One of the most important features you pick out in your home is the flooring. There are many options ranging from laminate and hardwood to carpet and tile. Flooring is not only for functional purposes, but also establishes the “feel” and style of each room. With all the available flooring options you are sure to find something you love while staying within your budget.
When picking out a flooring option you want to select one that will wear well over time, especially if you have young children or pets. Another option to consider is materials and colors that complement the rest of your home and that maintains its beauty for years to come. Durability and maintenance are two other factors to consider, especially if you have an active, busy lifestyle.
Some factors to consider when beginning the process of choosing your flooring:
- Installation Cost
- Aesthetics and Style
- Investment Return
- Different rooms may be better served with different flooring
- Family Situation – kids or pets may need more resistant type of flooring
- Higher quality and cost often means longer durability
Hardwood flooring has a classic look that complements any style of home. Hardwood is a durable surface that is ideal for every room in the house, including high-traffic areas and the kitchen. It is available in a wide variety of finishes, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Different types of wood offer a unique color, style and price. You also can choose board sizes in most wood finishes. Manufacturers offer both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood floors in most cases. Engineered hardwood offers a bit more durability because the wood is more resilient to temperature and humidity changes.
Hardwood floors offer a very high return on investment due to incredible durability. It can be resurfaced every 3-5 years, if needed due to natural wear and tear. Hardwood is typically more expensive than other top flooring materials. It is also susceptible to scrapes, scratches and dents, and incurs moisture damage over time. All of these issues can be fixed, but must be accounted for in your budget. Hardwood floors are more susceptible to scrapes and dents because even though the wood species installed are hard, they are one of the softer flooring materials. If you choose this type of floor, you should avoid dragging or dropping heavy objects, like furniture, across them. You also should take caution when walking in heels on hardwood floors and keep pets’ nails trimmed. Routine sweeping with a soft-bristle broom will prevent particles from damaging the hardwood floors. Rugs or mats placed in high-traffic areas will also keep hardwood floors looking like new for a longer period of time.
If you enjoy the look of hardwood, but the price is not in your budget, laminate is a great alternative. It looks and feels like real wood, but is a much lower price than hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is extremely durable and resistant to stains, scratches and dents. It can also be easily cleaned with a broom or vacuum, making dust and pet hair a non-issue. Laminate flooring comes in more texture and color choices than hardwood floors. Newer options of laminate include options that mimic the look of tile, stone or brick. Some laminate floorings can even be textured to feel the surface of stone or wood grain. This appears realistic but is still easy to clean and is durable. With all of these options you are sure to find something that is exactly what you are looking for and in budget.
Laminate flooring is highly durable and is a great option for nearly every room in your house, especially high-traffic areas. This flooring is easily installed saving you money due to decreased labor costs. Laminate flooring can be prone to moisture damage, making it less than ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. It can also be difficult to repair as the installation process requires each plank to directly follow the next. When cleaning your laminate floor you should go light with the water by cleaning with a soft mop to prevent scuffs and scratches from dirt and other particles. You can also prevent water damage and staining by cleaning up spills and puddles immediately. You should avoid applying cleaners directly to the floor surface. You should also avoid buffing, steam cleaning and abrasive tools. Keeping your pet’s nails trimmed will extend the life of the floor. Carpets, rugs and furniture pads can mediate direct contact with your laminate floor.
Carpet is still an important material in many homes, even with the growing popularity of hardwood and laminate flooring over the last few decades. Carpet is available in a range of colors and materials providing a feeling of warmth and coziness. Carpet also helps to minimize noise, a perfect solution for hallways, kids’ play areas and second-floor rooms. Some people prefer to install carpet in the bedroom for those colder winter months. Quality is highly important when choosing a carpet to ensure that it wears well. The material your carpet is made of is also of utmost importance. Polyester carpet naturally resists stains better than nylon carpet. If stain resistance is important to you, your carpet can also be treated to make spills easier to clean up.
Carpet is fairly cost-effective and available in a multitude of designs, color and type. Most issues with carpet can be treated or fixed, but carpet can be difficult to maintain. Natural wear and tear is usually more visually present than with other flooring options. Carpet may also absorb smells more than other types of flooring. Pets are one of the main causes for dirtying a carpet. Carpet is also not recommended for moisture-prone areas, such as the bathroom and kitchen. You should clean up spills as quickly as possible to avoid staining. To prevent dirt from building up in the fibers you should vacuum regularly and strategically placed area rugs can help prevent high-traffic areas from wearing out as quickly. Professional deep cleaning of your carpets yearly helps to keep them looking clean and bright. Limiting outside shoes, food and drink on carpeted areas can also help keep your carpet in prime condition.
Tile and Stone
Tile and stone are great options for indoors and out and are beautiful enough to transform a space while still having rugged durability that some homeowners require. There are many options including mosaic, glass, travertine, ceramic and porcelain tile, sandstone, antique stone and just about everything in between. Tile can add a touch of style and elegance to any room. With today’s stone products you can create a gorgeous and unique floor utilizing the natural beauty of the material. A current trend with tile is plans that are designed to feel and look like wood.
Stone is a fairly durable material, allowing your floor to be resistant to significant damage. It is a good option for homes with children and/or pets. Stone is also great for heating and insulating warmth. The variety of styles, color and shapes allows stone to be pleasant to both the eyes and cold feet. However, tile and stone are usually one of the most expensive flooring options. Although this type of flooring is resistant to significant damage, it can experience scratches or chips and repairing this can be very costly. Also to note is some stone tile types are porous meaning water accumulation can cause interior damage.
As with other surfaces, felt pads can prevent scrapes to the flooring surface. Daily sweeping, especially in high-traffic areas, helps prevent the floor surface from becoming dull over time. Stone and tile can be mopped with mild detergent or stone soap, then clean, clear water to remove any remaining soap.
Another popular durable and stylish option is vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring works for a wide range of styles due to its modern and sleek appearance. Vinyl is available in a variety of color combinations and styles, is waterproof and resistant to damage. This makes it the perfect choice for kitchens, high-traffic rooms and homes with children and pets. It is also one of the more affordable flooring options. Its versatility allows it to be applied in any room in the house. Vinyl flooring is also easy to maintain. One negative to vinyl flooring, compared to wood, laminate, stone and tile flooring, is that it doesn’t have the best return on investment. It can be damaged easier than other options and doesn’t have the high-end appearance of the other flooring.
Regular sweeping and rinsing after mopping to remove any detergent residue will keep your vinyl floors from looking dull or flat over time. Avoid dragging furniture across vinyl flooring or using abrasive cleaning materials, as scratches are difficult to remove on vinyl. Excessive amounts of water can be damaging to vinyl flooring, so be sure to remove any liquid to prevent damage.
Deciding Which Flooring is Best for Your Home
For many people, budget is a significant factor when choosing which flooring to install in their home. To your advantage of building a custom home, you can incorporate multiple types of flooring in your home. Another major factor to consider is how you will be using each room. High-traffic areas or areas that are more susceptible to spills may need a different flooring type than your bedrooms. It is also important to consider current trends vs timeless looks. Regardless of the flooring option(s) you choose, regularly cleaning per the manufacturers instruction for care for the floor will keep it looking new longer.
Building a custom built home with Craftmaster Homes LC in New Braunfels means you get to pick anything and everything that goes in your home. Ready to start your dream build? Contact Craftmaster Homes LC today! We would love to help you get started!