Flooring: A Key Design Element

A stone to wood transitional floor.

With all the flooring selections available, you can really lay the groundwork for creating a stunning space with any budget.

Your home's flooring can play a multitude of rolls. It can be an eye popping focal point or just blend into the background and be part of the overall design theme.

When considering materials for your home, there are many things to take into account. The obvious is the aesthetic look and feel that you desire for each room, but the following should also be considered for practicality.

Safety, Durability, Comfort & Maintenance

  • Safety - A concern for every family is keeping loved ones safe. If your home has little ones or elderly folk, then for the kitchen and bath maybe a polished tile, marble or a waxed hardwood floor is not for you. Possibly a honed or cleft tile or maybe a vinyl_floor would be better suited to your needs.

  • Durability - Everyone wants the selections in their home to last as long as possible. Each family's circumstances are a little bit different. Depending upon how your family uses your home should be a major factor in selecting material: especially flooring. Vinyl or resilient flooring material can be a very durable option if you have small children or pets to consider. But if the allure of a wood floor is on your mind, you may want to consider a laminate_floor. Although not real wood, you get the look with much greater durability as it resists gouges and indentations.

  • Comfort - If you are after a softer more comfortable walking surface, you may want to consider a carpet, cork, linoleum or other type of vinyl product. Tile and wood flooring are not comfortable underfoot for long periods of time.
  • Maintenance - If maintenance is a major concern then maybe vinyl is the right choice for you. Vinyl has come a long way and is very versatile with a lot of pattern and color choices.

    Tile, stone, cork and hardwood floors all require some sort of maintenance over time.

Radiant Heat

Add warmth to any floor with radiant heat.

If you are planning to use radiant heat there are things to consider.

Tile and stone make great surfaces for radiant but wood and carpet can also be used. If using wood, be sure to use a wood that is well suited for radiant heat.

Usually those with straight grains and narrow widths make the best choice.

For use with carpets, expect that there will be loss in R-Value due to the pad and carpet, but it still can add extra warmth.

For more information, check out our section on radiant heat.

Multiple Floor Heights

When choosing multiple materials one must consider the height implications.

If you have chosen carpet in the bedrooms and wood in the halls and living room and tile for the kitchen and baths you now have three different finish floor heights to contend with.

There are several ways to handle this. Thresholds are a popular way to handle the different heights.

By setting a threshold in the door opening between the two different materials you have created not only a functional but visual transition as well.

If you don't want to use a raised threshold, you might consider a transitional strip. These are usually made out of metal and come in several different finishes. They tend to be narrower than a full blown threshold.

Color and Style

For each type of flooring, there is an endless selection of color and patterns.

Today's average homeowner has the ability to select from thousands of products and patterns to give you the ability to create one of a kind designs.

There is something available for every style and budget.

Just be sure to check your quantities carefully and allow enough overage called the waste factor. This will enable you to purchase material belonging to the same lot. Ordering a second time at a later date doesn't guarantee you will get the same color lot.

Lumber Liquidators

Helpful Tools

With all the selections out there it is difficult to remember where you went and with whom you spoke. Remodeling101 has created a checklist to assist you in your shopping endeavors. Click here to download now.

Fixr's Hardwood Floor Installation Cost Guide provides cost guides, comparisons, and term cheat sheets for hundreds of remodeling, installation and repair projects that help homeowners make better home improvement decisions.

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