Consumer Reports: The best flooring for every room - Montgomery Alabama news.

Consumer Reports: The best flooring for every room

(Source: Consumer Reports) (Source: Consumer Reports)

Whether you're spiffing your home up for sale or just updating a room, wood is America's favorite choice for flooring. However, it's not practical for every room. There are now options that not only look just like the real thing, but can be installed in rooms where wood can't. 

"We knew the cost associated with wood, everything like from staining it to the fact that we couldn't put it down ourselves, we knew that wasn't in our budget," said homeowner Rachel Trobman.

So instead, they opted for tile that looks like wood, and is more durable. Consumer Reports says there are rooms where real wood should be avoided.

"Wood's really nice in a kitchen because it lends warmth, but it can dent and show wear, which is why some of these new options are nice. They also give you the look of wood in spaces where you can't normally use it, like a bathroom or a laundry room," Paul Hope, Consumer Reports' Home Editor, said.

Consumer Reports' rigorous floor tests focus on the wear layer, to see how quickly surface wear is noticeable after repeated passes with an abrasion tester, whether it's resistant to dents and scratching, and whether it fades in the sun over time. Consumer Reports tested dozens of flooring products that mimic wood and found many that can stand up to wear and tear.

"You really want to match the material to the room, based on things like traffic, sunlight and how much wear and tear you expect," said Hope.

Consumer Reports found some excellent candidates that could pass for the real thing. A porcelain tile from Lumber Liquidators looks like Brazilian cherry. Its resistance to traffic, scratching, and cracking make it an ideal choice for a kitchen or mudroom.

For high-traffic areas, a vinyl tile from Armstrong fends off stains and scratches well, and comes in four shades.

If you're on a budget and want to smarten up a space, the easy-to-clean laminate from Pergo is just $2.80 a square foot at Home Depot, but looks like it came from Mother Nature.

Consumer Reports says that variations can occur from one batch of flooring to the next. So, buy all the flooring you'll need at one time so the colors will match.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit

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