- Meghan Turner-Patel
Deciding Which Flooring Solutions are Right for You
Here’s our pro advice on the best flooring options, plus answers to common questions about new flooring materials.
Choosing the best flooring materials for your home can be a daunting task. There are so many options to consider, all at shops ranging from Lowes to designer flooring boutiques. In addition to the abundance of available options, here’s also the overall room to consider. A kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel and living area remodel may all require different flooring, depending on your needs and preferences.
Needless to say, determining which types of flooring are best for you is an investment of money and research. By the end of it, though, you’ll have gleaming new floors that’ll bring new life your home. Plus, it can also give you a bump in home equity!
Here are answers to the common questions we’re asked about installing new floors. We’re also including our suggested types of flooring materials for a home remodel of any kind.
Q: Why is it a smart strategy to invest in a new floor for one or more rooms?
A: Investing in new floors is a smart way to freshen up the look of a room. Whether you’re planning to move or stay put, it creates a cleaner, more polished look. And, in some cases, it can make the room feel larger. This can add value to your lifestyle or to a potential buyer’s. If you’re planning to list your home, new floors can help showcase it in a way that makes it appear clean, cared for and turn-key.
Q: When is it best to go with 1. hardwood floors, 2. carpet, 3. tile or 4. laminate?
A: Each flooring solution comes with its own pros and cons:
1. Hardwood is an excellent choice for living room flooring as well as family rooms and dens. It gives a warm and cozy feeling to these communal spaces.
2. Carpeting is a good option for bedrooms because it’s not a high-traffic area. So, it’s easier to keep clean.
3. We usually say porcelain tile is the best kitchen flooring material, in addition to bathrooms and laundry rooms. This is because it’s so durable and combats moisture. Plus, porcelain is maintenance-free.
4. Laminate is our recommendation to clients who have pets or small children because those homeowners typically worry more about wear and tear, like dings, scratches, spills or other damage. Should that occur, it’s fairly easy to repair.
Q: What are the general costs for each of these flooring solutions? What are cheap flooring options?
A: Flooring prices can vary significantly depending on the quality, manufacturer and material. We recommend shopping around for options that align with your budget. Generally speaking, the cheapest flooring option to the most expensive go in this order: Carpet, laminate, vinyl can be fairly similar in cost. Prices go up from there for engineered hardwood (which is very popular now) to real wood to tile. The price for hardwood and tile flooring can probably vary the most, as there are so many options that relate to quality, craftsmanship and style.
Q: For hardwood, which type/species/finish do you recommend most and why?
A: We recommend engineered wood flooring. It saves homeowners money, and lately the industry is making extremely high-quality planks in large sizes. Just be sure there’s at least four millimeters of solid wood thickness. This will extend the floor’s life and allow you to refinish it in the future, if needed. We also recommend that your personal style dictate the species of wood you select.
Q: For carpeting, which type/color/tone do you recommend most and why?
A: You can’t go wrong with a regular plush carpet because it's a timeless look. Color-wise, the most popular is a beige or gray hue because its neutral. So, they have greater flexibility when decorating. Just don’t go too dark or too light because it'll show more dirt, stains and wear.
Q: For tile, which type/color/finish do you recommend most and why?
A: We recommend choosing porcelain tile, as it's the most durable and maintenance-free. Given that, you don’t have to worry about choosing a color or finish to hide damage. Instead, simply consider your personal design aesthetic as well as other materials and colors in the room so everything feels well-curated and cohesive.
Q: For laminate floors, which type/color/finish do you recommend most and why?
A: Make sure to purchase an option with at least 12 millimeters thickness. Fairly recently vinyl laminate planks were introduced to the industry and have become incredibly popular. This is due to the fact they’re extremely durable and water-resistant. Various types of vinyl flooring have somewhat revolutionized kitchen flooring to those who want a very realistic hardwood look, without sacrificing durability and affordability.
Question: What should homeowners carefully consider before committing to any flooring project?
A: Choosing a new flooring material can be difficult because there are so many options. There are even more options when you factor in colors, sizes, styles, materials and patterns. This can easily confuse and overwhelm homeowners. As a home remodeler and designer, we always recommend focusing on the desired material first, size second and color/pattern last. A floor should look fairly neutral in any room. It should blend in with the overall design because you want other elements in the room (i.e. cabinetry, furniture, art, paint, etc.) to make the statement.
Considering a home remodeling project in Los Angeles? South Land Remodeling is a 5-star home remodeler who can help. Contact us today for a free quote!