Building your own home is an exciting venture, filled with lots of choices. One area which surprises many home builders is the number of available flooring options. Read on for some of the newest and most attractive choices out there.

Wood and Bamboo

While wood may be one of the very oldest and most classic of flooring options, it’s enduringly popular and will always be in style. Today, there are more varieties available than ever before. If you choose solid wood, you can pick a traditional, nationally-available classic, a local specialty or even an exotic, imported species. If you choose exotics, be sure that they follow all FSC and SFI guidelines for sustainable harvesting.

Engineered wood and laminates give you the look of wood with less upkeep. Although they do look nice and can often be a DIY project, they will not have the resale value of wood and may not last as long.

Bamboo has exploded in popularity in recent years, and with good reason. Although it’s technically a grass, it has all the natural warmth and durability you expect from an authentic wood floor. Better still, bamboo grows extremely quickly, making this one of the most sustainable options available.

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Terra Cotta Tile

While terra cotta is certainly not new – it’s been around for at least 2,000 years – it’s becoming trendy for homeowners who want something that stands out. Terra cotta can be tricky to install, and pros recommend dealing only with a reliable seller and installer who has a background with the material – DIY is not an option. If you’re willing to take a small risk, however, you’ll get a big payoff. Terra cotta instantly warms the atmosphere of any room, providing a look that’s both rustic and modern at the same time.


If you think of concrete as flooring only in your garage, you’re selling yourself short. Polished concrete has become very popular in recent years, as new techniques have become more readily available. It has the unique ability to look old fashioned and modern, rustic and cutting-edge at the same time. Polished concrete almost resembles granite, and is an excellent choice for those who love the look and feel of a stone floor but don’t want the expense and high-maintenance upkeep. Concrete can be finished in a variety of shades and patterns, and can even be turned into beautiful parquet designs.

Ceramic Tile

Despite the delicate-sounding name, ceramic tiles are very durable. This makes them excellent choices for bathrooms, where a lot of water and humidity are present, as well as kitchens and dining areas. A great project for the advanced DIY-er, ceramic tiles come in as many color and design combinations as you can imagine, including some which mimic stone.

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Taking Another Look at Carpet

While some home builders feel that carpet is dated, the new options out there are anything but. Some rooms in the home – particularly bedrooms – simply feel cozier with carpeted floors. They also provide an extra layer of heat and noise insulation, in addition to giving extra traction to individuals with balance issues. For kids’ rooms, check out new materials which don’t absorb spills. For a more polished look, forget the pile and go for a nubby, Berber style.