Hardwood is truly timeless. It won't date your home like the lime green or orange carpet did in the 60's. It's warm underfoot and a durable natural product for those who are sensitive to man made products. It's also sustainable. Wood flooring moves with temperature changes and high or low moisture. Be prepared for a little movement in your hardwood if you do not keep a consistent temperature. The distressed hardwoods, usually done by machine or literal hand scraped will last a lifetime if properly maintained.
Solid wood is easily defined - it's solid lumber milled for flooring and meant for raised foundation installations. It is nailed down and can be re-sanded and finished approximately three times in 10, 20 or even 50 years. Engineered hardwood floors were originally created to be glued onto concrete foundations which can wick moisture into the hardwood. Purchase a quality glued that will act as a moisture barrier. Laminated plies make engineered hardwood floors more stable. Engineered floors with 3 mil wear layers can be re-sanded and finished typically one time.
Carpet, oh the softness of carpet under foot. When it's cold outside, the carpet calls. Although many consumers are choosing hard surface for the majority of their home, I still plead for the carpet in the bedrooms. Your toes will thank you in the cool of the winter. Carpet has come a long way, it's soft and inviting and also helps with acoustics. The majority of carpets now come with pet warranties and lifetime stain resistance too.
So much to say about Luxury Vinyl Plank. I have to admit when vinyl plank hit the flooring market hard and fast I did not like it. I'm glad I did too, it wasn't a good product. One of the issues was temperature instability. It moved a lot with temperature variance. Back then it didn't have the "stone" blended into it's center core to stabilize the planks, it was a very thin piece of vinyl glued to the substrate. Now there are many different types of Luxury Vinyl floors, durable and with a true appearance and feel of real wood.
Laminate is going through some big changes right now. The center core is being replaced to a waterproof interior. The particle board center was just a bit too friendly to water and was it's downfall. This lent to the rise of the Luxury Vinyl Plank. The flooring war continues and I'm looking forward to this new durable Laminate.