It’s hard to overestimate the impact that your flooring has on your home. It affects the look and the feel of each room, so choosing the right flooring is critical. So which kind of flooring should you choose? A lot of that depends on which room you’re considering remodeling—and what kind of use that room will get. Here are a few general ideas to think about for choosing the right floors for various rooms of your home.
Tile and hardwood flooring are both very popular choices for kitchens. Stone floors are also increasingly popular and lend a very natural feel to the room. One concern with both tile and stone is that they’re not very forgiving when you drop breakable items on them. And they’re heavy so you have to be sure your supporting structure can handle the weight. Cork has emerged as a very promising alternative. The finish is similar to a laminate, but it has more give to it. It’s more or less nonabsorbent and moisture-proof, and it won't burn. Plus it’s available in a lot of different patterns.
With today’s open plan designs, very often the dining room is included as part of the kitchen—or is at least open to the kitchen. So it generally makes sense to extend whatever you use in the kitchen (tile, wood or cork) into the dining room.
No matter how you use your media room—whether it’s to watch movies, or listen to music—acoustics are important. Hard surfaces such as hardwood floors can make things echo. Plus, a hard surface can carry sound to other parts of the house. Cork and carpet are good options, although you may be able to use a large area rug to soften the acoustics in a room with a hardwood floor.
This is not the place for flooring that absorbs moisture. That means carpet and wood are probably out. Watch out for some tiles, too, because they can be slick. Ceramic tile that has a nice texture to it is a good choice. You can also choose natural stone or marble, but you’ll want to make sure they are properly sealed.
If you’re talking about a formal living room you may want to go with hardwood, slate, terra cotta, or even carpet. If what you have is more of a Great Room, you’ll probably want to extend whatever is in the kitchen/dining area and perhaps define the space with an area rug.
Some people like the look of hardwood or engineered wood in the bedroom. But quality carpet dampens sound and simple feels softer and more comfortable for many homeowners. One thing to bear in mind is that a harder finish may be better for more mature homeowners because there is less chance of tripping.