When it comes to selecting the best type of flooring for your home, the amount of options available can leave you feeling like a deer in headlights. You’re surrounded by different materials, panicked to make a decision, but confused as to which is the right one for each space. Besides just the look and feel of each selection, you’re also trying to determine the cleanability and durability of each product. Will this carpet hold up to kids and pets? What type of tile should I use in my bathroom? Is hardwood ok for a Kitchen? Today, for Inside Design I interviewed Christy King of Christy King Interiors. She has over 20 years experience in the flooring industry and she’s helping me answer all those tough questions about flooring!
How to Pick the Best Type of Flooring for Your Home
Consider Each Area of Your Home
When picking flooring for your home, consider each area that you will be adding new flooring to. Think about who uses the area and how. Are there kids and pets running constantly through the space? Or maybe its a wet area like a bathroom? All these things will be crucial to outline so you can pick the best type of flooring for your home.
You can also consider any flooring that you have in your home now. What do you like or dislike about it? This will help you identify products with similar features that you may want and products that you would rather avoid.
Understand the Different Types of Flooring
Carpet – Carpet is by far the cheapest material to install than any other material in the Industry. With it’s vast array of colors and patterns, you can accomplish almost any look and style you want in your home with carpet. But Christy cautions when considering carpet, to look at the type of yarn. She says there are three types of yarn you want to consider – polyester, nylon, and smartstrand. Polyester is cheaper but doesn’t hold up as long as nylon. Nylon has a topically applied stain protection but after you clean it a couple times, it washes off. Smartstrand (which can be found at Lowe’s!) is a corn sugar derivative and is naturally stain resistant!
Hardwood – Hardwood can help increase the value and beauty of your home. But it’s a big no-no for wet areas. When wood gets wet, it can discolor and could even swell the grain which would result in a washboard effect. So stay away from hardwood in places like laundry rooms, bathrooms, etc. It’s also not the best for high-traffic areas. Since hardwood is actually softer than most people realize, it can dent under a kid’s cleat or a dog walking on it.
Ceramic Tile – Ceramic tile is a great flooring to use in areas like the Kitchen and Bath where you require flooring with waterproofing. But also take into consideration that a tile with a high-gloss finish can be slipper when went. Christy advises to opt for something with texture that will add traction to your floors.
Vinyl – Vinyl tile and sheet vinyl are also known as resilient flooring, so it’s a great option for high-traffic areas. The top layer of vinyl tile has a wear layer so it resists stains and scratches. It’s a great option for someone looking for a hard surface over carpet. According to Christy, vinyl tile is one of the hottest new products on the market! There are a myriad of finish options available and it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install.
Laminate – Laminate is one of the cheapest flooring types available. It’s easy to maintain, but another big no-no for bathrooms. Even though some manufacturer’s may say it’s ok or approved for wet areas, Christy recommends avoiding it. There is actually an MDF board in the middle of laminate. And like I mentioned above, when wood gets wet, it absorbs the water and swells. Even if you’re careful to use this in none- wet areas, you’ll want to make sure your laminate isn’t exposed to wet mopping, spills, or pet accidents.
Check for Durability and Cleanability
When considering the best type of flooring for your home, you’ll have to find options within your budget. But you also need to look for a floor type that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you put in lots of ceramic tile everywhere you will end up with tons of grout lines and they can be a nightmare to clean! You may want to consider a more low-maintenance product vinyl tile.
Consider the quality of each product and the lifespan you will need it for. Lower quality tiles or carpet may be cheaper but you’ll probably have to replace them sooner.
Also, keep in mind that a flooring option like hardwood, though expensive and not the best for high-traffic areas, can be refinished. Whereas cheaper flooring like laminate can’t be refinished.
Weigh the pros and cons of each product against your needs for flooring as well as your family’s lifestyle.
Common Flooring Mistakes
It’s the same story – you go to a flooring or tile showroom, find a product you love, stop by the Home Depot or Lowe’s on your way home and find the product a $1 cheaper per square foot. Seems like a good deal, right? Christy says that the product you find at that big box store isn’t the exact product you found at the flooring showroom. In fact, it’s a lower quality product.
The flooring industry makes product specifically for these big box companies. Showrooms and Industry professionals aren’t allowed to purchase them. So when you buy flooring material from one of these companies you’re actually getting a lower quality product AND you’re missing out on the warranty that you would get if you had bought through the showroom.
Work with a Designer
There is A LOT of information out there on the internet about picking the best type of flooring for your home. You want to be careful because not all of it is correct! That’s why it may be best to talk to a Flooring Specialist about your flooring needs.
Christy says that a lot of her clients come in feeling overwhelmed. “I try to make the process as easy as possible because it’s a big expense.” She focuses on asking them questions about their flooring needs as well as teaching them about all the options. When making such a big investment in your home, consider working with a designer or flooring specialist like Christy. It can make the whole process easier and give you the peace of mind that you’re getting the right product for you and your home!
Christy King is an Interior Designer and Flooring Specialist in Greensboro, NC. After years of focusing on her family, she has entered a rediscovery period for herself as a happy Empty Nester! She loves helping clients move past their sticky kid home and discover what this new phase of life will bring for them! To read more about Christy or work with her, visit her website Christy King Interiors, follow her on Facebook, join her Facebook Group for Empty Nest Home Design or check her out on Instagram!
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