Residential Flooring

With so many options, how do I choose?

There are many important factors to consider when deciding on how to choose flooring for your home. Lifestyle, budget, climate, style, comfort and degree of use all play a part in determining what your flooring choices should be.

Lifestyle

Different types of home flooring ideas and designs require varying levels of care so this is a major consideration for how to choose flooring for your home. If you lead a very busy, active lifestyle, you will want flooring that is easy to take care of and needs very little maintenance. Also take into consideration the other members of your family. If you have children or pets, flooring that can be easily cleaned is definitely a plus. Hardwood flooring is easy to clean, but it needs to refinished periodically and can be easily damaged by water or spilled drinks. Laminate flooring can closely mimic the look of hardwood, without the high maintenance and susceptibility to damage from liquids. Cleaning is easy with laminates - you simply need to use a damp mop to clean it when needed. Ceramic tile is easy to take care of, but it does require you to seal the floor about once a year. Carpet is certainly low-maintenance, but it can be very difficult to clean.

Budget

When choosing flooring for your home, cost is a huge factor. Flooring is available in a range of prices so take time to explore inexpensive flooring options.

At the top end of the range are hardwoods and natural stone. These items typically have higher product costs, additional installation costs as well as higher maintenance costs - but they are also the most durable and timeless choices.

In the middle range you will find Laminate flooring, which offers low to high end offerings. Because it's more durable and needs very little in the way of upkeep, it may be more economical in the long run so will likely come in as one of the more inexpensive flooring options. Laminates can emulate the look of nearly any hardwood you can imagine. The more you spend on your laminate flooring, the more likely it will look like real hardwood. In fact, with some high-end choices, you can't tell the difference until you touch it!

Ceramic and porcelain tile can be a less expensive option for flooring, however may require additional maintenance and costs over time with upkeep. Additionally, the installation of tile is higher than most other flooring options since it is the most difficult to install.

Carpet can be a very inexpensive choice, or it can cost more than hardwood flooring, depending upon which carpet you choose. Very plush, dense carpets tend to be more expensive, while those with shorter, more sparse fibers are less expensive. Carpet is available in a wide variety of styles, colors, fibers, and patterns to suit the most casual to the most elaborate rooms.

Style

The style of your house can determine the best flooring for you, also. If your home is formal and elegant, hardwood flooring will contribute to this look. On the other hand, if your home is noisy and filled with people, carpet will lend a more casual and informal air to your home. It may also muffle some of that sound, so that you don't feel as if you are living in an echo chamber! Ceramic tile and laminates are at home in nearly any type of space.

Comfort

No matter what other factors play into your flooring decision, comfort is an important one. If you spend a lot of time on the floor, or have children who do, you'll want to make sure that you choose flooring which is comfortable to sit on. Carpet is the obvious choice here, although you can also use area rugs on laminate, hardwood or tile flooring to soften them up a bit. If you choose carpet, make sure you choose a type which meets your comfort standard. Berber carpets are durable and easy to clean, but they're not child friendly. Any crawlers or beginning walkers in your family are likely to end up with rug-burned knees! A tightly-woven, but plush carpet would be a better choice.

Degree of Use

The final factor that you should take into consideration of flooring options is the usage that the flooring will receive. If it's a very high traffic area, choose a flooring material which will stand up well to heavy use. Laminates can fill the bill here, as can ceramic tile. Hardwoods and carpets are not such a great choice for these areas.

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