One of the most popular and most effective ways to change your home is to update the flooring.

The trend has been to replace outdated carpeting with a hard-surface flooring like wood, laminate, cork and even leather.

A floating style floor can be installed on top of an existing smooth surface, and the flooring planks clicks together creating an easy installation for homeowners that requires no glue or nails.

Here are a few choices of flooring that is perfect for apartments, condos and houses:

Pre-Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Stained and protectively coated at the factory, pre-engineered wood flooring is a great no-fuss, no-muss option when wanting real hardwood floors. A top layer of genuine wood is affixed to an ultra dense cork backing for extra strength and durability. You’ll find pre-engineered wood floors with texture. large graining, hand-scraped and wire brushed looks for a textural, rustic feel. The planks can float over tile or old wooden floors so installation is a dream.

Price: $7 per square foot.

Laminate Flooring

Most people know laminate flooring; over the past five or six years it has received a bit of a bad rap as being cheap and fake looking. Laminates have come a long way and technology has improved the look so much that you might not be able to tell the difference between wood or stone (two of the most popular laminate looks). The good stuff will have texture to mimic the real thing and bevelled edges that offer a beautiful detail. Its great for kitchens, bathrooms and depending on the look of your home can go almost anywhere. Great for apartments, condos and budget renos.

Price: $4 per square foot.

Cork flooring

Cork flooring isn’t the bulletin-board orangey cork from the 1970s; it's very stylish with many stain/colour options. When stained a dark colour, cork takes on the look of burled wood making it attractive for almost any room. I especially like using it in casual kitchens, bedroom and play rooms as its got great sound absorption and comfort underfoot. Look for it in many of the new model homes as designers are loving the look and incredible value.

Price: $7 per square foot.

Leather Flooring

Leather floors have only recently become affordable. They use to be available exclusively through designers and would cost upwards of $120 per square foot. Now eco-luxury leather floors are made with leftover leather used in the manufacturing of purses, belts and coats which makes it not only affordable, but also a eco-friendly choice in the luxury floor arena. The leather is bonded and then stained in beautiful coloures and sometimes stamped to resemble various reptile/animal skins. Its most suitable for places like dens, library rooms, wine tasting cellars and bedroom.

Price: $11 per square foot.

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