Selecting a Floor For Your Home
Ask Yourself; What Floor is Right for Me?
You’re buying a house or condo or just decorating and you plan to stay put for at least the next 10 years. Deciding what flooring to select can be mind boggling! You are thinking, style, durability, comfort and budget, just to name a few. Instead of tossing and turning all night long and wondering how that white Berber carpet will hold up when little Joey spills his coke or if that black and white hexagon mosaic tile is too Victorian looking for your ultra-modern loft. Let’s take a lot at some basic questions to ask yourself.
What is my Lifestyle?Am I a busy mom with three rambunctious toddlers that hosts some sleep over’s? Do I have a couple of hyperactive dogs? Am I a single person that doesn't entertain much? Do I live in a rainy climate and track in a lot of mud from the street?
Climate:Do I live in sub-zero winter climates? Your choice for ceramic tile or stone might not be a wise one unless you have sub-floor heating. Carpet or wood or Pergo floors with perhaps area rugs to create coziness and define space are probably a wiser choice. Yet the comfort for someone who has a home in Palm Springs; tile could be a comfortable choice, if you’re a bare foot around the house kind of person. Do I live on the water where there is a lot of humidity and tracking in some water? If so, avoid pure wool carpet.
Durability:Tile and other stone is probably the most durable, easily cleanable tile. Even with grout that can get dirt trodden. Slate is a good choice for the kitchen. Grout dirt on the floor doesn't notice like coffee stains on your counter top. With tile you can also come up with creative designs and make a focal point in a room. It is especially functional for those of you with clawing pets and urine stains. I would avoid unpolished stone like limestone if stains are an issue. If you are one that wants more bare foot comfort or have aging joints or long term injuries from knee surgery consider a durable loop pole constructed carpet like a Berber or even commercial. Cut pile carpet will show some more wear than loop construction in hallways, stairs and other high traffic areas. Wood floors are susceptible to scratching and stains and noisy if you clomp around in heels (think of neighbors underneath), but can be re-sanded and stained with polyurethane. Stone and VCT (Vinyl Composite Tiles) are always a good cleanable, budget friendly choice for kitchens and bathrooms. It is also easy to install.
Size of Home: If you’re moving to a large open plan 4,000 square foot home in a warm climate, go for the 24” tiles off the living room with the ornate pattern flowing into a step down carpet living room. If you are in a 500 sq foot Manhattan apartment, you will make your space look larger by staying with a simple textured light color carpet, wood or Prego floor throughout your 300 sq ft living space that also quadruples as a dining space, home office and even your bedroom if you’re in a studio apartment.
Stay with the Right Style: If you are in Spanish colonial home, you’ll want to select flooring that becomes part of the architecture. It doesn't always have to be terracotta tiles, but think rustic elegance, tumbled marble or wood. If you are in a new modern high rise unit, think slick, modern, perhaps bamboo flooring, polished limestone or a modern geometric carpet. Make it flow, so the architectural style doesn't just stop with the exterior. Color and design is important; make sure it compliments your furniture. Keep balance in mind, and go with a more simple texture, if you have a bold patterned sofa and chairs, if you have neutral solid color fabric on your furniture, consider going with a bold pattern or texture or even a brighter color on the floor.
Budget and Neighborhood:Last but not least and often the biggest factor. Creative and beautiful doesn't have to be expensive, if it is tile consider learning installing it yourself, you will save a lot. If you’re buying in the Hampton's or Bel Air you might want to forgo the linoleum kitchen floor. But, if you sell in 12 years time, don’t expect to get a return on your investment, if you have an Italian imported limestone floor in a neighborhood that is mainly rental units with linoleum bathroom floors.