Wood-look vinyl or ceramic planks. Geometric-patterned carpet. Natural stone. With so many options available, how do you select the right floor for your home?
The way you use a room should dictate what flooring options you consider. Always start by considering which room(s) you’re re-flooring, as well as your budget, your lifestyle, whether you have young children or pets (or perhaps intend to in the near future) – consider stain resistance, lots of windows – think fade resistance, perhaps allergens (if anyone in the family has allergies), etc. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction.
Kitchens are generally high-traffic, high-function areas that require frequent cleaning, so a durable floor that’s easy to clean is an absolute must. With all the cooking and dishwashing that goes on, you also want moisture-resistance. For those reasons, tile, luxury vinyl, and laminate are all popular choices. You’ll also want to consider the color and style of your cabinetry, backsplashes, countertops, and appliances.
Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms
Like kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms have more moisture exposure than other rooms, making carpet and natural hardwood less desirable. Tile, luxury vinyl, and and laminate make wet messes easier to clean. Because these rooms tend to be smaller, this might be a good opportunity to splurge a little and select a style or pattern that adds visual flair.
If you’re like most homeowners, these are the rooms where you spend the most time relaxing or hanging out together. You’ll want to balance comfort with your home’s architectural style and your decor. If you want a cozy space, carpet is a great option. If you’re creating a more formal space, or have other elements like a fireplace surround you want your floor to complement, consider options like natural or engineered hardwood and tile. And since living spaces generally have a larger area than other rooms, measure the dimensions of your space and consider your budget.
Where food is involved, hard surfaces are generally better. Consider durability (so many chair legs!), stain resistance (who dropped that sauce-covered meatball?) and ease of cleaning (daily crumb patrol). But the choice between hardwoods, tile, luxury vinyl options, and laminate depends a lot on your style and budget. Think bamboo plank in a minimalist space, ceramic tile under a Tuscan trestle-table, or wood-look luxury vinyl that complements your rustic hutch. If your dining room opens onto your kitchen or living room, consider the view into these spaces as well.
Because bedrooms are lower-traffic areas, durability is usually less of a concern. But you might want to consider sun exposure, if you have a lot of windows. What kind of atmosphere do you want your bedroom to have? Is it the serenity of smooth hardwood or the luxury of a high-pile carpet between your toes? Bedrooms are great opportunities to play with textures and patterns. Be sure to tell your flooring specialist about your decorating style and color scheme. And given how much time we spend in bed every night, ask for recommendations if allergies are an issue.
These spaces funnel people through your home, so they’re definitely high-traffic areas. They’re great places to add some texture or patterns that can draw the eye up and help disguise dirt. Carpet can reduce the noise of footsteps if you have squeaky stairs or dogs (or kids!) that chase each other everywhere. Also think about the view into other rooms. If the hallway or stairwell leads directly to rooms that all have the same flooring type, consider using that type of flooring here for visual consistency.
Finished basements are often used as family lounging or recreation spaces. If you’re using yours as a game room or bar, hard surface flooring might be a good choice for chasing ping pong balls or pulling up a barstool. But if it’s your home theater space, you might prefer the comfort of carpet. You’ll want to consider if the space is waterproofed, since moisture exposure is common in basements. Many people prioritize affordability in basements, especially when the space is large, which makes beautiful and durable laminate a popular choice.
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