Floor shopping is hard! And stressful! Any homeowner that has ever had to replace a floor has felt that familiar feeling: Where do I begin? From weighing hard surface versus soft surface options to selecting among all the styles, colors and textures, the entire process can feel a little overwhelming. But when you break it all down, the task becomes a lot more manageable and can even be fun!
Flooring is expensive, and you really don’t want to have to replace your flooring again in a few years. You want it to last. You want to make sure you are spending your money in the right place and getting as much life as you can out of your floors.
This is why it’s really important to understand a few things about flooring and what you should be asking. By the time you have answered each, it will be much easier to decide on a flooring option that you will love and that will serve your home the way you need it to.
Depending on your home life, some flooring options are better fits for specific rooms. Not all carpets are a good fit for high-traffic areas, but all residential carpets are a great fit for bedrooms. If you want new carpet in the room you are planning for but have kids or pets, you will want carpet with high stain resistance and durability. Tile is a great fit for rooms like kitchens and bathrooms that will see moisture and need water-resistant or waterproof flooring. Wood is a better choice than carpet for rooms that need to accommodate a wheelchair, walker or cane. The room and its use will be the first question you need to answer.
While allergens are everywhere, some flooring choices are better than others at helping diminish their presence. Did you know that carpet can actually improve symptoms of asthma and allergies? That’s because carpet acts as a passive air filter, trapping dust, pollen and other particles, removing them from the breathing zone. All you need to do is remember to vacuum those allergens out of your carpet on a regular basis to improve your home’s air quality. Your flooring can fight for you in the battle against allergies!
If you’re worried that your new floor could affect color schemes and decor options down the line, there are strategic color choices you can make that will ease your concern. Right off the bat, always remember that neutral colors will match the widest range of decor. You can always add or remove bold style elements like bright area rugs or quirky, fun furniture pieces to change the feel of a room. If a room feels cramped to you, a lighter colored floor can make the same space seem larger and open. Similarly, a darker colored floor can pull a room together, and make it feel cozy.
Don’t shy away from a new surface just because the rest of your home has a uniform type of flooring. Your new floor can complement the overall layout even if it has a different texture or is a new category altogether. Work with one of our team members to create a blended feel that transitions well throughout the home. Don’t be afraid to explore different patterns and choices that you may never have considered.
Every new floor you purchase is an investment, and like most things, proper upkeep will ensure that you get the most out of your investment for as long as possible. Solid hardwood floors might need to be refinished over time. Carpet needs to be professionally cleaned at least once a year. If you have an active home and find yourself pressed for time, it might be better to choose a surface that cleans quickly like laminate or LVT.
Our team will work with you to identify any additional costs of your project. Some flooring products can be installed over irregular subfloors, but other types like rigid hardwood planks will require a precisely flat surface. Will the trim and thresholds need to be replaced once the new floor is finally installed? Small costs can make a difference if your budget is already tight, but we will work with you to create the perfect plan for your home and budget.The best approach to picking out new flooring? Have fun. Enjoy trying out different looks to see how they can alter and inspire your entire home. These questions are a great starting point to help you choose flooring that balances your needs, wants and budget requirements. Need more advice? Give us a call!
This is such an important question! Don’t skip it! Even if you don’t think you need waterproof flooring, or it’s not a deal-breaker, you need to know what you are up against.
There are laminates classified as waterproof but are really only water-resistant.
Sometimes products claim to be waterproof, but really are only rated for a certain period of time, or a short period of time.
Laminate has been popular for the last couple of decades and it can be really great, would not withstand a flood.
This kind of goes back to the waterproof question, but isn’t always connected.
Is it laminate? Vinyl? Luxury vinyl? Tile?
Those are pretty broad categories, and within them there are a lot of options and variations.
For example, tile can be ceramic and porcelain, and usually a combination of both. Knowing what that percentage is will help you know the quality of that tile.
Luxury Vinyl comes in a lot of different materials and styles, including WPC flooring, SPC flooring, and MSPC flooring (We will go into these in another post).
This is something that only applies to vinyl flooring, but it is crucial to understand.
You need to know what the wear layer is! This is the top, scratch-resistant layer in vinyl flooring.
It can be anywhere from 5mil to 30+ mil.
Generally, anything 20 mil and above is considered light commercial, to heavy commercial, and can withstand a lot.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking at tile, laminate, lvp, carpet, or anything else. If you have kids and/or pets, you want to make sure your floors can handle them! Or, maybe you don’t have kids or pets but like to move your couch around every month. 😉
Either way, make sure you understand how durable the material is that you are looking at. Is it scratch-resistant? Durable? Won’t wear easily? These are all things you should be thinking about.
Maybe you have no intention of installing something yourself and you are fine with letting the experts handle everything. That’s great! Understanding how something is supposed to look is still important.
However, if you are even THINKING about doing some DIY, make sure you understand the product you are picking out and how to install it.
As mentioned earlier, Laminate has been popular for a long time. A lot of DIYers have already installed it somewhere, and are pretty confident in their abilities. That’s awesome.
However, what has not been around for a long time is Luxury Vinyl Plank. It’s not nearly as easy to install as laminate. It doesn’t mean it’s hard, or impossible, it just means you want to make sure you do your research before you start a project that will make you want to scream at all of your loved ones.
This is probably one of the most important things! ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS ask about the warranty and make sure to get the paperwork and information. Make sure you understand what is covered, what isn’t and how to make a claim if you need to.
Let’s be real, stuff happens. Just make sure you can fix it if it does.