If you are in the process of building your own home, then you know how many important decisions you have to make. Some are purely aesthetic and others simply come down to how much money you want to, or can afford to, spend.
Throughout the process, as you make each decision, you are keenly aware that you won’t likely get the opportunity to make these decisions again. This is kind of a one shot deal, or at least the kind of thing you aren’t likely to change for at least a decade. The cabinets you choose might not be for life, but it might feel close.
This is particularly true when it comes to the flooring you choose. You aren’t signing a certificate when you pick it out, but you’re pretty much married to it.
How to Choose the Right Flooring for Your Home
So how do you make the right choice? How do you pick the flooring that suits your needs and your budget, and how do you avoid the pitfalls that such long-term choices are prone to? As with any major decision, information is your strongest ally. The more you know about each flooring option, the better your decision will be. Here is a handy guide to choosing the flooring that is best for you.
Vinyl flooring earns the most points for its affordability. That’s its greatest quality. It’s also water resistant, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to install. You just glue it down. Of course, it is also hard to remove because it’s glued down, and because it’s vinyl, it is susceptible to cuts and punctures from sharp objects.
Other than that, it is durable, and easy to clean. It’s really a great choice for bathrooms. It can help provide a surface that is less slippery than tile, and it has more warmth under your feet. That’s pretty much exactly what you want in a bathroom floor, right?
Wood flooring is a big investment. When you are considering whether or not to install hardwood floors it generally becomes a question of price. Hardwood is expensive, yes, but it’s also valuable. That means that when you sell your home, your home automatically has more value because of the flooring.
But you aren’t just making upgrades for the future owners of your home, are you? You put in hardwood floors because they are beautiful, durable, and easy to clean. They take some maintenance, but they can be maintained. Laminate flooring has the same aesthetic appeal, but it can’t be sanded, or refinished the way that hardwood can. And if you want a little warmth under your feet, you just through down some area rugs.
Didn’t know that cork flooring was a thing until just now? That’s okay. Most people are pretty new to the concept of using cork for anything but their wine bottles, and so the unknown might make you a little hesitant.
Turns out, cork floors have a lot of positives. The big win with cork is its sustainability. Cork is a renewable resource, and for that reason a lot of people are starting to prefer it to hardwood.
Cork is also a great insulator of both noise and temperature. It can help keep your rooms quieter, and it can help keep them warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer. You can also refinish a cork floor by sanding it down, and the flooring is easy to install initially.
Cork is also comfortable. It’s soft, and it feels cushiony and warm beneath your feet. It’s great for places where you will be on your feet a lot, like your kitchen.
Cork’s biggest positive, however, is also its biggest negative. Cork is soft on the feet, and also, it’s just plain soft. Heavy furniture can cause divots, and dropped objects can cause damage. Sunlight can fade it, and water can warp it. It’s not the floor for perfectionists.
Over time it will wear out like your old favorite sweatshirt. So you have to ask yourself, do you like that old sweatshirt? Or do you just want to cut it up into rags? That’s probably where you will stand on cork flooring.
Bamboo flooring is another option popularized by consumers who care about sustainability. It acts much the same as a hardwood floor, and it costs just about the same amount, but harvesting the fast growing grass is more environmentally friendly than cutting down trees.
Bamboo also gives floors a more modern look. Choosing bamboo comes down to a question of style. It wouldn’t make a smart choice for a little colonial style home, or one with rustic charm. It’s a floor for the Mid Century enthusiast, or the modern minimalist.
Make an Educated Flooring Decision
Now that you have a handle on some of the most popular flooring options, you’ll be able to make more educated decisions. You might be able to rule out some options right off the bat, and for others you might need to do a little more research to make sure you get the floors of your dreams.