4 steps to choosing your floor

Why you need new flooring:

You just moved into a new place, you had a flood, the dog or cat lost control and made an unfixable mess. Let’s face it, most of us don’t plan on buying new flooring unless life makes us. But whether its life or just a modern design that's caught your eye from the latest “house hunters” here are some steps to making sure you get the best floor for you.

Step 1: Where is the floor going?

Much like your t-shirt tuxedo won’t do well at the formal, carpet may not be up to the challenge of your laundry room or kitchen. Understanding what conditions ( traffic,moisture,etc) a floor will be exposed to will give you a huge advantage to avoid making the wrong decision. Make a note of these few questions before you go off searching for the right floor.

  • Which room is the floor is going to be in?
  • What type of furniture or appliances will be on the floor?
  • What impression do I want to make?
  • Do I need pet and kid friendly floors?

Step 2: What goes down, must come up

Now that you have a few notes on where the floor is going, you have to consider what flooring you have now. Depending on the type of floor that you have now, it may have to be removed before new flooring can be installed. While this is not the case for all types of flooring such as floating floors that can be in over some existing floor types. Below is an example of general floor preparation scenarios.

Step 3: Picking the floor

So you’ve made it to the point where it is time to pick a floor that’s right for you. Likely you may have an idea on what look your going for it terms of style but picking the right material for the area is also important. While many think that having tile throughout the home is the best for cleaning purposes, others take into consideration the floors effect on their day to day life.

Carpet has long been chosen for bedrooms because of the comfort it provides underfoot as well as the added sound dampening it provides over all other materials. Choose carpet if you want a floor that provides warmth and quiet to an area that needs it.

Carpet also works as a sort of passive air filter, while many people believe that carpet will negatively affect them if they have allergies the opposite is true. As long as the carpet is kept clean and vacuum regularly carpet can actually be a benefit to those with allergy. See the article from the Carpet and Rug Institute on this topic.

Tile is often the favorite by those who are looking for a more elegant look. Tile comes in many shapes, sizes, textures and color. Tile is generally suited for areas that have a heavy amount of traffic in the home or in areas that may be exposed to water like the kitchen, laundry and dining rooms.

The main advantage of tile is not ease of cleaning as it commonly requires more cleaning over time due to grout maintenance and the likelihood of being installed in areas that receive more traffic. The advantage of tile is its durability over time. It will out perform almost all floors over time while maintaining it original luster.

Vinyl has been around as a flooring option since the mid 1800’s. It takes many shapes and forms such as tiles, planks, and sheets. Vinyl like tile can be used in almost any area of the home, with its waterproof variants it is even capable of being put in bathrooms. Choose vinyl if you would like a softer floor than tile with the same versatility.

The main advantage of vinyl is it’s durability compared to cost. It often cost less than tile or wood while providing a variety of looks.

Wood flooring is the real deal. While best installed in dry areas wood provides timeless looks and quality. It is easy to clean and can even be refinished once if not several times . Wood also provides a massive amount of different looks and finishes across several types of wood or species that will go with any decor. Choose wood if you would like a natural floor that can be refinished without removal.

The main advantage of wood flooring is their long lasting and ecological nature. Also the outstanding looks you achieve with wood goes unmatched compared to any other floor.

Laminate made from composite wood pressed together while heated. Laminate like wood comes in many different styles and usually at a lower cost . Laminate generally can be found in bedrooms and living rooms but should never be placed in areas where it will be exposed to moisture.

The main advantage of laminate is the lower expense. Often you can find many styles at lower cost compared to other floors.

Step 4: Time to install

This is it, whether you have talked to the pro’s or you are ready to try your hand and flooring installation here is a few things to think about.

  • Hiring a pro- If you have spent good money on material, it is often a good idea to have a professional do your installation. A professional has the pedigree and experience to handle problems and see issues that you may have looked over. We recommend getting at least 1 or 2 estimates and having a professional inspect your floors for issues before they happen.

When hiring a pro always make sure they are licensed and insured.

  • Do it Yourself- You saw how easy it looked on tv and you are the handiest person you know. If you are taking matters into your own hands, make sure you have the tools for the job. Talk to your retailer or do some research online for what you will need.

When doing things yourself we recommend you order a little extra material, just in case....

Always remember, flooring success can be made or broken (sometimes literally) on the quality of an install.


The journey of picking a floor out of the outstanding number of styles and materials to choose from can be difficult. We hope that this short guide can provide you some light on the topic and help you get started. For more information browse the other articles on our website.