material

    • Bamboo is the hardest flooring most suppliers carry. It is proven to be incredibly durable and imprint-resistant for heavy furniture. Bamboo is also highly scratch-resistant, reducing the appearance of wear and tear and making it an ideal option for busy houses with children and pets.

    2. Profile and Core Types

    • Various options including solid strand, solid strand floating, tongue and groove engineered, click-lock engineered, solid horizontal and solid vertical. Depending on the flooring option, you will need specific adhesives, underlayment, and tools for the installation process.

    3. Urethane/AO Finish on Carbonized Products

    • Aluminum oxide detailing counteracts the wood softening from the carbonization process. This is proven to be a more permanent option as opposed to standard staining and creates the option for a deep, rich, and dark bamboo floor.

    4. Thickness

    • With a variety of thickness options available, bamboo flooring is a viable and cost-effective alternative to installing ¾” hardwood, which can sometimes be a project constraint.

    5. Environmentally Friendly

    • Bamboo is a sustainable and eco-friendly flooring material that is created from grass. Unlike wood, this natural product does not need to be re-harvested, thus leaving less of an environmental impact when compared to natural hardwood flooring.


  • 1. Natural Material

    • Ceramic tile is man-made, with complete control over the batch consistency. With plentiful style and color options available, you can achieve any desired look and feel.

    2. Permanent Installation

    • An affordable and long-term flooring option. It’s important to note that installers should install Ditra to avoid any potential cracking.

    3. Rectified Edges

    • Sharp and straight edges that are easier to install with precise sizing. These clean grout lines can create a modern, contemporary, and high-end aesthetic.

    4. Impervious to Moisture

    • Porcelain tile is chemical and stain-resistant and can be installed in areas where another flooring isn’t recommended. Because porcelain tile won’t crack in freezing and thawing conditions, you can even install this tile outside on your deck or patio. This also makes it the perfect option for busy households with children and pets!

    5. Wood Look Tile

    • A popular and trendy flooring option throughout the home improvement industry, wood look tiles are easier to maintain and more durable than natural hardwood.

    6. Stone Look Tile

    • A superb alternative to natural stone, ceramic tile is denser and less porous. Stone look porcelain and ceramic tile is also chemical and stain-resistant and does not need to be resealed over time.

    7. PEI Rating

    • Light, moderate, and heavy traffic ratings available. This is an excellent indicator of tile properties and allows for pricing flexibility.

    8. Textures and Finishes

    • Certain ceramic and porcelain textures provide extra non-slip support, making them an ideal option for children and pets. With a matte finish, you can achieve a subtle natural stone look. A polished finish provides a luxurious and elegant aesthetic, and it’s useful in areas where natural stone (marble) would otherwise stain.

    9. Radiant Heat Compatible

  • • A luxurious and comfortable feature, which eliminates duct losses and creates a silent heat. However, it’s important for installers to understand installation requirements.


  1. 1. Real Wood Veneer

    • It provides the beautiful and traditional aesthetic of a natural wood surface. Real wood veneers provide a unique appearance with an abundance of character and personality, as every plank is completely different.

    2. Multi-Ply / Ply Core

    Higher stability and less shifting. This offers a faster acclimation process and can be installed in locations with climates in which natural hardwood isn’t recommended. (ex humid locations, or locations with higher freeze and thaw conditions). This also allows for wider flooring options.

    3. Various Profile Types

    Greater installation options available, when compared to natural hardwood. You can install over concrete, and choose either glue down, floating, or nail down flooring options.

    4. Waterproof Qualities

    The vinyl, plastic, and stone core flooring options provide exceptional moisture resistance, This is new technology in the category.

    5. Thick Wear Layer

    Adding protection to the veneer for a long-lasting and durable surface. This flooring can be screened and recoated which buffs the surface and removes general wear and tear.

    6. Variety of Species

    With a wide range of stains, finish types, grade options, surface textures, and edge types, you can achieve any desired look with engineered hardwood.


  • 1. 100% Natural

    Aging gracefully, this is a forever kind of floor. It can be re-sanded and completely refinished 1-2 times. Although it is typically more expensive than other flooring options, the traditional material increases the value of any home or commercial space. It is a pure, unique, and organic material, with an abundance of character and personality. That said, it is crucial for installers to understand the acclimation, pre-installation, and subfloor requirements.

    2. A Variety of Species Available

    With various grain styles and density options available, the hardness and aesthetic ranges are wide. It is important for homeowners to understand that heavy furniture may leave indentations over time, and pros should change the type of nail/pressure to avoid cracking the material.

    3. Stains and Colors

    This expands the options for those who may love the material but dislike the color. This also helps in matching existing flooring and home décor.

