The following five floors can do that. We rated each in terms of four factors: affordability, durability, maintenance and longevity. Then we give you a rundown of the pros and cons of each flooring type.
Our rating system is relative; we're comparing these floors to each other, not necessarily in an objective sense. To give you an idea, our maintenance rating for travertine is at three stars. Compared to the other floors on this list, it requires more maintenance. In general, though, travertine isn't a high-maintenance floor.
Now it's time to see the best family flooring types:
Porcelain wood look tile already has a firm grip on the flooring industry, according to Floor Covering News. Its reign on top certainly isn’t without merit: families appreciate how versatile of a product it is.
As Floor Covering News points out, wood look tile is versatile. You can install it in places you might think twice about installing hardwood floors – such as kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor spaces. You can also clean it with just about any type of product.
While that’s a good perk, the biggest advantage to families is how durable porcelain wood look tile is. Porcelain tile doesn’t absorb a lot of moisture, meaning you don’t have to worry about water damage (heavy flooding excepted).
Color body wood look porcelain is the most scratch-resistant flooring on the market because its glaze goes throughout the entire tile body. When the surface gets scratched, you see the glaze color instead of red or white clay. With kids and pets roaming around, that’s a luxury.
Not so ironically, it costs about the same as hardwood floors do, generally around $4 to $8 per square foot. If your budget can’t afford that price tag, you may want to choose another alternative.
Vinyl floors have the most DIY-friendly installations, from peel and stick and glue down to loose lay and click and lock. With the average cost of professional vinyl installations at $1,000 according to HomeAdvisor, families have an opportunity to save money by installing vinyl themselves.
Compared to tile, hardwood, and travertine, vinyl is cost-effective. Quality sheet vinyl sells for under $2 per square foot, while luxury vinyl tile trends upward of $3 per square foot.
There’s also a reason why commercial properties are buying vinyl in droves (families, take note): they don’t crumble under the weight of heavy foot traffic, nor do they scratch easily. If vinyl can hold its own in a commercial setting, it’s no match for your kids and pets.
According to Floor Covering News, 86 percent of laminate sales were for residential replacement projects. Why? You can install laminate over almost any existing surface so long as there's a proper moisture barrier. It’s perfect for fixer uppers and families who don’t have the time or money to remove old floors.
Laminate floors aren’t going to last you too long, either. Scratches and scuffs to the floor’s surface show more easily.
Travertine’s rugged texture, chiseled into form by sun exposure and weather elements, hides scratches and scuffs. Seal it right and you won’t have to worry about stains from food and beverages, either.
It’s also slip resistant (a characteristic that earned it a spot on our list of go-to outdoor floors). That time-tested texture provides enough traction to minimize slipping when the surface is wet.
Don’t be surprised to spend upwards of $5 per square foot on high-quality travertine. That said, your budget may not favor travertine floors.
You also need to seal your natural stone every 1-2 years so that it remains durable, a task that makes your to-do list one item longer.
We’ll admit that you wouldn’t find carpet on a list of family-friendly floors 20 years ago. Maybe not even 15 years ago, actually.
But as Bob Dylan crooned in the 60s, “the times they are a-changin’.” Thanks to some serious innovation by Mohawk Flooring, carpet isn’t blacklisted anymore.
Carpet’s biggest bugaboo is how easily it stains (and how difficult it is to remove said stains). So, Mohawk cracked the code on carpet by building stain protection into its carpet’s fibers – stain protection you can’t wipe away after a few spills.
Calling the carpet “Forever Clean” wasn’t a marketing gimmick or out-of-touch management: Mohawk put its Smartstrand to the test against a herd of wild animals and it held its ground.
Almost all stains can be removed with just water and a washcloth. This easy maintenance is a good fit for households with children and wildlife.