When it comes to choosing the best flooring for your home, there are so many options to explore – plush carpeting, rich hardwood, unique tile, and more. Each floor covering is unique, with different benefits and drawbacks to consider.
Even if you’re leaning toward a particular option, there are endless features to consider, like color, texture, durability, price, scratch and stain resistance, comfort, water-resistance … the list goes on and on. With so many options in front of you, choosing a new floor can get overwhelming. But doing a bit of research and working with a seasoned retailer can go a long way toward making you feel confident in your buying decision.
All you have to do is learn what different options are best suited to your home, your family, and your lifestyle. From there you should have an easier time choosing. Here are a few factors you’ll want to consider when selecting the perfect flooring options for your home.
There’s no rule saying your entire home has to feature the same flooring materials – in fact, it probably shouldn’t. The right flooring for your child’s playroom is probably not the best choice for your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room. The best flooring for your home will very likely differ from one room to the next. You might want waterproof tile in kitchens and bathrooms, eye-catching hardwood flooring for the living room, and plush carpeting in bedrooms where comfort, warmth, and soundproofing are preferred. Think about the space or spaces you’re renovating or redecorating, and narrow down your options from there.
Consider your lifestyle
Another serious consideration when choosing new flooring is your lifestyle. For families with a home full of kids and pets running around, consider something durable like luxury vinyl or laminate that is resistant to scratching and scuffing, as well as easy to clean. And think about how much time you want to devote to cleaning. If you don’t have the time or desire to vacuum a few times a week, maybe carpet isn’t the right choice for you. Looking to treat yourself and add a touch of character to the master bedroom? Take a look at solid hardwood. Once you know what your household demands, you’ll have a much easier time narrowing down your choices.
Consider your budget
Few people have the luxury of shopping with a “money is no object” mentality. You’re probably working on a budget. Cost-wise, you’re going to find that many popular carpet options fall into a fairly affordable price range, as do laminate and vinyl. Even ceramic tile can be relatively affordable. Natural options like solid hardwood, stone, or wool carpeting are going to cause the price of your project to jump. And don’t forget to factor in the cost of installation – making sure your new floor is installed properly isn’t cheap, but it is worth it.
Consider your priorities
Everyone has different priorities when it comes to adding new elements to their homes. Some people are looking for a tough, durable kitchen floor, while others might be looking for a comfy surface for a child’s bedroom. Think about what factors are most important to you, such as:
There’s no denying that hard flooring tends to last longer than soft. Carpet fibers simply don’t have the same longevity as hard surfaces and they will wear much faster. Laminate and vinyl flooring are both durable choices for high-traffic areas. While laminate takes the cake in scratch resistance – an important factor for homeowners with pets – luxury vinyl and sheet vinyl are waterproof. Porcelain tile is another durable option – it would take an incredible amount of force to scratch or break a tile floor.
If softness and comfort are your biggest priorities, carpeting is likely the best choice for you. There’s nothing cozier than soft, cushy carpeting underfoot. It reduces noise, it protects little ones from bruises when they take a tumble learning to walk, and it’s the best flooring to sit on during movie night with the family. If comfort is important to you but you prefer hard surface flooring, you’ll want to opt for something like vinyl or cork that has a bit more give underfoot. This is an important consideration especially for kitchens, where people will be spending a lot of time on their feet.
Every floor will require some amount of cleaning and maintenance. Carpeting is easily going to require the most work on a day-to-day basis. Its fibers can trap dirt, dust, dander, and allergens, so you’ll need to vacuum frequently. Even so, carpets can start to look dingy over time – especially lighter colors – and spills and other accidents can leave lasting stains if not taken care of quickly. However, some manufacturers are coming out with carpet options that repel stains and spills, as well as hypoallergenic options, that stand up to a more hectic household. Talk to your local flooring retailer about some of the performance carpet options available.
Hard surface flooring is, for the most part, going to be a bit more low-maintenance. In most cases, staining and dinginess won’t be a problem with fairly regular cleaning. The amount of time you spend sweeping and mopping will depend on your household – whether you have kids and pets, if you entertain frequently, and so on.
Ready to find the right flooring for you? Here’s some more information to help you get started.
Proud flooring aficionado and office dog mom, "Flauren" has been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade (though she still maintains her magnum opus was "The Day it Snowed Slurpees," written at the age of 6).
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