It is common in older homes to find sections of flooring that need to be replaced. There are many ways to repair resilient flooring. If an existing floor is salvageable but a few small areas are damaged, replacing sections may be a better option than replacing the entire floor.
Assuming that you aren't lucky enough to have original material stored away from when the existing floors were installed, matching and blending new material to the old so the patch isn't obvious can be a real challenge. If the material is relatively inexpensive, such as vinyl, you are often better off replacing the entire floor. Unfortunately, hardwood and other expensive materials are not so easy to completely replace.
If you can't find new material that's a very close match, one option is to repurpose flooring from a closet or other out-of-view spot, then replace the flooring in that area with new flooring. This way you can achieve a better match where it counts.
For the look of wood flooring without the cost or the finishing or maintenance requirements of solid wood, there are many engineered flooring products available. About 40 percent of all floors installed today, in both new construction and remodels, are engineered wood products. Engineered wood floors often run about $4.50 to $5 per square foot for materials, but prices can range up to $15 per square foot or more.
Laminated or plywood styles typically have a fine hardwood surface veneer atop several plies of lower grade wood. Most are half the thickness of solid wood floors, but after installation they are almost indistinguishable from solid-wood flooring.
Block flooring, also called parquet, comes in squares or rectangles made from wood strips and is installed in an alternating right-angle pattern. The individual squares, or tiles, of parquet are relatively easy to install and are most often glued down, though some can be blind-nailed or stapled. This again is a good repair option for resilient floor.
In appearance and form, bamboo is very similar to engineered hardwood flooring but the material is actually a very large type of grass. Because it is handsome and is a natural, rapidly renewable resource, it is gaining in popularity as a flooring choice. Bamboo gets its woodlike appearance from the way it's manufactured. Narrow strips are cut and bonded edge-to-edge or face-glued to create tongue-and-groove strips or planks.
Imported bamboo flooring is not manufactured to the same standards as flooring made in the United States, so check strips or planks closely before installation.