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How to Choose Flooring: 6 Things You Need to Know

Choosing flooring doesn't have to be hard
By Justin Kerby 2020-10-02

When it comes to choosing new flooring for your home or apartment, the options can be overwhelming. Almost every type of flooring has some sort of advantage over other kinds, and taking in all the information from a salesperson or contractor is a lot to process. Installing new flooring is an investment that can increase your home’s value, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

Here’s a look at some of the most important things you need to know about when choosing flooring.


1. Temperature 

One of the more overlooked things that buyers don’t think about when choosing flooring is the temperature of the floors. Some kinds of flooring naturally run cold, while others retain heat and will keep your toes nice and toasty. 

If you’re considering tile in your kitchen but your home tends to run on the cold side, vinyl tile is  a great option. It gives you the same look but is much warmer than a traditional tile floor. 

For bedrooms, the colour, style, and affordability of carpet makes it the go-to selection for many people when keeping your feet warm is a top priority. The look isn’t for everyone, but that being said - it’s extremely cozy in a bedroom. 

Hardwood is another option on the warmer side, whereas laminate tends to run a little bit colder. If laminate floors are the direction you’re headed and you’re concerned about their temperature, try adding an insulating material below them like cork or foam. This kind of underlay really does the job. Cork flooring is even being used in new homes, and while the look may not be for everyone, in our opinion it feels better than any other material. It’s warm and soft, and if you don’t mind the look you should definitely check out some samples.


2. Look & Maintenance

The look of the floor you’re choosing is on the flip side of the coin, being one of the least overlooked factors that buyers consider when choosing flooring. But there are other important aspects to analyze when choosing a style based on presentation that you may not think about when you’re viewing samples. 

In general, hardwood and laminate flooring are most people’s first choice in terms of looks, but be sure you do your homework before making any decisions. First and foremost you should determine how your flooring is going to look under your home’s lighting. We recommend bringing flooring samples into your space before you install to make sure that it looks the same in store as it does in your home. You should also consider what kind of maintenance your flooring will need. Laminate, for example, doesn’t trap dust particles like carpets would so if you have allergies, it might be a good choice for you. It’s also easy to clean, and like hardwood, will last a long time if installed and cared for properly.


3. Durability 

Bathrooms and laundry rooms will often have different kinds of flooring than the kitchens or living rooms, and durability should be a key factor in your selection process here. 

Laminate has many compressed layers which makes it quite durable, though it’s not necessarily the most functional choice for high moisture areas like the bathroom and kitchen. Moisture can seep in and cause swelling which is definitely something you don’t want to see. It will last 10-20 years on average, whereas hardwood can go even longer. Refinishing hardwood floors is an option since it’s all natural, but when laminate flooring starts to wear it’s pretty much finished. 

If durability is your top priority, it might be vinyl that you’re after. It’s often used in commercial spaces for durability reasons, and can last a long time with very little maintenance.


4. Ease of Installation

Whether you’re installing the flooring yourself or hiring a paid professional to do the job, not all flooring is equally simple to install. It’s critical to remember that this is going to cost you more time and money in the long run. 

If you love tackling do-it-yourself home improvement projects, we’d recommend looking into laminate or vinyl planks. They come with a click-and-lock system that makes installation somewhat straightforward. On the flip side, the three types of flooring you probably shouldn’t try your hand at include tile, carpet, and hardwood. They each take some extra care that’s worth paying a professional to handle (unless you’re seriously handy). 


5. Cost

The actual cost of the flooring itself is another thing to be cognizant of when shopping for flooring, as prices can vary drastically. Laminate flooring typically ranges from $1 to $10 per square foot, whereas for hardwood flooring you’ll be in the $10 to $20 range. It’s not unthinkable to see hardwood coming in at ten times the price of laminate, so be aware when you’re looking through samples that hardwood comes at a premium price point. conc

Vinyl flooring is more comparable to laminate in pricing, ranging from about $1 to $5 per square foot. Carpet is a bit more affordable than laminate, whereas tile is a bit more expensive, typically priced between $5 and $15 per square foot. 

In terms of resale value, hardwood flooring is definitely the most likely to up your homes value. Laminate flooring certainly won’t hurt, especially if it’s newly installed or replacing something that would bring down your home’s value like really terrible carpeting or warped floors. Putting down some of the more affordable laminate options in a basement is a great way to add some value before selling.


6. Size

Lastly, the size of the boards or tiles you end up selecting should be brought to your attention before you make a decision. When it comes to laminate or hardwood flooring, the wider and longer the boards run, the more expensive you can expect to pay. From a design standpoint, they do look better in an open space, so remember to consider length and width when considering price point. 

Choosing flooring for your property is a big task, and it only becomes harder when installing different material in different rooms. Don’t be afraid to look at dozens of different samples when evaluating flooring. The more familiar you get with the options, the more likely you’ll be satisfied with your selection.

Justin Kerby
Justin Kerby is the founder of Something Great, a digital marketing agency that specializes in real estate branding and content creation. They help companies create social media strategies, newsletters, blog content plans, and advertising campaigns.