When decorating a new home, it can be easy to miss the floors when focusing on paint colors and other decorative details. This is a big mistake since the floors are a critical component of your home’s aesthetic. After all, they are one of the largest surface in your home, and make a big impression!
There are three main characteristics to consider when choosing flooring: aesthetic, maintenance and cost.
Choose the Aesthetic First
This can be a bit controversial since you might not want to get attached to a specific look only to find out that it is out of your pricing, but we suggest choosing the aesthetic you like first. For the most part, you will be able to get creative and find similar alternatives that do fit within your budget.
Hardwood flooring is one of the more popular choices due to its warm and cozy feel. It’s also durable and provides you with further material options such as oak or cherry wood.
Typically, narrow board sizes lend a more antique feeling to a space, while very wide boards have a bit of a farmhouse feel. Middle width boards, can be very versatile depending on their finish.
Laminate floors are easier to install and cheaper than the wood that they seek to imitate. Because they are engineered from different types of wood and synthetic materials, there is also more control for imperfections. These floors tend to look more modern in style.
Tile is more likely to be used in the bathroom or kitchen spaces and can be an easy-to-clean alternative to wood or laminate. It also provides a lot of aesthetic options as you can choose different materials, from stone to terracotta, and select for tile size and installation pattern as well.
In order to select the right aesthetic for your flooring, focus on how you want to feel in the space. Very dark or very light-colored flooring can evoke a modern, clean aesthetic feel, which may translate to a calm mood. Wood tones, especially in the warmer red range, can feel very cozy. Think about the other design features in the space as well when you make your decision.
Consider Maintenance Next
You will likely be spending a lot of time cleaning the floors of your home. Your floors will also experience more wear and tear than any other home surface. All of this should be considered when selecting a floor type.
While hardwood is durable, it is prone to scratching, and needs to be cleaned regularly in order to prevent residue from stripping the finish. If regular cleaning sounds like it may be a challenge, laminate might be a better alternative. However, if you are more worried about scratches, certain types of tile may be more appropriate, especially in high traffic areas such as the entryway.
Buy What You can Afford
Now that you have identified what your ideal aesthetic is, as well as how much maintenance you are willing to undertake, it’s time to see what is in your price range. Pick what you love first, and if it’s not within the range you were hoping for, search for alternatives.
For example, if what you really love is an exotic type of hardwood, first see if there is a more conventional hardwood available with a similar aesthetic. Do not forget to consider that unique finishes on more traditional hardwoods can evoke a similar effect at a lower price. If hardwood is out of your budget for the most part, consider engineered wood, which places a true wood layer placed over plywood in order to reduce cost.
The next tier down price-wise is most likely laminate. As laminate has become more popular, more choices have become available – and you may be surprised by the aesthetic options you can find.
Tile has its own price tiers based on the material used to make it. If your first choice is out of your price range, be open to other options. Your best bet is to show a flooring specialist what you do like and to then ask them what they have available in your price range. You will likely be pleasantly surprised!
You have to love the floors in your home as you will see them every day. For this reason, start with choosing the aesthetic first, then filter for level of maintenance you are willing to provide. Finally, factor in the cost and find alternatives as needed. By applying this three-step process, you will be sure to find floors that you love!
Post updated: 08/19/2021