There’s no getting around it: Picking flooring for your home is a big decision. Between the cost of the materials, the time spent on installation and a continued need for maintenance, it’s easy to see why many homeowners are desperate to be certain they’re making the right choice before taking the plunge.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar conundrum, you’re in the right place. Below is our guide on how to pick the right flooring for any room in your home. Read over your options carefully and use our tips to find the perfect fit.
Think about function
How — and where — the flooring will be used needs to be your first point of consideration. For example, some materials may be well-suited for high-trafficked areas while others would not be able to stand up to the same level of wear and tear. On the other hand, some are optimal for providing comfort while others may seem lacking in comparison.
Below is an overview of optimal uses for the most common flooring types:
- Vinyl: Made of synthetic polymers and added pigmentation for color, vinyl is easy to clean and highly water-resistant. It’s a natural pick for utilitarian spaces such as kitchens, laundry rooms and mud rooms.
- Tile: Since tile is made from ceramic or porcelain, it is also very water resistant and easy to clean. It’s typically considered a step up from vinyl aesthetically and is used in spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms that need to stand up to frequent cleanings. Tile is now available in a variety of faux-finishes — like wood and stone — which only serves to further its popularity.
- Engineered or composite wood: This processed version of wood flooring is made by compressing several layers of plywood and putting a thin layer of hardwood over top. It can be installed over any type of subfloor and is a good fit in any room that is free of moisture.
- Hardwood: The gold standard of flooring, hardwood is extremely durable and can be sanded and refinished many times. It also is a natural fit in just about any moisture-free area.
- Carpet: Commonly made from polyester, nylon or polypropylene, carpet’s fibers make it a natural choice where comfort is key. It’s best used in bedrooms and living areas.