Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Home

flooringIf you have spaces that could use new floor coverings, you have a lot of choices. Before you make a decision, consider the possibilities — and the people and pets living in your home.

Carpet: It’s soft underfoot and looks nice, while also helping with some noise control. Carpet is a good option if your family doesn’t have allergies, and if you are not cleaning up a lot of spills.

Many people choose carpet in the bedrooms because it is soft underfoot and those rooms have low traffic and are less prone to food and drink spills. Look for a Stainmaster product to help when stains do occur.

There are many new plush, superthick carpets available, but take note! Several manufacturers have gone so far as to void warranty coverage with the use of certain vacuums that can damage the carpet with their powerful suction. Be sure to ask about warranty and vacuuming when looking at any plush carpeting.

The best part about carpeting is that it can be installed on almost any surface.

Hardwood: This is the most popular flooring style right now for its beauty, durability and longevity.

If falls into two categories:

Site-finished hardwood — This is installed raw and finished on site. It is a beautiful and durable floor, and can be refinished over time as needed. Site-finished install takes about a week longer than engineered due to the sanding and finishing processes and you may be required to vacate the home with your pets at some point.

Engineered hardwood — This arrives with finish intact and goes down quickly. While many companies state that their floors can be refinished, the aluminum oxide finish is difficult to remove and refinishing a small area will leave an obvious line.

The finish is very durable, and can withstand a good deal of abuse. Engineered hardwood has a thinner veneer for the top level, and quality products will have a hardwood core. There are endless options for color, finish and details like hand scraping, wear and variegated wood tones.

Either hardwood type is great for people with allergies and holds up well to pets and kids. It is more comfortable to stand on than tile, and spills and messes clean up quickly and easily.

Hardwood can be installed over most subfloors, but if you have concrete or radiant floors, you will need to opt for engineered over site-finished. Area rugs can help to absorb noise and soften the room, giving you the option to change your look as you please.

LVT and LVP: Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) are two other popular options. It is a heavy duty, almost commercial grade vinyl that looks like either tile or hardwood and is super durable, great looking and easy to care for.

LVT and LVP are excellent choices for areas with concrete. They will stand up to lots of abuse, so they make great flooring for kid and pet spaces or places in your home that see very heavy traffic.

Ceramic tile: This comes in a vast multitude of colors, styles, prices and designs. Unless heated, tile can feel a bit cold underfoot, and there are mixed reviews of the comfort of standing on it for prolonged periods.

Its beauty and design are hard to match, and durability and ease of care are fantastic, though it does tend to fall on the high side of costs compared to other materials. Install times are typically longer than other floor finishes due to the labor-intensive process.

Before choosing a flooring style, think about how your family lives — do you need durability, easy cleanup, allergy-free options? Do you want to keep the flooring for years to come or do your prefer to change things up on occasion? Consider comfort, trends and personal taste, and you are bound to see the flooring choice that is perfect for your home.