Are you among the 15% of Americans who intend to install new flooring during 2021?
That’s a great idea! A new floor can improve your home’s comfort, appearance, and value – if you do it right. A new floor has a massive visual impact, so if you mess up, you’ll have serious regrets.
Once you’ve made the big decision to revamp your home’s flooring, there are several things you must consider before you dive right in.
Here’s how to select flooring that suits your exact needs.
What Is Your Budget?
Although modern-day flooring options include a wide range of price points, the sheer size of most floors means this is an expensive undertaking. For instance, installing a hardwood floor can cost more than $6,000.
It’s not a task you can abandon halfway either if you run out of money, so calculate how much you can afford to spend before you start looking at your options.
If you get your heart set on a specific type of flooring, rather save up for exactly what you want or need. If you opt for a low-quality, more affordable floor, you’ve got to live with it for years.
Remember, you’ll need to budget for installation costs if you aren’t going to DIY the project. If you are going to install the floor yourself, you might need to buy some special tools, like a tile cutter, or adhesives to complete the task.
Another consideration is the ongoing cost to maintain the floor. Some types of floors might need special cleaners that are expensive to replace when they run out.
It pays to include every possible expense when budgeting for a large, long-lasting home improvement project like new flooring.
How Long Do You Want to Enjoy Your Floors?
Are you easily bored? Do you love updating your home every time a new trend comes along? In these instances, durability isn’t at the top of your priority list when it comes to flooring.
If you know you’ll be updating your floor again within the next few years, rather choose a type of flooring that’s affordable and easy to remove.
Are you intent on staying put? You should consider a more durable option.
Hardwood floors, and some types of premium vinyl flooring, like Shaw Coretec waterproof vinyl, can last a lifetime. These high-end floors come at a price, though.
So, unless you’re going to recoup this flooring cost when you sell your home, these types of floors best suit homeowners who intend to stay where they are for many years to come.
Select Flooring According to Your Location
The weather has a major impact on the type of flooring that’s right for your home. In cool climates, choose floors that provide warmth underfoot.
Carpet’s always a good option to keep your feet warm on a chilly day. Hardwood and luxury vinyl tile are good choices too.
If you live in a hot, humid place, tile floors are often the best bet to keep your home’s interiors cool.
Hardwood floors need extra care in very dry climates and don’t cope well with flooding, so bear this in mind when considering this flooring option. Solid tile like marble and stone can crack if there’s a lot of substrate movement in your area.
Keep Your Circumstances in Mind
Every household has its quirks. These are some things to consider before choosing the type of flooring that’s best for your home and your family.
Do you have children? Which rooms do they use most often? Do your pets come inside? Where do you place their food and water bowls?
You can’t rely on these members of your household to worry about your expensive, fragile flooring as they go about their daily lives. You need floors that can stand up to the little ones and their four-legged playmates.
Do you have family members that suffer from asthma or allergies? You need floors that don’t harbor dust and pet hair or give off noxious chemicals.
Are their elderly people living with you? Beware of floors that could cause a slip and fall incident.
It’s also important to consider floors that work well with walking aids or wheelchairs. Often carpet and rubber floors are best for this type of equipment.
Your Home’s Configuration
How many rooms do you have in your home? Do you want to install new flooring in each one?
Few types of flooring suit every room in a house. Bearing this in mind, how do you plan to keep continuity in your design?
You must also consider what you use each room for, or what you’d like to use it for in the future.
Match Your New Flooring to the Room’s Purpose
Every room in your home has unique flooring needs. Here’s a quick guide to the things you should consider when choosing a floor for each one:
Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your house. It’s the scene of eating, cooking, cleaning, and gathering. It needs a floor that’s up to the task.
Water resistance is a top priority for kitchen flooring, but you should also consider durability. Good quality laminate, vinyl, and ceramic tile work best in a kitchen.
Living Room Flooring
Family rooms are where it all happens. It’s usually the main source of entertainment in any home and also a place for entertaining guests at times. For this reason, you need a hard-wearing floor that looks good and complements the overall design of your room.
Carpet’s a warm and inviting choice, but it’s rather high-maintenance. Hardwood, laminate, and vinyl planks are better choices for this busy room.
The Best Flooring for Bedrooms
Bedrooms are a place of relaxation, and most family members spend a lot of time in these havens of solitude. Carpet’s often the first flooring choice for these rooms, but vinyl and laminate flooring are other good options.
