Choosing the best flooring for your home all comes down to one thing: lifestyle. Most of us want an economical, attractive, durable and stylish home. But when it comes to flooring, you can waste a lot of time and money if you aren’t honest with yourself about how it’s going to be used. But don’t worry—you don’t have to sacrifice style for a smart choice. Here are three simple flooring rules to follow, as well as pros and cons for each major flooring type to help you make the right choice.
Consider the traffic. Think about how much traffic the room gets, as well as its use. Is it a thoroughfare where everyone comes and goes? Do you spend a lot of time cooking or standing in the kitchen? Is it a room with a lot of moisture, like a bathroom or laundry room? Do you have pets? Kids?
Consider your climate. Does it rain a lot where you live? Does water and mud get tracked in this space often? Or is it dry and dusty in your area? Are you near a sandy beach?
Consider your ultimate goal. Do you want a luxurious living room? Do you want to clean less? Do you plan on living in your home a long time and prefer to never replace the flooring again? Or do you care less about style and more about cost?
After considering your lifestyle, you can use your answers to these questions to find the best type of flooring to fit your needs. Here are the pros and kinds of each type of flooring:
Pros: Excellent durability, long-lasting and easily refinished. Comes in lots of styles, colors, widths and wood types. Adds value to your home upon resale. Hypoallergenic and low-maintenance.
Cons: Can become damaged by significant water intrusion.
Pros: Comes in a wide variety of options. Environmentally friendly and very versatile.
Cons: Can be porous unless sealed. Can chip and crack easily.
Pros: Great at resisting water and stains, and durable enough for outside use.
Cons: Difficult to install. Can be expensive.
Pros: Eco-friendly and easy to clean.
Cons: Not good with moisture.
Pros: Extremely durable, fire retardant, hypoallergenic and low maintenance. Comes in a variety of options. Less expensive than most flooring.
Cons: Can swell and shrink due to moisture.
Pros: Easy to install yourself, eco-friendly, hypoallergenic and a natural insulator. Comfortable and easy to stand on for long periods of time. Fire, stain, mold and mildew resistant.
Cons: Can be damaged by moisture. Scratches and breaks down easily.
So if you’re worried about water damage, porcelain tile would be your best bet. Want durability and a traditional look? Then hardwoods are the way to go. As you can see, once you’ve evaluated your lifestyle and priorities, it’s easier to decide what flooring fits best in your home.