Picking Flooring for Your Home: Make the Right Choice Every Time with our Step-by-Step Guide

picking flooring

Flooring is one of the most important design decisions you can make. Image: ADM Flooring Design

There’s no getting around it: Picking flooring for your home is a big decision. Between the cost of the materials, the time spent on installation and a continued need for maintenance, it’s easy to see why many homeowners are desperate to be certain they’re making the right choice before taking the plunge.

If you’ve found yourself in a similar conundrum, you’re in the right place. Below is our guide on how to pick the right flooring for any room in your home. Read over your options carefully and use our tips to find the perfect fit.

consider function

Consider the function of the room first to determine the best flooring. Image: Scenario Architecture

Think about function

How — and where — the flooring will be used needs to be your first point of consideration. For example, some materials may be well-suited for high-trafficked areas while others would not be able to stand up to the same level of wear and tear. On the other hand, some are optimal for providing comfort while others may seem lacking in comparison.

Below is an overview of optimal uses for the most common flooring types:

  • Vinyl: Made of synthetic polymers and added pigmentation for color, vinyl is easy to clean and highly water-resistant. It’s a natural pick for utilitarian spaces such as kitchens, laundry rooms and mud rooms.
  • Tile: Since tile is made from ceramic or porcelain, it is also very water resistant and easy to clean. It’s typically considered a step up from vinyl aesthetically and is used in spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms that need to stand up to frequent cleanings. Tile is now available in a variety of faux-finishes — like wood and stone — which only serves to further its popularity.
  • Engineered or composite wood: This processed version of wood flooring is made by compressing several layers of plywood and putting a thin layer of hardwood over top. It can be installed over any type of subfloor and is a good fit in any room that is free of moisture.
  • HardwoodThe gold standard of flooring, hardwood is extremely durable and can be sanded and refinished many times. It also is a natural fit in just about any moisture-free area.
  • Carpet: Commonly made from polyester, nylon or polypropylene, carpet’s fibers make it a natural choice where comfort is key. It’s best used in bedrooms and living areas.
think about maintenance

Be honest with yourself about your willingness and ability to perform maintenance. Image: Mark Williams Design Associates

Keep maintenance in mind

Since most rooms in your home could be served equally well by more than one flooring material, you should also consider how much maintenance you’re willing to perform. Be honest with yourself. Over time, proper maintenance is what ensures you get the most out of your investment.

Consider the following as you make your decision:

  • Vinyl: Surface dirt and spills clean easily with vinyl. All you need is a broom, mop and mildly soapy water. However, vinyl is difficult to repair when damaged, so do your best to keep it safe from dents, chips and abrasive chemicals.
  • Tile: Tile itself is easy to clean with some soapy water, but grout is another story. Grout can easily attract dirt, stains and even mold. You should be prepared to replace it every 5-10 years, depending on the quality of upkeep.
  • Engineered or composite wood: Typically, all you need to do to care for an engineered wood is sweep away debris and clean the surface with a damp mop. That said, since this wood bows easily, you need to clean up spills as soon as possible and avoid damaging it with sharp objects such as high heels or cleats.
  • HardwoodSince hardwood floor is fairly durable, it can stand up to a decent amount of wear and tear. Regular broom cleanings and the occasional mopping is most of what’s needed. Once you start to notice scratches and the corners begin to lose some of their shine, consider buffing the floors to restore their luster.
  • Carpet: Carpet fibers stain easily, so spills should be cleaned up immediately with a cleaner that’s approved by the manufacturer. Other than that, regular vacuuming should also become part of your cleaning schedule.
remember budget

Obviously, budget should factor into your decision. Image: Hughes Umbanhowar Architects

Remember your budget

As always, you need to take into account the cost of your flooring material. Pick one that fits comfortably within your budget. While every product is different, here are some typical price ranges (via homewyse):

  • Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is your most affordable option. It usually ranges from $2-$4 per square foot and can be bought in large sheets. It also can be installed over any type of subfloor, which reduces installation cost.
  • Tile: Tile designs are more expensive. They can range from $12-$19 per square foot, depending on the material and design used. Additionally, unless you’re truly handy, it’s best to let a professional handle the installation, which means you need to add in labor costs.
  • Engineered or composite wood: A more affordable alternative to hardwood, engineered options tend to range from $7-$11 per square foot. Installation of these products tends to be fairly simple, so it’s up to you if you want to bring in the pros.
  • HardwoodReal hardwood is more costly and the price varies greatly based on the type and specific grain of wood. On average, be prepared to pay between $10-$15 per square foot, plus the cost of installation.
  • Carpet: At $4-$6 per square foot, carpet is a fairly affordable option, despite usually requiring professional installation.
picking flooring

Use our tips to pick the flooring that’s right for you. Image: Blansfield Builders Inc.

