13 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Flooring for Your Home
Are you thinking of installing flooring in a room or throughout your house? First, you must ask a few questions before choosing the right flooring option for each location.
Take a look before at some of the factors you need to consider.
Which Type of Room will you be Flooring?
It stands to reason the type of room you will be flooring and the level of usage in that room.
If you’re the type that’s short on time and prefer low-maintenance floors, this will also be a factor.
Is Water Resistance a Flooring Factor?
For example, Bathrooms and kitchens need durable, anti-slip, and water-resistant solutions and wooden floors may not work here.
If a room needs water-resistant flooring, you can use engineered hardwood, but you will need a moisture-resistant underlay.
Suffice it to say - carpets are not an option here.
Will there be Fluctuating Temperatures?
If you wish to have the same flooring running throughout almost all the main rooms in your house in different parts, you may need flooring that responds to fluctuating temperatures.
Consider the more versatile semi-solid wood flooring option if you want a wooden flooring effect. The semi-solid nature allows it to respond to fluctuating temperatures and moisture levels.
Will You Need a Cosy, Cushioned Room?
Suppose you need to inject cosiness into a colder climate or part of the house. In that case, carpets are essential- it is often the best option for your den, living room, parlour or bedroom areas that take in occasional traffic and are usually occupied during the colder times of the day.
Carpets can come in different fibres and lengths, not to mention colour and textures. But in general, they will add warmth to your home.
Carpets also provide cushion underfoot, making it a more welcoming space for relaxing.
Are you refitting a Period Property or Contemporary space?
If you are restoring a period property and need to maintain the vernacular style of your space, then your flooring options will be narrowed down. Go for hardwood or wood-like flooring.
You will also have to source oriental-style rugs and neutral or vintage-styled carpet that ties in with the style of your period home.
How Much Traffic Will There Be?
Due to the sheer volume of traffic and activity in your room/ household, durability and longevity are crucial factors if your room needs a very hard-wearing floor.
Tiles will be your most hardwearing and water-resistant option for busy, messy areas like bathrooms, kitchens, hallways and utility rooms.
Ways work with Tiles
Tiles may get too cold and hard underfoot for our Irish climate bedrooms and living den areas. If you wish to tile the whole house, consider adding a rug or mat, to make it a cozier space.
Tiles also come in various colours and textures, such as ceramic, porcelain, stone, concrete, marble, and granite.
What Flooring is Easiest to Clean?
Tiles are the apparent option for the easiest, most hygienic option in a hard-working part of the house like the kitchen. But not all tiles are the same, some are more porous, and some are more dense and hardwearing.
- For easy cleaning, go for ceramic and porcelain tiling options.
- Marble is also a reasonable solution for easy cleaning as it is very dense and stain-resistant. It is very luxurious-looking in various colours too but will be more expensive to source than other options.
- Vinyl and lino are also your cheapest option for easy cleaning and can be seen in some kitchens and even bathrooms, although care must be taken as these may fray with wear and tear, stain easily and degrade over time. Even accumulate mould and mildew.
- LVT flooring aka Luxury vinyl tiles will be a higher end, more hard wearing option than lino that is also easy to clean. The different styles can also mimic the effect of various stone finishes and even wood
What Type of flooring is Most Hardwearing?
For more hardwearing options that do not crack if impacted by a hard object, go for :
- Igneous rock-based tiles like granite, marble or slate
- Stone tiles or concrete slabs may also be the most hardwearing option, least susceptible to cracking but will be cold underfoot.
Will you need a Pet resistant or Pet-Friendly floor?
Pets can be very hard on floors, peeing, pooping, scuffing and scratching. A durable floor that is easy to clean and has superior wear resistance is the only way to go. Laminates, tiles or stone and concrete flooring may all pass that test.
Will There Be Underfloor Heating?
If installing underfloor heating, you may want to consider stone, porcelain tiles or even poured concrete. These options will efficiently conduct and retain the heat generated underfoot.
What Is Your Flooring Budget
Lastly, your budget will be a crucial factor in the end. Even after you know which type of flooring will be best.
For example, you may decide on wooden flooring, but the type of wooden flooring you choose may still have to adjust to your flooring budget.
- Original wooden floors made from solid wood floorboards are the most expensive but best looking and most luxurious option. It is also the hardest to self-install
- Engineered hardwood floors are less expensive but will give you the same look and feel as solid wood floors. These panels are made using less solid wood and more layered bonded components.
- Go for Laminate flooring if you want the cheapest wooden flooring effect. The laminate makes it durable and easy to clean, and you’ll also have a plethora of finishes and colours to choose from. It will also be less costly to use an off-the-shelf “click-fit” system.
- Vinyl or lino is your cheapest option. It is also easy to self-install
An excellent way to calculate the budget is to do a square footage calculation (or the Metric version). Flooring is usually sold by the footage, so do your homework first.
Measure the space you have and break down your budget total by the area you will be covering to make it easier to calculate your likely costs whilst shopping.
Will You Be Installing Your Own Flooring?
This will be a fundamental factor when calculating your likely budget
Some flooring options also require a professional flooring installer, so this will limit your options when choosing a flooring solution.
- Hardwood floors that have to be nailed down will require a trained contractor. You will also need a professional floor installer’s advice when leaving enough room between the floor and the walls for wooden flooring that tends to expand or contract.
- Wall-to-wall carpet can be hard for a DIY-er to lay down perfectly flat.
Either way, factor in the labour costs of your flooring installation.
Test and Sample Flooring First
If you cannot make up your mind, be sure to get switches or sample pieces to test in your actual home. you will need to see it in context against the other soft furnishings, textures and colour palettes in your home.
Ready to Give Your Floorspace Some Love?
Stop by our Flooring section to catch an overview of the supplies and brands available.
There are handy tools, underlay and materials for self-installation of various types of flooring. We also supply easy-to-install DIY Wood or Wood Effect flooring solutions.
Have you more essential tips to add? Share them
Have you found the perfect flooring solution for your home? Learned a few tips along the way?