Flooring is one of the key functional and design elements in any home.
Whether you're responding to issues noted in a building inspection or simply looking for an update, you have a wealth of options when it comes to selecting flooring. There's hardwood, carpet, tile and laminate, among others. Of course, certain options are obviously not suitable for particular rooms in your house - carpet isn't feasible for kitchens or bathrooms.
For those rooms where you have several choices, you may need some help deciding what flooring will best suit your home.
Here are five tips to help you decide:
The type of flooring you have says a lot about your design taste. If you're more into a contemporary look, hardwood may be more fitting. The same could be true of a rustic or industrial appeal.
Consider what style you want your home to have. While carpet can indicate a luxurious space that is well-kept, tile, hardwood or laminate can be more fitting for a casual space. Also, factor in your color options.
These considerations can vary by room type.
When it comes to longevity, not all flooring types are created equal. Hardwood lasts for years before it needs to be replaced as long as you're taking care of it. Laminate can also stand up to the test of time.
Tile, on the other hand, may begin to crack over time. Carpet can survive for a time but can also wear down and become dirty in high-traffic areas.
Durability factors into how often people walk on the flooring you want. High-traffic areas need a floor that can stand up to constant use.
You also must consider the type of traffic. If you have an exterior door off your living room, your floor will make contact with shoes, wet snow boots and other items that track in dirt and grime from outside. Pets and children need special consideration, as well. You may not want carpet if your dog has a habit of tracking mud into the house. For areas where your kids run or play, tile may not be the best option, as it can become slippery when wet.
Speaking of your flooring getting wet, moisture is a key consideration when selecting flooring. Hardwood, for example, can be placed in any area of your house. However, it can become damaged if it has constant contact with moisture. The same is true of laminate. You can apply special barriers, but doing so can strain your budget for hardwood, which is already expensive to install. Laminate can give you the same look and moisture protection for less.
Tile is a common choice in bathrooms where water typically gets on the floor. When it comes to cleaning mold that starts to accumulate due to moisture, tile is an easy choice.
5. Cleaning and maintenance
Indeed, the difficulty involved in cleaning each flooring type is a major consideration. While tile can be easily mopped, you'll have to do some detailed scrubbing to clean the grout.
Carpet can be vacuumed to remove dust and other particles. After some time, however, you'll need to steam clean it to remove set-in dirt. Plus, if you spill red wine or a similar substance on carpet, it may take some deep cleaning to completely remove the stain.
Hardwood and laminate can be tackled with a broom. Again, you'll need to have a moisture barrier to prevent damage if you want to clean hardwood with water. Keep in mind you may need to pay to refinish hardwood if it becomes covered in scratches over time.