Few things work harder in your home than your floors. Year after year, they endure the pummeling of thousands of steps, dragged furniture, dropped items, you name it, your floor's experienced it. When it's time to replace it, there are so many things to look for in a new floor that will support you, literally, in the years to come.
We've compiled this list of questions you might want to ask yourself when you start shopping around.
Do you live alone? With only your spouse? Do you have children? Or is your house filled with extended family? If your home is a high-traffic house, you may need to look into flooring that can stand up to the additional usage. Laminate flooring might be worthy of consideration. Laminate is versatile and can be found in a variety of looks. It is also durable and easy to maintain.
Do you want high end finishes on your floor? Do you need to stick to a budget? Outside of usage, cost is the next thing you settle when looking at new floors. If you need to save money, sheet vinyl might be best. If money's not an issue, you can look into high-end stone options.
If you're a busy professional, you may not have time to baby a high maintenance floor finish. Something that is easy to clean, scratch and stain resistant may suit you best.
The type of flooring you want may ultimately decide whether you're going to become a weekend warrior on a do-it yourself mission, or if you leave your floor to an expert. Jobs that require matching complex patterns or joint fittings may best be left to a contractor. If you plan to use a contractor, be sure to select someone with experience in doing this type of work and who is recommended by previous clients.
Is the floor you're going to replace inside or outside? Outside floors would need to be water resistant. Exposed floors need resin floor paint for the damp conditions. Patio and deck floors that are exposed to weather require this resistant material. Basement and garage floors will also most likely benefit from this.
Having a pet can be a fun and life changing experience. Cleaning up pet messes? Not so much. Especially on a floor that stains easily. Over time, pet stains can make your floor look older and worn. Surfaces that can clean up quickly such as tile may be best for a home with pets.
It's difficult to hide mismatched floors, so you'll want to be careful that your new floors match your current design layout as far as possible. Also, your floors are an investment you are likely to enjoy for decades. Will the changes you make now align with any design changes you want to make in the future. Replacing relatively new flooring because it no longer fits the look you want can be expensive.
If you live in a colder climate, you might be dreaming of winter days with heat underfoot. Take care though, because some flooring materials will not be able to accommodate the temperatures of heating elements if you decide to install one. Check with your contractor or hardware first before you make a choice.
In the event that you decide to make a sudden change of decor, can the flooring option you're considering be easily repainted or refinished in some other way. Life happens and you may need to be prepared to make a quick change to your floors.
The length of any renovation job is always something to be considered, especially when it's a vital part of your living space. If it only requires a few days, can you live at home while the work is going on? If the job is expected to be longer, do you have somewhere to go until it is complete? If you are doing the job yourself, how long will it take you to do it and can you, and anyone you live with, tolerate the disruption?
This one is tied to how long the job is expected to take. If it's a short job, it's likely that whatever furniture there is can be moved to another area of the house. If not, it's likely you may have to consider storage options. Is it only one area of my house that is being refloored, or is it the whole house? This will let you know how to plan for the protection of your home valuables.
As with all renovations, you must consider how the new additions or design will affect the resale value of your home. If this is going to be your "forever home", then this is something you don't have to worry about. If you think you may sell your home one day though, you may have to go for flooring that is more likely to appeal to future buyers.
That was quite a list. But choosing a new floor for your home is quite an undertaking and we didn't want to send you off unprepared. The last thing you want is to start work and then find yourself at sea. Consulting with this list as you go about your re-flooring will keep you on course.
With a little thought, planning and research, you can enjoy your new floors for a long time.