Replacing your home’s old floors can be a huge undertaking, but it’s also exciting to have the opportunity to choose a fresh look that will transform your space. However, you will need to consider more than just interior design elements when choosing a floor. You will also want to choose a floor that’s practical and fits your lifestyle needs. Here are five factors you’ll want to keep in mind when shopping for your new floor.
1. Use of the Room
A key factor in choosing a floor is how the room will be used. For example, a water-proof vinyl will be best suited to rooms where water damage might be an issue, such as the bathroom, laundry, or kitchen. If you have a high traffic area in your home such as an entry or mud room, you might want a floor that is more durable like laminate or vinyl. Or, you might want to choose a hardwood to give your living area or bedroom a relaxing, natural warmth.
Above: Quickstep Silver Lining Oak
Another factor to consider when choosing a floor is durability. How tough of a floor do you need for your lifestyle? If you have pets, kids, or areas of your home with high traffic, you will likely need a floor with higher durability. Vinyl and laminate are great choices when durability is needed. For hardwood, consider a more resilient species like Hickory or White Oak over softer woods like Walnut or Pine.
3. Care & Maintenance
When choosing a floor, you should also think about the long-term care it will require. For example, hardwood requires more maintenance than vinyl or laminate. Because wood expands and contracts when there are seasonal changes in temperature or humidity, you will need to be vigilant about regulating your home’s environment to prevent damage.
If you have pets, you may also want to keep in mind that hardwood is more susceptible to stains, warping, and retaining odors from pet accidents. On the other hand, this isn’t a concern with vinyl or laminate, and clean-up will be far easier.
Above: Shaw Mineral King Bravo
Cost will likely also be a significant deciding factor in your search for a new floor. What is your flooring budget? Vinyl floors will cost you about $3-$5 per square foot, while hardwood averages about $4-$8 per square foot or more. Laminate runs around the same price as vinyl, averaging about $2-$4 per square foot.
Don’t forget to factor other costs into your budget, such as any adhesive or underlayment the floor might require, trims, and the cost of installation. Vinyl floors can offer you additional savings here. Because most vinyl comes with a foam or cork pad already attached, they do not require an underlayment. Most vinyl is also installed as a floating floor, which means you won’t need adhesive either. And, since vinyl floors are very easy to install, you can even do your installation yourself if you’re handy!
Above: Bella Cera Tissino O'Conner
What is the current design style in your home? Unless you plan on redecorating the entire room, you will want to choose a floor that coordinates with your current décor scheme.
Do you want a warm-toned floor to match the yellow hues of your walls and furniture? Or a white-washed floor to create a chic Scandinavian look? Or perhaps a rich brown to warm the cool color palette of your décor? Keep in mind that lighter colors will also make your space appear larger, while darker shades will shrink your space.
Besides color, you will also want to consider texture and style. Do you want a floor that is more modern and trendy, or traditional and timeless? Do you want the weathered, rustic look of aged wood, or something smooth and sleek? These design elements will set the tone for your room, so be sure to choose a floor that suits your personal style and blends with the space it will inhabit.