Best Floors for High Traffic Areas
What’s the Best Flooring for a High Traffic Kitchen or Entryway?
Tile flooring is a practical, easy-to-clean, and hard-wearing floor for high-traffic areas like kitchens and entryways. Look to buy a tile that is rated either 4 or 5 on the PEI chart. If you love hardwood flooring then consider tile that looks like wood as a high-traffic flooring alternative.
February 22, 2023, by: Jamie Sandford
Heavy traffic demands that you install tough, durable and solid flooring that can stand up to the wear and tear of high traffic and continue to look good for several years. After all, who wants to have new flooring installed in a hallway or kitchen only to have to pull it up and replace it a couple of years later?
Here are the top types of flooring for high traffic areas in your home.
There are many reasons that ceramic tile has been in use for more than 5,000 years, and one of them is durability. Tile is classed by its hardness. This helps consumers determine where it can be used. The Porcelain Enamel Institute standards are used to rate tile on a 1-5 scale with 5 being the hardest and most durable. If you’re planning to use tile in a high-traffic location, choose tile that is rated either 4 or 5 on the PEI chart. You’ll get many decades of resilient, attractive performance from this high traffic flooring. Modern manufacturing and design has taken tile to a whole new level, need tile but wanted wood? No problem, just take a look at the great range of wood look tile now available.
Concrete flooring doesn’t have to look like a sidewalk or a parking lot. Today’s concrete flooring options include acid-stained, etched, stamped and tinted concrete as well as concrete floors with embedded tiles, stone and other features. For example, using an acid-staining process, concrete flooring can be made to look like natural stone flooring such as granite. Use the right stamp along with tint and make a concrete floor to simulate flagstone pavers.
NATURAL STONE FLOORING
Of course if you have the budget there’s no need to lay concrete flooring that looks like natural stone when you can just go ahead and install the real thing. Both the cost of the materials and installation are quite high but the natural look is something special. Not all stone floors are super resilient though. For high traffic areas stick with stronger varieties of stone like granite, limestone and sandstone.
Related Reading: Where Does Granite Come From?
Laminate flooring uses a photographic image applied to a laminated wood base to replicate wood flooring, stone flooring, tile flooring and other types of floor covering. If you choose laminate for high-traffic areas, look for a product with a thick wear layer of melamine resin. Options range from 6-15mm and where the floor sees a lot of feet you’ll do better with 12mm or 15mm laminate flooring.
At home, high-traffic areas include foyers, entryways and main hallways. In commercial settings, they can be even more numerous. When you need flooring that will continue to look good where traffic is the heaviest, tile flooring, concrete flooring and laminate flooring are your best choices.
ENGINEERED AND SOLID HARDWOOD
And finally, just because wood can scratch and dent doesn’t mean you should instantly rule it out as a possibility for high traffic areas. Especially when you are buying pre-finished wood flooring, its worth bearing in mind that it’s the finish applied to the floor that provides the protection and many modern finishes are rock hard! Even with solid hardwood floors, if you choose a species of wood with a strong hardness rating and a strong finish it’s going to be very durable and resilient.
If by ‘high traffic’ you mean three dogs, high heels all the time or stomping grit and gravel in from outdoors continually then okay, woods not your best choice, but high traffic without these exceptions should be just fine. Further Reading: Best Flooring for Pets.
What do you consider the best flooring for high traffic areas in your home and how did you choose the flooring? Let us know in the comments section below or email us direct by clicking here.
LEARN MORE ABOUT TILE, CONCRETE, STONE AND LAMINATE FLOORING DURABILITY:
- Mosaic Tile Co – What is PEI
- EnviroBuild – AC Ratings for Laminate
- Home Flooring Pros – Carpet Ratings
About the Author:
Jamie Sandford is the Owner and Chief Editor of Home Flooring Pros (find out more). After 12 years’ experience in screen and stage set construction, followed by a further 15 years working in the home renovation/remodeling business, he now writes and curates online home improvement advice.
“Buying and installing home flooring should be a fairly straightforward process, but often it isn’t. After more than 15 years experience in home flooring and remodeling, I started Home Flooring Pros in 2013 to help homeowners navigate the often-over complicated process of choosing, buying and installing a home floor. The aim is to save you time and money by helping you to make better floor buying decisions.”
One thought on “Best Floors for High Traffic Areas”
I have a 2400 sq. ft. home in Colorado (4 seasons) with Harwood (kitchen/Entryway) and carpet everywhere else (even bathrooms -ooohhh-Noooooo) – I want an easy care, high durability, scratch resistant floor throughout the house (flow is important) and I am looking to get a dog (in the next year or so) – not sure if I should go with Tile or Vinyl, or Bamboo – what do you suggest?