New Flooring: How to Choose With Confidence

woman sitting on hardwood floor choosing flooring samplesInstalling new floors in your home is a big investment, and can last a lifetime.  So if you pick the wrong floors, you either have to live with your mistake or pay the price! Here is the step-by-step process I go through with my clients.



1. Choose your color

Identify finishes that will be staying: flooring, wall color, cabinets, trim, etc.  The new flooring should coordinate with any finishes you won’t be replacing. 

Stay in the same color family.  Browns do not coordinate with Grays!

2. Choose your material

Think about where it will be installed.

Kitchen | Bathroom | Laundry Room

Choose Tile or LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) for any room there could be risk for water damage. These flooring options are water resistant, and LVT can have the look of hardwood at half the price.

Entryway | Hallway | Dining Room

Tile or LVT is also ideal for high-traffic areas such as these.  Besides being waterproof, they are scratch-resistant and easy to clean.

Bedroom | Family Room | Living Room

Carpet or Hardwood flooring is great in these areas because they have a warm, cozy feel. I always recommend an area rug for these rooms if they are not carpeted.

Here is a brief comparison of materials:

Tile vs. LVT

They are both durable, low maintenance, and water-resistant. Tile is higher quality, yet LVT is easier to install and replace/repair.

Hardwood vs. LVT

LVT can have the look and feel of Hardwood, but at half the price. It is also water- and scratch-resistant. But Hardwood floors have a higher resale value.

Hard Surfaces vs. Carpet

Carpet is quiet, soft, versatile, hides dirt, and is easier/faster to install. But it shows wear-and-tear, needs maintenance and replaced on occasion.

3. Choose your style

When choosing a style, don’t chase trends!  Sometimes, what’s trending or looks great on Pinterest, may not be right for your home. Don’t force it!

Instead, pay attention to the type of flooring in pictures similar to the style of your home.  Do they have narrow or wide planks?  Are the tiles square or rectangle?  Is the color monotone or variegated?

4. Know your budget

Do your homework and have a realistic budget in mind.  The price per square foot will depend on the type of material, quality and manufacturer.  Know what you are willing to spend, and stick to it.

You need to know approximately how much product you’ll need, to ensure the product you want is available.  You don't want to find the perfect flooring, only to discover it’s on backorder or discontinued!

To find the square footage, multiply the width by the length of the room, then add 5-10% for waste. Before placing the order, the installer should also measure for accuracy.

5. Pick out samples

This is the final step before ordering!  Minimize your options by choosing no more than 3 samples.  Too many choices can cause decision fatigue.

If possible, check out the samples so you can see them in your home. You might like how they look in the store, but you need to be able to make a decision based on the look in your home.

Do not compare side-by-side

Evaluate each sample on its own.  Notice how it makes you feel when you look at it. If you don’t love it immediately, move on to the next sample!  Overanalyzing or hoping it will grow on you, will only cause disappointment in the end.

Repeat the above step with each sample individually, until you’ve found "the one."  You'll know when you see it - it will be Love at First Sight!

But if you don’t love any of them, don't be discouraged.  Finding the right flooring takes time. 

Ask yourself what you didn’t like.  Was the plank too narrow/wide?  Was the color too light/dark in your home?  Try again with 3 (or less) samples until you are confident in your choice!

Protect your investment by choosing the right flooring.  If you are still not confident choosing on your own, contact your local Interior Designer.  They can help you find the perfect flooring for you and your home.

If this blog was helpful, I would love to hear your comments below!

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