After your kids have grown out of their spilling food stage, and your pets are fully potty trained your flooring may be looking a little worse for the wear. So you’ve decided it’s time to renovate the floors in your living room. Or perhaps you just want an updated look altogether.
But after a trip to the store to look at your options you’re overwhelmed because there are a lot of different flooring choices? Carpeting? Tile? They all have merits so it really is up to you to decide which option is going to make your house feel like home.
If you need some help narrowing down all the different floor types, then look no further. Here are 6 tips to help you decide on the best flooring for your living room.
1. Do You Live in a High Humidity Area?
There are some areas in the country where the humidity is quite high. If your floors are going to be subject to a lot of humidity then you need a flooring that can handle excess moisture. A tile is a great option for areas with a lot of humidity. (Or in rooms with a lot of chances for water like a kitchen or bathroom.)
Tile can be made of either ceramic or porcelain. The process to make tiles is the same no matter which type of tile you choose. The only discernible difference is that porcelain tiles are made from a more pure source material and are then baked at a higher temperature which then makes the porcelain stronger and less likely to break than ceramic tiles.
All tiles, no matter which type you choose, are at risk of breaking or cracking in situations of high impact so tile isn’t the best option for a playroom for instance where children may drop toys consistently. Tile is resilient to stains and dirt however making it a great option for high traffic areas.
Tile is easy to care for after it is installed. It is possible that the tile you choose could need to be resealed every 5 years or so but a flooring expert can help you learn more about the needs of the tile you choose. The appearance of tile depends on the pattern in which you install it, so even if you opt for a similar tile as a neighbor you could end up with a completely different look.
2. Do You Need an Extra Durable Floor
If you still have young children in your home often or large pets you may be seeking out a living room floor option that is extremely durable. One of the best flooring options with a reputation for being extremely durable is laminate flooring.
Laminate gets flack from some people but it is undeserving since laminate can withstand a lot of damage and still look great. Laminate floors are made up of many different layers and each one has a job to do. There’s a core that helps each plank resist denting. And there’s a design layer that gives the laminate it’s final appearance.
Laminate flooring is available in many different colors and styles to match any design your home may feature. In fact, most people cannot tell the difference between laminate and hardwood floors. Because it is a low maintenance option when compared to other choices it is popular with families and those who have pets whose nails may scratch up floors.
3. Do You Want A Low Maintenance Floor
The absolute easiest flooring option from a care perspective is a vinyl floor. Even laminate floors shouldn’t be wet mopped but they are a close second. VInyl is completely moisture resistant so while leaving a spill isn’t the best plan as far as safety is concerned your vinyl floor won’t look any worse for the wear.
Vinyl is extremely cost-effective as well since it is completely manufactured and not made from wood composites. Vinyl is the perfect flooring option for an active family due to its durability and the fact that it will look great for many years while still keeping the cost of the materials down.
Vinyl will never need to be refinished or resealed, can withstand damage and heavy traffic and is a great flooring choice for a living room that will see as many indoor soccer games and dance parties as it will movie nights.
4. Do You Want a Feeling of Comfort?
There really is no other more comfortable flooring option than carpeting which is why it is one of the most popular flooring choices for a living room. Because carpeting is padded underneath, it can make a room cozy. The thicker the carpet pad you choose the more comfortable sitting on the floor will be.
Carpeting is excellent if you live in a colder climate because together the carpet pad and carpeting work to keep a room well insulated and even help reduce your energy bills. Carpeting is a great choice for larger rooms or a living room with a vaulted ceiling since the same aspects that serve as thermal insulation can reduce echoing sound waves as well.
Carpeting will help reduce the sound of footsteps and television noises, making it a great living room option. But if you’ve settled on the idea of carpeting that still leaves you with a lot of choices to make in what kind of carpeting you may be interested in.
With many carpeting choices on the market being treated to be stain-resistant and easy to care for, there are many decisions to be made in what type of carpeting you prefer. Luckily there are really only two styles of carpeting: cut-pile or looped and it is really a personal preference on which style you think will work best in your home.
Berber carpeting is a common example of looped carpeting. Berber works great in high traffic areas but it may not feel as plush as it’s cut-pile carpeting cousin. There are many different types of cut-pile carpeting with its own designs depending on how which you choose. Bringing home carpeting samples can help you decide which look works well in your home.
With many colors, designs, and styles all of which can help a room feel cozy while being stain-resistant and easy to clean, carpeting is a great choice for a living room floor.
5. Do You Want a Classic Look?
Hardwood floors are probably the most traditional flooring option and are considered the gold standard of flooring options. This classic looking floor will look great in any room in your home. Choosing a great hardwood floor for your living room will be easy since there are so many design options with hardwood.
With many styles and finishes, you can really transform the look of your living room with the floor you choose. Not only can you decide the plank size of hardwood but you can opt for different colored finishes and grain patterns. Some woods are more durable, some have almost no discernible grain and some feature unique patterns with knots.
There are really two types of flooring that are considered “hardwood floors.” The traditionally thought of solid wood floors made of a single timber. This flooring is one of the most common floors throughout history and has never gotten less popular. But there is also engineered hardwood made from thin sheets of wood pressed together.
Hardwood floors do require some upkeep, but when they are well-cared for they can last for many years. A low estimate is that a hardwood floor will last for about twenty-five years but can look good for much longer. Hardwood is susceptible to moisture damage and being scratched so you do need to be careful though hardwood floors can be refinished if need be.
Hardwood floors can be a large investment but they offer one of the largest returns on investments. More home buyers look for hardwood floors than any other flooring type so choosing them may benefit your home in the future should you opt to sell at some point.
If you still aren’t sure which flooring option will work best in your home go ahead and meet with a flooring expert. They can help you narrow down your options and get a feel for your style preference by making recommendations. Getting a new floor for your living room should be a fun experience and not stressful!
Take your time and look at different samples in your home for a few days to be sure that you like the floor options. New flooring is an investment so make your choice carefully. Think of your living room and how you plan to use it, picture your family spending time together. What kind of flooring is going to help that dream become reality? That’s the flooring for you!