Last time we looked at vinyl. Here are some other choices.
Hardwood is more expensive than vinyl, but the look more than compensates. It’s warm, it goes great with most cabinets, and it can be quite durable and easy to maintain.
Traditional planking is a bit of work to install, and then you need to sand, stain if you desire, and apply at least three coats of urethane.
Prefinished hardwood gives you a more durable factory finish, and saves you the work of sanding and sealing the wood. And since these are often veneers, you can get a good look for less.
Acrylic-impregnated veneer will cost you more, but it’s much more durable. An acrylic is forced into the veneer to create a plastic finish which will hold up to tough use.
And then there’s plastic laminate. The surface isn’t really wood — it’s plastic with silica sand and a fake wood grain — but it can sure fool your eye. And it’s extremely durable.
The newer floors are usually meant to be floating; you lay down a foam pad, and put the wood on top, gluing the planks together.
Ceramic tiles come glazed and unglazed and in various colors and textures. They’re extremely durable and easy to clean. And you can choose a texture that prevents slipping if it gets wet.
Tiles can be expensive, but at the mid-range, expect to pay more than you would for conventional hardwood, and comparable to some of the newer wood products. You need to do a fair bit of surface prep beforehand, as tiles must sit on a perfectly flat surface to prevent cracks. Concrete backer board provides a good surface.
Expect some maintenance, too. Seal unglazed tiles on installation and at regular periods afterward to avoid staining. And reseal any grout every 18 months.