This article comes from Angi.
Tips for Choosing Flooring For Your Home
Your choice of flooring is one of the most important decisions you have to make when it comes to improving your home. The material is an integral part of your interior design. It also determines use, difficulty of installation and maintenance. Before you select, it’s wise to educate yourself on what’s available as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each.
How to Choose Flooring
To choose flooring, it’s best to start by determining what you need. Consider these factors:
- Room: Some types, like carpet or hardwood, aren’t ideal for every space
- Family Situation: Young children or pets need spill-proof and scratch-resistant flooring
- Budget: Price varies widely, so you need to know what you can afford
- Installation Requirements: Some materials need underlayment or pad, which may cost extra
- Style: Certain types work better than others to create the right aesthetic
- Return on Investment (ROI): Higher cost or quality often means a better long-term investment
There are six popular flooring materials used in residential homes, from classic hardwood to eco-friendly laminate. Additionally, there are several other lesser-used types that come with their own benefits. Use the below guide to choose which type or types are best for your space.
1. Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood continues to be the top choice for its great appearance and long-term ROI.
- popular for its visually appeal
- many varietals available to vary color and style
- high ROI
- can be resurfaced every 3-5 years
- best for shared living spaces
- expensive compared to other top flooring materials
- can develop scrapes, scratches and dents over time
- can incur moisture damage
The cost to install wood flooring averages between $6 and $12 per square foot for labor and materials, but can run much higher depending on the wood and design chosen. Refinishing hardwood flooring costs $3 to $8 per square foot.
2. Laminate Flooring
There are several pros and cons of laminate flooring to consider when researching this material.
- lower price than hardwood
- ease of installation
- variety of colors and styles, like natural wood
- good for high-traffic areas
- prone to moisture damage
- difficult to repair
- not ideal for kitchens or bathrooms
The total cost to install laminate floors averages between $2.70 and $10 per square foot.
3. Vinyl or Linoleum
Vinyl flooring is not the cheap-looking alternative it used to be. These days, this synthetic flooring for the home is durable and effectively mimic wood, ceramic and stone.
- great for high-traffic areas
- easy to maintain
- DIY installation possible
- lower ROI vs. wood or laminate
- less popular due to appearance
The cost to professionally install vinyl or linoleum flooring ranges from $3.50 to $15 per square foot.
Carpet remains a favorite for many homeowners, especially for bedrooms.
- soft and warm on feet
- multiple colors and designs available
- great for soundproofing
- stain-resistant varieties exist
- difficult to maintain – professional cleaning recommended at least once a year
- can absorb smells
- not great for homes with pets
- not recommended for moisture-prone areas: kitchen, bathroom
Carpet installation costs $3.50 to $11 per square foot, making it one of the cheapest materials. The expense to install a carpet pad averages $3.75 per square foot.
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