Picking flooring for your home can be stressful. For starters, it’s a big investment and, in a perfect world, you’d like to be able to ensure it stays looking nice for the considerable future. However, if you choose wrong, it will likely end up being a costly mistake. For an easier decision-making process, use the tips in this post for picking flooring for every room in your home.

How did you decide on your flooring? Do you have any tips to add? Tell us in the comments.

The post Picking Flooring for Your Home: Make the Right Choice Every Time with our Step-by-Step Guide appeared first on Freshome.com.

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2 Single Bedroom Homes With Warming Wood Tones

We all like to feel cosy and relaxed when we’re in our homes, and the colours that we fill our place with is a great place to set the tone. These two single bedroom apartment tours, each with open plan living areas, may differ in size but each of them have incorporated a similar colour pallet. Both utilise warming wood tone anchored by notes of black but one has unexpected pops of bright colour thrown in just for fun. We can also see the effects here when ‘painting with light’. Stripes of light thrown over opportune areas creates not only definition and interest but an undeniably inviting glow.


Visualizer: Elena Shpak   

We’re greeted with an initial blast of blue in the first of our two home tours. The early infusion of colour is a little misleading as this is the only furniture item of bright solid colour in the entire apartment. The kitchen fills the wall behind the lounge. The cabinets are a light wood that complements the floor. A bank of illuminated shelving highlights the wine storage.

The sound system is of the same pale wood as the kitchen cabinetry, as is the small coffee table. A large potted plant adds a blast of natural greenery to the subtle scheme, a fresh contrast against the blue seating.

The exposed brick walls have been whitewashed to keep the room light and bright.

A slatted dividing wall exposes a partial view to the home entryway.

In the entryway, a set of underlit shelves hold an array of decorative knick-knacks. The illumination from the LED strips create a welcoming glow.

A small bench has been situated by the front door as a place to be seated whilst putting on shoes. The small seating area is backed by a huge mirror that gives the optical illusion of doubled space. A second mirror stands tall directly in front of the front door so that you may check your appearance as you leave – or allows you to greet yourself at the door!

In the only bedroom, a feminine dash of pink decorates the space. Two solid pink throw cushions brighten up the grey and white bed.

Over on the desk, a couple of deep pink vases pop in the home office area. One wall of the bedroom has been glazed, making the walk-in closet is visible from the sleep space.

Two large orb pendants are suspended over one bedside storage unit and one bedside table on opposite sides. The overhead light is a sputnik style, centred in a recessed panel that has been edged with LED strips for extra ambiance.

The bedroom benefits from plenty of natural light thanks to dual aspect windows.

A luxurious scheme creates a spa like experience in the bathroom. Huge tiles cover the walls, floor to ceiling. The marbled effect extends all the way over the countertop and basin, and blends perfectly with the tone of wood that has been selected for the vanity drawer and towel shelf beneath. A small heated towel rail flanks the bathroom basin, ensuring face towels will always be dry and toasty. The large mirror increases the sense of space in the compact room.

The other side of the basin has a small bank of shelving that is perfectly situated to hold cosmetics and lotions. The shelves are underlit to illuminate the products, like in a department store. The subtle lighting makes the bathroom feel sparkly and special. A wall hung toilet exposes the maximum area of floor space to further expand the illusion of space.

The shower is a minimalistic walk-in design. A small set of shelves hold wash items close at hand beneath a square rainfall showerhead.


Visualizer: Room Design Buro  

In the second of our two relaxing home interiors, the living space is a little larger and more minimal. The walls are clad with wood or painted in white in even proportions, which balances the warmth and cool of the tones.

A huge projection screen descends from the ceiling in front of the flatscreen TV for a more cinematic experience on movie night.

Heavy curtains hang at the windows to block out the light for brighter picture projection. The grey sofa is a contemporary design large enough for several movie fans to gather on. Two matching ottomans are utilised as coffee tables, staggered across the centre of the room.

The concrete dining table is attached to the kitchen, with most of its length fixed directly beneath the kitchen countertop. A long overhead light illuminates both the eating area and the prep space. Black dining chairs contrast with the lighter surroundings.

The wall behind the television reveals hidden storage, perfect for hiding away games consoles, magazines and DVDs.

The entertainment wall forms a divide between the living room and entryway. This is a floating volume that is underlit for a ‘hovering’ effect.

The kitchen material matches the mid-tones in the light wood floor. The design is unfussy with no decorative pieces or handles.

In this image we can see better how the concrete dining surface runs the entire length of the kitchen, sandwiched between the upper worktop and the base units.

The kitchen looks out directly onto the lounge area.

In the bedroom, the same decor style runs through. Wood and white walls, and Instead of a grey sofa, a grey upholstered bed takes its place.

A humorous picture adds character to the room over by the home office area.

The bedside has a handy charging station. The space beneath is lit for a cozy low level glow.

The storage unit runs from the bedside over to the desk, providing ample storage for office supplies and equipment.

Recommended Reading: 30 Striking Bedrooms That Use The Wood Finish Artfully

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