How to Choose Flooring for Your Home: The Ultimate Guide

Professional installation of floor covering, the worker quickly and qualitatively mounts a laminate board

If you need to choose flooring for your home, you’ve got options. Too many options, really. There are at least nine popular types of flooring, and many of these have their own subcategories.

Unfortunately, it may not be wise to select flooring by style alone. Different rooms in your home have varying conditions and requirements to consider. Install the wrong flooring and it may not last as long as it should, which will cost you a small fortune down the road.

Get the right flooring for the right job. This guide will walk you through all the basics of how to choose flooring for your home.

Moisture Control

You’re probably not installing new flooring throughout your entire home. Maybe the living room hardwood is old and rotting or the kitchen is in dire need of a renovation. No matter where you’re hammering in new flooring, you should always consider the purpose of the room.

Different areas of the home experience distinct wear and tear.

Consider the bathroom, for example. You want flooring that holds up to high humidity and temperatures. In fact, it may not be uncommon for wet feet to trek across the bathroom floor, leaving a small puddle until it finally evaporates.

Some flooring will handle this damage better than others. Although hardwood is gorgeous, wooden floors swell in moist conditions. This can disfigure floorboards, destroy seals, and make it susceptible to rot.

For these reasons, this is why you often see ceramic or porcelain flooring in bathrooms. Kitchens also see a fair amount of water hazards and may use similar flooring — but this time with an emphasis on style. For cost-effective yet customizable floors, try concrete with epoxy floor coatings.

Before you consider the budget, aesthetics, or anything else, narrow your list of flooring to those types that are appropriate for the room in question.

Durability

Keeping in mind our room-specific choices of flooring, durability is a serious consideration. That said, your lifestyle and family are larger indicators of durability requirements than the rooms themselves.

Live alone? Then you know what kind of damage your flooring experiences on a daily basis. Since you go out of your way to cushion the legs of furniture and avoid dragging heavy objects across the floor, you know your hardwood will stay in pristine shape.

But let’s say you have kids or pets. The flooring you choose will have to be sturdy enough to handle the abuse. And yes, your pets can seriously damage the finish on your flooring by claws alone.

Laminate, ceramic, or porcelain are durable choices, but not the prettiest. If you need flooring in a living room or bedroom, consider carpeting. Vinyl floors can also get the job done.

Know Your Budget

As much as we’d like to pretend we don’t have to worry about expenses, that’s far from the truth. The price of flooring is likely a limiting factor in your overall decision. But that doesn’t mean you have to make uncomfortable compromises.

The sturdiest types of floors tend to be the cheapest. These include porcelain, vinyl, and laminate. But keep in mind installing tile is more expensive than other types of flooring.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, you’ll have access to gorgeous hardwoods as well as high-quality vinyl. Although wood flooring is a status symbol, it doesn’t have to break the bank in this day and age. Look at the cheapest place to buy hardwood flooring and you may be surprised at what you can get your hands on.

Resale Value

So far, we’ve assumed you need help choosing new flooring for a new home. But what if you’re selling your home? In that case, you’re less concerned with some of the practical qualities and more concerned about your return on investment.

Whenever possible, go for wood floors. This type of flooring has some of the best ROI around. Modern home buyers love wood flooring enough that they are willing to spend 2.5% more on the final closing price.

Of course, you can’t install wood in every room in the house, and it’s not a great option in humid climates. Under these circumstances, ceramic and porcelain are surprisingly popular.

Avoid carpet and marble like the plague if you want to make most of getting your money back!

Indoor Air Quality

Do you or a family member suffer from asthma or other respiratory illnesses? Then you know that air quality is the key to living an enjoyable, comfortable life. The flooring in your home plays a major part in determining your air quality.

Cork is your best bet if you want to keep things sterile. Plus, it’s an environmentally friendly option since these floors are created from bark rather than timber.

The verdict is out on whether carpet is a safe flooring option.

Cheaper carpets definitely come with dangerous volatile airborne chemicals after installation. It’s not clear if they truly reduce air quality since they absorb particles rather than letting them fly around the household.

But if you want to be safe, go with wood flooring — and cork specifically if you can afford it.

How to Choose Flooring: The Basics

Now you know how to choose flooring, but how do you go about buying it? Prices vary between suppliers, so feel free to take a look around to determine what’s best for you.

If you know what you’re doing, you can learn how to install it, too! By doing so, you’ll save big and avoid labor expenses.

Want to beautify your home without breaking the bank? Search our blog for more articles just like this.

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