Home renovation projects are both exciting and scary. Exciting because you get to redesign so many features, and scary because you don’t want to get it wrong. Getting it wrong is an especially big deal when it comes to your flooring. It may not seem like it, but flooring is more than just what you walk on – it sets the mood for the whole room – and once it is installed it usually is not easily changed. So when you set out to choose new flooring, keep these tips, based on your preferences and situation, in mind.
Your budget should be the guiding light in your flooring decision, so it is first on this list. Once you have your financial limits set, you have to have the discipline to stick to your budget – you definitely will be able to find something that works within your budget. One can find some tile and many types of vinyl or laminate flooring for under $2 a square foot. The $2-5 range includes some domestic hardwoods and most engineered wood, as well as the very high-quality vinyl options. Finally, if your budget allows for over $5 a square foot, you will be able to afford the rare and imported woods, as well as premium tiles.
If you have pets, or even young kids, you’re going to need a very durable floor that will resist wear. Solid hardwood may seem like the best choice, but it actually scratches. While those scratches can be sanded out, that is extra work that you may not want. Other choices like ceramic tile or laminate flooring are much more scratch-resistant but may be slippery for pets’ paws. Carpet won’t scratch or let your pets slip, but if you have very young or very old pets, you’re going to want to make sure you get something that resists staining and is easy to clean.
If you plan to DIY the installation, opt for plank vinyl or laminate flooring, as they’re the easiest to install, and they “float,” meaning they connect together and not to the subfloor.
If low-maintenance is a must for your flooring, opt for any of the vinyl products. You could also go with laminate flooring, but make sure you also buy something to make cleaning easier, like a wet-jet type cleaning system, since overly wet mops could damage it. Finally, if maintenance is a concern, most hardwoods or engineered woods are going to be too much work.
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