This durable flooring shrugs off street grit, pointy heels, and sloppy spills while providing a slip-resistant and often cushiony footing that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. No wonder you find vinyl in most homes—usually in kitchens, baths, and entryways.

A synthetic cousin of linoleum, vinyl flooring is water-and stain-resistant, versatile, and provides good durability for the cost.

Popularized in the mid 20th century, vinyl flooring is still evolving. It's more durable and can be installed faster than earlier versions. Patterns and textures convincingly mimic their old-school competitors or boldly go in a more modern direction.

Thanks to a number of advances over the years, today’s vinyl floors are attractive and economical.