Flooring: Ratings of Sources
Consumer Reports offers a very comprehensive look at the most common flooring types. It covers all general types of flooring and gives installation information as well. This is also one of the few sites that compares actual products and recommends brands as well as types of flooring. A subscription is required to view the whole article.
This site, from the Lowe's chain of home-improvement stores, offers a thorough look at four basic categories of flooring, including laminate, tile, vinyl and wood. It is written and organized in a very user-friendly format, with lots of pictures and links to products. The information on this site can also be e-mailed, printed or added to a Lowes.com account. In addition, this was the only site we found that could also be viewed in Spanish.
Although not as comprehensive as some of the other sites we looked at, this site offers good info on a variety of basic flooring options. Well-organized and easy to read, this article focuses on the specifics of five basic flooring types, as well as carpet. It also includes a guide to choosing and maintaining floors and a quick reference guide to flooring costs.
Which? is the British equivalent of Consumer Reports; this article covers only wood and wood-type floors, but it is very complete in those areas, comparing laminate, engineered wood and real wood options. Different types of wood are compared and tips are offered for purchase and installation. Because this is a UK magazine, measurements and pricing will need to be converted for American and Canadian readers. There's great information here on installation, floor care and maintenance, and a glossary of terms.
This site offers info on a variety of flooring options for high-traffic areas. Organized in a quick-read format with photos, it mainly focuses on troublesome flooring areas with high traffic and the pros and cons of basic flooring types in each of these areas. It also offers brief information on less conventional flooring types, such as concrete, cork and bamboo.
Essential Industries is an international manufacturing and marketing organization that produces polymers and resins for floor finishes. Although this site offers a good overview of various tile and stone flooring types, it is clearly a commercial website. Along with very thorough information about the composition and care of certain floors, care products are promoted by name and with product links. The information is valuable, but bias in product recommendations is clearly evident.
This site provides a quick reference, snapshot-type look at what to expect from four basic flooring types. Because the company also markets these flooring options, the information is not without bias, but it does provide good basic information about the durability, care, installation and popularity of tile/marble, vinyl composition tile, sheet vinyl and wood.
Although this site has a wealth of information, it is very poorly organized. The site is also riddled with commercial advertisements, links and product endorsements, making it a less reliable source of information than other sites we reviewed.
The information presented on this site is less well-organized than on other sites. Information is drawn from various sources, some commercial, and the amount of detail presented varies from article to article. The articles on hardwood floors and laminate floors are particularly informative.