1. Where is the room located, and how will it be used?
Ground-level and basement spaces are more susceptible to moisture than those upstairs, so consider the impact on your flooring choice. Also, if the room will serve as an entry area for your home or a play area for pets and kids, look for flooring that can handle wear. If the floor needs to support a wheelchair, walker or cane, make sure the flooring material will allow easy, unobstructed movement.
2. What is your climate?
Wood can warp and buckle, and carpet can mold in humid environments. Tile makes a great alternative, is easy to clean and maintain, and comes in a variety of textures, colors and sizes to suit your personal style.
Check out our Tile Buying Guide.
3. Will you have to redecorate?
Color is a major consideration when buying a new floor because it impacts the entire room. Lighter flooring can make rooms feel larger but show stains and reveal wear. Darker flooring can make rooms feel cozy but show dust and pet hair. Neutral tones accommodate colorful décor, making it easy to change down the road.
4. Will your new and existing flooring coordinate?
Consider how the new flooring will complement your overall interior style and decorating scheme. Blending materials and creating interesting transition spaces with patterns or materials may solve your design dilemmas.
5. What level of floor care is required?
Are you willing to make the new flooring’s maintenance schedule a part of your life? Ask what is involved in cleaning and upkeep, and factor things, like refinishing and steaming into your decision.
6. Does anyone in your home have allergies?
Hard-surface flooring collects fewer dust mites and allergens. Add warmth and visual interest with easy-to-clean rugs.
7. Do you have, or plan to install, a heated floor?
Not all flooring options are compatible with subfloor heating. Consult a flooring expert for help exploring the best options for you.
8. Can you install new flooring yourself?
New flooring installation is more than lining up boards and tile. Determine whether or not you can identify and repair a faulty subfloor, if you know how to safely dispose of old flooring and if you can return unused boxes or pieces to the store. Some flooring may require professional removal.
9. Have you factored in additional costs?
Installing new flooring may also require you to replace existing trim and thresholds. Also, if you’re having flooring installed professionally, you’ll need to include this extra expense in your budget.
10. Can you refinish the existing floor?
Research your refinishing options. You may be able to bring your floors up to date with a new stain.
To find out more, read Learn How to Refinish a Hardwood Floor.