Consumer Reports put several types of flooring through a battery of tests, and the best vinyl beat all other flooring, including wood and laminate.

They tested for wear and tear, staining, scratching and fading.

The flooring that performed best was Armstrong Alterna Mesa Canyon Stone Sun. It mimics and color and texture of real stone and sells for about $5.50 a square foot.

There are some safety concerns with vinyl. Especially when newly installed, it can emit volatile organic compounds, VOCs, substances linked to health problems and pollution.

Vinyl flooring that has the industry's "FloorScore certification" indicates it emits relatively low levels of VOCs. The recommended Armstrong has that certification.