Flooring can be a major decision for new homeowners. It’s a surface you and your family will walk all over, and it can reveal a lot about your tastes.
There are a myriad of home flooring options out there, but it’s important to choose the material that works best for your lifestyle and your look. Here are some tips for making the right choice:
Choose a Material That’s Right for Your Lifestyle
When it comes to flooring, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. Every home has unique demands, and the best flooring material for your new house depends on your lifestyle, a room’s function and other factors.
The right choice of flooring can transform your home’s interior design, but it also adds value to your property. Choosing the wrong floor type, however, can cost you a lot of time and money – so it’s essential to weigh all your options before making any decisions.
Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Professional flooring specialists can point you in the right direction and give you advice on what will work in your home. They can even assist with the installation process, which is important to ensure that your new floors look their best.
Flooring options are no longer limited to wood planks, hardwood and vinyl tiles. There are also engineered wood products that combine the look of real wood with added durability, and there are porcelain tiles that make a practical option for bathroom or laundry areas where water-resistant floors are preferred.
For example, cork is a natural and renewable flooring product that’s comfortable underfoot and doesn’t become slippery when wet. It is also non-toxic and eco-friendly, and it can be stained or painted to match any decor. Bamboo is another popular flooring option that’s durable and available in a range of styles.
Other considerations when selecting the right flooring material include the type of traffic the room will experience, whether it gets a lot of sunlight or not and the climate where you live. If you have pets, for instance, you’ll want to choose a hard-wearing flooring material that can withstand scratches and bites, such as solid hardwood or tile.
If you have an open plan layout, consider the fact that using the same flooring throughout your entire home can create a clean, continuous appearance. That said, if you absolutely have to use different flooring materials in each room of the house, then it’s a good idea to coordinate them with each other and with any furniture you have in mind for that space.
Consider the Room’s Function
The way you use your home’s different rooms is going to have a major impact on which type of flooring is best for each one. For example, if you’re turning the living room into an office, it’s important to think about how much foot-traffic and noise is going to be in that space. It’s possible that you’ll need to install sound-absorbing ceiling tiles in order to keep these sounds from being too distracting.
Once you’ve gotten a clear idea of how you want to use each space, it’s time to start thinking about the specific items that you need in each room. Creating a room function chart can help you to do this, and it’s often helpful to have the whole family fill these out separately so that everyone gets a chance to express their ideas. Once you’ve done this, it should be easy to determine what the needs are for each room.
For a mudroom, for instance, you might need a bench where people can remove their shoes and coats, as well as plenty of open shelving or wall-mounted hooks to hold hats and other outerwear. Similarly, a bedroom may need a comfy rug for putting on under the bed to prevent the floor from being cold when you wake up.
The type of flooring you choose is also going to be impacted by the amount of light that the room gets throughout the day. If you have a lot of natural light, it’s possible that a wood-effect laminate would work well in this area, as it can look very similar to real timber and is softer underfoot. If the room receives less natural light, you might want to consider carpet or rugs as these options are usually warmer underfoot and can absorb noise better.
In addition, the type of flooring you choose is going to be influenced by the budget that you have available for your new home. It’s important to set a budget before you start shopping around, so that you don’t end up spending more than you can afford. You’ll also find it easier to narrow down the different options that are available if you know what your price range is at the outset.
Think About Your Needs for Maintenance
Many people choose a flooring material solely because of the way it looks, but if you want your new home’s floors to look beautiful and remain durable for years to come, you will need to take steps to properly care for them. Fortunately, there are many ways to maintain any type of flooring.
For example, using quality doormats at all entrances to your home will help prevent tracked-in dirt, grit and other substances from damaging or staining your floors. You should also wipe your shoes before entering the house, especially if you’re wearing cleats or high heels. These simple steps can go a long way to extending the life of any flooring material, including tile, hardwood, vinyl or carpeting.
You’ll need to keep a few basic cleaning supplies on hand, such as a broom, dustpan, mop or cleaning towels and vacuum cleaners. Keeping a cleaning schedule is important too. Frequent sweeping and occasional deep cleaning will keep your floors clean and shiny. You should also wipe up spills and stains immediately. Leaving them to soak can damage the surface of your floor or, if you’re dealing with a water-resistant material like vinyl, leave an unsightly build-up of moisture that could eventually damage your floors over time.
If your flooring is made from natural materials, it’s a good idea to place area rugs in certain rooms of your home to protect them from fading and discoloration due to constant exposure to direct sunlight. It’s also a good idea to close curtains or blinds during the times of day when sun exposure is highest.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option than traditional wood floors, composite or engineered wood floors may be the right choice for you. They’re usually less expensive than real wood and can be used in most rooms except for those with a lot of moisture or direct sunlight. It’s still important to avoid sharp objects and high heels on these types of floors too, as they can cause scratching and warping. If you’re not ready for the commitment of real wood, laminate is an alternative that can give you the look and feel you’re after without breaking the bank.
Consider the Future
Whether you are building a new home or renovating an existing one, the flooring you choose will have a significant impact on your quality of life and home resale value. It’s important to select a floor that is durable, easy to maintain, and fits your lifestyle. If you aren’t sure which type of flooring will work best, consult with a professional. They will be able to guide you through the different options, including cost information and style and installation advice.
A good rule of thumb when selecting a flooring material is to buy a sample to take home with you. It’s hard to know how the floor will look with your decor and lighting until you see it in your space. This small investment can save you from spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a flooring project that you’ll ultimately be unhappy with.
Another great way to make your flooring project more affordable is to choose a water-resistant material that can hold up to splashes, leaks, and humidity. This is an excellent choice for bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. There are a number of water-resistant materials that can also be aesthetically pleasing, such as luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and laminate.
If you’re finding that the costs of your flooring project are out of reach, try to find ways to cut back on other expenses until you can afford to buy what you need. This could include eliminating extras like cable TV, a gym membership, or coffeehouse drinks. Another option is to save up for your project or even apply for financing, which can help you get the floors you want without putting yourself in debt.