Over the last few years we have re-done four different houses. Sometimes picking every finish from trim, to paint, to counters and flooring becomes somewhat overwhelming. Often when I’m planning a renovation, flooring is the first decision that I make. I feel like once you’ve made a good flooring decision it grounds your design and you are able to work up from that point. Today I want to share some of factors I consider when choosing flooring for a room.
Often times your flooring can make a home seem much larger, or much smaller. With flooring, you have the ability to define your spaces and decide the look you want. In a small home, having different flooring in the kitchen can make it feel even smaller. I am almost always in favor of carrying the same flooring through the kitchen as the rest of the house.
As you can see in the kitchen of our “Auction House“, once we replaced the linoleum and hardwood flooring with one continuous laminate floor it helped tie the two rooms together.
When it comes to choosing what type of flooring to install in a space there are SO many factors to consider. Price, Durability, Color, Finish, Etc. In the past we’ve done everything from refinishing hardwoods, installing carpet, or laying tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring. Here are the reasons that I like to use each type of flooring:
Hardwood: When it is original to a house and can be refinished. We are lucky to have hardwoods on the main level of our current house.
Carpet: For spaces that kids spend a lot of time playing in, and don’t have heavy traffic patterns. Often for bedrooms so that you don’t have to purchase a rug. We installed carpet in the living room of our “BrightGreenDoor” house because the boys were still young and often playing on the floor.
Tile: Because we live in a cold climate, I only prefer to use tile in bathrooms. My parents installed wood plank look tile throughout their entire home in Florida and it looks amazing. I installed black plank tile in two bathrooms and would do it again!
Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is typically the most affordable option, and we have used it in basement bathrooms and spaces that we couldn’t afford to lay tile in. For the basement bathroom in our “Retro Ranch” it was the perfect affordable solution.
Laminate: We have chosen to install laminate in numerous situations. It’s durable, and much more affordable than hardwood. It’s also something that we can install ourselves, which also saves money.
Rugs: OK, so technically this isn’t a type of flooring, but something to consider when planning flooring. I prefer to have something soft in living rooms and bedrooms. So anytime I use a hard flooring in these spaces I plan for a rug to soften the space. Rugs are also a good option for if you have flooring that you’d like to cover up! Once I brought this rug into the living room of our “Retro Ranch” it softened the entire space.
Hardwood– Although to some refinishing hardwood flooring is a DIY job, we’ve never tackled it.
Carpet- Often times carpet can be priced right, but the installation can be expensive and it isn’t a DIY job. If you have an affordable installer though it can be great.
Tile- Two years ago we had NEVER tiled, and now we have six tile projects under our belts! It’s really not that difficult once you know what you’re doing, the important part is that you have access to the right tools. (Or a good contractor to install it!)
Laminate- We’ve found that installing laminate flooring is fairly simple. Typically it involves having the right saws, and some aching muscles at the end of the day.
Vinyl– This is probably the easiest flooring to install, only needing a sharp blade. If you are going for simplicity this is definitely your best bet.
Switching flooring is a great way to get a dramatic transformation. Often you can decorate a room and paint the walls, but if you’ve got bad flooring the room just doesn’t look right until you change it. To show the transformation new flooring can make here are a few “Before and Afters” from some of our projects:
The bad carpet “before” and stunning “after” with a new rug and laminate flooring.
The dated linoleum “before” and “after” with beautiful black plank tile.
The terrible brown carpet “before” and “after” with gorgeous laminate flooring.
Obviously we changed more than just flooring in these rooms, but the flooring was the foundation for the rest of the room. If you’re looking to make a dramatic transformation flooring is almost always where I’d start.
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