Purchasing a floor is not as straightforward as it may seem. A floor is a big investment, and it is wise to do your research before tearing up that old ugly tile and replacing it with expensive hardwood floors. Start with these five basic but important questions to choose the best possible floors for your home.
Do You Have Pets?
As many as 85 million families own at least one pet, according to a 2019-2020 survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), and it is important to consider pets before installing new flooring in bedrooms, living rooms, and other heavily trafficked spaces. As you might imagine, pets do best with hard surfaces. These surfaces are particularly forgiving when a puppy has a house training accident, or your cat christens your new floor with a big, ol’ hairball. Laminate, stone, tile floors, and vinyl flooring all work best in homes with pets.
Another thing to consider is dents and scratches. While some of us may be fastidious about chasing our dogs around and trimming their nails, it is completely understandable for them to grow slightly too long before you even know it. Choose durable, scratch-resistant surfaces for dogs. Again, vinyl flooring, stone, and tile are often the wisest choices.
Do You Have Kids?
Let’s be 100% honest: kids aren’t always gentle on our floors. Kids have a lot of energy. They play. They play a lot, and they play loudly. Your children’s energy levels and overall well-being are absolutely factors to consider when buying a new floor. Carpet may be the best for children with a lot of spunk. Carpet insulates sounds, keeping you happy even if you kid is jumping, bouncing, or stomping. It cushions falls somewhat, an attractive option for kids who play a little too hard. Parents can even purchase special carpets for this exact purpose.
Another popular option for kids’ rooms are rubber floors. Rubber also cushions falls. It’s relatively pliable, squishy, and yielding, should kids fall over or have an accident. Unlike carpet, it is easy to clean up spills, and rubber rarely stains.
What Kind of Furniture Will Be In This Room?
Wood floor and wood furniture don’t mix, unless you are particularly careful. Opt for other flooring choices, like carpet, tile, or vinyl flooring if you can. Most vinyl flooring varieties are scratch-resistant, meaning you can push, pull, and rearrange furniture all you like. If you have your heart set on a nice wood floor, take the proper cautionary measures. Always pick up and move furniture. Do not drag or pull chairs and tables on wood floors. Protect floors with felt pads on furniture legs and/or a well-placed area rug.
Do You Suffer From Allergies?
Nearly half of homeowners (44%) favor carpets for bedrooms. Choosing carpet may not just be an aesthetic preference, however. Carpets trap airborne allergens and irritants, like dust, dirt, and pet dander. By absorbing them, they stop them from circulating around in the air, aggravating your nose or getting into your lungs. Of course, it is important to maintain and vacuum carpets regularly to make sure that the allergens that temporarily get trapped there do not stay there.
Are You Accident-Prone?
This is an especially important question for aging Americans, who are most at risk for slips and falls. If you have a weak hip or gait, it may be important to choose flooring that is least likely to promote slips and falls. Unfortunately, many flooring types are slippery when wet. However, there are some choices you can make to reduce the likelihood of these incidents. Floors may be textured or chemically treated for an abrasive, non-slip surface. Carpet is also an option for those especially prone to accidents around the home.
Flooring is an investment. Choose floors that will last and be the perfect fit for you and your family. Start with the five important questions above and branch out from there to choose the most cost effective, durable, and suitable flooring for you.