One of the biggest projects that I hope to get done soon is to replace all of the flooring on the main floor of our home. The entire upstairs was done last year and it made such a remarkable difference in not only aesthetics, but also our comfort. I have a pretty open floor plan and when standing in my kitchen, one can see no less than 5 different floors (6 if you include the stairs). It is awful but it is also a daunting task to change all of them at once. In researching and pouring over article after article over the last six months, I have found that choosing the right flooring can be confusing. It’s a big undertaking and it will last several years in your home, so you want to make the right choice. Beautiful design should be for everyone, and after talking with several experts, I have found some great tips to share to make the process easier!
My guest bedroom progress so far
Carpet is the highest in comfort. Perfect for bedrooms and living rooms, carpet has the widest variety in colors, patterns, and textures. When choosing carpet, the padding makes a big difference in the wear and comfort of your carpet. Paying a little extra for the thicker, denser pad under our carpet made a monumental difference in the feel of our carpet. The main cons of carpet are cleaning and stain retention. However, there have been recent innovations in the way of waterproof carpet.
For an elegant and timeless look, hardwoods are a beautiful option. I am including both engineered and solid hardwood flooring in this category, though there are distinct differences. Solid hardwood is, as the name implies, comprised of a single sheet of a hardwood species of wood. Engineered floors have a quality plywood base with a strip of real hardwood on top. Engineered floors have improved considerably in the last few decades and are a more stable product than traditional hardwoods. They also tend to be harder and more resistant to scratches but are usually only able to be finished one time. However, depending on the type you choose, solid hardwoods can be refinished up to 5 times. One of the more interesting things that I learned was that several of the exotic species of hardwood floors have a tendency to turn red over time when exposed to light. Area rugs are a great option for finishing a room with hardwoods to create an cozy area or add style and comfort. For those odd spaces, there are also options to Cut-A-Rug program from Shaw Floors that allows you to decide the style, the color, the border, the shape, and the size.
Laminate flooring is comprised most often of high density fiberboard with a photo layer on top that looks like wood. The ease of installation is similar to hardwoods and they are the most scratch and dent (impact resistant) when compared to solid or engineered hardwood floors. However, laminate floors do not have the longevity of hardwood floors and cannot be refinished at all.
Vinyl floors are an extremely durable and economical choice. They offer great water protection and can either be installed in rolls that are 6 or 12-feet wide, or in planks and squares. Luxury vinyl tiles have quality prints on them to mimic the look of wood, tile, and a variety of colors. Vinyl can also be installed directly over most floors for a fast and simple installation.
Tile floors are great for rooms that have a tendency to get wet such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements. Tile floors usually require more floor prep and grouting than other flooring types. Tiles are also very scratch resistant but can be hard to replace if a tile is broken or chipped. However, tiles are very long lasting with little maintenance required depending on which type you choose. You can even get tile that looks like wood, stone or fabric.
Now that you can see the differences in the main flooring types, there are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing which flooring type is best for you. I have also included a little inspiration from some of my expert friends who have been through the process multiple times.
This is the big decision maker before all else. Your home (hopefully) fits your lifestyle, and your floors should be no different. There are important factors to consider such as how the room will be used. What kind of durability do you need in flooring? For example, I have 2 dogs who, combined, weigh nearly 200lbs. Their nails are very likely to scratch softer hardwoods so I will want to stick with either a very hard floor or consider textured floors such as handscraping. There are also function aspects such as stain resistance and cleaning to consider. Carpets require yearly or more shampooing in high traffic areas and many stone floors require sealing often. For areas prone to moisture such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements, a vinyl or tile floor would be a great match.
Photo Credit: Uncookie Cutter, see the full room makeover here
A pool house certainly has some special considerations when adding flooring, and Uncookie Cutter did a fabulous job DIYing the installation of tile that had the look of wood to keep with her rustic industrial style. She made the space functional as well by creating a very useful and beautiful office area with a great view.
When choosing floors, we all have a budget in mind that includes the product cost and installation. With innovations in so many flooring options, you can really great style in a range of budgets. However, there are other factors that you should take into consideration such as removing or raising the sub-floor and costs associated with the maintenance of your floors long term to give them the best longevity possible. DIYing your floor install can certainly save money but make sure you really know how to work with your flooring. Alternatively, removing the old flooring before install can also save money.
Photo Credit : Love Create Celebrate : See the complete makeover here.
Spaces have different needs and this basement guest bedroom from Love Create Celebrate kept the warmth and cozy atmosphere with budget friendly vinyl plank flooring and a perfectly fitting area rug. She showed the whole DIY process for installing vinyl floors. The ease of installation is definitely a benefit to help your flooring budget.
Of course, everyone wants the floors in their home to look nice. Though we can get bogged down in the function and durability of a floor, good floors can really make a room feel finished while adding to the overall design and atmosphere of a room. Well-designed floors should be accessible, and manufactures are increasingly meeting the demands of the consumer for floor options that are both beautiful and functional. Sustainable, more eco-friendly options such as cork, bamboo, and engineered hardwoods are built with these ideals in mind.
Photo Credit: The Weathered Fox, See the full room after renovation here.
With an open floor plan, The Weathered Fox wanted a floor that would look good throughout her home and pair well with a variety of furnishings and functional areas. The dark walnut floors add to her forever-been-there cottage feel present throughout the home. What a difference!
Looking for additional information and inspiration? In three recent surveys conducted by three different flooring trade publications, Shaw Floors was named #1 in all of them, including in the categories of quality, service, support, price, availability, training, and consumer preference.
A huge thank you to the very talented ladies who allowed me to show off their inspirational spaces: The Weathered Fox, Uncookie Cutter, and Love Create Celebrate.
Good luck with your next flooring project, and I can only hope to get ours started very soon!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shaw Floors. The opinions and text are all mine.