flooring selection hardwood flooring in living room

Flooring Selection – What You Need to Know

Flooring selection is a critical decision for any home renovation. The floor is the largest space in your home. It is underfoot for all your daily activities. Also, the floor can set the tone for your home, and often creates the look for the space. 

Remember, flooring can also make up a significant portion of your remodel budget, so it is very important to consider all the options carefully.

Flooring Selection Considerations

Before you even visit a flooring showroom or pick through samples, go through a checklist to determine your flooring requirements.

Room

Not all flooring styles are necessarily appropriate for all rooms. For example, carpet in a bathroom or kitchen is often impractical. On the other hand, carpet lends warmth to bedrooms. Think about the space, your intentions for the room, and your desired look. 

Styles

Consider the style of your home when you choose flooring. Make sure to keep design choices cohesive with the existing style, or, if you are remodeling, with the intended style. Colors, textures, and style should all work together to create a unified look throughout the home. 

Price Considerations

Budget constraints are often a concern. Flooring is usually priced per square foot or square yard. As with any design choice, there is an option for just about every budget.

Square Footage

How much area is going to be covered with the flooring? Consider how the flooring will look in the area.  For example, a small, detailed tile pattern may make a statement in a small space, but it could look busy in a large room.

Lifestyle and Flooring Selection

If there are pets or children in the home, consider a flooring selection that is durable and sturdy for high traffic areas.  You also want to consider factors like climate, moisture, and sun exposure.

Material Types for your Flooring Selection

There are many flooring materials available. This list is by no means exhaustive. These are a few of the most popular flooring materials available. By all means, visit showrooms and model homes to view flooring selection options in person. 

Hardwood

An article about flooring options would not be complete without a section on hardwood flooring. This is one of the most popular, timeless flooring choices available. Hardwood floors are natural, beautiful, durable, and coordinate with just about any style choice.

There are so many options available in a hardwood floor, from wood variety and finish, to plank width. Hardwood is really customizable to whatever aesthetic you desire. Not only is hardwood a classic design choice, it can add resale value to your home. 

great Dane laying on hardwood flooring section

Depending on the wood, design, and installation, expect to pay between $6 and $25 per square foot for hardwood installation in the Bay Area. The materials cost between $4 and $7 per square foot. So, for 1,000 square feet, materials and installation will probably cost between $6,000-$12,000.

Eco Friendly

consider choosing concrete for your flooring selction

Economic sustainability and responsibility is often a concern. Thankfully, there are many eco-friendly flooring options out there for the environmentally conscious homeowner. 

  • Bamboo. Bamboo flooring is growing in popularity. Bamboo has a regrowth time of three to five years, instead of 20 years, like traditional hardwood. It is lightweight, durable, and has the look of traditional hardwood floors.
  • Cork. Cork is harvested from cork oak trees in the Mediterranean. The trees are not cut down. Instead, cork is harvested from the bark, so cork is considered a renewable resource. It is easy to maintain, and has antimicrobial properties.
  • Glass Tile. Glass tiles made from recycled glass are beautiful, renewable, and easy to maintain.
  • Concrete. Polished concrete is a beautiful, low-maintenance flooring option that is also eco-friendly. 
  • Wool Carpet. Most carpet is made of synthetic materials that can have negative environmental effects. Wool carpet is made from a natural resource, and will last much longer than traditional carpeting.
  • Leather. This surprising flooring choice is ideal for low traffic areas. However, the thick leather used for flooring is more durable than you would expect. 
  • Reclaimed Hardwood. If traditional hardwood is a concern due to deforestation, look for reclaimed hardwood. Salvaged wood floors often create a unique look. 

Laminate

There is a world of options available in laminate flooring. It comes in designs that emulate hardwood, marble, or tile. Laminate flooring is earth-friendly, family-friendly, easy to clean, and sturdy. 

Laminate is also budget-friendly. It costs between $1 and $4 per square foot, uninstalled. While it is simple to install, hire an installation expert for around $4-8 per square foot.

Porcelain or Ceramic Tile

choosing flooring tile pattern

Tile is another classic, elegant design choice with many possibilities. Ceramic and porcelain tile are both made from natural clay that goes through a refining process. Ceramic tile is glazed. It is less sturdy than porcelain, but easier to install. Porcelain tile goes through a high temperature firing process. It is water and stain resistant, and won’t crack in low temperatures. 

Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone tiles are beautiful and timeless. They are usually limestone, travertine, granite, marble, or slate. This is one of the more expensive flooring options available, but also one of the most durable. Stone will stand the test of time. 

Carpet

Carpet is often unappreciated and under utilized. The right carpet can feel warm, luxurious, and welcoming, especially in bedrooms, family rooms or playrooms. It offers thermal insulation, and noise dampening. Be aware that carpet can be a more high maintenance flooring choice. It requires regular cleaning, may need repairs, and will need to be replaced regularly.  

carpet samples flooring selection

Carpet is also an affordable option. It usually costs anywhere from $1-$10 per square foot, with the pad around $0.50-$1 per square foot. Installation is around $1-$6 per square foot, on average. 

Other Flooring Selection Considerations

Once you’ve determined your style, budget, and materials, there are still other factors that may affect your final flooring selection.

Remember to Consider Availability

Supply chain issues continue to cause roadblocks for projects everywhere. Carefully consider the availability of the materials before you design the entire space around one flooring choice. It also may be helpful to have a second and third choice on deck, as well.

Blending Flooring from Room to Room

Think about your home as one, cohesive unit. Make sure the flooring blends well as you move throughout the home. 

Cleaning and Durability

Once again, consider your lifestyle, and how you use the space. If you have children, pets, or a lot of traffic in an area, make sure you take wear and tear into consideration. Also, difficult to clean, or moisture sensitive flooring may not be the best choice in areas like a kitchen, laundry, or bathroom. 

Adding Rugs

Don’t forget about all the possibilities that a good rug has to offer. Rugs can be used to make a statement, define areas, or soften and warm up a room with a lot of hard edges. Many interior designers can help you integrate new or your favorite area rug into your flooring decision. 

At Drafting Cafe Architects, we understand flooring, and so much more. Our team of architects, designers, and project managers will make sure your project is completed with ease and professionalism. Contact us today to get started. 

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