When building or remodeling a house, there are plenty of decisions you’ll have to make that will surely overwhelm you. Styles, colors, spaces, layouts – it’s not easy to make a home improvement, you know? But among that tremendous amount of decisions you’ll have to sort out, there’s one that’s one of the trickiest to solve. I’m talking about finding the perfect floor for each room in your house.
There’s people that makes this decision fairly easily – just but the most beautiful/durable/cheapest floor available and let’s move on. Though that might work for some, most of us want our home to have our touch of style, so choosing blindly isn’t an acceptable option. That leaves us with only one alternative – the hard road. In it, we’ll have to ponder three main factors to pick the right floor: price, practicality and style. Of course, there’s a major fourth factor that should also be considered – how eco-friendly each option actually is.
With that in mind, I’ll try to cover some of the essentials here, as we go about the house to find the Holy Grail of floors (the Holy Floor?). Let’s do this!
Preparing for the big decision
The first thing you’ll have to do before sitting down and going online to check out hundreds of floor options is ask yourself some questions about the room for which you’re choosing the floor. If you’re redoing/building multiple rooms, you’ll have to go over them for all the rooms. Yeah, I know, it’s tough work, but you’ll have to do it if you want the best for your home. Now, let’s see the questions:
- How many people will be using the room on a daily basis?
- Will there be children using it?
- Will there be pets running around?
- Which are the conditions to which the floor will be exposed regularly (moisture, heat)?
- How often do you think you’re going to clean it?
- How long do you want your new floor to last?
You see where these questions are going. The answers will cover much of the factors I’ve mentioned before. Naturally, this brief questionnaire isn’t meant to be exhaustive or anything but a guide to understand what you need. Once you get that, you’ll be able to combine your needs with what you prefer and what you can actually spend.
We’ve said time and time again – and we’ll say it again: the kitchen is the core of your home. The heart, if you will. You and your family surely spend a lot of time there, be it for cooking, eating and even hanging around. This means that kitchen receives high traffic on any normal day. This kinds of defines the criteria you’ll need for your kitchen floor. The first is obvious – durability. The second one is also very evident – ease of cleaning.
Among the choices you’ll have that cover both you’ll have ceramic tile, linoleum and wood. While the first two shouldn’t come as a surprise (both are incredibly common), wood might come as a surprise and even feel a little odd. But hardwood doesn’t just have the criteria we’re looking for here but also a cozy feel that will create a warmer atmosphere. Besides, you can go trendy by buying grey hardwood, which looks great and have the same benefits.
Thinking about the green factor? Linoleum and wood got you covered, as also do some ceramic tile options. Yet if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can always go with cork flooring, which isn’t just super durable but that’s also designed to look like real wood.
Bathrooms are also a high traffic area, so you also think about that when considering bathroom floors. However, there’s another major concern when it comes to this decision – moisture. An error of judgment here and you’ll be replacing your floor in no time, so perhaps you should worry about moisture above all the rest. Fortunately, the flooring industry has come a long way to offer durable and stylish alternatives to suit every need.
Linoleum and ceramic tiles also work great here but so do other options such as granite, limestone and marble. Given that you have lots of practical options, your budget will be the judge here. Ceramic tiles are great and it’s often the alternative most people would choose – if they weren’t as pricey as they are. Same goes for marble, which is a higher-end material that won’t just cost you more than any other option. You’ll also need experts to handle it, which will increase the cost some more. Finally, you can also go the way of the spa with heated tiles – but start saving today for that.
When considering the green options for the bathroom floor, you’ll have linoleum as one of the top alternatives. Keep in mind, though, that linoleum isn’t as water resistant as you might think. Excessive moisture can hurt its surface and get into the subfloor. That’s why seamless sheet linoleum is better than tiles. Additionally, you can choose a more stone-like rustic ambient without having to pay too much for it. How? By using concrete! However, you’ll have to polish it to make it perfect (and you may even have to install a radiant system and sealing it to prevent slips).
Living areas flooring
The rest of the house can have different options depending on your home’s layout, how many people live in it and whether you have pets inside or not. Some say that the flooring of the rest of the house comes down to a personal choice and while that holds some truth to it, there are some suggestions you should know about before picking.
- A children’s room will be benefit with a soft flooring that lets your kids play in it. Wall-to-wall carpets appears as the most suitable choice not only because they’ll provide that soft underfoot but also because you can find them in any color you want and with lots of patterns. Worried about how eco-friendly they might be? There are various carpet alternatives for the green mind, from those made out of natural fibers to the ones manufactured from recycled nylon or PET bottles.
- Your bedroom should be as cozy and warm as possible. That’s why I wouldn’t suggest to go with hardwood flooring there, because it can be so cold! Carpets, again, are the solution. The market is filled with super-soft carpets that won’t just keep your bare feet warm when you get out of the bed – it will make you want to lay down on the floor!
- Pets running around the house might seem lovely to some but it can become a nightmare for your floors. That’s why carpets in living rooms with running pets are almost out of the question. You can go with bamboo flooring instead that is durable, easily cleanable and eco-friendly. Want a rug no matter what? Cut pile is what you’re looking for, as long as you pick the color that will make the fur that flies around unnoticeable.
Picking a floor is daunting task, sure. But it becomes far easier when you ask the right questions and do the proper research. So, before remodeling your home and choosing a floor because it looks good, take a minute to answer the above questions, let these suggestions sink in and look for more opinions. Talk to your flooring contractor and discuss your ideas and concerns, go online to find articles and forums and do everything you need to make an informed decision that you won’t regret for the rest of your life.
Posted May 19, 2015
by Gabriel Posternak.