So many flooring choices, so little time to research which looks good, feels good, and lasts.
No worries. We’ve sorted it out for you with a handy do’s and don’ts list.
DO: Consider your home’s layout. Got an open floor plan? Using the same flooring throughout the space will create a clean, continuous appearance.
DON’T: Forget about your home’s architectural integrity. By all means, make your home a reflection of your personal style. (Get inspired by these super-cool floor ideas.) Just keep in mind that staying true to your home’s innate style will pay off when it’s time to sell.
Tip: Hardwood floors are the goof-proof option.
DO: Keep your local climate in mind. Damp and humid weather can shorten a floor’s lifespan. For instance, hardwood can warp.
DON’T: Underestimate wear and tear depending on where you’re planning to install new flooring. Drop a glass jar on ceramic tile and it’ll chip; heavy foot traffic will beat up pretty plush carpeting.
Tip: Properly sealed, concrete floors are a tough and good-looking choice.
DO: Consider comfortable flooring materials, especially in rooms where you spend a lot of time standing, such as the kitchen, and if you have small children or plan to age in place.
DON’T: Contribute to household air pollution. Both traditional vinyl flooring and newly installed carpets can emit high levels of VOCs for up to 72 hours.
Tip: Cork hits the comfort and environmental-friendly trifecta.
Tip: You’ll want to seal cork every few years to help protect it from any standing water; it’s water resistant but not waterproof.
DO: Add carpet. It’s great for maximizing comfort, and it can cost much less than other types of flooring. For a 12-foot-by-12-foot room, you could expect to pay about $1,580 to $3,190 in materials and labor for hardwood versus $335 to $700 for carpet.
New fiber technologies have made carpet more durable (think longer wear and superior color-fastness), stain resistant, and even eco-friendly (some carpets are made from recycled materials, like plastic bottles, and natural fibers). The key is picking and maintaining the right carpet for your home and lifestyle. For example, a dense carpet with a short pile height (half an inch or less) is best for high-traffic areas.
DON’T: Think carpet is off the table because you have allergies. Several studies suggest that carpet doesn’t cause allergies or make asthma worse.
By: DEIRDRE SULLIVAN