When it comes to home renovation, there can be a daunting number of things to think about. With items needing to be replaced or refurbished, there can also be endless possibilities of options to choose from. For example, when choosing new flooring, what type of surface are you wanting? What area of the home is this for? What style do you like? What type of activities occur most frequently in your home? These are all things that homeowners must think about before making a final selection. However, here are a few tips to help make the design or renovation process easier and more enjoyable.

When it comes to choosing flooring for your home, let’s discuss maintenance first and foremost. Many people might gravitate towards choosing the style or look first but what homeowners should consider before anything else is the type of maintenance they are looking for. So let us begin: What is your need? Do you have kids, pets? Do you entertain frequently? We suggest consumers make a checklist of the things that are most important to them before making a selection. Also, an important aspect to consider is also the current flooring in your home. Do you already have hardwoods? If so, are you wanting to replace them or are you wanting to match them? If you are wanting to replace them, why? Note where you’d like to have hardwood as well. Is this throughout the home or just in a particular room? If you have existing hardwood, a flooring professional can help you decide if replacing or refinishing is going to get you the best results as well as the best bang for your buck.

“The main ingredients of choosing a flooring option are look, durability, maintenance and cost,” says our flooring specialist, Becca Ratliff. (link) “Knowing the strength of your hardwood floor is very important as well. Most people don’t know when a wood is considered hard or soft. I encourage consumers to take a look at the Janka hardness rating scale which is pretty easy to read and can help this piece make more sense.”

After determining what your maintenance preferences are and how hard or durable you need your hardwood to be, we can then move on to what type of wood flooring will fit best in your home. Are you looking for solid wood or engineered wood? What about vinyl? No, not your mother’s old laminate, luxury vinyl wood flooring planks that can withstand durability and all the things that life comes with. Daunting as well? We thought so… here are some tips to consider.

The three types of hardwood material that are most commonly used are engineered wood, solid hardwood or vinyl. Solid wood is just that– it is solid throughout, made of the same type of wood. The wear layer on solid hardwood flooring is much thicker and can be refinished time and time again making it a longer-lasting choice of flooring. However, solid hardwood needs space to expand and contract and is limited to where it can be installed. For example, solid hardwood cannot be applied in a basement where there is only a concrete subfloor.

Engineered is a composite material made of all wood substances but is not the same type of wood throughout. This means that engineered hardwood has a wear layer on top with the desired look and a mix of wood materials underneath. This wood does not need to expand and contract and can therefore be installed on concrete sub floors. While engineered wood doesn’t have the same wear layer as solid wood, it can be reapplied over time.

Vinyl is a man-made material. It is a composite material made to look like real hardwood floors. When you need durability, it is a good option given that it is waterproof, scratch proof and stain proof. Vinyl can be replaced one plank at a time due to the interlocking method of installation. It can also be applied over top of another hard surface without damage. “The durability of luxury vinyl floors is amazing. It is a great alternative when a consumer is wanting a specific look but needs maximum durability and maintenance,” adds Becca. Vinyl is great for basements, laundry rooms, four season rooms, etc.

After narrowing down what your specific needs are and what the best option for your home is, you can then consider the desired look. Again, what is the style of your home? What look are you wanting to achieve with your floors? This can really help hone in on what style to choose. For example, are you wanting narrow planks? Wide planks? A look of varied size planks? Do you prefer light wood or dark wood? It would be helpful to make a list of the things you like to help make this selection process easier.

Once the above factors have been taken into consideration with your flooring specialist, the homeowner can then look at look and price. With the way the hardwood flooring industry is these days, consumers can pretty much get any look in the hardness that they need that fits their life in the price they are looking for.

Working with a flooring professional can make these decisions much easier. If you are considering looking into hardwood or other flooring options, contact our flooring specialist, Becca Ratliff to get started! {becca@lisalynndesigns.com}

Worked with Lisa Lynn Designs on a flooring project before? If so, leave a comment below and tell us all about it!

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