Flooring is often the last thing on homeowners’ minds when they move in or are upgrading. Their eyes are drawn upward toward furniture, linens, appliances, and fixtures. However, the flooring is the first thing you should consider when moving into or improving your home. The flooring is the foundation – a sturdy, durable floor with a long life will make you feel secure and save you money. Many homeowners get overwhelmed with the amount of flooring price options available. Today, we’ll look at what to consider when getting a flooring quote and how to find the flooring that’s right for you.
Choose the Right Flooring
For most of us, a floor is a floor, until we start thinking seriously about it. The floor you need depends on your lifestyle. A single woman with a full-time job can probably do fine with a plush white carpet. However, if she has pets, she might want to reconsider and choose a berber carpet or hardwood floors. A family with small children might do well with hardwood floors and area rugs. However, those children might like to run around in socks or barefoot and could easily slip or fall. Children also don’t like sitting on hard floors, which is a downside during the times they need to sit still. If you’re not sure what flooring will fit your lifestyle or have several different options, ask an expert at your local flooring store.
Set Your Own Budget First
Flooring experts want to sell their product, but they also like serving customers who think ahead and set their own budgets. Before going in, measure all the rooms that need new flooring and write the measurements down. If you’re only flooring part of a space and don’t know how much you’ll need, make an educated estimate. Compare prices on different flooring types, such as cherry vs. cypress wood or shag vs. berber carpet. Set aside 10-15% of your budget for unforeseen developments, such as discontinued options, a conflict with the contractor, or do-it-yourself injuries. Approach your flooring expert with your budget and ask to see all options fitting it, starting at the low end.
Consider Your Work Ethic
A floor option always looks pretty in a sample, safely tucked away on a store shelf. However, you shouldn’t buy a floor style based on looks any more than you’d adopt a pet without considering it’s behavior and needs. The nicest-looking floors can have the biggest problems, so consider how much work you can and will put in. If you’re not willing to give your kitchen a good mop or scrub now and then, go with ceramic tiles over wood. If you want to floor your bathroom yourself, don’t choose marble or limestone, as these require professionals.
Grade Your Flooring
You can’t give flooring a grade like the ones your teacher gave to your term papers, but you can and should ask your flooring expert about different grades of wood, tile, and other materials. Depending on your taste, you’ll need different grades. If you want a rough-hewn, homey atmosphere in wood-floored rooms, look for wood of slightly lower grades with irregularities and “character.” If you want your home to look like a showroom, be prepared to shell out the big bucks for uniform wood, limestone, and plush carpet.