One of the most complicated decisions in home renovation is choosing the right flooring. Consider these several factors that may influence your decision.

Moisture – Bathrooms require flooring that are suitable for high or medium moisture environment, while other parts of a house may use any type of flooring.

Durability – If you have pets or children, choose flooring that are durable and scratch proof.

Cost – From cheapest to most expensive are ceramic, porcelain tile, solid hardwood and engineered wood, laminated flooring, and exotic hardwood. But bear in mind, even the cheapest can be the most gorgeous.

Maintenance – From easiest to hardest to maintain are tile vinyl and sheet vinyl, concrete, laminate flooring, solid hardwood and engineered wood. With wood is work, but it’s worth its beauty.

Alternatives to wood flooring

Unlike many other design features where ‘nice’ is subjective, wood is always a

classic and always favoured. It’s natural, gorgeous and elegant. But if the cost is an

issue, there are alternatives you can consider.


The classic, timeless and elegant choice. As it can be restored and updated — sanded and refinished

over and over again — it will last through the years. And be warned that it gets damaged easily. If

you’re a purist and don’t like the idea of one material masquerading as another, this is the one for

you, but you will pay a premium.

Cost: As much as $30+/- per square foot, including installation.


This is made of real wood, but it is layered over a compressed core of repurposed wood. As it is an

engineered product, it is more stable than solid natural hardwood. It looks, feels and sounds just like

solid wood, with the added bonus of being more durable and less susceptible to warping due to

temperature changes and humidity. It is considered as a sustainable product as well. However, it

doesn’t last as long as solid hardwood, as you can only refinish it up to a few times.

Cost: Up to $18+/- per square foot, including installation.


Offering a clean and sleek look, this comes in long rectangular “planks” that are laid out realistically

like wood. Colours range from traditional browns to more contemporary greys and whites. Some even

have textured “wood grain” surfaces. It is water-resistant (hello, wood flooring in bathrooms and other

wet areas!), does not fade and does not require high maintenance to keep it looking its best. It keeps

the floor feeling cool, too.

Cost: Between $3.50+/- and $12 per square foot.


Vinyl is relatively inexpensive and mimics effectively the look of wood planks. It is also water resistant,

pet-proof and doesn’t require any special maintenance. It does however, have a synthetic feel and

sound underfoot.

Cost: About $7.50+/- per square foot, including installation.


This replicates the look of wood very well, but it isn’t real wood at all. It consists of layers laminated

together, topped off with a photographic applique and protective finishing. It requires little

maintenance and can handle heavy traffic and pets. At a glance, it can be difficult to distinguish from

real wood, but it does sound a bit plastic and hollow when treaded on.

Cost: About $5.60+/- per square foot, including installation.