5 Things to Consider When Choosing Flooring for Your Home

Choosing a floor can be a difficult decision, and it’s not just about what will look nice; there are many other factors that should be considered when looking at what’s best for your home. You may already know what you want, but if you’re still weighing up your options, here are 5 things to consider when choosing your next floor:

1. What’s your budget?

Setting yourself a budget before you begin will ensure that there’s no nasty surprises once work is complete. Shopping around will help you to reduce the cost of your flooring, but it’s wise to understand what your options are before you begin. As a general rule, the cost of getting your floor installed will match, if not exceed, the cost of the flooring materials.

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Flooring options for a tighter budget include:


  • Vinyl – available in tiles or sheets, and in endless colours and patterns

  • Linoleum – also available in tiles or sheets. Biodegradable, hypoallergenic and a natural material made from wax and resin

  • Ceramic tiles – Easy to coordinate with existing colour schemes and available in a huge range of colours, patterns and textures

  • Porcelain tiles – stronger than ceramic tiles, and also available in a wide selection of styles

  • Carpet – available in a huge amount of colours and designs, hardwearing, but easily stained. Carpets also help to prevent draughts and can cover old and unattractive floors.

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Flooring options for a higher budget include:


  • Laminate – available in wood, stone and ceramic designs, which makes it easy to fit into your existing decor.

  • Hardwood – available in gloss and semi-gloss finished, woods such as maple and oak can add warmth to your room

  • Concrete – if you are a fan of the industrial look then this option may be for you. Concrete is available in a good range of colours and textures

  • Cork – hypoallergenic, with a soft cushion-like feel, this option comes in tiles, or in planks in a wide range of colours.

  • Natural stone – one of the most expensive choices, but limestone, sandstone, marble and slate, will add a feel of luxury to your room


2. Can you install it yourself?

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Installing a floor covering yourself will save you a lot of money, but only if you know what you’re doing! If you’re not sure, then it’s better to pay a professional, as mistakes can waste materials and cost more to fix.


  • Vinyl and linoleum are simple to use, especially if purchased in sheets as their flexible nature means they are easy to cut to shape and fit into gaps

  • Laminate flooring is fairly straight forward as it slots together, so most DIY enthusiasts will be able to create a nice looking floor.

  • Ceramic tiles are more difficult to lay as they have to be cut to fit the space and kept level; it may be wise to try tiling a small area first to see how you get on, before attempting something larger.

  • Carpet installation is probably best left to the professionals as it’s difficult to control a roll, and you need to ensure that the carpet is stretched evenly across the floor to prevent unsightly bulges. Carpet squares however, would be a much more easy installation.

  • Natural stone and concrete require specialist knowledge and tools. It’s probably best to get help with these, unless you particularly like a challenge.


3. Is it pet and child proof?

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If you’re looking for a options that will survive a daily battering from dogs or small children, then some flooring is more suitable than others:


Good options for durability are:


  • Concrete

  • Natural stone

  • Vinyl

  • Ceramic tiles – although, these may crack if heavy objects are dropped onto them


Less durable option are:


  • Carpet – this can easily be stained and discoloured by spills and liquids

  • Laminates – these are easy to scratch and damage

  • Hardwoods – these also scratch easily, but can be sanded down to remove any damage

4. Where is it being installed?

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Consider carefully where your floor is going to be installed. If the room is very damp then certain flooring, such as laminates and hardwood are not suitable as they will absorb the water and become damaged. For bathrooms, options such as ceramic tiles are more suitable, and cork is very suitable due to the softness of it’s texture under bare feet.

5. Maintenance

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If you’re looking for low maintenance options, then vinyl should be your first choice. Laminate and ceramic tiles are also easy to maintain by running a damp mop over them regularly. Carpets are fairly easy to keep clean, but if you have a bad stain, you may need to have it treated professionally or even replaced. Timber flooring requires slightly more maintenance, but it’s look and feel really add warmth to the interior of your home.


I am a lover of all things DIY and have written for a number of renowned home improvement sites.

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