Flooring can feel like a minefield, whether you bite the bullet and invest in prestigious and pricey natural solid wood or you stick to a budget and choose vinyl and laminates it’s always going to be one of the bigger investments you make for your home. Walls can be painted again and again with minimal cost, furniture can be changed, adapted and updated, but your flooring is something you’re likely to stick with for years, so choosing the right materials and tones is not a decision to be taken lightly. The choices alone can be daunting, there are engineered woods, solid woods, stones, tiles, carpets, vinyl and more, and within each of these types there are a seemingly endless range of subcategories of species, colours, patterns and designs! Knowing where to start narrowing down your choices is the hardest part, and price seems as good a place as any. Try browsing the products on offer at retailers like Factory Direct Flooring to see the appeal of various flooring choices. The diverse range of products comes with a diverse range of price tags, but what do these price tags really mean? Carpet Generally speaking, unless you opt for high end luxury, carpet is the least expensive option for your floor. Carpet has the greatest variation in terms of price, you can find cheap and cheerful coverings that will cost you pennies to purchase and install, or you can invest in stunningly crafted pieces that cost more than the most expensive hardwood floors. Though relatively affordable in terms of initial cost and installation, carpets are arguably the most easily dated surface, and as they are prone to fraying, staining, odour retention and damage they can cost you a lot of money down the line in upkeep and replacement. Vinyl There are a lot of misconceptions out there surrounding vinyl flooring, the name itself conjures up images of your Grandma’s lino kitchen but modern day vinyl, though highly affordable, is entirely more attractive. There are a wide range of styles when it comes to vinyl floor tiles so you can find colours and designs to match your décor with ease. They are much easier to maintain than carpets and they are simple and cheap to lay. Where vinyl falls short in comparison to other flooring choices is lifespan and durability, the tiles are susceptible to chips and tears and their colours can fade when they’re exposed to prolonged sunlight. The benefit is that because of their affordability if you do need to replace your vinyl tiles a few years down the line, it won’t feel like too much of a blow. Laminate Good quality laminate is the middle ground in price between carpet and hardwood. The materials used to create laminate, a composite wood that is pressed together in high temperatures, and the labour involved costs around 50% less than hardwood. Laminate is a convenient and durable flooring option that can, in some cases, be installed directly on top of an existing floor. It is resistant to scratches and moisture, doesn’t retain odour, and is simple to clean. Though visually appealing the finish of laminate can feel more artificial than that of hardwood and it doesn’t repair easily if damage should occur.Hardwood There’s no question that hardwood flooring costs more than artificial, but this cost can usually be made up in the value it adds to your home. Real wood flooring adds a luxurious and unique touch to any property; aesthetically beautiful, they can last for decades so you don’t have to worry about replacement and they are hygienic, odour resistant, simple to clean. Hardwood retains a timeless appeal that suits all rooms, homes, decors and environments. There are a wide range of woods to choose from and each have their own stunning look including oak, walnut, maple and beach, and you can choose a finish to match your personal taste. If you’re looking to invest in flooring that won’t deplete in beauty, wood will stand the test of time and won’t date your property, but if it’s out of your budget then there are affordable, stylish solutions that are ideal for both modern and traditional homes alike.