Changing your flooring is a budget-friendly way to dramatically alter your interior design without remodeling. Whether you’re shifting from carpet to wood flooring, changing out a laminate floor for another one, or adding tile to a room, new floors can shift your room from blah to bold. Switching up your flooring can also be practical, allowing you to save money on heating or cooling depending on the material.
If you’re ready to change your flooring, the options can be daunting. The following considerations can help you choose the right flooring that is perfect for your home.
1. Ask Yourself Why You Need New Flooring
Before you start pulling swatches and comparing finishes, figure out what prompted you to change your flooring in the first place. Have you lived in your home for a while and grown bored with dated décor? Are you selecting floors as part of a custom home build? Are you tired of vacuuming your carpet and want something that’s lower maintenance?
These considerations will help you narrow your search for the perfect flooring materials. Say you’ve lived in your house for 15 years and you’re still looking at the same tile that was there when you moved in. You should probably consider new interior decorating trends and look for a more modern finish that still suits your lifestyle.
If you’re replacing your carpet because you’re tired of cleaning, it makes sense to opt for a floor that is durable and easy to clean rather than hardwood, which can soak up spills in an instant. Make a checklist of your main concerns to guide you on your search for materials.
Maybe you’re getting new floors because kids and pets have worn out your old ones. In this case, you would likely opt for laminate floors, which are more sturdy and resistant to scratches.
2. Consider the Room
Different rooms in your home may require different flooring materials. While you might be tempted to put a hardwood floor in the kitchen so it transitions nicely to the dining room, wood is porous. Even if it’s sealed and treated, it can still soak up spills, which can damage the floor. If you like the look of hardwood, you can choose a more durable option that resembles classic wood. Ceramic tile is another tough and water-resistant alternative.
For bedrooms, carpet is often the best choice, because it’s warm and cozy and reduces noise better than laminate or hardwood flooring. It’s also harder to clean, but since you likely spend less time in the bedroom than you do in the living room or playroom, it probably won’t wear out as quickly.
3. Plan for the Weather
Your home is your place to relax and stay out of the elements, but the climate can impact your floors. For example, Indiana and its surroundings are humid and wet, which can damage carpet and hardwood floors. Excessive moisture in the air can warp hardwood and cause carpeting to develop mold and mildew.
Internal climate controls can help stop outside conditions from ruining your floors. But if you choose flooring that is durable and made to withstand humidity, sun damage, and other harsh elements, you won’t have to worry about putting extra time and care into maintaining the temperature and moisture inside. Luxury vinyl tile, luxury vinyl plank, and laminate flooring are durable yet stylish alternatives that require less upkeep.
4. Know What You Can Afford
Once you have an idea of what you need and how it will fit into your lifestyle, decide on your budget. These days, you’re not as limited by the cost of materials as you may have been in the past — there are plenty of durable and affordable options that look as sleek as their high-end counterparts. But having a budget in mind when you visit the showroom will help keep you from falling in love with a finish that is well beyond your means.
You can look at high-end floors for inspiration and use them to pick out lower-cost options that mimic the look and feel of a more luxurious finish. Keep your overall home value in mind. You don’t want to blow your budget, but materials at the higher end of your range can potentially benefit you if you choose to sell your home in the future.
5. Budget for Installation
You might be planning a DIY install of your new floor, or you might opt to have a professional do it for you. If you’re going it alone, look for flooring that is easy to install. See if you can find someone to give you a demonstration of how to install and secure the floor. A mistake might end up costing you money in the long run, so make sure you know what to do before your DIY.
If you would rather have a professional install your new floors, add the installation costs into your budget. Then you will have a better idea of what you can realistically afford when choosing your flooring.
6. Choose The Right Flooring That Compliments Your Design
Unless you’re choosing floors for a new home build or more extensively renovating your home, think about how your floors will fit in with the rest of your décor. Before taking everything out of your room, and before heading to the showroom, take pictures and make note of your existing color palette. Pay attention to the textures and fabrics of your furniture so you can find a floor that complements what you already have.
Your style will impact your flooring. If you live in an industrial space with exposed piping and ceiling beams, you might consider a concrete floor to match your theme. If you’re going for a more rustic look, you might opt for a Pergo floor that looks like classic oak.
7. Consider Your Dimensions
The size and configuration of your room will affect your flooring choices. For example, if you’re decorating a large room with vaulted ceilings, you can go with a darker color without making the room look much smaller. If you’re looking for flooring for a tiny kitchen, you probably want to stick with a lighter color palette.
You can always offset the floor color by changing the walls, but there are some colors that don’t really work in smaller spaces. Putting navy blue tile in a small bathroom with dark walls can make you feel claustrophobic. Stick with lighter finishes to open up the room and make it feel more airy.
8. Maintain a Flow
If you’re mixing finishes, you might end up with floors that aren’t level. Prepare for this in your installation. Buy transition materials like caulking, floor pads, or t-strips to help ease the transition from one floor height to another. Otherwise, you run the risk of tripping over your floor whenever you walk from room to room.
You can always measure your existing floor and choose materials that are the same height to make the floor level.
9. Ask for a Gallery Tour and Samples
Before committing to a floor, narrow down your choices and ask for samples to take home. That way, you can compare the colors and finishes to your existing furniture. You can also get an idea of how the textures mix with the flooring in other rooms. Choosing flooring is a commitment, so take your time comparing multiple samples until you have an idea of what works best for your design and your lifestyle.
You might have to buy samples depending on the flooring material. If you can’t take samples, ask to visit the gallery to get a better idea of how the floor might look in your home. Bring color swatches matching your existing palette so you can see how different options fit into your design.
10. Choose The Right Flooring
If you’ve followed the steps above, you should be ready to buy your floors. If you’re still feeling confused or overwhelmed, compile a list of questions and schedule an appointment with a flooring consultant. They’ll be able to help you narrow down your choices and select the floor that works best for your budget and your lifestyle.
Let Us Help
Floor It 41 specializes in product sales and installations for customers all over Southern Indiana. Visit our showroom and talk to one of our flooring experts to help you pick materials and finishes that work best in your home. We offer a broad selection of low-maintenance flooring options that are stylish yet easy to clean, even in high-traffic areas. Let us help you upgrade your home.