Kid’s Playroom Flooring
Durability and stain resistance are top considerations for children’s play areas but don’t forget about comfort. Rubber flooring’s one of the best choices for a children’s room. It’s tough and provides a soft landing area during boisterous games.
Floors for Entryways
Any entryway into your home needs special attention when it comes to flooring. Everyone who enters your home passes via these portals.
Durability is a top consideration for these areas, but so is aesthetics. After all, you want to create a good impression. Ceramic and porcelain tile, as well as natural stone, are easy to clean, and durable choices for these areas.
Bathrooms are both private and public spaces. They’re another room dedicated to me-time, but they’re never off-limits to guests either.
For this reason, you need durable and attractive flooring in the bathroom too. Non-slip porcelain and ceramic tile are the preferred option and it’s also easy to keep clean.
Only the most expensive grades of vinyl flooring can stand up to bathroom humidity and moisture.
Once you’ve decided on the ideal flooring installation for each room in your home, how are you going to tie it all together?
Consider which rooms are visible from adjacent spaces when planning your flooring. Too many different types of flooring in one view can create an eyesore.
Try to imagine how the floors will flow into each other and when in doubt, stick to the ‘no more than three’ rule. This design tactic suggests that you shouldn’t use more than three different types of flooring in one space.
Take care that visible furniture and artwork from another room don’t clash with the flooring in your current room either.
Choose Flooring Colors Wisely
Consider the mood created by various colors when you’re choosing flooring. Red can create a cozy vibe in a living room, but it’s far too energizing for a bedroom.
Children’s spaces always benefit from bright colors, while neutral tones dominate in living rooms and kitchens.
Don’t let rules and trends dictate too much. Color says a lot about your personality, so let it shine through in your flooring choices. In the same light, you should let other family members have a say in which color flooring suits their personal spaces best.
Think About the Latest Trends
Nobody should enslave themselves to fashion, but you don’t want anyone who visits your home to think you’re stuck in the Dark Ages.
Trends come and go. A little research can ensure you don’t inadvertently pick a flooring style that’s on its way out for good.
One of the biggest trends right now is choosing environmentally friendly materials when upgrading your home. This is certainly a worthwhile initiative and can impact the appeal of your home considerably.
Some prospective home buyers take this issue very seriously, so if you’re thinking about selling your home soon, bear this in mind.
Will You DIY or Hire a Pro?
If you’re considering DIY flooring, make sure you don’t choose something that’s out of your league.
Some types of flooring, like hardwood floors, require an expert touch. Many laminate and vinyl planks feature an easy snap-together feature that makes DIY installation a breeze.
Whichever flooring you choose, make sure you’re completely confident installing it yourself, especially if your rooms are irregularly shaped.
Keep Flooring Maintenance in Mind
It makes sense to pick flooring solutions that are quick and easy to care for. You’ve got much better things to do than spend hours polishing your floor.
Consider the pros and cons of these common types of flooring when it comes to maintenance and more:
Carpet’s an affordable type of flooring that offers excellent thermal and sound-dampening qualities. It’s difficult to keep clean though and easily traps allergens, pet hair, and bacteria.
If you choose carpet, you’ll need to vacuum it regularly and get it deep cleaned at least twice a year.
This durable, attractive type of flooring is very costly and difficult to maintain. You need special cleaning materials to keep it in good shape, and you’ll need to seal it regularly. Eventually, every hardwood floor requires refinishing.
Bamboo is often classified as hardwood flooring, although it’s a type of grass. This flooring is eco-friendly, durable, and easy to clean with a mop.
Resilient flooring, like vinyl flooring, is the fastest growing sector in the flooring industry.
Vinyl flooring’s available in a wide range of ‘looks’ to suit any design style. It offers varying degrees of water resistance depending on the grade you choose.
This low-maintenance type of flooring’s easy to clean by sweeping or damp mopping. It’s easy to install on your own and a cost-effective solution for any floor.
This type of flooring shares many of the benefits offered by vinyl flooring, but it’s less durable and not as comfortable underfoot. Like vinyl flooring, you can choose from different grades of laminate flooring across broad price ranges.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
The biggest drawback of tile flooring is that it’s cold and hard to walk on. It’s extremely easy to maintain by sweeping and mopping, but it’s a little tricky to install.
The cost of tile varies widely depending on the material, size, and thickness you choose.
Add Value to Your Lifestyle
When you’ve got a good idea of how to select flooring, it’s easy to adjust this type of home improvement so that it adds value to both your home and your life.
Whichever type of flooring you choose, remember, you’re the one who has to live with it. So think about both your future and present needs while deciding.
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