Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring
We understand. You have questions! The world of flooring is a huge industry with near limitless choices. It’s easy to get lost in the mire of different brands, styles, materials, constructions, and looks. Having too much variety can be just as bad as having not enough. Thankfully, The Floor Store is here to help. We’ve been helping customers with design consultation and answering the tough questions for 30 years now. With our help, you’ll be a flooring pro in no time!
Believe it or not, one of the most common questions we get is “Which flooring is the best flooring!” and, to tell the truth, there really is no answer. This is completely subjective and depends on what you want out of a floor covering.
If the question is “what kind of flooring is best for [room]” well that’s a little easier to narrow down as certain flooring is better for certain conditions. Such as:
What kind of flooring is best for my bathroom?
We get this one a lot. Thankfully, the answer is straight forward. It might even be easier to say: “Anything BUT hardwood and carpet”. Bathrooms can get messy and are havens for moisture. If there’s one thing that doesn’t agree with hardwood and carpet, it’s water (cotton area rugs/bath mats notwithstanding.) Water seeps into hardwood, causing the wood to swell and, at best, warping the wood and creating unattractive (and unsafe) bulges and, at worst, causing cracks and significant structural damage. Anyone who’s ever spilled water on a carpet can easily intuit why carpeting in a bathroom is a bad idea. Too much exposure to moisture can deform the rug material and crate discolorations.
If you still want a hardwood look for your bathroom worry not! Waterproof laminate and vinyl flooring technology has advanced to the point where it’s almost indistinguishable from true hardwood in both look and feel. A timeless and extremely popular bathroom pick is ceramic or porcelain tile. Just make sure to treat your grout with waterproof sealant!
What kind of flooring is best for my kitchen?
With kitchens, you can afford to be much more flexible. Almost all types of flooring work very well with kitchens. Hardwood flooring, however, does have some extra steps. Much like with bathrooms, kitchens can be prone to messes. If you are going to have a hardwood kitchen, make sure to adorn the room with attractive cotton area rugs in the areas most likely to cause a wet floor (dishwasher, sink, stovetop, etc). If a spill occurs, make sure you treat the area immediately to avoid damage to the floor. Laminate, vinyl, and tile are much easier to maintain with regards to kitchen use. The only flooring to completely avoid for your kitchen is carpeting.
What kind of flooring should I use in my basement?
Unfinished basements typically use the concrete foundation as flooring. If, however, you are looking to make your basement into another living room, den, apartment, or whatever, there are some things to consider. Any flooring installed below grade (i.e. below the ground floor) needs to be resistant to moisture. Solid hardwood flooring, usually, is a poor choice for below grade flooring. Engineered hardwood specifically designed to be moisture resistant, however, is a very popular flooring choice. Note, however, that this only means it will stand up to the normal moisture caused by water vapor filtering through the concrete foundation of most homes. Basements, as we all (unfortunately) know, flood! No engineered hardwood will resist being covered in water for a prolonged period. Before considering hardwood, make sure you’re confident in your basement’s flood resistance. The Floor Store recommends vinyl, tile, laminate, engineered hardwood, and CoreTec Vinyl flooring (which is water resistant.)
What kind of flooring should I use for a bedroom?
Bedrooms are meant to be comfortable! That said, there are really no restrictions to what kind of flooring you can put in a bedroom. Traditionally, wall to wall carpeting or hardwood floors are the primary bedroom flooring choices. Hardwood adds a comfortable warmth to any room, creating a calming atmosphere. Carpeting, as well as being insulating, is soft underfoot. No bracing yourself for the hard-cold floor in the mornings! That said, there are some considerations to be made. Some hardwoods can be delicate. For a child’s room, especially if their room is a common space for play, carpet is both safer and more durable. Ceramic or porcelain tile is an unconventional choice for a bedroom, but there are examples of it working. It gives the impression of a very refined and regal look. Vinyl tile and laminate flooring are also excellent choices for bedroom flooring, especially wood look tile.
What kind of flooring should I use for the living room?
The short answer is: Anything. The living room (or sitting room, or den) is extremely versatile. Hardwood is a great choice, peppered with area rugs to give splashes of color and comfort. Tile flooring is great for accent and can be used for the entire room for a more formal sitting room. Wall to wall carpeting is great for a cozy, comfortable feel. Laminate and LVT are great and durable option that can emulate either ceramic tile or hardwood in both look and feel!
What kind of flooring should I use if I have pets?
Everyone loves, or should love, pets! Our furry companions are some of the most valued members of our family. They give us comfort in times of hardship, and share the good times making them all the better! Cats, dogs, or both, there’s no replacement for your little buddies! Unfortunately, for all their good qualities, pets can be messy! Whether it’s the kitty’s litter box or the dogs tracking mud they can be a flooring nightmare. Thankfully, you have many options! Hardwood flooring is durable, yes, but if you have big, energetic dogs they can scratch up your floors very easily. A durable exotic hardwood would curtail some of the damage but it’s our suggestion to consider your dog’s personality before going with hardwood. Carpeting can also be a good choice but again, there are some considerations to make. If your pet is prone to “accidents” it would be prudent to consider vinyl, tile, or carpeting treated for stain resistance. If you’re considering carpeting and you have cats, make sure they have plenty of scratching surfaces so they don’t turn their gaze to your rugs! Overall, laminate and LVT is the best choice for the rooms your pets frequent. They’re durable enough to stand up to the biggest, most rambunctious dogs and clean-up is easy.
How do I know what flooring will go with my decor?
Decorative conventions have been around for generations, some of the most timeless looks for longer than that. Hardwood, tile, and carpeting are typically traditional. Vinyl and laminate work with more modern styles. Thankfully, there is no hard and fast rule. Your home decor is the best place to be creative! Creativity is all about breaking the rules.
The best way to get a feel for what flooring would work for your home is to come in and see it in person! Pictures often don’t do the real thing justice, despite how advanced imaging technology becomes. Decor doesn’t have hard set rules. What becomes conventions started as experiments. You’re free to do whatever you want, you may find some unique and attractive combinations!