If a re-flooring project for one room in the house is a tough decision, then getting all new floors might feel overwhelming. There are many factors to consider when weighing your flooring options, like durability, water resistance, and aesthetics. On top of this, because each room has a unique function, its flooring requirements will vary considerably. Before you get too lost in the sauce, let’s narrow down the options by looking at the ideal flooring for each room’s specific needs.
Living & Dining Room: Wood
The living room, dining room, entryway, and hallways typically get the most foot traffic and daily use. Therefore, the ideal flooring for these spaces should be durable, easy to repair, and aesthetically pleasing to look at every day. Wood flooring checks all these boxes for several reasons. It is remarkably durable against scratches and dents from furniture, pet claws, and heels. However, unlike engineered hardwood, it can be sanded down multiple times in the event that it does get damaged. Wood is relatively resistant to water, but it will stain if moisture is left to sit for too long. Thankfully, these areas generally don’t experience too much water exposure. Plus, timeless wood floors are beloved for their warmth and natural beauty, a coveted feature in the real estate market.
Bedroom & Office: Hardwood
Like the living and dining rooms, the bedroom and office don’t often get exposed to water. Similarly, stained and finished hardwood lends itself well to creating a relaxing and sophisticated atmosphere in these intimate, quiet spaces. Plus, it’s simple enough to incorporate a decorative rug to prevent scratches from desk chairs, bed frames, desks, and other furniture.
If hardwood is outside your budget, consider laminate flooring. Not only is it cheaper, but you can find laminate designed to imitate the look and feel of genuine hardwood. A carpet is a fantastic option for a child’s bedroom because it is cheaply replaced, resistant to scratches from toys, and provides a softer landing in case of falls or accidents.
Kitchen & Bathroom: Tile
While the kitchen and bathroom will probably experience fewer scratch-related damages from foot traffic, these rooms are the most vulnerable to water damage. Vinyl is always a safe bet and a cheaper choice, as long as you use sheet flooring without any penetrations or seams. It’s also not unheard of to use hardwood in the kitchen, but you’ll have to be careful with spills and be sure to clean the floors regularly. The bathroom, however, should never have any flooring that may be prone to water stains or warping with humidity fluctuations.
Of all the different kinds of flooring materials, tile is by far the most water-resistant and, therefore, the best option for these aqueous environments. Tile comes in various shapes, sizes, and textures, making it easy to imitate other flooring materials if your heart is set on something like hardwood. Tile is either made of porcelain or ceramic, and each has slightly different advantages and disadvantages. Porcelain is the most waterproof of the two, but ceramic is more affordable. However, both kinds are easy to mop and guaranteed to be highly durable, lasting over a lifetime.
Think about what specific goals for each room you hope to fulfill with its flooring. A wise choice for flooring in one home may not make sense for another home. Ultimately, it depends on lifestyle and future goals. For instance, parents of children or fur babies might want to pivot their choices toward durable and waterproof floors like tile, whereas those intending to sell their home should consider investing in hardwood. There is no wrong answer, as long as you are achieving your vision for your home.