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For durability and ease of maintenance, I'd suggest laminate.
 
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look at this way...
often, wood flooring still looks good and is still fully serviceable even after more than a century of usage..
we're talking the real deal here and not prefinished..
you'll be very lucky to get a decade out of composite flooring... the norm seems to be 4~6 years...
high traffic.. less...
damaged wood floors can be repaired and w/ composite, you replace the floor...
you want no maint, etc.. put in terrazzo...
 

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I love terrazzo, Stick, but the installation is disgustingly messy! It's also extremely treacherous if it gets any water on it (VoE).
Emma; don't discount the simulated wood vinyl flooring, it's virtually indestructible.
It's becoming the go-to product for commercial installations like lobbies, nursing homes, and restaurants.
Personally I prefer non-slip ceramic floor tile, especially if there are dogs in the family.
Dogs claws are murder on vinyl and wood. Having said that, modern wood floor finishes are TOUGH! As long as they're maintained, the floor is protected.

https://www.armstrongflooring.com/r...oknowbeforeyoushop-|-thumbnail_tabs_9171_tab3
 

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Laminate handles any water on the floor very poorly. I have a rental house and the renters just moved out. They had wet mopped some of the laminate, even after being told not to, and it swelled the joints. They also had a dog for a while and didn't bother putting a water proof mat under its water dish so they also damaged the floor there. As Stick said, there is no repairing that. It was my in-laws house and they put laminate down in the kitchen which is a mistake. I'm replacing that with vinyl plank. It's fairly easy to put together, resists wear fairly well and is waterproof. You can also lay it directly over concrete.

Some of the laminate looks pretty good and if it will stay dry it is cheaper and goes down faster than hardwood and it's easier to replace in a disaster but hardwood is virtually forever. I did install some bamboo in my house and it's advertised as being 10% harder than oak. It still scratches and dents but it is repairable. The only hitch is that it was pre-stained and pre-finished with a clear coat so I have to try and match those if I want to fix it or remove all the finish and start over.

Like Dan said ceramic tile is very tough but can be slippery when wet. Years ago the rule was that you needed a 1 1/4" thick minimum sub floor to resist movement so it wouldn't crack the tiles or grout joints as would happen with a standard 5/8" or 3/4" subfloor. However, the new uncoupling membranes allow installation on just the basic subfloor as long as it is very solid. I laid ceramic down from my entry way through dining room and kitchen several years ago and have had no issues except with a puttzy brother in law who dropped 2 large bottles of booze on it just prior to his wedding to my sister in law and knocked chips out of two tiles. My wife covered them with a throw rug and I keep forgetting about them. I'm going to try patching them with some colored epoxy when I remember at the right time one day. I have no idea how hard it is to break them loose from that membrane and clean it up to replace instead.
 

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"I have no idea how hard it is to break them loose from that membrane and clean it up to replace instead."
-Charles

Use your multitool with a grout removal blade (diamond or Carbide grit) to cut all around the tiles, then break them up with a roto-hammer.
the roto-hammer (hammer only function) can also be used to scrape the thinset off the sub-floor.
Diamond Swing Blade - Bosch | MultiToolBlades.ca
https://www.boschtools.com/ca/en/boschtools-ocs/round-hex-spline-hammer-steel-hs1811-29486-p/
Whatever system you choose, cutting the grout out first is absolutely critical!
 

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I have no idea how hard it is to break them loose from that membrane and clean it up to replace instead.
cut the grout loose w/ your MM...
break the tile w/ a center punch and prt it up...
clean up the thinset w/ your MM...
install new tile and grout...
 

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My flooring is laminate. It is very slick, as in before I got my power wheelchair, I had to be very careful transferring wheelchair-bed etc. I got to know the first responders very well. My dogs would slip slide around when chasing balls, etc. (The last is too old to chase his ball now, so I can't show a video of him sliding around.) Also, my washing machine, after it was installed where I could use it, overflowed the outflow pipe. I will post pictures later today.
 

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FWIW, I sold flooring. A customer replaced his laminate with hardwood. Said walking on laminate was like walking on cardboard. I agree- I replaced my laminate with hardwood. Now I wish I had put down carpet. What do you define as high traffic area? Home or business? Pets? Kids?
 

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Also, my washing machine, after it was installed where I could use it, overflowed the outflow pipe. I will post pictures later today.
Here are the promised photos.
 

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Most people that buy older houses in Australia now rip up the carpet and sand back the hardwood floors and seal them, they look fantastic and wear really well, these floors have been down for over 50 years and the wood is as good as new. The problem with tiles is it makes your house into and echo chamber, we did that in the living area and a pin drop would sound like a 6 inch nail. Never had laminate so can't comment on that.
 

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I've maintained apartments for a long time. Will never put down carpet again. "Laminate" flooring seems like a bad idea as said by others. Red Oak doesn't work well with dogs because their claws dig into the spring wood. Hard maple works well. Most durable floor: high quality, high fire ceramic tile. Avoid the Mexican cheap low fire stuff. I've got quality tile in 7 apartments and it has held up really well. 2 broken tiles in 12 years. One of the breaks was due to poor installation where the tile wasn't fully bedded in the thin set. If flexing of the sub floor happens you will get less breakage with smaller tiles. The long "wood look" ones are the most subject to breakage. I've always used cement board under the tile. You see brick like tiles used in Burger King & Mac's joints. I'd call that high traffic. They aren't slick and look pretty good, easy cleanup!
 

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"...high fire ceramic tile"
-Larry
'Porcelain' is what I think you were referring to(?) Not just Mexican; avoid pretty much anything from Central or S. America.
Italian, German, USA, Israeli and maybe a couple of others; all excellent Porcelain tile production.
 

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Carpet in rental properties is a disaster. I have some friends who have several rental properties and they replace the carpet ever few renters. Needless to say it isn't the best quality carpet. On the other hand, another friend had rental property and found one family had a dog that peed on the pine floors; this was an old house before oak was fashionable. He had two guys come in to sand the floors. The stench of hot dog pee was so bad, they could only work for a few minutes in shifts- one to sand and the other to go outside. Took hours to do a small house.
 

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I think cat odors are worse. Our floors are laminate, but there are only two of us and a small dog. Looking good after 2 1/2 years. However, we don't ever allow anything wet to sit on the floor for more than a few seconds.
 

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Which is more durable in high traffic areas? Also which is easier to maintain in winter seasons?


I have 3 large dogs, who live on the first floor of our house. The only option when the floor was put in 20 years ago was a laminate (Pergo) because you can't put a natural hardwood floor on a concrete slab without a lot of additional work to prevent issues from temperature cycling or humidity. Over the years, the dogs have brought in about 30 yards of dirt, mud, grass, and who knows what, and the floor cleans up beautifully. The floor has stood up to their toenails, occasional accidents, and 2 kids as well.


The only spot that has been damaged is the area under my desk chair, it has a little bit of hazing due to the wheels of the chair trapping a little bit of hard sand and grinding the finish. A little floor polish cleans it up without too much trouble.


We had natural hardwood floors in our last house, and they didn't hold up against the dogs as well. (or dinner guests with high heel shoes...)


For the upstairs, where I have an asthmatic, we pulled the carpet out and put in a Lumber Liquidators laminate product with an embossed grain. It feels so much nicer under the foot than Pergo, and I swear it feels warmer in the winter time.
 

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" It feels so much nicer under the foot than Pergo, and I swear it feels warmer in the winter time."

'They' claim that's because the amount of surface area that actually makes contact with the skin is less than with a dead flat surface.
Who knows whether that's actually true or not...
 
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