Choosing the right flooring for your remodel can be challenging. There are so many options, and so little time to research what will look and feel the best while standing the test of time. Here we’ve shared some do’s and don’ts to consider when making flooring selections, as well as some pros and cons of popular flooring materials.
Putting new flooring in your home, throughout or in a single room, is a significant investment. Whatever product you choose, you want to make sure it will hold up in your home for many years to come.
DO: Keep your local climate in mind. Damp, humid climates can warp hardwood floors and even affect laminate. In hotter climates, it’s good to know that carpet traps heat and may make cooling your home more energy intensive.
DON’T: Underestimate the varied wear and tear in different rooms of your home. Including the additional wear and tear kids and pets may have. Drop something on ceramic tile and it may chip; heavy foot traffic will wear down plush carpet quickly.
Durability and cost are often the top concerns when buying new flooring, but appearance is a very close runner up.
DO: Keep the layout of your home in mind. If you design an extremely open floor plan, you’ll likely want to use the same flooring throughout to stay with the clean, continuous aesthetic.
DON’T: Ignore your homes architectural integrity. You should absolutely make your home a reflection of your personal style… within reason. Staying true to your home’s architectural style will be valuable when it comes time to sell.
Comfort and Cleanliness
Having pretty flooring is ideal, but your home isn’t a museum. People live on these floors, not just look at them, so comfort and ease of cleaning is important.
DO: Consider comfort toward the top of your list, especially in rooms where you will spend a lot of time on your feet, like the kitchen. Comfort is also an important consideration for families with small children or those who plan to age in place.
DON’T: Choose material that will contribute to household air pollution if you can afford it. Newly installed carpet and some traditional vinyl options emit substantial levels of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) for the first several days.
Cons: Sometimes hard to remove, sometimes inconsistent quality, color fades with overexposure to direct sunlight, can warp in extreme temperatures.
Cons: Expensive options, cold (unless you add heating underneath), slippery and hard, labor-intensive installation, needs to be re-sealed every few years
Cons: Expensive, requires professional installation, will require refinishing, noisy, can be damaged by water, risk of termite attacks, some species are easily scratched, warping and cupping in moist weather
Pros: designed to reduce traditional moisture problems, lower maintenance than traditional hardwood, lower environmental impact, cheaper than traditional hardwood
Cons: Expensive, harder to refinish, requires professional installation, will dent and scratch over time, low quality engineered wood can give off VOC’s
Pros: Clean contemporary look, easy to clean if properly finished, easily refinished, decent re-sell value, eco-friendly
Cons: Susceptible to scratches and dents, absorbs water leading to staining and warping, limited tonal shades, some common adhesives are toxic
Pros: Soft/cushioned surface, quiet, eco-friendly and antimicrobial, easy to install, easily re-finished, low maintenance, cost-effective, insulating (can lower utility bills!), biodegradable
Cons: Easily damaged, divots from heavy furniture, required regular waterproofing, fades with overexposure to direct sunlight, easily stainable
Cons: Can be high maintenance, easily attracts dirt and stains, susceptible to holding allergens like mold, pet dander and dust mites, synthetic manufacturing leads to shorter life span, low re-sell value
Cons: Extremely hard, slippery, uncomfortable for long period of standing or young children, needs re-sealing, may crack, not always environmentally friendly