    4. Prefinished Hardwood

    A factory stained and finished material that reduces the cost of local finishing. A professionally cured finish provides a highly durable surface, and it’s an excellent application for quality control.

    5. Unfinished Hardwood

    Custom finish types, with a wider plank variety than prefinished hardwood. For a completely authentic look, the installer can achieve any desired floor color. This will increase the installation time and cost, and clients cannot stay in the home during the finishing process.

    6. Finish Types

    Many finish options are dependent on the preferred aesthetic (oil or urethane). While natural oil enhances the grain and softens aging, urethane increases the hardness of the floor and provides scratch/stain protection. It is important to understand that each finish type has different quirks and maintenance requirements.

    7. Grade Options

    Whether you’re looking for clean lines or rustic knots and textures, you can achieve any desired aesthetic with the right grade option. Lower grades may require filler and sanding during the installation!
  • 8. Width Options
  • • The thicker the width, the quicker the installation process. Fewer seams can also provide the illusion of open space. Wide floor planks are temperamental to the elements and may require longer acclimation, whereas narrow planks tend to be more stable.
  • 9. Many Surface Textures
  • • Create a rustic appearance, or maintain a traditional and classic style with the perfect surface texture. Surface textures can reduce the aesthetics of wear and tear, and can promote durability and longevity.


  • 1. Digital Designs

    Laminate flooring is sold in a wide variety of wood, stone, and tile finishes. All of these are available in different colors, surface treatments, thicknesses, and plank styles.

    2. Highly Affordable

    Laminate flooring is relatively less expensive than most flooring options available in the market and yet does not fall short when it comes to form and function. There is a laminate flooring choice for every price range.

    3. Click Lock Profile

    Laminate floors can be floating over most existing floors, saving significant installation time over other types of flooring which may need to be glued, stapled or nailed down. Over two-thirds of laminate is glue-less click, further saving on installation time and cost. It’s so easy to install, most people can do it themselves.

    4.Abrasion Class Ratings (AC 1-5)

    Helpful in determining the durability of the flooring. Higher class ratings are sometimes more durable than natural hardwood flooring.

    5. Thickness Options

    If you have a truly high traffic area, you can choose to spend more money on a thicker laminate with a higher AC rating. Thicker laminate floors can also hide slight subfloor imperfections.

    6. Underlayment

    Underlayment enhances the performance of the flooring and helps to absorb slight subfloor imperfections. Certain underlayment options are also building code compliant for STC and IIC (Sound Transmission Class and Impact Isolation Class).

    7. Consistent Plank Length

    The consistent plank lengths make it easy to measure and install, and simplifies the project for DIY customers. That said, it’s important to be mindful of the pattern repetition to achieve a realistic wood look.


  • 1. SPC Rigid Core Flooring

    A stable material that is not prone to shift. This makes it an ideal option for areas that surround household appliances like a dishwasher or a fridge. It’s extremely durable and long-lasting and can withstand heavy foot traffic and even wheelchairs. The material is created with “virgin plastics” which means it contains healthy plasticizers and is phthalate-free. It does not need to be acclimated, creating a quicker and hassle-free installation process. Lastly, SPC rigid core is the least likely to fade when compared to alternative vinyl products.

    2. WPC Core Flooring

    A stable material that is not prone to shift. This makes it an ideal option for areas that surround household appliances like a dishwasher or a fridge. It’s extremely durable and long-lasting and can withstand heavy foot traffic. The material is created with “virgin plastics” which means it contains healthy plasticizers and is phthalate-free. It’s compatible with radiant heating and easy on the joints. Lastly, WPC core is thick enough to hide subfloor imperfections.

    3. Waterproof Qualities

    Vinyl flooring is low maintenance and easy to clean surface. It’s the perfect option for spaces that see a lot of foot traffic and houses with children and pets.

    4. Click Lock Profile

    A quick and easy installation method that creates a minimal mess. Highly affordable, click lock vinyl can be installed over existing floors with no adhesive required. As it is easy to install/uninstall, it’s an excellent noncommittal option for rental units.

    5. Commercial Grade Wear Layer

    A durable, scratch-resistant, and pet-friendly benefit. A commercial-grade wear layer has a longer warranty, compared to most traditional vinyl flooring products.

    6. New Design Technology

    Natural designs with various color options. The grain texture also replicates a real-wood look and feel.

    7. Underpad Pre-Attached

    A convenient benefit for the installation process, and it’s building code compliant STC and IIC (Sound Transmission Class and Impact Isolation Class) ratings. *That said, it still needs a moisture barrier to keep the warranty.

Hope this helps! Feel free to connect with me for any questions or advice :)



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