Choosing the right flooring for your home can be overwhelming. There are so many floor options: hardwood, tile, luxury vinyl, carpet…the list can go on and on. It’s easy to be floored (pun intended) by so many products; it gets even more complicated when you start to add in the other factors that help you decide whether that beautiful floor is a good long-term option. After all, you don’t want to install a floor that looks great but is susceptible to damage because you didn’t know that about moisture and its effect on your floor.
We’ve put together a full list, and breakdowns of all the important factors, to get you started in your decision. From here, head into your local flooring store with a few of your favorite flooring options, where they can give you the advice that gets you down to the right product (and look!) perfect for your home.
The look: Hardwood floors are timeless and classic. Available in almost every color and plank width, the right wood floor can complement the décor of any room. For a more contemporary look, choose a wide plank floor with a dark finish (consider a handscraped variety to add texture). To give your home a traditional, classic look, a lighter finish can make your home feel timeless.
Pros: Can add value to your home, beautiful look, very durable flooring, can be sanded down and refinished many times
Cons: Should not be installed in a basement or over radiant floor heating, can be damaged by water spills, can be damaged by steam cleaning, cost
Best rooms: Living rooms, bedrooms
Note of caution: Hardwoods can be installed in kitchens, mudrooms, and bathrooms, but be careful of water puddles. Do not put down any area rugs for the first six months after installation to avoid any issues with discoloration.
The look: Tile floors can make a statement that you can plan your décor around or be a neutral backdrop that offers a lot of décor options. Choose a tile with variegated colors for a floor that catches everyone’s glance, or a tan or grey tile that looks great. In addition to tile color, tiles can also be installed with any color grout that coordinates with your décor.
Pros: Can be installed over radiant floor heating, water, odor and mildew resistant
Cons: Can be prone to cracking, items may break when dropped due to hardness
Best rooms: Entryway/foyer, kitchen, bathrooms
The look: Laminate floors have come a long way over the years. With the look of wood and an incredible durability, laminate floors can take all the activity that your family and pets can throw at it. Laminate floors come in a variety of colors and widths. For a neutral and modern look, choose a grey laminate with wide boards. To keep your home looking classic, choose a laminate floor that looks like a 100-year old hardwood, like a laminate that has the look of hand-scraped hardwood flooring.
Pros: Easy-to-clean, very durable, ideal for high foot traffic rooms, can be a do-it-yourself project, affordable
Cons: Can be damaged by water spills, may be scratched
Best rooms: Living areas, bedrooms
The look: Luxury vinyl floors look like wood but without any of the worries about water. These floors come in almost any color or plank width, giving you a variety of options to choose from when planning your décor. Luxury vinyl floors look great and can leave you and your guests in awe of a beautiful floor.
Pros: Easy-to-clean, durable, can handle water better than laminate or hardwood, can be a do-it-yourself project, can be installed over radiant floor heating
Cons: Can be scratched, more expensive than laminate
Best rooms: Entryway/foyer, mudroom, living areas, bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, basement
The look: Carpet is one of the most common flooring choices because of the variety of styles and colors, and the soft feel under your feet. This flooring is also affordable and can be a striking part of any home’s decor. Carpet can come in plush styles that your feet love, or with patterns or textures that enhance the look of any room.
Pros: Easy-to-clean (just a regular vacuuming and annual carpet clean), soft underfoot, affordable
Cons: Cleaning can be more complicated than hard floors
Best rooms: Living rooms, basement, bedrooms, hallways
The look: Carpet tile comes in squares and is pieced together to make a fantastic pattern in any room. These tiles are available in different colors and textures.
Pros: Easy-to-clean, can be swapped out with another carpet tile when stained, affordable
Cons: If not installed with pads, may not be as soft underfoot, cleaning can be more complicated than hard floors
Best rooms: Living rooms, bedrooms, basement (play areas!)