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It’s Minnesota. It’s winter. Most of the time when you’re moving from outside to inside you’re tracking snow along with you. Sure, it will be spring soon, but then instead of snow you’ll be tracking in mud. In harsher climates it’s important that a durable flooring material be selected for the high-traffic areas in your home. At Floor Coverings International White Bear Lake we are here to help you make the best decision to keep your floors looking great.


The biggest concerns you should have with respect to the health of your flooring are water damage and ease of cleaning. This is especially true in your entryway or your mudroom, your hallways, and your kitchen. Choosing a smart flooring material for these areas will save you a lot of work and a lot of money down the road. Below we will discuss the best and worst options for the parts of your home that may have to stand up to melting snow and occasional muddy footprints.


Porcelain, Ceramic, and Natural Stone Tile

A frontrunner for the best choice is tile. When properly installed and sealed, tile is an attractive and durable choice that is extremely water resistant and easy to clean. It makes an excellent choice for a front entryway, a mudroom, your kitchen, or anywhere that is likely to have standing water. While a bit more expensive than other choices, tile will last a long time and keep your home looking great.

Vinyl and Linoleum

Vinyl and linoleum present other fine options that are highly water resistant and easy to clean. Although often treated interchangeably, these two materials actually have very different manufacturing processes. Despite these differences, both will stand up well to the abuse that a Minnesota winter may throw at them. They will also do so at a price that is far below other options mentioned here. Just keep in mind that it will be better to opt for a single sheet variety, as opposed to a tile variety, so that you minimize the spaces where water can penetrate.

Laminate Flooring

Another decent option, which you may not have considered in a moisture-prone area, is laminate flooring. With laminate you can have the style of hardwood or tile without the cost. And most importantly for our purposes here, laminate is quite easy to clean and fairly water resistant as long as water is removed in a reasonable amount of time. If it isn’t, laminate can swell and deform.

Hardwood (Solid and Engineered)

Although hardwood offers excellent style and general durability, it is not recommended for areas that will experience high moisture levels. That doesn’t mean you can’t use these materials near your front door, but it does mean that you will have to be more diligent about removing excess water to avoid floor damage. Solid hardwood is susceptible to warping if water is absorbed, and while engineered hardwood is more resistant due to the construction of its lower layers, you will still want to keep an eye on it after the snow on your boots has melted. Sealing your hardwood periodically can greatly reduce this concern.


The worst choice for an entryway or hallway (if people don’t remove their shoes!) is carpet. Carpet fibers and the padding underneath are excellent water absorbers, which makes this a poor choice for water-prone areas. On the other hand, carpet does offer warmth and comfort that the other options mentioned here can’t rival, so if you do decide to use it for these reasons, just be sure to select a style that has low pile (the upper, visible layer) to mitigate water absorption.


Whatever option you choose for your home, Floor Coverings International White Bear Lake has a wide selection for you to choose from. Contact us any time to arrange a free in-home consultation with one of our flooring specialists!


Photo Credit: cobalt88