So you’ve *finally* found a Zillow listing that has everything you’re looking for—smart appliances, quartz countertops and a brand new pool, all present and accounted for. But just as you’re about to text your S.O. that you’ve found the one, you see the house has “LVP throughout.” If your first thought was, huh? We’re with you. Luckily, we spoke to ​​HGTV's Jasmine Roth—whose upcoming book, House Story (available 10/12), lays out everything you need to know about renovating a home—to uncover what, exactly, that means, as well as her breakdown of the six types of flooring to consider before you take the plunge.

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Getty Images/Woning Media

1. Hardwood

Authentic, solid hardwood floors are coveted among potential homebuyers (so long as they’re in good shape). They’re made of—you guessed it—wooden planks, and most people go with maple, oak, walnut or cherry wood. Plus, people love how these planks “have the ability to sand and stain a different color,” according to Roth, so you’ll never have to worry about that French oak finish going out of style. However, this option is far from budget-friendly, and a HomeAdvisor report found that the average cost of installed hardwood flooring is $8 per square foot. That means a typical flooring project could run you anywhere from $2,492 to $6,762. Furthermore, wooden floors are prone to scratching and require special care to keep clean. Our takeaway? Having hardwood floors is like wearing vintage jewelry—they’re guaranteed to add timeless elegance to your overall look, but you better be prepared to take care of ‘em.

Pros:

  • Organic texture
  • Ability to sand and stain a different color
  • Timeless
  • Can be durable

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Prone to scratching
  • Needs special care for cleaning and maintenance

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Getty Images/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

2. BRICK

For some, a home with brick floors translates to cozy, wintery nights with wood-burning fires. For others, it’s synonymous with huffing, puffing and the Three Little Pigs. If it’s the latter, there’s a reason the big bad wolf failed to blow the piggies’ house down; brick is one of the most durable and un-destroyable materials you can use on your floors. Ever visited a historical building from the 1800s? Nine times out of ten, it has brick floors. Unfortunately, it’s one of the more expensive flooring options, and Houzz reports that, on average, brick costs $10 per square foot—uninstalled. Plus, brick is porous, so it’s likely to show stains, and it’s not very comfortable on your feet. If you’re putting brick floors in your kitchen, you’ll need an area rug if you’re cooking for extended periods of time. Oh, and if your kids like to play tag inside, we’d recommend a flooring option that won’t send them to the E.R. when they fall.

Pros:

  • Provides unexpected texture
  • Has an indoor/outdoor feel
  • Timeless
  • Durable
  • Hides dirt

Cons:

  • Hard to keep clean
  • Porous and prone to stains
  • Not great for resale value

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Getty Images/itchySan

3. STONE

Ah, stone. We have yet to see a Carrera marble floor that doesn’t ooze sophistication. As stunning as it is, it’s also expensive, and HomeAdvisor reports it can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 to install in an average 250-square-foot room. Thankfully, there are several other stone flooring options you can choose from (that won’t bankrupt you). Travertine, granite, slate and limestone are more affordable alternatives that can provide a similar, natural look. In terms of durability, most stone floors can “last forever,” according to Roth, but the maintenance and cleaning will vary from stone to stone. Plus, many stone finishes will require individual care and upkeep. Polished marble, for example, tends to scratch and scuff, while porous limestone is more likely to absorb stains. Unless you enjoy the look of permanently dirty floors, we recommend doing some maintenance research for your selected stone beforehand.

Pros:

  • Cooling
  • Provides organic texture
  • Last forever, very durable

Cons:

  • Very cold in winter months
  • Can be expensive
  • Porous and prone to stains

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Getty Images/jodiejohnson

4. TILE

While Roth says she “loves good old-fashioned marble,” she’s also “seeing a lot of terracotta tile coming back.” If you’ve been paying attention to 2021’s design trends, you’ve probably picked up on this. However, as much as we love a good home trend, Roth suggests “focusing on the functionality and leave the trendy floors to someone else.” To that end, there are literally hundreds of classic tile options you can choose from. The most common options you’ll see are porcelain and ceramic tiles. Porcelain, which is fired at higher temperatures, will often be pricier because it’s dense, durable and practically water-resistant. Ceramic, on the other hand, is more affordable (and lower-quality).

Pros:

  • Not porous
  • Can be cooling
  • Durable
  • Many different looks you can achieve

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • Material is cold and hard
  • Grout lines can be annoying for maintenance and cleaning

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Getty Images/ KatarzynaBialasiewicz

5. LVP

Luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP) is Roth’s go-to flooring option for her TV projects. “LVP is LIFE,” she tells us. “These floors are seriously so similar to the look of wood, it's hard to tell the difference.” Not to mention that these bad boys are waterproof, scratchproof AND stain-proof. They’re basically God’s gift to beautiful, durable flooring. And, in terms of price, they’re equally impressive. HomeAdvisor reports that LVP has an average cost of $2.50 to $5 per square foot. “Just like with any project, there are all different levels of material quality. It's important to check the thickness of the vinyl and, also, how thick the underlayment (basically the padding) is,” Roth adds.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Mimics hardwood
  • Many different looks you can achieve
  • Installation is easy

Cons:

  • Some brands can be slippery
  • Prepping your floor may take more time to ensure it’s even

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Getty Images/PC Photography

6. CARPET

Last but not least: carpet. It’s a long-time favorite among homeowners (especially in the bedroom) because it’s comfortable and cost-efficient. However, we probably don’t have to tell you that an entirely beige, carpeted space isn’t exactly swoon-worthy. Not to mention that they’re super prone to stains. If you’ve ever found yourself on carpet-cleaning TikTok (yeah, that’s a thing), you know what we’re talking about. However, they are the most affordable and versatile option on this list. Not only do prices start at just $3.75 per square foot, according to HomeAdvisor, but they’re also available in numerous designs and colorways.

Pros:

  • Soft underfoot
  • Keeps spaces warm in winter months
  • Reduces noise
  • Installation is easy
  • Safer for children
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Requires a lot of maintenance
  • Can stain or tear
  • Hard to clean
  • Not great for resale value

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