Flooring Considerations: What to Think About When Choosing a New Floor
There are so many things to consider when choosing new flooring. It can be pretty overwhelming when you’re starting the process of shopping for new floors. Here’s some flooring considerations to think over.
You might also like this post on planning a room makeover.
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We recently replaced 90% of the flooring in our new home and we learned so much in the process.
Our home had a mix of carpet and laminate flooring throughout the home. While the laminate looked pretty good in most places, it wasn’t what we wanted for many reasons.
We ended up choosing this luxury vinyl plank for most of the house and carpet for the bedrooms.
We’re so happy with our decisions. The luxury vinyl plank is so easy to take care of. And I love how soft the carpet is.
There are many things to think about when choosing flooring for your home.
DIY VS Hire It Out
The first thing to think about is should you DIY your floor or pay someone else to do it? I love DIY, but it’s not always the right choice.
We paid to have our flooring installed throughout the home and I’m so happy with the decision.
Your Skill Level
Consider your skill level when deciding whether or not it’s a DIY job. Here are some things to ask yourself.
- Have you installed this type of flooring before?
- Does it seem easy?
- Do you need special tools?
The next important question to ask yourself is if you like installing the floor? We installed luxury vinyl plank flooring and although it’s technically easy, I hate installing it and find it very frustrating.
Installing tile on the other hand requires special tools, but I enjoy it more. Installing carpet doesn’t seem like a DIY job to me though.
Size of Project
Are you replacing the flooring in your entire home or just one room?
One room is an easy DIY project usually. An entire home can be daunting though.
Your budget is the most important thing to consider. Hiring it out costs a lot more.
For reference, we paid about the same for installation as the cost of the materials. So double the price of the flooring to get an estimate.
The carpet installation was about 1/3 the cost. Technically the installation was free, but the cost for the carpet padding gets placed in that category when you pay.
At Lowes, projects costing over a certain amount sometimes qualify for other discounts. (You can also save 10% with a MyLowes card if you’re on active duty or a veteran.) This isn’t sponsored, I’m just a huge fan.
Installation includes removing the old materials, as well as moving furniture. They might charge extra for large furniture like a bunk bed though.
Hiring out the flooring installation will save you so much time. The carpet was installed in about 3 hours for 4 bedrooms. The vinyl flooring took about a day.
We patched a small spot of vinyl in my office where we removed some cabinets and it took us several hours to install a few square feet. It would have taken us weeks to install over 1000 sq feet for the rest of the house.
Not to mention figuring out all of the tricky angles around the walls and cabinets.
It did take about a month before they were able to install it, so I suppose it can be faster if you DIY. (With shipping delays and a high volume of people moving to this area, I think it took longer than usual.)
Moving Your Furniture and Belongings
When you hire it out, everything needs to be removed from the room. They will move furniture, but all of your decor items need to be boxed up and moved somewhere else.
And you still need somewhere for the furniture to go while they work.
If you DIY your flooring, you can work on one room at a time and move what’s necessary instead of your entire home.
Location of Home
We live in Florida and have a pool, so that means we need flooring that is waterproof. (It seems that most of the flooring here is at least water-resistant though.)
This also means that we want flooring that isn’t slippery. Tile and laminate flooring feel really dangerous when your feet are wet. The vinyl we chose has a slight texture that makes the floor a lot safer.
If you live in a snowy area, wood flooring probably isn’t the best choice for you. (Trust me, in my last house, the salt destroyed the finish on the floor.)
A warm floor versus a cooler floor is another thing to consider. Here in Florida, tile floors are pretty common, but it would be a horrible choice for a colder environment.
A house in the city is also different from a house in the country. In my last house, we were always tracking in mud, so carpet would have been a bad choice.
We’re in the suburbs now and there’s no mud here. Aside from a bit of sand, it’s much easier to clean.
Location in Home
Some rooms are better suited to certain flooring types. Remember the carpet in the bathrooms in the 1970s and 80s? Gross.
Carpet is not the trendiest choice right now, but it’s a great choice in the bedrooms where you want a warm surface on your bare feet.
Waterproof flooring is great for rooms where water damage can occur, like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
We have a dog, so we wanted pet-friendly flooring. Vinyl doesn’t scratch like hardwoods, so that was our choice. It’s also less slippery for her.
Our dog also dictated color choices. She has black fur and sheds a lot, so I wanted flooring that would do a good job of disguising her fur.
The laminate flooring was light-colored and it showed every single hair that she shed, which drove me crazy. A darker color is necessary for my sanity.
The same goes for carpet color. Instead of that really light-colored carpet that is so popular, I chose a slightly speckled color. It does a great job disguising her dog hair and I’m always shocked when I vacuum.
If you have light-colored pets, lighter flooring is probably the better choice for you.
If you have small kids (or you are prone to dropping things) you probably don’t want tile.
Kids fall a lot, so you want something a little more gentle for them. (Or at least rugs.)
Kids are also messy, so keep that in mind when choosing your floor color.
Softer flooring like carpet can also be quieter, which is important when you’re trying to get young kids to sleep.
Tile floors can be a lot louder.
Harder flooring can also create echoes which might be important if you do Zoom calls from home or record videos or podcasts.
If your home has more than one floor, carpet does a great job of dampening the noise.
Your style will probably dictate much of your choices.
Just keep in mind that today’s trend is tomorrow’s avocado-colored appliances. I would stay away from anything new and trendy and go for a classic look instead.
Neutral colors are always a good choice. (We just removed so much blue carpet.)
Keep maintenance in mind when you choose flooring (especially colors.)
Are you the type of person who likes to spend time cleaning or do you clean only when company is coming over?
Some flooring types are easier to clean and keep looking good than others. However, some materials need more frequent upkeep and maintenance.
For instance, white grout for tile can be a pain to keep clean and probably isn’t the best choice for an entryway or a bathroom that is used by small kids.
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Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…