How To Choose Flooring A Guide For The Entire Home

Floor Materials - Retail

Choosing the right flooring materials for your home is more involved than just picking out what looks good.  Different floor materials are better suited for different rooms and uses.  Some materials that look great will not stand up to large amounts of traffic, making them impractical for families with children.  There are several factors to consider when picking what type of floor you will install in each home.  While many of these factors are very room and use specific, there are some things that must be considered no matter which room you are remodeling. 

The amount of moisture that the materials you choose will have to with stand is a primary factor when choosing flooring dcor.  Basements and bathrooms tend to have moisture rich environments. This moisture can destroy the wrong floor materials.  This is why the best basement flooring ideas almost always involve concrete, and bathroom renovators prefer ceramic tiles.  If the room you are improving is not subject to moisture, then the flooring ideas available to you upon up completely. 

Durability of your flooring materials is the next most important factor to consider.  If you have pets or small children, then there are some materials that you should consider off limits.  High traffic areas in your home, whether or not you have pets or children, also need to be treated with highly durable materials.  Solid hardwood is very durable.  It can become scratched by children and pets, but those scratches can be sanded out.  Laminate floor materials are also a good and durable choice.  Watertight laminates are available for high moisture areas like a bathroom.  Concrete and stone are naturally durable, although some stone materials like marble will wear in a surprisingly short period of time.  Concrete might seem boring for flooring dcor, but the stained to order variations can be quite fascinating to behold. 

Do not discount the importance of cost.  While the floors are important, you do not want to blow your entire remodeling budget on only one design aspect.  There are plenty of choices available for less than $2 per square foot.  These choices are typically laminate floors or tile resilient floors.  There are a lot of ceramic and porcelain tiles in this range, but their installation is more expensive.  Most good floor materials are priced between $2 and $5 per square foot.  You wont get anything exotic in this range, but you will find a good solid hardwood floor here. 

When looking at the costs of different materials, dont forget the cost of installation.  Some materials are more expensive to install because they are more labor intensive.  Ceramic tiles, while affordable, can become quite expensive when professionally installed.  For most floor materials, installing it yourself will cut the cost of the project in half.  Wall to wall carpeting can be difficult for anyone other than a professional installer.  But, glue down engineered wood flooring and vinyl tiles are a cinch to do on your own.  Tile is doable, but there are some tricks to be learned along the way so expect to take some time and exercise some patience during the process. 

Finally, home remodelers need to consider the amount of maintenance their flooring will require.  Wood floors are high maintenance.  They need to be resealed and cared for constantly.  You can minimize this maintenance with runners and throw rugs.  Resilient vinyl floors, on the other hand, are virtually maintenance free.  While vinyl will not clean itself, it is much easier to keep clean and looking good.  Do not neglect to consider your lifestyle when considering maintenance.  You might fully intend on spending time to maintain your floors, but a busy lifestyle might leave little time for the care your new floor could need.